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Suicide Selfie

By Lauren Pope

Honorable Mention, Prose, Create | Encounter 2019

Content Warning: Suicide

“Can you get that over-hang in the frame? I don’t want to lose the impact of the sunset.”

“Yeah, Lainey, but I need you left like five feet though.”

“I feel like Rise is too obvious. Use Hudson. My shirt will look better.”

“You ready?”

“Yeah. I’m going to have my arms open, ok?”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, it will make things look so much more dramatic.”

“No, I mean are you sure?

“Yeah.” Lainey looked over her shoulder at the at the canyon below. “Let’s do this.”

Lainey Love took a step back and fell.


“Please, don’t stand on the chair. It’s obnoxious.”

Jen could never quite shake the manners that her mother had drilled into her at every Sunday dinner. Sure, the angle wasn’t quite as sharp from the ground, but she liked to think that the waitstaff appreciated her restraint.

Robin clamored atop the sparkly red vinyl chair. This place had really gone all in on the vintage diner thing.

“Jen, they don’t care. Look, we’re giving them publicity. They want the food to look its best. It’s a win-win. Can you move the fork a bit? I think it would look better. K, now can we turn the glass so the Coke emblem is showing? A little more…ok stop that’s perfect.”

Robin clicked a few pictures from different heights. Then, satisfied, she sat down and started flipping through them.

“Robin, you know my rule. You’ve got to eat the food while it’s hot. There’s nothing worse than an inauthentic nibbler.”

“I can eat and scroll, babe. Oh…shit!”


Robin held her phone up to Jen. “Look at this!”

“It’s got to be photoshopped. Pretty morbid, if you ask me.”

“No, I’m looking at the comments. It’s Lainey Love. And she’s dead. This is real. They have her boyfriend in custody for taking it.”

Jen gasped and pushed away her food. “Why haven’t they taken that down? It’s got to be against terms of service.”

“It’s being reposted everywhere. #LaineyLovesLastLaugh

“Well, there goes my appetite.”

“No kidding. The framing is kind of beautiful though.” Robin picked at her chips. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s awful but…”

“But what?”

Robin looked out the window, her brown curls falling over her cheek. “Just, if you’re going to do it, you might as well leave something beautiful behind.”

Jen crossed her arms. “I still think it’s way too morbid.”

Robin sighed and turned back to her food. “We’ve got to eat it or we’re just posers, right Jen?”

Jen shrugged. “I’ll make an exception for today. You can eat though, no reason for us both to be frauds.”



Robin looked out onto the grey brown sludge that had displaced the clear blue ocean.

“This water is going to look like trash no matter what we do.”

“Yeah, I know. The storm yesterday has it all muddy. Just focus on the sand. The umbrella I got off Etsy is fire.”

“Uh, after Jason can we not say fire?”

Jen grimaced. That had been particularly gruesome. Supposedly his patrons had voted on the best way to go and “time delayed self-immolation” won out. His family was left with north of a million dollars.

“Yeah, noted. I can’t believe there have been three more this week. “

Robin shrugged. “The world sucks and you can leave your family with a boat load of money if you do it the right way. I get it.”

Jen stopped twisting the blue and white umbrella into the sand.