SOME ALTERNATE ENDINGS FOR A DEAD UNCLE
1. You die a red explosion—splat—on a mostly blank canvas.
2. You die in a bird nest, finding ancient music in the sound of flapping wings.
3. You die with your mouth hanging open on an invisible hinge.
4. You die a ballpoint pen, skin inked.
5. You die placing stained glass in an empty cabinet.
6. You die just before the ceiling gives way and is replaced by a flock of migrating geese.
7. You die playing catch with the bedroom door in your childhood home, with your sister’s hums taking up the space between walls.
8. You die as the last bit of hair bursts through your skin.
9. You die following the ocean in your favorite song.
10. You die crying, Eureka! over a soggy piece of cafeteria garlic bread.
11. You die with all the loose wires sticking out of your throat to electrocute the air.
12. You die crawling through a dim tunnel toward the sudden and inexplicable smell of rosemary-scented perfume.
13. You die with an open oven sending clouds of heat through your hair.
14. You die as a single word dribbles like a fat streak of saliva down your chin.
15. You die an origami bird, folding and falling upward.
16. You die breathing in the dirt from your father’s grave.
17. You die after your lungs are replaced with unmoving twin lakes.
18. You die with the imprint of wings behind your eyelids.
19. You die a moon, edges cratered.
20. You die as the sky opens its mouth to swallow you up.
21. You die floating upstream in a nearby river, with the sound of familiar waters to carry you home.
Megan Lunny is a 2019 National YoungArts Finalist in Writing, a 2019 Semifinalist for US Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a 2018 Foyle Commended Poet, and the recipient of the American Voices Medal (2019) and National Scholastic Gold Medals in Short Story (2019) and in Flash Fiction (2018). Her prose and poetry have appeared in The Best Teen Writing of 2018, Cleaver Magazine, River Heron Review, and Acumen Young Poets.