The End

He liked to start his mornings with the paper.

Flipping open the pages, he hurried to the comics to satisfy his intellectual curiosity. Folding the section open flat on the American Maple table, he hummed a song he couldn’t name and dashed into the kitchen. From sound and habit, he knew Mr. Coffee had finished his task. A cup was poured. Half & Half paled its color. Two teaspoons of sugar were splashed in. It was gently stirred so as not to splash.

Next was cereal. “Always after my Lucky Charms,” he said, filling a bowl. Filled bowl, coffee, spoon and napkin were carried in to the waiting folded paper. He returned for to the kitchen for the milk. He used to carry them all in at the same time but that one time – he refrained from thinking about it. The milk had been hell to clean up. The imagined smell of souring, spilled milk took weeks to skulk away. Never again.

Seated, he took a sip of coffee. “Perfect.” He poured his milk over his cereal until it the bobbing cereal was at the bowl’s brim. Perfect.” Raising his spoon —

They found him with his face down in a bowl of warm, sour milk on mushy cereal. It looked like natural causes. Perhaps that would have been the end.

Except one person noticed the newspaper’s date said nineteen seventy. That discovery made everyone looked more closely at the interior decor.

It was just the beginning.

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