ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY (HARD BOILED) WORDS

JOSEPH DOUGHERTY

I thought she might jump, the girl on the pier.  At first, I didn’t even see her.  I came to propped up against a crate facing Manhattan.  El Dorado on the Hudson.  I felt the bridge above me, cars thrumming on the steel roadway.  Then I saw the girl-shaped silhouette at the end of the pier.  She was looking down at the river.  If she jumped, I might have to do something.  But she didn’t.  She turned, her profile curved and sharp at the same time, and walked away.  I got up, went to the end of the pier and looked down.  Big mistake.  Down there, floating in the oily water and the upside down reflection of the city, was a dead man.  His arms were open, like he was reaching for something that got away from him.  His face was white-blue.  The color of a China cup.




Joseph Dougherty is a writer living in California.



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