“AFTER MANY YEARS, STOPS BREATHING, WHILE ASLEEP, WITH SMILE ON FACE,” by William Grallo. Read by Bradley McLaughlin. (19 min)

“You gotta be fucking kidding me!” says one of Jill’s friends, leaning forward to get a better look at my shirt.

On Toe Tag Night no one wears tags on their toes. What we do is use a template on our PCs and print a graphic of a toe tag, which we then wear attached to our clothing somewhere, like on a t-shirt. The graphic looks like the toe tags you see on dead bodies — or at least on dead bodies in movies — and yes, sometimes people also include a cartoony image of a toe, or a even a whole foot. Often bloody. Printed on the tag is your Name, and How You Are Going to Die.

For mine, I had to use a smaller font size.

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William Grallo is the son of Lou. He was the winner of the Will Inman Award for Poetry and a runner-up for the Ursula K. LeGuin Award for Imaginative Fiction. He has had fiction published in Rosebud magazine and online at alwaysblack.com.

Bradley McLaughlin is a musician and film editor from Seattle. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he works on feature films.

In the book, “AFTER MANY YEARS, STOPS BREATHING, WHILE ASLEEP, WITH SMILE ON FACE” is illustrated by Scott C. This podcast episode was edited by Matt Schwartz.

At our Talent Show on April 26, 2011, Brad also performed an original song that he wrote based on this story!

Machine of Death Talent Show – Brad McLaughlin from Vimeo.