Taken

flash fiction, pastel sketch & photo by Elizabeth

TAKEN

I’m haunted that it happened here. Thought this was a safe community. Yet Tammy took that woman’s diamonds, clothes, and almost took her life. She starved that poor woman under the guise of helping a shut-in. Tami helped herself instead. 

Never met the woman even though she lived across the street. Didn’t even know she was there for the longest time. Nice home but I thought it was deserted—blinds drawn, never saw anyone go in or out. That is till after I heard Tammy tell a neighbor, “…poor thing…broke her hip…no, no children…needs help.” After that I saw Tammy walking a runt of a dog that trembled and skittered as she drug it down the street till it did its business then half-choked itself lunging against the leash toward home. I’d see Tammy go in around dusk and leave not much after with bags in each hand and always two more tucked under her arms. 

I’m embarrassed I didn’t think about it till the deputy asked if I’d seen anything unusual. This was right after the woman’s son came. Apparently she did have a child and he fired Tammy and packed what he could in this tiny trailer hitched to his cigar box of a car. The deputy asked what I’d seen—wanted to know how often Tammy was there, if I’d noticed her wearing fancy jewelry, or how much weight my neighbor had lost the past few months. But all I’d seen was brown bags and that scaredy-dog and how skeletal that woman looked in her boy’s arms when he carried her to his car.

Thank you to the editor of Doorknobs & Body Paint for first publishing this piece.

My 2012 in Pictures

The Losses:

My 84-year-old mom holding her 9-year-old self

photo by Elizabeth

and two weeks before she passed, my father-in-law also did along with his pocketful of index cards and pens so he’d never lose an important thought

photo by Elizabeth

The Blessings:

A week at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers

photo by Elizabeth

and the crescent shadows during the solar eclipse

The sun’s eclipse on our house through the trees, photo by Elizabeth

The Joyous Victories:

photo by Elizabeth

The Discoveries:

Toni Littlejohn’s art, photo by Elizabeth

Toni Littlejohn’s art

and Rain Fingerhut’s voice

Peace to all of you throughout the New Year!

Elizabeth

photo by Elizabeth