#140 Last Words

by Caroline Kelley

The city wept for the coming crime. Acid tears dripped from eaves of scarred brick down to the bubble-gummed concrete. I stood on an unfamiliar corner, sniffling and watching an indifferent stream as it displaced the contents of the gutter. Cigarette butts and dry leaves, swept by the quickening current, dropped into the underworld through rusting grates.

A splash from behind spun me around. It was one of her finest: the city’s angels. Something special. She wore a tight dress and battered boots. Through her hair, long since soaked, grinned embarrassment and delight that she had startled me. She halted just out of reach, then leaned into the street with the lazy air of a native. Translucent linen clung to the delicate contour of her flank, calling . . .

“Achoo!” Embarrassed, my head rose from the spasm to see her smile again.

“Bless you.” The words slipped from a growing grin and what I desperately hoped was a wink. Facing my reddening features, she took a step back.

WWHAMM.

My hands began to shake as I tried to understand. The angel lay fallen, crumpled and still. The yellow reaper was paused a few yards away. I found the courage to move and rushed to kneel next to her. Time slowed. She was cold. Guiltily, I thought that now she didn’t seem so special. This was just another stormy night. She was just something else to be cleaned from the street, washed away by tears through the rusting grates.

2 comments:

Danielle Gembala said...

Strong imagery, and an interesting world. It feel this is just a taste of something far bigger, the beginning of a larger story.
(Post #137, http://ddmgembala.wordpress.com/)

Danielle Gembala said...

Oops, I meant story #138.