Welcome Eager Readers! (And Writers)

Thanks for stopping by. Please read our "About" page for some more information and please look over our submission guidelines that are on the right before submitting.

Enjoy, and Viva La Toucan

Laura, Toucan Editrice

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Friend Indeed

Hello all!

   How lovely to see you again. Care for a cuppa? Bit chilly today so it might help you warm up. It's May and there is so much I have to tell you! Firstly, I've been lacking in my editorial duties by doing things like answering emails within the week and posting content on time, or at all. It's not that I don't love you, but this really is a job for two people. I get shoved gown guilt spirals because I'm the child that believes if you can't see it, there's no problem, even though I know better. I had grandiose plans to fix the site and put together PDFs, but I am still only one person. This may sound like a sob story, but I'm actually trying to break good news. I've been running this literary circus for about a year on my own and it's time to have a reunion. Our favorite editrice is coming back! There's no need to hide it, she's everyone's favorite. Mostly because she can use commas and wit better than I can. That's right Liz will be returning to The Toucan very soon. In what capacity remains to be seen, but she'll be back. Between the two of us we're bound to get things up in time and respond to emails in a timely fashion. She'll make a proper re-introduction when the time comes, and in the meantime I'm still calling the shots. But I know she was sorely missed and now that I've had a say in things, you may need to pick sides. Letting us know which pieces you like will help define the content in the future. We want our readers to enjoy what we publish!

   Secondly, this issue may be a little late, but it sure is something. Lots of lovely poetry to be read here, as well as some prose. It's a bit of a lighter issue, but quality over quantity, huh? Plus there's a bit of artwork! I'm always excited about any artwork we get. It breaks up the issue a bit and helps bring home the point that The Toucan loves all forms of art and storytelling. That's not to say that the writing isn't something to get excited about. We have some familiar faces as well as brand new writers in this issue. It's spring, new beginnings are important and everyone gets one in this issue. The styles and subjects are all so varied I can't even pull recommendations. Just enjoy all of it.

   Lastly, my birthday was May 1st and usually it's celebrated with the issue. That's just how the schedule turned out.  Since you can't all send me gifts, I'd like you to submit your best work to The Toucan. That is probably the best gift I could ever get. I want The Toucan to continue to exist and be enjoyed by all kinds of readers. Submitting helps keep us alive. Now, I'll top off that tea and leave you to read. Thank you, and enjoy the issue.

Editrice Laura

Issue 21 Cover "Friends" by Denny Marshall

(click image to enlarge)

Many, many thanks to Denny Marshall for the cover. The Toucan couldn't ask for a better friend!  

Issue 21 Table of Contents

Issue 21 Cover "Friends" by Denny E. Marshall

Junior, Robert Laughlin
Bernard and Chester, Rick Hartwell
The Bacon Cheeseburger, Michelle Wang
Woman in Beads, Annie Kim 
The Mine Will Be Called Lilacs-In-Bloom, Burgess Needle
Wait Till the Scorpions Come Out, Sara Clancy
Theology of Road Rage, Sara Clancy
About Ownership, Rose Mary Boehm  
Knowledge, or Original Sin; Rose Mary Boehm
Sand Specters, Rick Hartwell
They Cured Him, Sy Roth
The Harmonica and the Cat, Danny Earl Simmons
Igor, Ashley Fisher
Sunflowers, Ashley Fisher 

Issue 21 Contributors' Bios
Editrice Note: A Friend Indeed

Issue 21 Contributors' Bios

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm now lives and works in Lima, Peru. Two novels and a poetry collection (TANGENTS) have been published in the UK. Her latest poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in US poetry reviews. Among others: Toe Good Poetry, Poetry Breakfast, Burning Word, Muddy River Review, Pale Horse Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Other Rooms, Requiem Magazine, Full of Crow, Poetry Quarterly, Punchnel’s, Verse Wisconsin, AVATAR... 

Sara Clancy graduated from the Writer's Program at the University of Wisconsin long ago. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals such as Avatar Review, The Smoking Poet, The Madison Review, Verse Wisconsin, Untitled Country Review, Poetry Breakfast, Owen Wister Review and Houseboat, where she was a featured poet. She is a transplant from Philadelphia to the Desert Southwest where she lives with her husband, their dog and a 22 year old goldfish named Darryl.

