She had to see for herself. Grandma had forbidden it, but she was going anyway. They couldn’t stop her.
Angela couldn’t be dead. She couldn’t. She’d told Jess she’d always protect her. She’d said there were monsters in the house. Not the kind in the closet, apparently. Angela had said if the monster ever touched Jess, Angela would slay him. Like a dragon.
She bet this bridge led to the magical place, the place her sister often talked about. A place with princes and fairies and happiness, not dad yelling and mom crying and empty beer bottles in the sink. Otherwise why would Ang jump off it? It didn’t make sense.
She didn’t know why mom’s face had gone white at some stick she’d pulled out of the trash. She didn’t know why dad had screamed at Jess, calling her words Jess didn’t understand, something about being a ‘hor’, whatever that was.
“I’m not a whore,” her sister had screamed. “The only monster who’s ever touched me was YOU!”
Her dad’s face had purpled. Jess knew that face – it meant bad things were about to happen. She’d run to her closet and hid.
She should have stayed. She should have helped Angela. Angela would have helped her. But it had been so scary, the yelling and the hitting and the slamming of the door.
Grandma found her later. Jess didn’t know how long she’d stayed in the dark. She didn’t want to risk the monster coming after her.
She looked now at the path behind the house, the one that led down to the bridge. They weren’t supposed to go there. Momma said it wasn’t safe.
Angela had often whispered to her, “Anywhere is safer than here.”
Jess started walking. If Angela had gone to the fairy world, she was going, too.
My weekly entry for the marvelous Flash Friday Fiction contest. Let me know what you think!