Flash Fiction Challenge: Write a story using the following line:
“She was one of the quiet ones.”
Try to stick to around 1000 words or less.
Sarah leaned back against the crumbling wall of her apartment. Dust and debris were released into the surrounding air and floated slowly, languidly down, down, down to the floor. Sarah stirred no more. Lowering her head into her hands she cried. She cried for nothing, she cried for everything. She cried because she couldn’t stop crying.
The tears should have dried up a long time ago. Surely she was dehydrated. She hadn’t eaten or drank anything in days, no need she felt. She had no money to buy something to eat or drink. She had no plans to acquire or beg for any money. It was over plain and simple. Her life was ending and she just didn’t care.
Lifting the knife from her moldy wooden floor, she scraped it across the wood to hear the roughness of the blade against the wood. She turned it over in her hand, over and over and over. The knife, this knife was her ticket out of this hell that was her life. It didn’t matter what may or may not happen after death, no, none of that mattered. All that mattered was escaping her life in this world. Whatever the price, whatever the cost, it was worth it to get away.
Lights across the street flickered as evening set in. All the lights in the neighborhood came on in unison at the sign of darkness. But not Sarah’s lights. Her electricity had been shut off months ago. Her water was shut off last month. She was living in a house with no electricity, no water, no working appliances, and no end in sight if she stayed alive.
The deep of night was unsettling with its near total blackness in her bedroom. The windows were all blocked with black to prevent light from coming in. Sarah moved halfheartedly to her bed, or what remained of it. The bed was in shambles, sheets ripped, mattress ripped, stains all over and a broken headboard. Lying on the remnants of the bed, she slid the knife deep into her arms to be sure and cut an artery that she might end it that much sooner. Blood gushed out and covered the stained mattress. Within minutes Sarah was lying in the blood herself. It didn’t matter to her, it was warm and colorful. It was the last sight she would see and she liked that.
Detectives interviewed the neighbors who knew, or thought they knew Sarah. It was odd as everyone knew her, had seen her but no one had actually gotten to know her or really talked to her at all. The group consensus was, “She was one of the quiet ones.” As if that phrase absolved everyone of guilt and reconciled this young woman’s death in their minds.