Little Lost

lamppostsSome enchanted evening, the familiar smell of freshly cut grass barely lingered in the air. Shadows cast by trees and lampposts lengthened, stretching across the road to the pavement. The last tinges of an orange sun melted into the horizon, masked by the silhouettes of houses and buildings. There was a pause before the first streetlamp flickered on. A shadow passed through the spotlight, without a sound. It darted through dusk barely lit by a streetlamp here, a porch-light there. Then it vanished, swallowed up by the night. Darkness smothered everything with a blanket of the blackest black.

Two heel clicks echoed across the street. The shadow had resurfaced on the clean white steps of a porch: a stranger in a hooded black cloak, covered from head to toe. A frail, pale arm reached up to the door, a loud knock echoed within. A warm orange glow bled through the draped sash windows, only blocked by the smooth white pillars that waited, patiently, to introduce a guest to their mistress. The door glided open to let the warmth out and the stranger in; an orphaned child carrying the heavy burden of the murder she had seen, a bag full of secrets in one hand, a china doll in the other, seeking refuge from the strange world she no longer belonged to.

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