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In a Perfect World

By Edele Winnie

“Are you Mrs. Dununzio?” The doctor asked. At lease she assumed he was a doctor. He was wearing scrubs, had a pulled down mouth mask around his throat and a smear of blood that was just disappearing from his white coated chest.

Carol Dununzio nodded. “How is she?”

The doctor shook his head sadly.

“She’s not dead then?” Carol had to be certain.

“No.” The doctor said, frowning. “She lived. She’s going to be fine. I’m sorry.”

Carol Dununzio tried to swallow the lump in her throat. Her daughter still lived. Jessica, aged eleven, had survived. What was she going to do now?

A moment later another doctor wheeled Jessica out in a wheelchair. The young girl looked dazed, and the brown hair on the side of her head was matted with dried blood. The doctor tipped the chair and Jessica slid out and landed at her mother’s feet.

The doctors walked away, commenting on how awful the sunny weather currently was.

Carol grabbed Jessica by the arms and hauled her to her feet. The girl wobbled, but her legs held and so Mrs. Dununzio tugged her towards the emergency room doors.

The family car was easy to spot, for it was the least damaged in the lot. It was a fiery red and only the passenger side had been crashed in. The car in the spot next to it had been in so many accidents that it was now a patchwork of different colours as replacement parts had been added. One door was light blue, the next black, the roof was orange and there were other colours and some rust too. The car on the other side had been in a head on and all that remained of the windshield was jagged glass.

Mrs. Dununzio pushed Jessica into the back seat where the dead cocker spaniel was.   They’d found it by the side of the road about a week ago. It was long dead though and there were barely any insects in it anymore. Jessica was still bleeding lightly from her head wound. She lay down on the ripped seats in the back and wrapped her arms around the dead dog. (more…)

Dead Bus

By Edele Winnie

Ellen cursed and tried to start the school bus again.  The morning was cold and it was starting to rain.  The motor coughed and choked but did not catch.  The last of the other school buses had just left the muddy lot.  She pounded the steering wheel angrily while the rain began to drum on the roof.

All the grade school kids would be waiting in the storm.  She had no way of contacting anyone at this point.  Ellen considered giving up, but shook it off.  She just wasn’t made that way.  She was a fighter.  She found herself staring at number 13, the bus at the back of the lot that was never used.

It had begun to pour. The dull grey sky dumped a slurry of rain onto the bus lot.  With her coat over her head, Ellen hurried to the little building- they called it the key shack- where things were stored.  The keys, all gone now, had labelled hooks.  The hook labelled thirteen was empty.  It had always been empty.

There was no phone in the shack and Ellen had forgotten her cell phone.  She could drive somewhere, she thought, and phone her boss.  By then all the kids would be wet and late for school.  Thunder cracked overhead and startled her.  The rain was pounding down and she did not want to rush out.  There were cupboards in the shack and she began to look through them.  She found the keys in the old table with the battered drawer.  The key fob read thirteen.  There were two keys, one was obviously for the ignition and the other appeared to be for a padlock.   There was a raincoat by the door and Ellen pulled it on quickly.  If she was going to get those kids to school on time she had to leave now.  She opened the door and ventured out into the storm to number thirteen.

She did not look long because she was hurrying in the rain but the bus looked fine.  The tires looked good and there was less rust than on her usual number 42 bus.  The door was padlocked.  Ellen fiddled with the keys and popped the lock off and climbed the steps.  The bus did not smell like feet, or lunches, or little girl nail polish.  It smelled a little musty.  Outside the storm hammered on the bus roof, lighting punched the sky and thunder howled.  Ellen was safe inside.   (more…)

Enough Rope

By Edele Winnie

She chose the belt carefully. She did not want leather, but rope, narrow rope. He was a thin man, so that helped. Classy rope belts were difficult to find.

He was an odd sort. Tallish, skinny, messy brown hair and glasses. A passionate marine biologist who had never learned how to swim. He’d been fascinated by computers as a youth, and that had led to his development of the computerized shark tracking system as an adult. His work as a biologist was respected but he was still, at heart, a computer geek who spent more time behind the screen than in the water.

She was on the wrong side of forty, married, dyed blonde hair with dark eyebrows. She wore heels every day. She was renowned for her work on the great white shark. It was she who had published the data revealing that there were no large males, only female great whites. Sharks were her passion too, but her moods ran in both warm and cold currents.

It was inevitable that they should meet; there were only so many biologists specializing in great white sharks. It was at the Worthington Marine Aquarium, which held both displays and serious scientific inquiry. (more…)