First Time by Grant Faulkner

Gerard sat next to the old woman at the hotel bar, staring at the soft creases around her eyes as if they were exotic etchings. She drank rye, “like my parents did,” she said. Summers on Cape Cod. She insisted on turning out the lights when he unbuttoned her blouse. She ran her fingers over his chest as if touching a man for the first time. Nearing 50, now he got to play the role of the younger man. Taut muscles. Years to live. He combed his fingers through her thin, white hair. “Do you believe in ghosts?” he asked.

Grant Faulkner’s stories and essays have appeared in The Southwest Review, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Gargoyle, The Berkeley Fiction Review, Puerto del Sol, Revolver, eclectica, The Cortland Review, PANK, Superstition Review, Green Mountain Review, and Flash International, among others. His debut collection of one hundred 100-word stories, Fissures, is coming out in the Spring of 2015 with Press 53. He is executive director of National Novel Writing Month, co-founder of the lit journal 100 Word Story, and cooperative co-founder of the Flash Fiction Collective.

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