My eyes opened and I knew I was dead.
I didn’t know my name, or how I died, but somehow I knew I was dead.
A puddle of water surrounded me, and my hair was dripping wet. I tried to wrench my hair and my clothes, but the water wouldn’t leave me.
Did I drown?
I stood up and began to survey my surroundings. I was upon a marshy riverbank and above the harsh current was a bridge.
I began walking up the hill leading me to the bridge. I looked momentarily at the wooden thing and decided to walk in the opposite direction.
As I walked, I came upon a couple picnicking with a little girl. The girl laughed and squealed as the woman blew bubbles.
I couldn’t look away. That little girl, she reminded me of someone from my living days. If I could just hold her, maybe I would remember.
I began creeping my way closer, but the woman picked her up.
As I stood contemplating how to get to the little girl, I heard more laughter.
I walked towards it. This laughter was different—it belonged to a little boy no more than three years old.
His brown hair and skin were familiar.
A woman picked him up. “Let’s go find your Papa,” she cooed.
A whisper in the wind told me to follow, and so I did.
As they approached a neighborhood, the gravel beneath my bare feet felt familiar. The scent of honeysuckle in the air reminded me—reminded me of what?
The woman and boy turned toward a yellow house, but they did not go inside. Rather, they walked to the backyard.
Then I saw him. An adult version of the little boy, and he was even more familiar. I’m sure if I still had a heartbeat it would have increased upon seeing his smile.
I watched in curious fascination, straining to remember my living self. Did I really know this man?
He leaned over and kissed the woman, and fury engulfed me. I wanted to strangle her for stealing what should have been mine—but then I stopped myself.
Surely, I wasn’t so emotional while living.
I continued to watch from a distance.
As dusk approached, the man got into a pick-up truck, lit a cigar, and drove away.
I followed the scent of smoke until the night settled around me.
With the light of the stars I found a white house, and just like I knew I was dead, I knew it was my house.
I found, true to being dead, that I could easily permeate the walls of the house.
As I entered, I passed a crumpled newspaper page on the floor with the headline “Local Woman Throws Herself Off Centennial Bridge.” I shuddered at those words.
I spun around at the mention of my name—I knew it was my name just like I knew I was dead.
And then all of it—my memories—came pouring into me.
“Marco, how could you do this to me? How could you leave me for that other woman?”
Marco was kneeling on the ground, his face ashen. “You can’t be here—you’re dead, Priscilla!”
“Because of what you did!”
I don’t know how I did it, but the glass in the windows cracked, and I knew it was my doing.
Marco seemed to gain courage despite the breaking glass. He stood up. “Priscilla, what I did does not excuse what you did.”
“I’m not here for your stupid riddles, Marco! Let me see my children. Give me my babies, now!”
Marco let out a sardonic laugh. “Our children are dead, mi sirenita. You killed them, and then you killed yourself.”
“No! They are dead because of you! I want my babies, give me my babies!” I lunged toward Marco, and in a flash his neck was in my grasp.
Somehow, I was able to inflict pain.
And I wanted to cause him pain. I wanted his heart to hurt like mine hurt.
I released him.
“Please, Priscilla,” he sputtered between coughs.
And I knew how I was going to kill him.
I reached into his chest, and I grabbed a hold of his heart.
I felt it stop beating and turn cold between my fingers. His lips turned blue and his eyes clouded.
I watched as his body hit the floor.
And I’ve been searching for my children ever since.
About The Author
Kayla E. Green is an English teacher, published poet, and writer. Her favorite color is pink, and her favorite holiday is Halloween. She enjoys reading a variety of genres, and enjoys writing fantasy, thrillers, and occasionally horror. When she isn’t reading or writing, she is working on her blog or taking photos for her bookstagram account. Kayla also enjoys spending time with her husband and their four furbabies.
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