Two posts in one day? Madness! Except today, Illustrious’s schedule coincided with my newest short story release over at Out of Print. I visit many of my familiar themes in this piece, so if you’ve liked past work of mine on that blog (“Passing Over: The Handbook”, “Scalawag”), I think you’ll enjoy this one, too.
Westerfield Playground is a sad place.
A girl died here. Spun off the merry-go-round, hit a tree, neck buckled like a sippy-straw. She died before the ambulance arrived. Her father cried and screamed, and refused to let the paramedics move her. The whole neighborhood saw it happen.
For months, bouquets and colorful candles surrounded the tree like a skirt. For a while there was a picture, too. The rain kept wearing her face off, though, so they brought a new one that was laminated. They say plastic is forever, but even that shell meant to protect the memory of her smile corroded, and the rain seeped in, bleeding away all of the pigment until the photo was nothing more than a ghost.
Someone eventually tore the laminate off the tree, and then the bouquets and candles disappeared, too.
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