Amber lay on the grass in her parent’s back yard tracing vapor trails with her big toe against the sky humming “Lake of Fire.” The damp grass was cool against her bare skin. She thought of Tami and wondered if the earth were cool around her or if angels flew through vapor trails to heaven. A jet streaked across the sky, and Amber traced the vapor trail to the horizon, then traced it back to its point of disintegration. Morning sun eased into the backyard bring with it the searing heat of the day. Her parents weren’t home. Mrs. Kelly next door kept an eye on her from the safe distance of her kitchen window, quick to call her parents if something should happen.
Every five minutes Mrs. Kelly glanced out her kitchen window, looking down into her neighbor’s back yard. All morning the teenage girl lay in the yard. She had not moved into the house or answered the phone when it rang. If a door slammed on the street Mrs. Kelly jumped expecting to hear a siren or find herself pushed aside as paramedics rushed to her neighbor’s porch with tool boxes and gloved hands. Her part in the day replays confused in her mind. She remembers saying, “In there!” then standing aside as people rushed past. The day dogs her dreams.
Waking in a sweat, thinking she screamed herself awake, she surges from her dream, twisted in blankets, arms out stretched trying to catch something. Half awake, her memory clear, she sees herself going to check on the girls. She stands knocking at the door, but no one answers. She calls out, moving from room to room until she sees the two girls kneeling together, blood between.
Amber can’t remember when pain took up residence in her. All she can remember is that she and Tami just wanted to watch the blood bead at the blade, wanted to see the design the blood trail would make; they wanted to feel.
Trifecta weekday challenge #18. One-word prompt. trail verb \ˈtrāl\ — to move, flow, or extend slowly in thin streams . Respond, using the word exactly as it appears, in no less than 33 and no more than 333 words.