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On Track

There lying very still she put her bare feet together toes against the cold railing on that hot summer afternoon and looked up at the sky. Clouds drifted against the clear blue sky, and tears dripped from her eyes in a steady small rivulet into her temple until she could feel her hair wet. It would not be long before they missed her. Not long before her mother opened her closed bedroom door, with that make-believe sad face she always wore after the girl had been forced into one of her stepfather's talks with her. Talks that always began with him tipping his head back and draining a can of beer and ended with his belt coming off and finding her backside or this afternoon, her legs and her right hip, which she shifted now on the tracks. And her mother with her make-believe sad face, the face that always was nowhere to be found during her talks, she wouldn't be there today when she opened the door with a purloined cookie and nervous eyes. They would find her mashed into the tracks and they would finally be really sorry. The girl listened with her keen six-year-old ears, with her soft body in her thin summer dress for the sound, the vibration of the coming train, but all that came was a bee buzzing, so close to her cheek she could imagine the velvet of its fat body, feel the stinger flashing like tiny vampire teeth. And before she knew what she was doing she was up and on her feet and running toward home.

Story by:

Pearl Ketover Prilik

22 December 2012

Pearl Ketover Prilik's web: