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The Woman on the Pavement

A Short Story by

Jamie Buchanan

Copyright 2012 Jamie Buchanan

Smashwords Edition, Licence Notes

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I can see the woman on the pavement but I can’t quite make out her face. Her long wavy blonde hair hides her features yet I have a feeling I know her from somewhere. The red and white summer dress she wears is in contrast to the chill in the air and it has ridden up her thigh slightly to reveal slender, toned legs.

She works on those legs, I can tell. Her arms are lean too, but her age is betrayed by the wrinkled skin on her elbows. That’s one area nature won’t be denied. My guess is she is about forty or so, but she does look younger due to her fitness and good health.

Or, I should say, her previous good health. One lean long leg has an extra bend in it – I can see the jagged edge of her broken femur pressing against the inside of the thin cotton dress. There’s a dark red stain spreading around this as well, turning the bright red a deep crimson. Behind her head a halo of claret red spreads as she lies on the cold concrete.

Why is it so quiet? There’s more than a dozen people looking down at this broken lady yet no-one makes a sound. The silence is oppressive, muffled and fuggy. Even the bus that hit her is idle; silent and quietly menacing as it remains askew on the street.

Her hair wraps around her face, shielding it from the gawping onlookers (myself included). But I am sure I recognize her from somewhere. Her body, although fit and toned, gives hints to me of her past. Her hips, now twisted unnaturally, suggest that she has had a couple of children. But this is no “soccer-mom” – her black high heels (one now missing) and smoky coloured stockings tell me that she was not on this busy street doing her groceries.

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