Misery Pigeon

The Last Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Is Full of Assholes

I’d been living the same day over and over for nine hundred and forty-one days before I turned to my co-worker and said, “Dude, Kevin, I have been living the same day over and over for nine hundred and forty-one days.” 

Kevin didn’t look up from his desk. He nodded and said, “Yeah, man—me too.” 

I touched his shoulder, something I never do, but I wanted him to know I was serious. I felt like crying, and he looked into my eyes. “No, Kevin, I have been living the same day for nine hundred and forty-one days. The sixth of March. This day. No matter what I do, nothing changes.” 

Kevin looked at my hand and rolled back a bit in his chair, so I couldn’t reach him. “Yeah, man, lower your voice. I know. We all have. Don’t you read the news?” 

I looked up over the edge of our cubicle and out the window. It was shitting rain, and someone honked outside. “But why this day? Why not a day with some adventure? Don’t you remember adventure, Kevin? That feeling like something might be different just around the corner?”  

Kevin shrugged and went back to work, a few feet further from me. “Get over it, man,” he said. Our co-worker, Don, leaned over our cubicle wall. His breath stank of eucalyptus, and he coughed chunks of phlegm onto Kevin’s papers. “You think you’ve got it bad.” He laughed. “My wife is on the rag, man. My wife is on the rag.” 

I left them to have a bagel in the breakroom. There were no onion bagels, so I snatched up the last cinnamon raisin bagel, and, as I brought it to my mouth, a breeze hit my nose. I looked down and saw that right there, in the hole of the bagel, there was a cold, blue and white light. I held it up to my face, and sure enough, it looked right onto a winter wonderland forest of deep green and virgin white. I checked around the back of the bagel and found it to be the same piece-of-shit kitchen that smelled of old Tupperware and whatever stuff of myth and hell they make office breakroom tables out of. 

I sat down in a chair and peered back through the hole in the bagel. It was a beautiful forest, and the sky was vibrant with purples and oranges and greens. I poked my finger through the hole, and it came back chilly—it even had a little flake of the most perfect snow on it. 

“Hello!” someone called. 

I looked in the bagel, and out of the trees popped a young man. The bottom half of his body was covered in fur. He had hooves and a sword at his waist—a centaur.

“Hello?” I called into the bagel.

The centaur turned and squinted at me.

“Hello?”

“Hi! What are you doing?”

The centaur puffed out its chest and said, “I am looking for the chosen one.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. A child of Earth.”

“I am a child of Earth,” I said. 

The centaur frowned and moved closer to my bagel hole, or whatever it looked like, on his side. “How old are you?” he asked.

I scowled through the bagel and said, “Why does that matter?” 

“No—no,” the centaur held up his hands. “Not meaning to offend. If you are the chosen one, can you come through? The Green Prince has taken over the lands and sits on your throne. His men have been chasing me, trying to keep me from finding you.” 

My heart leaped. I stood up. “Yes! Yes! I am coming!” I stuck my finger into the bagel, and then two. Boy, was it cold in there. As I tried to fit a third finger in, the bagel began to break, and I panicked. I pulled my hand out and looked back through. The centaur was looking around him, hand on his sword. 

“Hey! So, I can’t fit through this bagel! Is there another way I can get there?” 

The centaur turned and smiled, “Yes, of course. But wait, what is a bage—” At that moment, a man on horseback flew by and decapitated the centaur. A droplet of blood flew out of the bagel and landed on my nose. Then, there was silence.

“Hello?” I called. No response came. “Hello? HEY! Who is there? Hey, tell me how to get there. I don’t give a shit about the Green Prince; just tell me how to get there! Hey, buddy on the horse? HEY BUDDY!” 

But the man on horseback didn’t return. 

I sat back in my chair and looked up. Jane from the legal department stood in the middle of our shit little office kitchen, watching me. 

“Hey—uh, you all right?” she asked. 

I buried my face in one hand and tried not to cry. I couldn’t think of anything to say. A moment later, Jane asked, “Hey—uh, is that the last cinnamon raisin bagel?” 

I looked down at it, cracked a bit from where I’d tried to get in. I nodded. 

“Can I have it?” she asked. 

I held it out to her. 

She took a bite and said, “Some kind of day we’re having, huh?” 

**

Thank you for reading! If you’d like to learn more about me and what I do, check out my personal website. To receive flash stories in your inbox once a month, sign up for my newsletter.

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