Sharon Goldberg lives in Seattle and was once an advertising copywriter. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review, The Louisville Review, Cold Mountain Review, Under The Sun, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Antigonish Review, Hypertext, three fiction anthologies, and elsewhere. Sharon was the second place winner of the 2012 On The Premises Humor Contest and Fiction Attic Press’s 2013 Flash in the Attic Contest. She is an avid but cautious skier and enthusiastic world traveler.
He lived near Orlando or Charlotte or Ft. Hood or Newtown or Littleton or Tucson or Blacksburg or San Bernardino or Dallas, and he was a high school student or college student or college dropout or security guard or county worker or soldier or psychiatrist or unemployed, and he hated Blacks or Gays or pledged allegiance to ISIS or sympathized with jihadists or he was picked on by jocks or obsessed with war games or paranoid, bipolar, depressed, delusional, suicidal, pissed off or seeking revenge, or he thought the world was going to end or the government was trying to control our minds, so he planned and plotted for days or weeks or months, and he dressed in a tactical armored vest and gas mask, or utility vest and ear plugs, or ski mask and long black trench coat, or beige uniform, or everyday ordinary clothes, or he dyed his hair red and said he was The Joker from Batman, and he loaded a 9mm Glock semi-automatic handgun or Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic assault rifle or Smith and Wesson M & P or Walther P22 or DPMS A-15 or Bushmaster XM15 or 9mm Intratec WD that he purchased at a gun store or sporting goods store or pawn shop or shooting center or online or he stole it or used his mom’s or he asked a friend to buy it for him or got it as a birthday gift, and he blasted his way through Sandy Hook Elementary School or Columbine High School or Norris Hall at Virginia Tech University or AME Emanuel Church or Pulse Night Club or Planned Parenthood or a Century 16 Movie Theatre or a Safeway parking lot or an army base, air force base, navy yard or an IHOP or Chuck E. Cheese, while people ate pancakes or danced beneath a disco ball and flashing lights or sang hymns and prayed to Jesus, or while a congresswoman met with constituents or film fans watched The Dark Knight Rises or co-workers celebrated at their Christmas party or students sat in class and learned about engineering or music or math, and in the midst of the carnage he remained calm, cold, deliberate or he laughed and yelled peek-a-boo or he texted his wife and called 911 or he scrawled “RB” on the wall in his own blood or he said “I’m going to spare you so you can tell them what happened,” and his victims hid under tables, barricaded themselves in bathrooms, raced up stairways, mobbed exits, crawled into ventilation shafts, jumped from windows, begged “Please don’t shoot me,” and he sprayed bullets and three died or six died or nine died or twelve died or thirteen or fourteen or twenty-eight or thirty-three or forty-nine died. And again.