Ashley Fisher is a UK-based poet. He runs the Fresh Ink Open Mic nights in Hull, East Yorkshire, co-edits the poetry magazine Turbulence, edits The English Chicago Review and runs community poetry workshops. His poetry has been published in magazines and journals on three continents. His first chapbook, Dead Crabs, was published by Fire Hazard in 2011. He can be found at

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember, the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California.  He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity.  Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing poetry, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.

Annie Kim is a high school student currently residing in Cerritos, California. She enjoys art and writing, mixing words like colors on a palette.

Robert Laughlin lives in Chico, California. He has published 100 short stories, 200 poems and one novel, Vow of Silence. He is the founder of the Micro Award for flash fiction, and two of his longer stories are storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Stories. His website is at

Denny E. Marshall has no art education or training, has never won or been nominated for an award, and has never had art shown in a gallery, public or private. After all the years still enjoys drawing by hand or computer. Has had art & poetry recently rejected and some recently published such as poetry in August 2012 issue of Yes, Poetry, cover art in the April 2012 issue of Eclectic Eel and art in Decades Review #4.

Burgess Needle’s work has appeared in: Black Market Review (UK), Connotation Press, 10,000 Tons of Black Ink, Blackbox Manifold (UK), Concho River Review, Raving Dove, Boston Literary Magazine, Istanbul Literary Review[Turkey], Decanto (UK), Centrifugal Eye, Iodine, Prick of the Spindle, The Camel Saloon, Flutter, Origami Condom, Ken*Again, Under the Radar [UK] Kritya (India), Prism Review, Snow Monkey, Brittle Star (UK), Gutter Eloquence,  Blue Lake Review, Eunoia Review, Minotaur, Nutshell Magazine (UK), Clockwise Cat, DeComp Magazine,  Peacock on-line Review, and Red Fez.  Diminuendo Press published his poetry collection: EVERY CROW IN THE BLUE SKY. @. 2009. He taught English for two years in Nang Rong, a small village in northeast Thailand for the Peace Corps, been a co-director of the Southern Arizona Writing Project, co-published and edited Prickly Pear/Tucson [a poetry quarterly] for five years and was a school librarian for thirty years. He lives in Tucson with his wife, Barbara.

Sy Roth - He comes riding in and then canters out. Oftentimes, the head is bowed by reality; other times, he is proud to have said something noteworthy. cRetired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace.  He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications such as Wilderness Interface Zone, Red Ochre,  Bong is Bard, Danse Macabre, Mel BraKe Press, Larks Fiction Magazine, Exercise Bowler, Otoliths, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, brief, The Weekenders, The Squawk Back, Bareback Magazine, Dead Snakes, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Peripheral Surveys,  Scapegoat Review, The Artistic Muse, Inclement, Napalm and Novocain, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya, Wilderness House Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, Mindless(Muse), Em Dash, Subliminal Interiors, South Townsville Micropoetry Journal, The Penwood Review, The Rampallian, Vox Poetica, Clutching at Straws, Downer Magazine, Full of Crow, Abisinth Literary Review, Every Day Poems, Avalon Literary Review, Napalm and Novocaine, Wilderness House Literary Review, St. Elsewhere Journal, Carcinogenic Poetry, The Neglected Ratio, Windmills Magazine and Kerouac’s Dog.  One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle.  Also selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway, September 2012.  His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics. Included in Poised in Flight anthology published by Kind of Hurricane Press, March 2013. 

Danny Earl Simmons is an Oregonian and a proud graduate of Corvallis High School. He is a friend of the Linn-Benton Community College Poetry Club and an active member of Albany Civic Theater. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals such as Naugatuck River Review, Avatar Review, Burningword, Pirene’s Fountain, and Verse Wisconsin.

Michelle Wang is a student who is part of the creative writing community at Cerritos High School. Her inspiration comes from imagination with experience. Having written most of her works fictionally, writing a bio, is not her forte.

