even with all the

She wandered some more, not really aware of where her feet were taking her, but not really caring either.  One step after another.  Her breath curled around her face as she turned a corner, the red wig she wore billowed pleasantly in the breeze.  Goose flesh had long ago deserted her bare skin, only to be replaced by frostbite as she lingered on the post-midnight streets,  The darkness had a texture to it, and it was cold and hard.  She put the cigarette to her lips but that was long gone too; it must have slipped from her numb fingers and fallen into the snowy curbside back at that all-night diner she had briefly inspected as the smell of fresh coffee had swirled around the sickly yellow light of the neon sign above her head.

She wore a modern cut dress with heels, but snow had spilled into one of them and her toes throbbed in complaint of their frigid treatment.  She pulled her foot free from the shoe and continued on in a hitching, wobbly gait without a second thought.  Her arms were bare; she wondered if, at one time, she had worn a coat or something over her dress, but if she had then that had gone the way of her cigarette evidently.  The only protection providing her legs were black stockings, one of which had a sizable hole at the knee.  Dimly she realized the frugal part of her mind should be upset over her apparent mistreatment of her hosiery, it wasn't as if that particular accessory grew on trees, after all.  Yet still her eyes remained vacant and emotionless as she stumbled on.

Her lips were blue and it hurt to breathe on them, but all she longed for was another cigarette.  She imagined its hot smoke coursing through her lungs and warming her with each hearty drag she took of it, but of course there were no cigarettes on her at that time of night.  Her stupid dress didn't even have any goddamn pockets, for Christ's sakes!

Which would mean...

Which would mean... something.

But what?

Oh yes, it meant her keys were most likely still in her coat.

She sighed pitiably in the darkness and pretended the bitter cold was not currently cracking open her exposed cheeks with icy needles into her skin.

God damn it.

Consciousness seeped away from her for a time, all she knew was the swirling of the constellations above her head, spinning much too fast as shooting stars pierced the sky above her.

When next she regained her cognizance, she found herself sitting atop some children's structure at a park she did not recognize, smoking a cigarette she did remember bumming, and feeling a tiny spark of warmth from the thoughts of suicide which tumbled around the bucket of ice cubes which was currently her brain.

She wondered how much a gun would cost.

The End

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