The Grinning Man walked through each and every day with a charming smile. After all, he wasn’t fully dressed without it, as the old adage says. He loathed society, his job, how he was trapped in life. Above all, he loathed himself. He despised how he had allowed himself to become trapped, ensnared in a web of wasted creativity, imagination left to fester and rot in the wild spaces of his mind. But his smile never wavered and the corpse of his only passion gave rise to the putrid stench of impotent rage that only he could smell. The sun began to set and the inner landscape turned to a checkerboard of red and black. In the gathering blackness, not a single crow sang. But the smile never left, like a tyrannical rift in the firmament, an undead moon laughing at its own demise, played out repeatedly on the moldering lakes below.
Cody Brown primarily writes longer works of fiction, but dabbles in poetry and short stories from time to time. His first debut novel, The Clocksmith, was published in March 2013.