Junior, Robert Laughlin

     Mantley was determined to bring up his son properly: that meant teaching him to obey parental authority. The early death of Mantley’s wife removed any restraining influence, and Mantley proceeded to treat Junior even worse than his many cringing employees. Junior wasn’t allowed a minute’s grace showing up for meals and chores; he had to earn straight A’s in his studies; he spent twenty hours a week doing things he disliked that would supposedly improve his mind or toughen his body; he was forbidden to do anything or see anyone Mantley disapproved of. A vigorous beating with a belt was Junior’s punishment for any failure or show of defiance, and Mantley always preceded each beating by saying, “I’m in charge, and this is for your own good.”

     Right after his high school graduation, Junior surprised Mantley by taking off for parts unknown. The free college education Mantley offered would have allowed him many ways to keep on directing Junior’s life, and Junior knew that. Mantley had nowhere to put his abundant energy and desire to exercise control but his company, whose bottom line flourished in inverse proportion to the affection his workers had for him. He wasn’t any better liked in the boardroom, and the directors were happy to give him a gold watch when he started showing signs of forgetfulness.

     It took Mantley almost a full minute to answer the door; his senile rages had long since driven out the live-in staff, and getting around a mansion in his walker was slow going. The man standing on the doorstep, immediately recognizable despite his receding hair and middle-age spread, was long-lost Junior. On either side of him was a man in a white uniform, and in his hand was a power of attorney signed by a friendly judge and a commitment order signed by two friendly psychiatrists. “I’m in charge, and this is for your own good,” said Junior.

Bernard and Chester, Rick Hartwell

   It was about two weeks after Bernard learned to fly that he met Chester.  The two of them would eventually become fast friends, however, their first meeting was anything but friendly.  Bernard had been cruising the neighborhood beyond the wooden white church with the real tall belfry.  The tall spike of a steeple jutted into the sky above most of the surrounding trees.  It provided the perfect lookout perch for him to plan his search.  He could see the entire valley from the stream that fed into the lake all the way down to the dam.  He could see his home tree and where his aunt lived.  When he turned around the other way he could see all the way up into the mountains, even above where the trees stopped growing.  It was truly beautiful, but he had to try and keep his mind on what he was doing.

    Bernard was looking for new sources of food.  He had been soaring and floating up where the foothills began to rise in earnest towards the mountains.  He had grown tired of the discarded French fries and burger buns he could find in the Carl’s Jr. parking lot or in the dumpster behind the drive-thru lane.  Those were most of the things he could find on his own and he never did acquire a taste for pickles and relish.  It was now late summer and the worms and grubs and even the butterflies and moths were no longer as plentiful as before.  His mother had been trying to teach him about seeds and nuts and berries.  She said these were the natural foods that could be gathered from trees and bushes up at the beginning of the forest tree line.

    Bernard was growing up without his father and his mother was away from the nest a good deal of the time.  She was always very busy during the day and very tired at night.  She didn’t always give Bernard great answers to his many questions.  This morning for instance he had asked his mother to describe to him again how to go about finding nuts or berries.  He thought she had been very curt.

    “I don’t have time for all this nonsense again, Bernard.  You’ve just got to pay better attention.”

    Actually, Bernard thought he had been paying attention, at least pretty well.  He remembered that berries were hard and nuts were soft.  Or was it the other way around?  He remembered that nuts were brightly colored and berries were dull.  Or was that the other way around, too?  Well anyway, he was positive that his mother had told him that berries were from trees and that nuts came from bushes.  Well, sort of positive.  Bernard just wanted her to teach him again so he could understand and remember.

    “Can’t you just take me out and show me?  Just once, please?”

    “Bernard, I have too much work to do.  I taught you all about those things before.  You should have just listened better and studied harder.”

    “I tried mom, honest.  It’s just that it’s hard to see them in my head when I’ve never seen them with my eyes or held them in my beak.”

    Bernard really did want to learn all the important things his mom told him.  Every night she would try to take a few minutes and talk over the day with him.  She tried to teach him things by telling him everything she could remember.  The problem was that all she could do was talk about things.  Bernard didn’t seem to learn things very well that way.  He wanted to actually see them and touch them in order to get to know them.  After a while he would get bored with just the talking and he would begin to fidget in the nest or on the branch.  Sometimes he would get distracted and start looking out over the parking lot or up at the clouds above the tree through the branches.  Once he even took off on a long glide right in the middle of his mother’s talking.

