“Flipping through your library books for research, you find one of the books you incorrectly checked out. It’s a handwritten journal authored by someone you know. Who wrote it and what does it say?”
-Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: The Journal
“Have you ever been in love? I suspect that you think you have, but I don’t think it was real. Nothing I’ve ever seen called love was as real as what I have with her. Her hair is golden, like the yolks of the eggs my mama fried when I was a kid. Her skin is brown like wheat, and she sways like the grass does in the breeze. She has curves like the river. She smells like flowers. Everywhere I look, I see her. Every day, she consumes me a little more. I checked a book out of the library years ago, and it was in her writing. I thought it was a journal or something, but it was just a homesteading book, like it was supposed to be. But those lazy loop-de-loops and curls and flirty hearts on the ‘i’s and ‘j’s… those were hers. All the books are like that now. It used to be one or two, but now it’s all of them. I can’t stand to be away from her anymore. We have to be one. I’m going to make her my bride tonight.”
Sanders threw the journal away from him and ran out of the little building. He threw up in the bushes, vomit clinging to his mustache. He wiped it away on his sleeve and staggered back from the putrid bush. Cigarette smoke wafted by. A couple seconds later, the cigarette was dangling over Sander’s shoulder. He took it and pulled a deep drag. He closed his eyes and exhaled shakily.
“At least it’s over,” the shaky voice said, trying to comfort them both.
Sanders turned to his partner, Kelly. Her eyes were swollen and her brow was furrowed as she tried to fight the incoming emotions. He was about to say something when a call cut him off.
Sanders patted Kelly’s shoulder and sauntered off. “Yeah?”
“What’s the situation? No one is being real clear on the radio.” Sanders couldn’t meet his supervisor’s gaze. He shook his head.
“It’s over,” was all he could say. Sanders glanced back toward the shed, where the walls were lined with newspaper announcements and stolen photographs. Vomit rose in his throat again, but he steeled himself. He was calmed by the gun hanging by his side, which was a little too light, having been fully relieved of its cargo into some sick child-fucking bastard’s chest. “He can’t hurt anyone anymore.”
“And the girl?”
From where he stood, Sanders could just see the mass of golden-red hair splayed across the floor. She had been waiting for them to save her; he wondered if her ghost would wait forever. “…no one can hurt her anymore either.”