Two Stories by Adam Reger

Small-Town Man Troubled by Persistent Dream

He began to dream about jumping off the tops of tall buildings. After a running start, a leap, and momentum lasting half a second. The dream would end just after the shudder of beginning to fall. That was enough to wake him, and to haunt him by day.

He didn’t tell anyone about the dream, because it came from nowhere. There were no tall buildings in town, and he was its mayor. People would worry, or just gossip, and the dream would mean something. That he wanted to die, or leave town for the big city.

After twenty years of the dream, he’d grown used to its features. He retired as mayor, but still dreamt of leaping from fantastic heights. It thrilled him to run and jump, now that he was old. Now he relished the calm half-second just before he started to fall.


Church of the Here and Now


We broke up in the spring. I’d just gained around fifteen pounds. Birds were chirping, flowers blooming, etc. Sara surprised me, calling very early. She’d spent all night thinking, worrying. Better now, rebirth, better for her.


I’d been running and lifting weights. I looked good; I wasn’t worried. Still, Sara haunted me a little. I’d liked her, and was dejected. Meeting people was hard for me. I decided to join a church.


I’d long since given up religion. But always thought I’d go back. An interesting place uptown, among warehouses. Church of the Here and Now. Welcoming, strange, the smell of mothballs. Only ten members, which I liked.


Camping trip, Poconos, over Easter weekend. The idea was rejuvenation, rebirth, peace. Long drive in a rickety van. Andrea, a gym teacher, cornered me. “Why did you join the church?” I was honest: “To meet people.”


Andrea invited me walking with her. She pushed me into a cave. “Celebrate the here and now, David. This is how I celebrate it.” We returned to camp at dusk. Cheeks flushed, hair tousled; nobody cared.


The Church went well for months. Then I said the wrong thing. No one would tell me what. I was ostracized; strange letters came. Torn photographs of myself, rat tails. Like I’d been through a tunnel.

More fiction at Used Furniture.

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