    “If you just insist on flying around, playing all day young man, then I suggest you fly on up to the trees above the church and figure it out for yourself!”

    “Mom, can’t you go with me and show me just once?”

    “I’m sorry Bernard, but I have to go out and find some twigs and string to fix up the sagging part of the nest on the east side, next to the trunk.  Those squirrels and chipmunks keep banging into it every time they run up and down the neighborhood.  I’ve told you once, and I’ve told you twice.  Now that should be enough.  You’d think you could learn things the first time.”

    With that, his mother had departed in a huff.  It wasn’t that she was mean or didn’t want to take the time to teach Bernard all the things he needed to know.  It was just that she was so busy and lonely.  But what she said was indeed the problem.  Bernard didn’t learn things the first time.  Or even the second or the third.  At least he didn’t learn them just by talking about them.  Sometimes he felt so stupid.  It seemed like everybody else learned things easily and by just listening.

    When his Aunt Betty had visited last week with her twins they had just showed off.  They both knew how to fly better than Bernard.  They knew the names of all the different trees.  Lonnie could even count up to six without looking at his two feet.  The other one, Loretta, had flown down to the lake on her own and had brought back a minnow to share.  She said she had caught it in the shallows all by herself.  Her mother had just bragged and bragged on her all afternoon, although Bernard had a sneaking suspicion that Loretta had just found the fish already dead.  Even so, his cousins were smarter than he was and they were six days younger!  The more he had thought about it, the dumber Bernard had felt.

    From his lookout post atop the church steeple, Bernard was scanning in a great circular motion.  He was trying to let his eyes settle on what must be a berry tree or a nut bush.  He didn’t really know what he was looking for.  He just knew that it must be different from what he was used to and he hoped it would sort of jump out at him and announce itself.  He admitted to himself that it all seemed so very useless, but he was afraid to go back without at least trying his very best to remember what his mother told him.  All of a sudden something caught his attention.  It wasn’t anything he could really put his claw on or sink his beak into.  It was just sort of a blur in his vision, off to his left.  There it was again.  It was a jerky movement on the trunk of a very tall pine tree above where the houses ended.  Well, it certainly wasn’t a nut or even a berry, but it was worth investigating nonetheless.

    Bernard dropped from the steeple in a step glide until he gathered speed.  Then he started his forward flapping motion to gain more altitude.  He kept his yellow eyes glued to the tree he had located and locked it in his mind as the one where he had first seen the movement.  After he was high enough, he just floated on the currents.  The updraft from the slope of the hills where they mounted to meet the steeper mountains formed a perfect pillow for him to float on.  Bernard felt he could hang there up in the sky forever.  Again he saw the flash of movement and he dove for the tree in order to intercept it before it stopped again.  He fluffed out his wings in order to brake just before he slammed into the tree trunk and he dug his claws into the ruffled bark on the side of the tree.  He hung there, sideways, waiting for another movement to catch his eye.  Nothing came and he started to edge his way around the tree, one foot at a time, up and over a branch that protruded almost straight out from the trunk.  He had just raised one foot to take the next step and was sort of in mid-balance when a striped blur almost knocked him over.

    “Hey fly boy, watch where you’re going,” squeaked a little chipmunk.

    “You watch where you’re going you little rodent,” retorted Bernard.

    “This is MY tree and I’m VERY busy and you are definitely NOT welcome.  Now get lost,” was the furry answer Bernard received.

    “Who the . . .”  Bernard was about to say a word he had heard Lonnie use, but he knew his mother would wash out his mouth with tree sap if she ever caught him using it, so he changed the word just in time.  “. . . HECK do you think you are?”

    “I’m Chester,” answered Chester.  “Who are you?”

    “Well, I’m Bernard,” answered Bernard, “and I can fly anywhere I want to, so there!”

    For a moment it seemed as if a confrontation was inevitable.  Chester puffed up his tail, flicking it back and forth rapidly.  He stood up.  He crouched down.  He stood up again, all in rapid succession.  He darted toward Bernard then stopped.  He stood up again to his full height of two and one-eighth inches.  He flicked his brown and black and cream colored, striped tail menacingly and started chattering in a threatening manner.  Bernard nearly fell off the branch laughing so hard, but he caught himself just in time.

