He leaves her body in magnolia leaf strewn grass.
Pure white staining red.
Church bells ring out in sorrow across the night sky.
He climbs into the darkness, whistling a song he learned from the morning birds.
As a kid she wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up.
Did he want to kill her? He doesn’t know.
But his hand felt good wrapped around the knife that, too easily, slid into her soft belly.
He feels remorse, like any good person would. It’s just hidden somewhere behind his heart.
As a kid, she dreamed of dancing on the surface of an exploding star.
His stomach aches like a black hole, a supernova of hunger and nausea.
A car drives by, it’s headlights dim and orange and judging him.
He thinks he’s crying.
Halloween is over, the sun is starting to rise and there are no longer costumed children on the streets.
Her first costume was a bumblebee. She has a picture of herself in that costume on her bedside table.
The streets are empty except for him and his blundering footfalls.
The knife, like a savior, like Jesus, gives him strength to keep walking.
In the middle of the street he falters and drops the knife.
He’s definitely crying now. Not over the girl, over the knife. He’s fallen in love with the knife.
Her first kiss was when she was 12. It surprised her and made her feel happy and sick at the same time.
The sun was up, the streets littered in trash and candy wrappers and toilet paper.
He stepped on a broken eggshell.
He wanted to lie down, to feel the cool asphalt against his cheek.
She wanted nothing more to ride a horse, at least once. She thought it would make her feel like a princess.
Halloween is officially over, he holds the knife tightly to his chest and begins to cry and beg for mercy.