A Carnival World

You lean down. Your Uncle is still looking up at you with mismatched eyes. The right is your father’s eye. The left is empty.

“Can you see him?” you ask.

Your father’s ghost is singing Kol Nidre like he had when you were a child. He is singing the end of his oaths. Your Uncle’s dark eye flits up to him, and the brothers look at one another. A smile curves around the edge of his lips. His teeth have gone red.

“No,” he says.

The song is over. There is silence in the Synagogue.

“It’s not a world,” you say. “It’s just a carnival.”



“License and registration, please.”

You hand it over.

“Anything to declare, sir?”

You can feel Horatio in the box at your feet squirming around. The kitten had slept through almost the entire drive back to the border.


He tells you your papers are in order. He smiles as he hands them back to you. He looks at both of you and nods.

“Welcome back to Canada, sir.”

You drive on past the border. All around you, it has begun to snow. The snow lights up the pale moonlight.  You say nothing. You can feel the hand on your shoulder. He says nothing.

Your hands ache from the fighting. The ache from the death all around you. They ache around your father’s ring.

They ache. You rub them.

They ache.


Ben Berman GhanBen Berman Ghan is a writer from Toronto, Canada, who holds a passion for both literary and speculative fiction. He thinks that even when stories are dark and sad, they should still find time to tell a joke. He knows all about the space men, and finds writing about himself in the third person very strange. You can find him @wychwords on twitter.