    “What’s so darn funny you pint-sized feather duster?”  asked Chester.

    “You must think you are Rambo-rodent,” chirped Bernard merrily.

    Bernard tried to lessen his laughter by looking tough himself.  He puffed up his neck feathers and fluffed out his tail.  He stuck out his neck and turned his head sideways so he could look at Chester unblinkingly with just one narrowed, yellow eye.  Bernard drew himself up to his perched height of six and a half inches, more or less, but he knew Chester wouldn’t know the difference.  He spread his feet out wider to get a better stanch in case the two of them were going to have it out.  Now it was Chester’s turn to start laughing.

    “Well I’ll be.  You must be a jujitsu jay bird,” mocked the little chipmunk.

    Now with a beak it’s very hard to tell if a bird is smiling.  However, Bernard began to blink his eyes very rapidly and maybe, just maybe, the corners of his mouth at the rear of his beak began to twitch upwards.  Chester’s tail began flicking back and forth very rapidly and the corners of his mouth definitely curled up at the ends.  All of a sudden it was apparent to both Bernard and Chester that they both had been posing to each other.  Neither one really wanted to fight and both of them really wanted to be friends.  Chester finally collected himself enough to start asking questions of Bernard.

    “I haven’t seen you here before, Bernard.  Where do you live?”

    “Over in the tall pine tree by the Carl’s Jr. parking lot on the side away from the dumpster.”

    “Yeah, I think I know the place.”

    “Where do you live, Chester?”

    “A little farther down the mountain in a hollow log next to the lumber road.  That’s where my mother got killed.”

    “Oh, I’m sorry,” responded Bernard, “I didn’t know.”

    “That’s okay.  It happened a while ago,” Chester quietly responded and then added quickly, “What are you doing up around here?”

    And so Bernard told Chester about his search for colorful-nut bushes and dull-berry trees and about his mother and about not learning very well.  Throughout Bernard’s tale Chester never once cracked a smile or let a chuckle escape his lips.  Actually, he was becoming interested in Bernard.  He liked a bird who was so intense about what he was doing and he decided, right then and there, that they were going to be friends and he was going to help Bernard learn about gathering natural food.

    “Bernard, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do.  I’m going to help you, and that’s a fact.  Okay?”

    “Yes, but . . .” began Bernard.

    “No BUTs, no ORs, no IFs.  Got that?” demanded Chester.  “And one other thing.”

    “Huh?  What?” asked Bernard.

    “You’re going to be the teacher!” insisted Chester.

    Bernard was incredulous, not believing his ears, but he nodded his head solemnly and slowly indicating he agreed.  He actually wasn’t very certain about the entire project, but Chester was a kind of take-charge chipmunk who really seemed to know what he was doing.  First, Chester asked Bernard if he ever saw a biscuit in the dumpster with jelly or jam on it.  Bernard said he had and that he liked the sweet, purple goo.  Chester then asked him if he knew what it was made out of.

    “No.” answered Bernard truthfully.

    “Well, it’s made out of berries.” Chester responded.  “Is that purple goo soft or hard?”

    “It’s real soft, of course.” Bernard offered.

    “Yeah, and . . .?” prompted Chester.

    “Well, if it’s soft . . .” began Bernard.

    “Go on!” Chester encouraged.

    “. . . and it’s made out of berries . . .” Bernard continued.

    “Yeah, yeah, now you’re getting it!” praised Chester.

    “. . . then berries must be soft, not hard!” concluded Bernard.

    “Absolutely right!  And therefore . . .” began Chester again.

    “Therefore, nuts must be hard,” completed Bernard.

    “You got it, Bernard, and you taught yourself.  Now, I’m going to go get a nut to show you.”

    And away ran Chester straight up the tree as fast as four little paws could go.  A moment later something very hard clunked on Bernard’s head.  He looked around, puzzled, for a moment and then looked back up the tree.  Chester was racing back down.  When he arrived his cheeks were all puffy until he stood up on the branch and started pulling tan and brown and chocolate nuts from his mouth with his front paws.  Bernard turned his head quizzically from side to side.  He looked at the things in front of him on the tree branch with first one eye and then the other.  Then he tapped one of them with his beak.  It was hard!

