A Beautiful Song, Just Beautiful… by William J Fedigan

Michael says he sings to cancer, says cancer sings to him.

Michael says cancer is a woman. Michael says she loves him, says he loves her.

Michael says she will kill him. He tells Jimmy:

-I sing to her, Jimmy. I sing a beautiful song, Jimmy, just beautiful…


-She sings to me, Jimmy. She sings a beautiful song, Jimmy, just beautiful… Can you hear the song?


-We love each other, Jimmy.


-She will kill me, Jimmy.


Michael and Jimmy on Ward B, basement.

Michael on Ward because he sings to cancer, hears cancer sing to him. Jimmy on Ward because he wants to kill self. Jimmy tells ER doc he wants to kill self. Jimmy gets 14 days on Ward B. 14 days.

Jimmy likes Michael’s song. Beautiful song.

-My mother sang a beautiful song, Jimmy, just beautiful…I wish you could have heard her…beautiful song, just beautiful…

-Delusional, doc says.

Doc puts Michael on different meds, heavy meds. Meds don’t work.

Michael sings beautiful song.

-Tell him to shut the fuck up! Mouse says to Jimmy. Anger issues.

-He’s just singing to himself, Jimmy tells Mouse.

-Fuck you and fuck him! Mouse says. Anger issues. Assault with intent to kill.

-Any thoughts of suicide, Jimmy? doc asks.

-No. Feel good.

-Any thoughts of hurting yourself, Jimmy? doc asks.

-No. Feel good, Jimmy says.

Jimmy discharged. Jimmy out. Week later Mouse out. Jimmy sees Mouse in park. Mouse looks for clean butts on ground. Finds clean butt with good tread left. Mouse cleans it off, fires it up.

Jimmy asks about Michael:

-How’s Michael doing? Jimmy asks Mouse.

-The asshole’s dead, Mouse says.


-He’s dead.

-Cancer? Was it cancer?

-He hung himself with a bed sheet.


-He says over and over he hears his mother. She sings to me, he says, it’s a beautiful song, he says, just beautiful… next thing doc and nurses running around. Code Blue, crash cart…dead.


Jimmy walks away.

Jimmy listens.

Jimmy listens for her voice.

Jimmy listens for her song. Beautiful song, just beautiful…

Readers use words like “cold,” ”raw,” “haunting,” ”edgy,” ”unnerving”

to describe William J Fedigan’s unusual style and subject matter. His

latest work is featured in Kerouac’s Dog, Muscle & Blood, Heavy Hands

Ink, Metal Scratches, WeirdYear, Burning Word, Black Heart Magazine,

A-Minor, Barge Journal, Speech Bubble, Writing Disorder.

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