S. O. L.

Irv drops the rifle, nears his son, Scotty. Scotty’s got a hole in his belly, and the half-open refrigerator, casting one slim yellow ray, picks out Scotty’s right hand, still gripping an orange. A river—half blood, half orange pulp—courses between kitchen tiles. Eventually it reaches Irv, forming tiny deltas between his toes, staining the pinkie toenails. Mindlessly, Irv closes the refrigerator door, bends down. He touches a hairy, waxy ear to Scotty’s lips—it’s over.

Lifting Scotty by the neck and knees, Irv stumbles numbly to his study. On Irv’s desk are several empty fifths and a tumbler of Oban, which is almost full. Sitting, Irv splays Scotty across his lap, grips the tumbler and fixes himself a double. The night air, entering through an open window, is tinged with citrus. Letting the Oban sting his gums, Irv inhales, thinking damn, I never should’ve moved to Florida.

Ian Grody earned his MFA in Dramatic Writing from Tisch (NYU). He is the recipient of the Artistine Mann Award for Fiction, the Hemingway Society Hinkle Award, the Cinequest Film Festival Award for Screenwriting, the Ivy Film Festival Award for Best Feature Length Screenplay, the Bristol Drama Society Playwriting Award, and the Venable Herndon Screenwriting Award.