Where Urban Streets End

Sometimes, you walk up to the scene and your gut twists. You take in the menial details. The shattered front end of a hand-me-down blue sedan. The rural traffic lights swinging with the carefree breeze. The utter lack of traffic cameras on this godforsaken road.

Today, it’s not the smell of the oil and antifreeze from the wrecked car that gets to you. It’s not the gore of the victim’s skull on the shattered window covering the asphalt. It’s not even the fact that the victim was just out of high school, with her graduation tassel hanging in the windshield as a reminder that this girl was just too young.

As the medical examiner rattles off his findings – the buckshot sprinkled in with the brain matter, the rolled-down passenger-side window, the victim’s foot just to the side of the brake pedal – the twisting gets stronger. This girl was killed by a passerby, an opportunist who pulled up next to her at a red light. The girl didn’t know the shot was coming. Her arms are relaxed at her sides, with her left thumb forever grazing the bottom of the steering wheel.

You take this information and leave the scene. It’s time to find her next of kin. It’s only the second worst part of the job today. This is a visit you want to make in person, in an environment where the victim’s family has support. You begin to feel sick. You wonder how many more scenes like this you can take. How many more times you can approach a devastated family, knowing the killer will never be found.

 

 


 

Thank you for reading this utter bastardization of flash fiction. Critiques, suggestions, encouragement, and prompts are always welcome in the comments.

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3 thoughts on “Where Urban Streets End

  1. I tried to write something funny here, but it sounded super fake. So here’s the deal: this post and the older post titled “Hello Again” captivated me. They both start off deceptively simply and just explode into these emotionally rich but very concise passages–I had physical, visceral feelings occur while reading these, and that’s not an everyday occurrence for me. You have a beautiful way of writing conversationally, but with the heightened reality so necessary for works of prose (novels, screenplays, theatrical productions). It is fantastic, and I’m all sorts of interested in reading your series/everything else you do here.

    Out of curiosity, who are your favourite authors, a few authors who inspire you, or both?

    And finally, thank you again for your kind (in-person) words about my blog. I really do appreciate it. 😀

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    • Cutter ~ Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me today (yesterday? Well, I’m still awake, so it’s today). You are so genuine and inspiring. I already look forward to being friends with you for a long time.

      To answer your questions:
      My favorite authors have definitely evolved over time. I tend to focus more on the novels than the writers, with the singular exception of JK Rowling, because she is in every way my hero. She was an educated woman and single mom who took risks, who pursued a story that was rejected again and again, who then changed the world, and who gave away so much of her money to charity that she lost her status as the richest woman in the UK. She is who I want to be.

      As far as books are concerned, I love Harry Potter (obviously), but something few people know is that I collect first edition Nancy Drew books. I would love to someday write Nancy Drew books, as the “author,” Carolyn Keene, is actually a pen name for a plethora of ghost writers.

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      • Absolutely! And likewise–you are a delightful and refreshingly genuine real person! Yay new friends yaaaaaaay! XD

        J.K. Rowling… She is awe-inspiring. Language cannot translate how truly wonderful I think she is. So much generosity and kindness and so intelligent and the list goes on and on…

        Hahaha Nancy Drew takes me back! My uncle used to give my sister and I Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books (respectively) as presents for holidays and birthdays–we still have the first 56 of each up in our little library. I only really remember Hardy Boys 21–it was the one about fencing, and I originally only liked it because swords.

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