    “Now I’m going to get some berries.” Chester said as he disappeared down the tree spiraling around the trunk and disappearing off into the bushes.  He reappeared a moment or two later and spiraled his way back up the tree to Bernard’s perch.  He popped several ripe, red, round berries from his oversized cheeks onto the branch.  Again Bernard looked with both eyes, one at a time, and then stabbed one of the berries.  His beak went in and when he pulled back, a berry was speared on the end of his beak and was dripping juice onto Chester’s head.  Bernard shook his head violently and the berry sailed off into space and fell somewhere to the ground below.  He tried again, but this time he opened his beak and gripped the berry from both top and bottom like he was using tongs.  Bernard then tilted his head all the up, opened his beak, and let the berry fall in his mouth.  He squeezed it with his tongue against the roof of his mouth and let it flow down his throat with the juice.  It was sweet.  It was gooey.  It was soft!

    “Okay now,” interrupted Chester, “tell me again.”

    “Nuts are hard and brown and come from trees and berries are soft and red and come from bushes,” responded Bernard.

    “Great!” Chester said with emphasis.  “We’ll work out the details later.”

   And this is how Bernard and Chester became the best of friends. The end.

The Bacon Cheeseburger, Michelle Wang

The sound of clacking keys resonated throughout the room as the bright screen, beaming on his face, illuminated his surroundings.
“Tom, you’re not done yet?”
“No…” he mumbled back, knowing that his co-worker already left without bothering to hear a response. Exhaling a good amount of carbon dioxide, he slowly stretched out his arms and leaned back in his office chair, exposing his oversized stomach. He closed his eyes and pinched the thin layer of skin that separated his eye sockets. After a resting a good couple of minutes, he pushed himself up, and closed his laptop. Packing his papers, he made a mental note to himself to go work out, and then he left the building, checking out his time card.
He strolled down the stairs carefully holding onto the railings as he descended. Streams of light covered the seemingly dark night of New York as cars and taxis speed by. Gripping tightly onto his briefcase, flailing out his arms, he called out, “Taxi! Taxi!” The taxi stopped, shortly, a couple meters away emitting the bright red tail lights as it braked. Thomas toddled over, almost stumbling on a crack and dropping his briefcase. He finally found his way to the handle. Pulling it open, he then realized that he should’ve just walked. But then again a dying urge to eat kicked in so he climbed into the cab.
“Where to?” asked the taxi driver turning his head swiftly.
“Uh…the burger joint on second.” He let out a sigh. I am never going to get married and if I ever am getting married, it’ll be to my job, he thought. He glanced upward at the rear view mirror; reflected was a middle aged man, full of grey hair, just a little chubby in the middle, but with broad shoulders that supported his muscular arms. He flexed his biceps; I guess working out occasionally is pretty nice. Noticing that the cabby was watching him, he quickly made a motion of scratching his head. The driver took a right then another right and pulled over. The meter read $4.10. Thomas quickly pulled out a five and handed it to him.
“Keep the change.” He said as he opened the door and scooted himself out of the cab; just as he stepped out and shut the door behind him, the taxi sped away. Fifth time this week, Paul’s Burgers, Paul must be really happy, he thought while chuckling to himself. After debating with himself, while waiting in line, about whether or not to eat in or takeout, he finally decided eat while walking. Compromise.
Happily with his Eastsider Burger in hand and drink in the other, Thomas walked out passing the two enormous sized colored concrete burgers stacked by the door. After unwrapping the specialty bacon cheeseburger filled with ham, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions with oil dripping over the edge he instinctively turned his head, slurped up the excess oil and took a bite out of his bacon burger. His body shook as he took another bite. Having trouble swallowing, he felt a slight pain in his chest. Lightly pounding his chest, he headed towards his apartment.
Occasionally taking a glance through the blurry windows, he slowly drained his 30 oz. of coke, but still keeping a third of the burger in hand. He then stopped and looked at an empty store. He saw his full body reflection on the glass. Taking a step closer he stumbled onto a crack. His briefcase full of papers flew into the air and slid across the hard grainy asphalt; his massive body fell after plummeting head first. His breath fell short while clenching onto his chest. Color drained from his face as he lay limp on the sidewalk a couple feet away from his apartment.