Just One Chapter

Stumbling over invisible rocks and reeking of ethanol, he left the pub, turning right as usual, and walked home along the river. His arrhythmic steps clacked against the wet pavement. After a while he came upon a beautiful footbridge he hadn’t remembered seeing before. Looking around for landmarks, he saw the tree with lovers initials carved and the large unusual rock with the moss, this reassured him he was not lost. 

The bridge itself was quite plain, but what made the bridge so beautiful was the lovely girl gazing into the water.

Uninhibited and aided by inebriation, he approached her. He offered his assistance in tasks that were vague and unneeded. “I want you to be happy, let me help you.” 

“I do not need, for I have nothing.” She replied.

He looked at her puzzled, was she dismissing him? He didn’t want to bother her, so he continued on his way.

There was something about her he thought, an aura maybe? No, it was the fairness of her skin. Whatever it was he knew certainly that she was good. 

He pondered her claim as he neared the broken concrete steps leading to his home. He felt bad for the girl really. She must’ve been some sort of begger. A clean, well dressed, beggar. He thought that maybe he should invite her to spend the night. But although she was awfully clean, a home was no place for a beggar. Too many valuable possessions.

Struggling with the key, he eventually opened the door. Forgetting about the girl, he made his way to the toilet, vomited and fell asleep on the shower rug.


She wanted to be a fairy: sparkly translucent wings, and delicate tiny bodies. She gazed out of her dirt streaked bedroom window into the flower garden, but try as she must, squinting did not reveal any magic.

Ritualistically placing her hands over her ears to hide from the commotion, she dreamed. If only she could be airy and blithe, pause and pose on a flower petal and paint the morning world with dew. Her emerging grin was abruptly cut off by the heinous screeching. She tensed a moment, then took refuge, leaping into bed, her favorite pillow covering her lovely blond head.

From her delicate perch, she frowned at the old house. Not only had they taken over this beautiful world’s appearance, they dominated smell, taste, touch, and at this very moment, sound. 

She couldn’t take it anymore. 

Spreading her crystalline wings, she bent her knees and sprung away from the dewy garden and towards the angry home.

The male human was large and red in the face, and at this moment at the peak of his anger. She had been observing them, the male and female humans. And knew of their power, rage and destruction.

When she reached the noisy place she dove down near the man’s ear. “A FUCKING FLY!”He swung at her and missed. She delicately perched in the center of the table, her heart raced and as the rolled newspaper sped towards her she did not flinch because she knew she was ready.



True Story 

Just south of the college campus on Route 93, Kelsey stood on the side of the road. Massachusetts was beautiful during the fall, she thought. The smell of leaves just changing colors and the satisfying crunch underfoot should be soothing.

Cars and trucks whizzed by, but no one stopped. She felt the pull of their wind with each pass.

Cradling her bags in her arms she thought of the win from last night. Fiercly competitive, the thought brought a smirk to her face. This was the smirk everyone knew her by. Winning was how she lived. School, work, beauty even in charity. The thought of ever causing pain to anyone caused a pang in her chest.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart” she said aloud, one of her favorite mantras. 

She started walking parallel to the side of the road. Watching the traffic. In the distance she saw a large tractor trailer. Perfect! This is just what she had been waiting for. As he got closer she waited, and then with perfect timing she stepped into his path.

Paul was hauling 80,000 pounds of rock salt that day. As he drove on Route 93 he had spotted several students. This was not unusual. Although the the road was busy and unsafe, students frequently walked the road and crossed to get to local stores. 

He had spotted her from a distance and thought nothing of it. Until she stepped into the road facing him. Panicking, Paul breaked and swerved to the side. She had locked eyes with him and he couldn’t look away. Her arms were both raised, feet firmly planted, she looked like she was making an “X.” The look in her face was not panic or fear or sadness, just pure determination. 

Her gaze only broke when her body made contact with the truck, she disappeared underneath the passanger door. 

When the truck stopped, Paul ran out. The sight was horrifying. There was blood everywhere, he couldn’t see her face and she didn’t seam to be breathing.

The next moments were a blur. An ambulance crew had somehow arrived. “How do I tube her? She has no face!” Shouted one of them. The other shouting “just look for the bubbling air and put it in there!”

She was whisked away. Just her scattered bags marking the place she had just stood. 

On arrival to the trauma unit she was unrecognizable. Her face pulverized mush. Amy stared at the bleeding flesh, and the single eye dangling horrifically down by its optic nerve. She would never forget that image.



(Kelsey died four days later. Her kidneys and liver were donated.)

(This is based on a true story, all names and places changed for privacy. )