Grand Canyon Official Form 477D
by Debra A Daniel
Standing at the canyon’s edge, I see my ex struggling below. But maybe not. Maybe it’s a bear. Or a clown. Or a clown wearing a bear suit. Or vice-versa.
Although it could be my ex being eaten by a bear. That seems like something that would happen to him. Then he’d lie about it later. He’d make up some story, some half-truth difficult to trace.
“No,” he’d say. “That bear didn’t eat me. We were just joking around.”
“No,” he’d say. “I went to school with that bear. Great guy, Gary. Gary Bear. He lived two doors down. His mom always baked cookies for us.”
I look again. Hmm. It looks more like a clown now. Yes, a clown, for sure. My ex was afraid of clowns, ever since that Stephen King book came out.
Not that he read it. He never read anything. Not even my stories. He just thought it was cool to be scared of clowns.
Now, looking again, I’m pretty sure it’s a clown eating a bear.
Still it could be my ex. He’s so far down in the distance. I can’t tell.
“Is anyone missing a clown?” I ask the ranger. “Do bears suffer from coulrophobia? Have you ever been married to a pathological liar?”
The ranger shrugs. “I can’t answer unless you file an incident report,” she says. “Go to the welcome center. Ask for Official Form 447D Ex/Clown/Bear Attack.”
I take one more look into the canyon. There’s definitely a struggle still going on down below. I hope my ex isn’t being eaten by a bear.
But my tour bus is loading up, and he really isn’t my problem anymore.
About the Author
Debra Daniel, from South Carolina, sings in a band with her husband. Publications include: The Roster, (Ad Hoc Fiction, highly commended for the Bath Flash Fiction Novella-in-Flash, 2019), Woman Commits Suicide in Dishwasher (novel, Muddy Ford Press), The Downward Turn of August (poetry, Finishing Line) As Is (poetry, Main Street Rag), With One Eye on the Cows, Things Left and Found by the Side of the Road, Los Angeles Review, Smokelong, Kakalak, Emrys, Pequin, Inkwell, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River, and Gargoyle. Awards include The Los Angeles Review, Bacopa, the Guy Owen Poetry Prize, and SC Poetry Fellowships. Her second novella-in-flash A Family of Great Falls was shortlisted in the 2021 Bath Flash Fiction Novella-in-Flash Awards and was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in July 2021.