Abstract image by Mary Higgins

Short Story #1: Shards

Abstract image by Mary Higgins



By Mary Higgins

I thought that we might be in it for a long haul, but I knew the chances were slim. You didn’t seem the type.

When you picked me up, you slid your hand down my body confidently, the promise of adventure pressed urgently through your touch. Excitement was near.

Sitting up in your cab, the glances you threw at me and the smile on your lips as you urged through the downtown traffic made the journey a prelude to more, the promise of something.

You were almost coy when you brought me inside, stumbling slightly on the stoop, letting a short half-laugh escape. It made you seem younger than the lines on your face had led me to believe.

You had mentioned a party, but it seemed no one else was home. All the better to get acquainted without an audience, I thought. And then she appeared.

I was used to that look, had seen it a hundred times. Disappointment, resignation and anger flitted past in quick succession, and then she was gone.

We were alone in this, the way I liked it.

You started off slow, no need to hurry. She wouldn’t be back soon, if at all. We could take all night, if you were up to it.

The doorbell interrupted the story you were telling me, the plans you had for when that cheque came through, the places you would go. You took a long look at me and went silently to the door.

Your buddies tumbled through the door waving eight packs. They glanced my way but there was little point in introductions and they didn’t care if they were interrupting.

They were happy to find she was gone, and the laughter grew more raucous as you kept pace with their tins. You knew I would wait.

You slurred them goodbye as they reeled into the still night, but your hand was steady when you reached for me. I would be your final comfort against the emptiness.

Your breath was hot and sour, and your hands were slick. We settled into a rhythm and time dissolved.

The door roused you and the sight of her disgust tore you from couch. She was frozen, hands to mouth, as you charged.

I slipped and felt something crack as I hit the floor, heard the smack of something softly cushioned connecting with something hard. You were screaming but she never replied.

You glanced over to the couch, and, as you wind-milled over, I knew.

Your foot broke me completely, but as you stepped back in satisfaction, part of me was already part of you. We were connected, bound.

The uniforms heard the tales, wrote their notes, took you in. As they cleaned up they didn’t notice me, and you had already forgotten. But I am here.

Every step you take, I am here.

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