You think it’s a coincidence? Consider the names before you answer. Consider my name: John Lincoln. You say I’m not political? Sure I am. I ran for senior class president. Even won. And by the way, that happened in a year ending in zero and divisible by fifteen. Don’t look at me that way. All you need to do is flip the number nine on its head, and you get six. Ninety. Sixty. There you are.
Never mind about the theater part. Or the gun. We’ll get to all that later. Right now, it’s important you see the connection.
If you’re stuck on the number thing, I should remind you there are seven letters in our surnames. Not that it matters. Identicality trumps all. If you still have a problem making the pieces fit, don’t forget this slice of high school trivia: the year after I graduated, guess who they elected to follow me? That’s right. Amy Johnson. And she was from the south.
God, Amy was beautiful. I remember how she used to flounce into class on the day of a football game, that miniature skirt floating around her hips like a bi-colored star when she sat in the front row. Would you believe she turned down Jeff the Jock to go to prom with me? I didn’t either. I still don’t. But there’s a whole mess of stuff I don’t believe.
Sometimes it’s a million miles away, high school. Sometimes it’s yesterday.
See, the thing I don’t get is that we’re living in the twenty-first century. Not 1860, not 1960, but the modern world. We got ourselves modern medicine and social medicine and chemo that doesn’t make you puke out a lung. We got midwives and doulas and birthing baths and all that shit. We got five fucking million songs in our pockets. So I don’t know why when Amy’s baby came out early, they couldn’t do something. Fix the little four-pound bugger. Incubate him.
That’s another connection you forgot—the dead kids. You know Lincoln’s sons died, right? And you know Jackie delivered prematurely? At least she had a couple days with the baby. A couple days more than Amy had.
Listen to me. There’s a flick playing down at the cineplex. I slipped the manager a few fifties—what the hell, I don’t need money anymore. No one to spend it on now that Amy’s gone. Anyway, I bribed him to keep the place empty after we get in.
You’re from Georgia, right? That’s good. I like that you have three names, too, I mean, I like that you use all three of your names. And seeing as it’s a Friday and my secretary warned me not to see this stupid movie, seeing as I already got the gun and a wad of cash like you asked, I thought maybe now that I’ve explained it all we might just go ahead and get it over with. One to the head will do it.
Christina Dalcher is a writer from Virginia with over sixty worldwide credits. Recognitions include Bath Flash Award’s Short List, nominations for Best of the Net and Best Small Fictions, and second place in Bartleby Snopes’ Dialogue Contest. Read additional work at here.