Tom’s parents want to teach him the value of life. They present him with a bill for his upbringing, to be paid beginning on his 18th birthday. Tom accepts the bill and takes it with him on his walk around the neighborhood. That’s when he’s confronted with a shotgun-toting neighbor afraid of burglars. With his very existence hanging in the balance, Tom gets a true lesson in the value of life.MARIO MILOSEVIC’S STORIES have appeared in Asimov’s SF, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Space and Time, Interzone, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Pulphouse, Bewere the Night, Heroes and Heretics, and many other anthologies and magazines. His poetry has appeared in dozens of magazines and in the anthology Poets Against the War. He has published three collections of poetry: Animal Life, Fantasy Life, and Love Life. NPR dramatized “When I Was,” one of his most popular poems. His novels include Claypot Dreamstance, The Last Giant, Terrastina and Mazolli, and The Coma Monologues. Mario started writing when he was a young teenager. He submitted his first story to a magazine when he was fourteen years old. He didn’t sell that one, but he hasn’t stopped writing or submitting since. Mario has a particular fondness for short stories, considering them the ideal storytelling medium: short enough to read in one comfortable sitting, but long enough to convey the richness of life. Mario was born in Italy, grew up in Canada, and now lives with his wife, writer Kim Antieau, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States where he has a day job at Green Snake Publishing and where he writes at night, on the weekends, and sometimes in his sleep. Learn more about Mario and his writing at mariowrites.com.