Strange, that I can’t feel anything. It’s odd. I should feel something about it. After all, the girl is dead, murdered. And I don’t even know her name. I could find out, but no, not now. Don’t want to think about it.
I wasn’t even there. I did not do this. I did not want this. I did not do this. That’s what the psychiatrist said to keep telling myself.
I walk over to the window and throw it wide open to let out the stale air. A cardinal alights on a branch, the sun highlighting its bright red feathers. It sings to me. I should care, but I don’t. Resting my elbows on the sill, I try to take a deep breath, but it chokes in my throat.
Admit it, though, it was your fault. You didn’t see it and you’re supposed to perceive things others don’t notice. Give the correct diagnosis. Help them.
The Poem Book
Purple water moving
Softly flowing in
Against the rocks caresses,
A touch, and out again.
I had to leave the city
For safe harbor by the sea
To watch the gentle waters crash
Upon the rocks, without me.
How strange to be the watcher
Instead of one who heals
To simply hear the ocean crash
And not know how it feels.
The inward waves, they soothe me
Receding, they take the pain
I wonder why I ever left
Just to come this way again.
Too Cold for Ice Cream
She glanced outside her window. “It’s still out there! I can hear it. The music doesn’t stop anymore. It just doesn’t STOP!” Phoebe cried into her phone.
“Why haven’t you called the police?” Her friend Marissa asked.
“I have!” She shouted, slapping a hand to her mouth and glancing between her curtains. She could see the ice cream truck headlights piercing through the fog.
A Bloodless Hunt
Charlie Marsh entered his apartment, reviewing the target’s details given by his anonymous employer. Someone put out a hit for the serial killer named Jamie Martin.
I heard it again tonight. The ghost train that haunted the train tracks two houses away from my home. I could tell it was the ghost train because it sounded different. Like a freight train but heavier. Its horn was deeper and brassy, like a tuba that blasted its way across the tracks. I’d finally decided to see it for myself.
Gift of Old
A young, dark blond woman with a backpack checked the list of stores in her hand. Of the seven names, she crossed out four. She checked her phone for directions to the antique store Gifts of Old. She put her phone away and read the back of the paper, a set of instructions she should follow if she ever encountered a demon or spirit. Never tell them your name. Always say goodbye. Keep your words short and to the point, or they’ll manipulate what you say. Do not accept any offers.
A Hunter in the Dark
Gunnar Viermetz, a hunter for a specialized organization, scanned the side door of his reinforced white van. He looked at his contract for details about the animal his bosses wanted him to hunt. It was large, covered in fur, and was killing people.