art by Seth Alan Bareiss
Shades Of The Father
by M. Adrian Sellers
As he stopped off at Marty-Mart, Aubrey saw that someone had scrawled across the store front: Martin Paxson has only one testicle but he's a righteous dude. You can trust him.
Paying old Mr. Paxson for smokes, Aubrey tried not to laugh.
"You seem in a good mood, Aubrey."
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't laugh."
"I should think not, at a time like this. Your father, he was a good man. The very heart of this neighborhood, he was."
Aubrey sobered. He nodded contritely at the storekeeper.
Perhaps feeling he'd been too hard on a grieving son, Mr. Paxson clapped Aubrey on the shoulder. "So hey then, aren't those his famous sunglasses?"
Yes, the distinctive shades were part of his father's classic persona. An affectation harking back to the man's days as a would be art-rocker. The eccentric signature of an incurable individualist.
When he'd first received the shades, Aubrey had sworn he'd never wear them. But on the drive to the Marty-Mart the sun had been in his eyes, and the shades were right there in his glove box.
He had to admit, it did feel good wearing his father's signature shades.
Aubrey smiled. Tilting his head slightly, he peered over the top of the glasses, meeting Paxson's gaze. It was a fair imitation of his father. "Yes, Martin. Yes they are."
Now it was Paxson who laughed. "Well, all right then, you wear them well. He wouldn't have entrusted them to anyone else!"
Returning to his car, Aubrey reflected that it was indeed a nice gesture for his father to specifically leave the glasses to Aubrey in his will. What Aubrey was still trying to understand was why the sunglasses had been the only thing he'd inherited.