A Free Short Story
by Sarah Smith

Long ago, when I was just married, I saw a girl die. I saw it ­planned, I was there when it happened. I sat in the audience­ while she swallowed poison. Now she haunts me, a pathetic­ outmoded ghost, a cafe singer from the days of Toulouse-Lautrec, ­with her pleading eyes and her outstretched hand. I’ve put her ­into stories, I wrote a film script about her, back when I was a ­little famous; but no one reads me now, and still she won’t rest. She comes to visit me at midnights, and she sings to me.

It’s so dark, she quavers. I’m so afraid…

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