In a disintegrating room stood a girl in a white dress. She had her back to me, hem trailing among broken bricks.
She was about to begin.
“What’s that sound?” She turned toward the wrecked wall, then she stumbled backward and fell over. Her form drifted apart like fingers raked through mist.
After a moment, she reappeared with her back to me.
This was my fourth viewing. Tourists come to see the ghost girl replay her last moments had all left. I blew out a soft breath.
“What’s that sound?” the girl said again, turning.
“Shhh…” I said. This time, I heard a dry, slithering rustle.
Now the girl turned wide eyes upon me. “It’s coming,” she whispered. Voices trickled in from another room.
“Just stay quiet,” I replied. Back then, I had stepped away to inform her parents of the danger and missed the next part.
The girl crept up to a spectral, boarded up window. Peeked through a gap in the planks. I moved closer to see what she saw.
A single eyeball, looking back at her.
The girl screamed and fell backward. A gasped breath. Then the entire wall blew inward, several bricks slamming into her. She lay stunned with a monster towering over her. Long, scaly body coiled up, feathered wings fluttering, single eye roving.
Her parents and I raced in. We all had screamed, “No!” But now our mouths moved soundlessly. For us, I said, “No.”
Snapping the girl up in its sharp metal beak, the creature flapped away into the night.
The girl reappeared with her back to me, but she turned around. “Will you come back?” she asked.
My heart sank. No matter how many times I returned to bear witness, she continued to make this request.
As always, I said, “Of course.”
Thanks for reading!
Subscribe to my list of readers who get new stories, sneak peeks, and book reviews delivered to their inboxes.
Little Blue Marble 2022: Warmer Worlds
Featuring “I Hope This Email Does Not Find You!”
The last eight years have been the warmest on record.
Little Blue Marble‘s anthology of speculative climate fiction and poetry from an international slate of authors mourns and hopes in equal measure for the fate of our world and its ecosystems.
May these visions of the future inspire collective action before climate chaos becomes irreversible.
Show Your Support
If you enjoy my writing, please consider leaving a tip. All amounts welcome!