“Come on, let’s go for a walk,” said Mina. Her tone was tense, per usual, but it was different that day – more monotone. “I need to get out of this place.”
Tommy didn’t want the walk. It was dusk, and the bite of the cold would be setting in soon. “Mina, can’t we just…”
“No,” she interrupted. “I don’t want to sit still anymore.”
“Well why don’t you just…” Tommy started, intending to suggest she go alone to clear her head. She understandably hadn’t been herself since her twin sister drilled a hole through her own skull last Spring. While he sympathized, he wasn’t in the mood for moping.
“Tommy, will you just fucking walk with me,” she interrupted again. “You need to see this anyway.”
“See what?” Tommy looked at Mina and waited for an answer he never received. Knowing he didn’t have a real choice, he braced his hands on his knees and pushed up from the couch with a hard sigh.
Tommy was tired. Over the last few months he had lost a lot of weight, over 40 pounds. He knew to some degree his stress with Mina kept him from eating regularly, but there was no way he missed enough meals for that kind of change. Still, his frame had moved from hefty to lanky, and he made another mental note he still needed to see a doctor. Tommy pulled his hoodie on over his head and opened the front door, then stood to the side to let Mina pass.
The pair walked through the neighborhood in silence. Mina’s dark hair moved like a heavy drape behind her shoulders and bounced with each fall of her feet. Tommy did his best to be patient and just follow, but after watching the sun crawl down and finally fall behind the horizon, he was ready to head back to their place.
“Mina, where are we going?” She kept walking without a quiver in her gaze. “I’m heading back. It’s cold.”
“You’re wearing a coat. Just walk with me.” Her pace had been steady forward since they left, snaking through the streets and heading west towards the highway. “We’re almost there anyway.”
Avoiding the fight and the cold couch, he was giving her a few more minutes, but if she didn’t turn back soon he would deal with the repercussions and head back to their shitty but warm apartment.
“See. We’re here,” she said as they crossed into the Patterson bridge.
“The bridge. I like to stand up here sometimes and watch the cars pass.” Tommy was more of a river guy himself, but he supposed watching the traffic flow could be relaxing. Mina turned towards the oncoming traffic. They both watched the yellow eyes grow brighter as they neared the bridge then disappear below it.
“Take a picture of me.” She looked back over her shoulder and rested her chin on the fur of her coat. Tommy followed her brow line down the bridge of her nose to the pout on her lips. He wanted to rub the soft skin of her cheeks between his knuckles, but he was sure with her mood she would only turn away.
“Take another,” she said, then jumped towards the top of the fence. Once she was settled and seated on top of the chain link, Tommy snapped the photo, then reached up to help her down.
“I’m not coming home with you Tommy.”
“Bull shit you aren’t. Come on.” He stepped closer and reached his arms up higher. “I’ll make us some hot chocolate.”
“I’ve had enough.” She looked down at him and tightened her grip on the pole supporting her weight. “Enough of life without Mila and life with you.”
Tommy’s face changed. His grin fell into a frown, and his cheeks hung like jowls on a bulldog. “What do you mean?”
“She mailed a letter to me before she turned that drill bit in her brain. Told me about you two.”
Convinced she was only fishing for a confession, Tommy swallowed hard and told her she was crazy. “Why would I want anything to do with your sister? You were identical, and she was batshit.” It only took a second for Tommy to realize he should have bit his tongue.
“Don’t you dare you piece of shit. You seduced her, fucked her, then told her to keep it quiet. It only took an hour for her to decide she couldn’t live with that.” Her words plucked the tense air around them.
Tommy reached for anything to say. He didn’t have a comeback, a reasonable denial. He looked at Mina with softened eyes and put his hands in his pockets. “Why did you bring me out here?”
“I told you, you need to see this.”
“See what?” As smart as Tommy was, he was as naive as they come.
“I stole your soul while you slept. I only stayed to watch you suffer. You’ll fade to nothing within the week.” Her eyes cinched to tight smiles and white teeth peered through her lips.
“You stole my…?”
“Your soul and gave it to the devil. We’ll see you in Hell soon.” Mina lifted her legs and pushed back. She rocked off the fence and fell out of Tommy’s field of vision. Honking and screeching commenced below. He ran towards the fence and looked down to see Mina’s legs flailing about on the hood of a red Civic, and her body up to her waist through a hole in the windshield. He watched until her feet stopped kicking, then called 911. He spent the next few days rolling her last words over in his head until the 6th morning dawned, when he woke engulfed in flames.
Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
To see the three photos that originally inspired this story, visit the Instagram link below. Two more photos follow the linked one in succession.