a piece of fabric
lies cluttered beside rail tracks
its owner misplaced
did she run along
the train’s rails, heart in her throat,
or did her dress tear
did she see the beast
leave the shadows of the trees
no bones or blood tracked
The Girl Running Beside the Train Tracks
Millie lost her shoe in the flight from whatever lunged after her. She’d been about to tie her laces at the time. Bent down, she’d heard a noise. Low, keening. Like a wounded animal. She’d thought perhaps a dog—
And gone to look. Eyes hooded like a snake; the beast had crept from the woods. She’d shouted but no one came. Perhaps the train drowned out all sound from around her. Gusting down the tracks, the people inside paid her no mind as they went about their travels. Never mind, that she’d been a passenger. She’d gotten down to investigate some flowers and that was that.
She raced down the path beside the rails, the beast coming near enough to snatch a piece of her purple dress. It spun her around as it did so. She stumbled and braced herself on a tree trunk. Please. Whatever god was out there—
She wanted to live. To grow up. To do so many things.
Why she hadn’t even kissed a frog and turned it into a prince yet.
Okay, maybe that was a stretch. But what about the pony she wanted? Surely, she should have that. Or at least, a kitten.
She sucked in air. Must run. She bolted toward the blue sky ahead. Someone, help.
The beast panted behind her, its claws snarling in her hair. It swung her around. She batted at it, pushing those great snapping jaws to the side. Her gaze widened at the trickle of blood on its paw. She examined it further, the beast stifling its rage. At once, she saw the problem.
The thorn removed; the beast bowed to her. “My thanks.” He gestured to a saddled and bridled pony. “Yours.”
“I’ll treasure it always.”
Bestselling in the Little Market, a non-profit for Women. Coconut-Soy Wax Blend Candle. Medium Woven Star Bowl. A Reusable Gift Bag. A Beach Towel. A Dainty Triangle Necklace-Rose gold. A reusable wine tote. Dainty Blue Opal Necklace-rose gold.