Original Short Fiction: Terrible


It was a brisk winded May when I witnessed the murder. Nothing like the month the Temptations had in mind. I wore my gray jacket out to the playground. Ten children crowded around tricycles, clambered on and pedaled clumsily toward the sandbox, diapers sticking out of their pants. They were laughing, and I thought about how terrible they were in their adorable innocence.

They spat out broccoli like giants eating trees, crass uncivilized and stubborn. Some of them were so monstrous after naptime that I dreaded having to wake them up. In fits of rage they attacked me. I was called bitch by a two-year-old.

It was a damp volatile day, and the worms slithed out of the mud. The children squealed in delight and curiosity, poking and pulling. The worms are always harassed.

“Stop!” I cried.

A little foot poised over the squirming thing, blindly trying to burrow. Their little shoes scraped a trail of blood and mangled tissue across the slab of sidewalk. A brutal killing.

I put them to sleep singing about a woman with sunset on her breath and mourned the worm in silence.


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