She scratched her pencil against the page. She loved the sound of it. The scrapping. She could tell when her pencil had reached that perfect dullness so that it would shade smoothly and dark. The lead softening to the perfect  level. She thought about the shadows that hung beneath the eyes of this man. The darkness that must have  been his soul. She loved to draw the darkness of people’s souls. She found them in trees and flowers. The death in them. The glorious decay that was beautiful and waiting for her pencil and paper. She plucked at the spiral  at the top of her pad. Today she had a real writing pad. Many times she just used the spiral school notebooks that her mom bought on sale just before school started. She always bought her limit of 20. She filled all of them before the year was out. Her margins on her homework was filled as well as the backs of her math and science tests. They came to her even when she had nothing in front of her to study. They spoke to her. Not a lot. Just a little. They whispered secrets or part of secrets, just enough to hint at where the glint in their eyes came from. Why their mouth pulled up like that when they smirked at her. They betrayed just enough of past conversations that she could see them and get a feel for who they were. Some of them left goosebumps on her flesh and once or twice she dropped her pencil but she finished them all. This man his eyes flashed at her and she dropped her pencil and turned the page. She couldn’t finish him. Her heart had gone cold in her chest. It had dropped a beat and shuddered. He was a murderer, unrepentant.  She dropped her pad by her feet and put her Social Studies book on top of it. She walked out into the sunny patch that her cat was hogging. She scooped him up and reveled in the warmth of his fuzzy chest against her cold nose. Her fingers digging into the fluff behind his ears. She craved warmth.

About the author

Carley Hibbert

I just finished writing my first novel The Villain's Assistant. I'm preparing to submit it to an interested publisher.

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