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by Edd Vick

Perhaps it was that an angel's shadow had flitted over the sand of which the window was made. Perhaps it was the pressure used in the making of it, multiples of the mystic numbers six and thirty-seven. It could have been both, or something else entirely.

"Constance? Come here, girl." The orphanage matron, Miss Gult, stumped over to pull the child away from her embroidery.

When Constance looked out the window in her room, she saw a most beautiful place. Delicate castles dotted a green landscape, and gaily-dressed paople glided from one to another of them without benefit of wings. Twice they nodded to her in passing.

"She's a good 'un, she is," said Miss Gult. "Works hard. Don't hardly make mistakes. A bit dreamy, but you can soon mend that."

But when the window was raised, she saw once more the ugly dark smokestacks, smelled the excrement of the horses that pulled fine carriages she would never use. It was twenty feet straight down to the paving stones.

"What you think? Can you use her? She don't eat much."

Constance shrank back from Miss Gult. The woman smelled of laudanum, gin, and greed. The man with her loomed over Constance and placed a hand on her head to tilt it toward the light. He skinned her top lip back with a thumb to examine her teeth.

"Pretty," he said.

Ducking, Constance slipped out of their clutches to flee up the stairs. She knew only one place to go.

"You girl," Miss Gult called. "You come back!" The stairs shook to the measured treads of the man as he climbed after her.

Constance dashed into her room, shut the door, looked wildly toward the window. It was raised, showing only her ugly world.

Footsteps approached.

She darted to the window.

The knob turned.

Sobbing, she hauled down on the sash.

The door opened.

She dived into the window.

The man entered. He looked at, then under, the empty bed. There was no other place to hide. He crossed to the window and looked out at the city, down to the pavement.

No body.

Some weeks later another orphan girl was assigned the room. Esther sobbed on the bed, then lifted her head to look out the window.

She smiled.


I really like this one!

Posted by: Jeri Lynn | September 18, 2007 7:22 PM

Thanks, Jeri Lynn!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2007 11:02 PM

so informative, thanks to tell us.

Posted by: rorUnsado | September 30, 2010 1:34 AM

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