I was seventeen when death crossed my path. Before that, I’d only dreamt of twisted limbs and blood as bright as poppies. But late one night, death offered me an opportunity. She whispered dirty secrets in my ear and pulled back my eyelids with curling hands.
“There,” she said, and pointed.
I did not recognize her voice then. I did not know who was leading me in the darkness.
Across the street, I watched the girl climb into the car of a stranger. Before I knew what I was doing, my wings had opened and I was chasing them. Down the lighted streets. Down the highway into forever. When the buck stepped out into a pool of yellow light, it did not strike me as a danger.
Then death whispered, “Now,” and I understood.
After the accident, I approached the vehicle with caution. A crack in the windshield spiraled out like a web. The girl’s skull had broken it on impact. Now she lay slumped against the door, eyes staring out.
Not so for the man in the driver’s seat.
I leapt, gossamer wings fanning the air, and landed lightly on the steering wheel.
His lip was cut and bruised and a tooth lay in the bloody mess. He gazed at me with glassy eyes. I reached out and plucked the tooth from its gory resting place.
"Here." I handed him a silver dollar. "You're lucky it's not broken. I wouldn't give you a plugged nickel if it were."
I tucked the prize into my satchel with the eleven others collected this evening, then launched into the air again, my work finished.
Opening: Chelsea P.....Continuation: PLaF