The Northville Review
an online literary journal
Tempus Fugit

Kenneth Radu

There was once a man who died at the age of twenty-one. He had black curls and brown eyes and wore designer underwear. As a pre-schooler he learned his numbers by watching Sesame Street. As a youngster he burned the back of June beetles using a magnifying glass and the sun’s rays. From the onset of puberty until his demise he discovered the joys of fantasy and sex in cars. Before his death he played football, skated and skied, and acquired a thousand friends on Facebook.

After his death, he married a diet conscious woman who produced two eventually functional children. They visited Disney World twice and camped in Vermont every summer. Aside from tornadoes, hurricanes and other inclement weather, periodic downturns in the market culminating in recessions, and terrorist bombs detonated not quite in his vicinity, nothing much disturbed his rectitude or made him question his civil service job. He paid off his mortgage. A legend suggests a minor indiscretion in a motel frequented by preachers. Oh yes, in college where he had once been observed smoking a bong he read books, but they failed to alter the trajectory of his life, for they were only required reading and he bought his essays from an online source.

He thanked God many times although the exact count of his gratitude has been lost. His funeral at the age of seventy was a modest affair, the tabernacle choir notwithstanding. Mourners remarked upon how lifelike he looked. Before the final interment, a rumour circulated that he had actually opened his eyes, but that was attributed to the tricks grief played on one’s mind. In lieu of flowers, donations were requested on behalf of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

About the author

Kenneth Radu is the author of several books including a memoir, The Devil is Clever (HarperCollins Canada), and three collections of stories, among them A Private Performance (Montreal: VĂ©hicule Press) which won the Quebec Federation of Writers' Award for best English-language fiction. He has also had stories appear in Danse Macabre, Crack the Spine, Red Fez, and several other ezines. His latest book is Sex In Russia: New and Selected Stories, published by DC Books (Canada). A new collection is forthcoming, also from DC Books. He lives in Quebec.