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Lifelike

Dara Naraghi's graphic novel Lifelike is now available in both digital and print editions. Click here for more info.

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It’s time for another edition of Panel:350, our foray into flash fiction. This one weighs in at 350 words exactly, including the title.

Have I posted this one before? I wrote it a while ago, then forgot about it.

Law school was over, but the bar exam was looming. Brady was dating that girl from the chemistry lab.

“I know it’s creepy, but the human trials have gone great,” Sheila said. The beige pills looked tiny in her hand. “They make you remember everything.”

He rolled the tablet over in his palm. He’d barely gotten through Contract Law, and Trusts had nearly killed him. If he could just get through the bar, Dad had the connections to set him up. Would Sheila make a good trophy wife? She was a little brainy for him, but she had a way of anticipating his needs.

“OK, sure. Shit. Give me a glass of water.”                    

The next night’s study group went awesome. Marbury vs. Madison. US vs. Interstate Bakeries. Citizens United. They rolled off the tongue. His study partners gaped – they’d only seen him do the bare minimum.

“What’s my secret? You just gotta relax.”                     

Exam day came. Brady held his shoulders straight as he walked into the exam hall. The carriage of a senator? Maybe. He paused to run a finger along the fluted marble columns … the rasp of marble under his index finger … it reminded him of the scraping of a match …

… lighting bottle rockets in plastic army men …

… GI Joe’s arm half sticking out from under the bed … mom finding his stash of porn …

… the taste of Jenny’s sweat … scented candle … accusing eyes …

… eyes of a dead bird, on the sidewalk …

… terrifying pain as his knee scraped on the sidewalk …

… blowing his shoulder at the state wrestling tournament …

… shitting his pants in the school gymnasium …

Brady never took the bar. Six months later, he was crashing on Sheila’s couch. He guessed she felt guilty for giving him the pills, but sympathy went only so far.

“You could probably take the bar again,” she said, her voice taking a judgmental edge. “The drug’s got to be out of your system.”

“You don’t forget a thing like that,” Brady said.

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One Response to “Pnel 350: Unforgettable”

  • Dara says:

    “She was a little brainy for him, but she had a way of anticipating his needs.” What a great line, exactly what a DB would think.

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