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Editions

WordPlay May 2011

03 May 2011

The Victim - By Sasha Beatie

My car was almost driving by itself as I wearily navigated through the darkness.

A sudden flicker of movement was caught in the headlights and I braked with a curse as the jolt of adrenaline surged though my limbs.

Feeling certain I’d hit whatever it was I got out and shakily checked the front of the car. What lay on the bitumen before me was not what I’d expected. Bewildered, I knelt and picked up the victim of my absent-mindedness. Light as a feather and so amazingly beautiful I became consumed by the swell of deep shame and pity that caused my stomach to clench.

I carried it back to the car placing it carefully on the passenger seat desperately hoping it managed to survive. I wasn’t usually so emotionally charged but after my rough and rugged day I couldn’t deny how unsettled I was at having ended the life of a living, breathing creature. I remembered how full of remorse I’d been after hitting a wayward rabbit, but this was different. This just seemed so wrong.

My senses were on full alert as I drove the rest of the way home. I glanced down occasionally, futilely praying that it would be alright.

When I pulled into the drive I gingerly picked it up again. Totally limp I couldn’t see it breathe and it hadn’t moved since I’d initially hit it.

I raced inside with my hands shielding the tiny body as I went straight to the kitchen and used several tissues to lay it ever so gently on the bench.

Alone, with only the moonlight shining through the window, I was overcome by the sudden urge to cry.

My six-year-old daughter wandered into the kitchen yawning and rubbing her eyes. I barely noticed her until she was at my elbow.

With her voice slightly croaky with sleep she said, “Is the fairy dead, Mummy?”

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