Content Warning: Gore
I try not to trip over the hem of my dress. Shopping bags fill my arms, weighing me down and dwarfing my gangly frame. Remind me again why I chose to wear this gown to go shopping? Then again, I wasn’t expecting to have to walk this far to get back to my car. This is what I get for not going out much.
Downtown is as lively as ever. Laughter and chatter swirl around me as shoppers move from store to store on the strip. My nose wrinkles, the smell from a hotdog vendor mingling with the heavy car exhaust in the air. I weave around groups of people, trying not to hit them with my one-too-many bags or my voluptuous skirts. I can feel their gazes linger on me, followed by their hushed whispers. I can feel them judging me. I always did stick out like a sore thumb. With my pale skin, platinum blonde locks, and gothic sense of style, I probably look akin to a ghost straight from the 1800s.
I shrink within myself, trying to look smaller and less imposing. The introvert in me wants nothing more than to sprint the next couple blocks back to my car and hightail it home to my safety bubble. I take a breath, trying to calm myself. The more anxious I get, the more I feel my tragedy stir. The thing about tragedy is it demands to be seen, heard, and most definitely felt.
“Eeeep!” I yelp as I nearly barrel into someone as I take a side street. With my powers as unstable as they have been, the last thing I need to do is run into someone. Can you even imagine the chain reaction that would cause? It would be catastrophic. I gulp. Shopping was a terrible idea.
I pick up my pace, focusing on avoiding people at all costs while simultaneously trying not to trip. Mind you, as the sidewalks are as clogged with traffic as the streets, that’s much easier said than done. Let’s just get through this day without killing someone.
“Hey, you going to a funeral?” That’s when I hear it, the first unsolicited opinion of the day from a stranger. I’m mildly surprised it took this long. Startled, I cut my eyes to the man. He looks like your average Joe, but that certainly doesn’t put my mind at ease. I quickly avert my gaze, ignoring him as I continue onwards at a steady pace. That’s usually the best approach with them. Usually.
I can hear his steps as he follows behind me. The nerve of some men. Just because it’s in a public place, in broad daylight, doesn’t make it socially acceptable to be a stalker. I look for a spot where I can cross the road to get away from him, but unfortunately, the streets are still busy.
“You know, you’re pretty hot for a dead girl,” he continues, as if my silence is an invitation. Classy, idiot. You don’t know who you’re messing with. Don’t make her come out, trust me, you’ll regret it.
I make a beeline for the crosswalk I see ahead. But, as I approach it, I step on the hem of my dress. Time seems to slow down as I trip, falling in a mass of flailing arms and flying shopping bags. My shoulder hits the crosswalk button on my way down. Convenient. The man swoops in to help me up, thinking himself a knight in denim jeans and converse. “Don’t touch me!” The screech of tires cuts off my scream.
Suddenly, a car flies onto the crowded sidewalk, plowing through my harasser. Karma, is that you? His body disappears under the SUV, followed by the horrific sounds of bones snapping. His skull makes a wet thud as it is crushed like a watermelon, sending blood and brain matter everywhere. All the while, I just sit there on my ass like a complete fool, mouth agape in shock. The air is ripe with screaming and blaring car horns. The SUV continues its path of destruction before finally coming to a stop when it rams into a storefront, sending glass shards everywhere.
A chill runs down my spine. I tear my gaze away from the tragedy before me. Gold ichor tears stream down my face as I look back across the street. Traffic has come to a screeching halt. I note that more than one car has front and back end damage. But that’s not what draws my attention. No, it’s the man in a Guy Fawkes mask, standing on the other side of the intersection, that stops me dead in my tracks. I don’t know why, but he feels familiar. I feel drawn to him like an invisible cord binds us. I know it’s stupid, especially given the current circumstances, but I leap to my feet and sprint across the road, weaving around the stalled cars.
But, by the time I make it across the intersection, he’s gone. It’s as if he vanished into thin air or was never there. Hanging my head, I let out a cry of frustration. That’s when I finally notice the blood and bits of brain matter splattered across my Victorian gown. There’s not enough bleach in the world…
I sigh, wiping gold ichor tears from my cheeks, before heading back across the street. Sirens blare, filling the air with their ominous howl. Soon enough, police are closing off the block with their squad cars and crime scene tape. Multiple bodies litter the ground, denoted by the tarps covering them. They take my firsthand account of the accident. I know damn well I caused it, but I can’t very well tell them that. If only insurance covered the damage done by a lifelong curse. Maybe then, I could truly help all the people I’ve hurt.
Eventually, I’m sent on my way, with a dirty dress, crushed shopping bags, and a feeling of utter dejection. I’m tired of causing harm wherever I go. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but tragedy is as tragedy does, and sometimes accidents happen.