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Sheda (Amiella’s Sister)

Sheda looked around the airport, trying to remember exactly how she got here. How they had gotten here. Hours ago she was looking at Tony, standing in front of their ocean-view window. They were getting ready to go out to dinner. The hotel phone had rung. The front desk said she had a call from her mother. Instantly Sheda thought of her younger sister, Amiella. Her mother’s voice sounded different, strained and far off. She could barely make out the words she was saying except for, “I’m sorry.” Her mother’s voice was replaced by a man’s – a deep voice, void of emotion. Something about Amiella and her baby. They needed to come home as soon as possible. Tony was at her side when she hung up the phone. Sheda remembered telling him that he needed to book a flight back. Immediately. “I think there is something wrong with our baby,” she had told him. “Amiella’s dead.”

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A Night in River Ridge

The green grass so perfectly in disarray it looked as though someone had positioned each blade by hand. Throughout the healthy grass were long pieces of pale yellow dead grass uprooted from the last mowing. Occasionally there was the head of a dandelion long since blown. Two feet, a pair of them, were laying in the grass. The soles of them facing upward and slightly out. Small patches of flesh were visible. The right index toe, not the tip, but the shaft, the part that never touched the floor; the inside of the left pinky toe; the inside sole of left foot, the arch of this foot was higher than that of the right; and the right ankle bone, barely visible in the picture due to the angle, but if you studied the photo you would see the pale white skin glowing like the silver lining of clouds in the sky. The rest of the feet were a dried, sticky red.