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Amongst Other Things

The girl contorted her body and slipped through the automatic doors, as if they had been attempting to touch her personally. Her brown hair hung in limp tails against the sharp angle of her chin, betraying unfortunate timing with the clandestine downpours of the day. She glanced up at him as she skulked past closely. The hem of a white T-shirt flirted at her waist. And across her breasts, the slogan stated in red:

‘Smoking Kills’.

He could feel that now was the moment that he should look away. She lazed onto a plastic bench in the designated ‘smoking shelter’ and regarded him in an amused fashion. Behind him came the shushing of wheels on wet tarmac and the orange tang of a front beam briefly illuminated the girl’s large, dull eyes before discarding her back to the grey of the evening.

“Gotta spare?”

He looked from her face down to each one of her tits as if they were all separate people he should introduce himself to.

“Smoking kills,” he referenced.

“Amongst other things.”

She held the cigarette loosely in her lips and kept eye contact as he bent forward to light it for her. The rain trickled its fingers into his collar and he averted his eyes to the white band on her wrist.

“Do you have a name?”

“Sure.” She flashed a smile that stretched beyond her teeth, exposing gums so red that he felt himself recoil. He laughed and stepped backwards, off the curb.

“You’re not supposed to obstruct those bays,” she said.

He glanced at the yellow markings on the floor beneath him and shrugged.

“What are you in for?” He tried again, and this time gestured to the wristband.

“Careful there,” she murmured. She neither moved her mouth or let the cigarette drop from it. For a moment, there was nothing but her fish eyes and the cold sting of rain on his ears. The sirens blared from roads away.

If asked, he would have sworn that the screeching sound of skidding wheels came from in front of him; where the smoking girl stood. And that the ambulance swerved to hit him.


Flash Fiction by Siren Knight

Published in Summer 2017

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