The Sentinel

On the opposite shoreline lights glittered.  They were beautiful, they were a lie.

She was trying to catch her breath and be as quiet about it as she possibly could.  She could hear the man screaming..  his heavy footfall coming closer and closer. You would have sworn she'd taken his life, it had been a measly 200 tickets.  She wasn't sure which made him angrier,  stealing his tickets or him not getting inside her.  The trick had been working,  if those people hadn't picked that time to come through,  the fake would have worked and he would have given the tickets gladly, that's not how it had happened,  and now he was chasing her.

Gathering all her strength,  she darted across the grassy field towards the glittering lights.  Knowing she couldn't go all the way but,  she  had to make him think she could.   Reaching the shoreline, she stopped and squatted down in the tall grass.   He was right there,, breathing hard, swearing under his breath..  

There was no direction open to her, behind her was the water and before her, the swearing, angry man.  She had to move fast and  that was what pushed her to the decision.

Standing up, he was in front of her but, her luck, his back was turned.  All her life she had been a thief, prostitute, embezzler but, never  a murderer, so, why she plunged the knife into the back of his neck.... was unknown.

The sickening crunch of the knife going through the cerebral vertebrae made her nauseous,  she cringed, pulled out the blade and pushed him into the water.   

As soon as his body hit the water, it caught fire,  clamping her hand over her mouth, she stifled the scream that threatened to spill past her lips.   She'd heard about it but,  she'd never seen it..  That night she slept fitfully, seemed she could smell the burning flesh.  Using one of the tickets, she bought food, when she opened the can of vegetables, maggots poured out with them. 

That night,  the smell returned and.. she could feel the heat of the fire.. it burned her, tormenting her, she jumped into the shower.. 

That morning, the reflection in the mirror startled her,  her skin was red as if she'd been sunburned, her hair was singed on the ends and a trail of smoke followed her around the room.  That night, blisters began to erupt on her arms and feet,  she sat in the shower all night, at morning, all her hair had been burned, the air touching her skin made her scream, blisters covered her body.

She needed help,  she unrolled the tickets stolen from the angry man,  she found a piece of parchment.  she didn't understand the writing but, one word was clearly visible S E N T I N E L... 

A guard to the outerworld, somewhere,  she'd left a gaping hole in time, in her extreme selfishness,  her extreme arrogance,  her extreme stupidity,  she had opened Pandoras Box...

The screaming, moaning, praying.. The question.. "Who could have done this thing?"

She crawled no, slithered into the marketplace, the stench was high and she was sure, reached up to the heavens..  This was her fault and, she had to do something.  The tent she wanted was off the beaten path.. it was dark and cold.  The cold was soothing to her burning skin..  she stretched out her hand, in it she held the parchment, the tickets she still had left and one token..

"It's a beautiful day, the sun is high and the breeze is light.  She watched the children play on the opposite shore, they chase each other and laugh, she keeps her eyes open making sure no one falls in or no one pushes someone in.  She'd made reperations.. one unselfish thing in her life.. was the cost high?  She's used to the smell now, the burning sensation still annoys her a little but, they allow her to live in the water and that.. soothes her burning skin, play on children,  she is happy cause she is allowed to hear their laughter and their songs..  She is their  S E N T I N E L!"

The End

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