Al(m)as, Part 8

New to this story? Read Part 1.

Patrick raced down the sidewalk, sweat trickling down his back. As he came within sight of his house he skidded to a halt. There, across the street, sat Nellie, playing in the flowers in their front yard.

Anger and relief surged in him, the first directed at his father’s negligence and the second flowing from the glorious knowledge that Nellie was safe. He squatted and rested his forearms on his knees, breathing in ragged gasps.

“PATTY!” a young voice cried with delight. He looked up. Arms thrown up in excitement, Nellie was running—

—running into the street.

No, wait—


—brakes squealing—

a blur and a silence and a form—crumpled

—he was screaming—

so small so small so very very small

—he was kneeling beside her—

so still so still so very very still

someone, anyone—his father, there


not breathing is she breathing don’t know don’t know how do you know

—his father staring, not moving—


someone, anyone—the truck’s driver, there

—walking, apprehensive turned apologetic turned

as he saw, he saw her, oh God no, not a girl, not a little girl


—truck driver jabbering into cell phone—

is she dead is she dead she can’t be dead

she can’t be

—sirens wailing, uniforms rushing—

she can’t be she can’t be she can’t be

—name, boy, her name?—




Read the rest of the story here.

2 thoughts on “Al(m)as, Part 8

  1. Very well done. I like what you did here with the broken snippets of thoughts and images; it does a good job of conveying the confusion and trauma of an event like this. Good as it is, I think you should try a few more passes and squeeze a few more vivid details out of it (take care not to get TOO vivid, of course).

    • Thanks for the feedback! I wrote partially from personal experience, unfortunately, except that it was my cat running across the street toward me (on my birthday, no less). I tried to channel the same emotions I felt at the time. Which details do you think need to be fleshed out more? I’m in the heavy editing stage of pulling it all together, so now is the perfect time to make those changes.

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