The Calendar of Minutes

by Carl Santoro

Every minute is the next day.

No, wait, every minute is a new day,
Vaughn mumbled.

He lay back with his head
resting on a 2015 calendar.
The many squares of December
to be exact.

The moon, the sun, the stars,
they don't know what's written down.

His arms outstretched above him
he held in his hands
his freshly-printed homemade
2016 calendar.
The 1,440 minutes of January 1
written in tiny, wavy scrawls
within the large 12" x 12" box
that was page one.

He was prepared for this event.

He stared at it, smiling through
a wispy curtain of long grey bangs,
bushy wiry brows and cloudy eyes

Page two would be three years
or more in "their time."

He didn't care, he was fifteen.

His arms tired quickly of 
the weighty volume so
he hugged it tightly
to his chest.

There was loud banging
and voices shouting.

He closed his eyes,
embracing it harder.
His nostrils burning now
from the pungent fumes.

He began to see images
behind his heavy lids.
It was a man in a suit
riding atop a
huge glowing sphere

The noises surrounding Vaughn
now seeming to reach a crescendo
yet fading at the same time.

Yes, that's it!
That's him! Vaughn thought.
I will name it
The Dick Clark Calendar!

The people burst in
but it was too late.
Vaughn's skeleton
lay on the living room floor
partially covered with sheets of paper.

"Look here!" a neighbor called out.
The stove was turned on,
but no gas coming out.
An unpaid bill 
on the kitchen table.