Here’s a short story based off of my novel, Dagger.
She Slept in Fire
She looked like she was sleeping. In fact I thought that was the case, until after several times she never woke up. That and she didn’t have a pulse.
I’d never seen a dead body. It was surreal. But as much as it made me uncomfortable, I couldn’t move.
The syringe stuck out of her arm like an unwelcome reminder of what happened. I just stared at the syringe until my brother yelled my name, “Dagger!”
I didn’t even register he was yelling my name until he walked over to me and started to shake me.
It was then that I realized I had been standing there for an hour.
“Dag, she overdosed,” Coal said, as if I didn’t know. But part of me didn’t want to know. Part of me wanted to think she was asleep.
Coal, always trying to keep it together, hugged me against him. Ever the protective brother.
“We gotta get out of here,” he said. “If they find us, alone like this, they’ll send us to foster care. I’m not doing it.”
He gathered up mom’s jewelry and a big fat stack of cash that was in her purse and put it in a walmart bag.
“Grab anything from your room that you want,” he said.
I grabbed my backpack and a few things and put the backpack on.
When I went into the room he had picked up a lighter from the nightstand, that was cozy next to an ash tray, and had it held it above mom.
“What are you doing?” I asked, my heart racing.
“Get out,” he said, his brows furrowed and I felt determination emanating from him.
“No,” I said and tried to get the lighter from his grasp.
“You’re scaring me.”
“You should be,” he said. “Leave. I don’t want you to see this.”
But I wouldn’t move.
Everything after that was a blur. I don’t even remember him flicking the lighter, I just remember fire. First a small fire on the sheets, and then it spread like blood splattering.
And then my hand was in Coal’s and he pulled me out of the room and we ran down the stairs. The apartment was quiet, no one knew what was happening in our apartment right now.
Mom was sleeping in the fire.
Author’s Notes: So this is the messed up backstory behind my characters Dagger and Coal. In this story Dagger is 14 and Coal is 16. Why Coal did this will be explored in another short story. For now I will leave that as a mystery.
For the record NO Coal did not kill his mom, even though it might look that way? I guess we’ll see what people think!
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed it!
Image by: SimpleInsomnia