Tears For The Girl Under A Bush
But she refused to crumble. Somewhere, sometime, that girl said, “No more,” and she meant it! Steeliness enveloped her and tears would no longer come, even when she wished for them. Hard as she tried she could not weep, not for the pet dog she buried in her back yard, or at the funeral of the mother she found and forgave. The salty liquid sat behind her eyes and brought no relief; they just stung, and the smug pact she had made with her emotions became her curse.
The dead girl’s story had all the elements of a sad country song. It began on such lovely day. The sun blazed through layers of grime on window panes of the girl’s little shack. Yes, a day so lovely and bright it was hard to imagine the eclipse of night demanding its turn...pushing the unsuspecting closer and closer into darkness.
We all woke this morning thinking we are perfectly ordinary people on just another normal day. We got up, ate, checked out the weather, laughed and talked, but all the time there was something lying in the woods under a bush, with two feet showing.... Perhaps a high heel catching the sunlight with a bird perching on the end of it; the other foot missing a shoe and with blood that’s dried on its stocking.
Somewhere there is a person walking about...talking just like us and that person got up this morning, looked at the weather and had wanted to murder the woman under the bush! We ask, “Why? But there is no explaining evil that nests in the corner of a soul; when that space tightens the snake slithers out!
The victim’s name was Amanda, a nineteen year old angel with a porcelain face. Her golden halo of hair tumbled to her shoulders, and her voice was melodic and pure. But, maybe she wasn’t as innocent as she appeared; she had after all, been out bar-hopping, tossing those tresses around like a rock star in concert.
Hadn’t she snuck out of the house the moment her boyfriend, Jake, the father of her unborn child, left to go bowling. She didn’t care that his ex-girlfriend, Marie, hung out there too. She just saw her chance to escape the echo of an empty silent house and head out to party hard. The little tramp!
Yet, for a young girl, the summer aroma of Jasmine mingled with the misty air of a promised storm could arouse that sense of aloneness beyond the bearable. The sharp edges of her life cut open memories in those quiet moments, and had to be drowned out! Maybe it justified skipping out on her boyfriend, and being lured to the music. But still, maybe the angel just had it coming to her! She had teased by wearing a white peasant blouse cut low enough to suggest the rest. The full flowered skirt hid her baby bump, and her favorite high heel shoes made her feel awfully sexy.
Hadn’t she flirted and danced all night with a tan, green eyed stranger at a town bar. It seemed, without a horse, he had galloped into town from nowhere. Like a rodeo star with greasy brown hair, he wore dusty clothes, cowboy boots, and a pearl handled gun hugging his hip. There was nothing subtle in his approach; he just gave her a nod to the dance floor and she followed. He gripped her tighter than she should have allowed, then he whooped and hollered until the whole bar was rocking with him. He also wore a sneer for a smile, but the angel felt a pull. She could never resist the type!
When thunder and a downpour hitting the tin roof drowned out the music, it was a sign to go home or surrender her already tarnished halo. Drenched as she raced for her car, she never noticed glazed eyes lurking in the dark. It seemed a hundred arms were grabbing and pushing her into the back seat. Marie drove as the angel hit and clawed at her boyfriend Jake. He yanked Amanda’s head back, pulled her hair and yelled, “You rotten, bitch, whore; I’ll teach you to sneak out and strut your stuff”. His bloodshot eyes were dilated and he smelled like her father just home from the tavern, so she fought back harder. Jake had beaten her before, but whatever “high” he was on tonight made his blows explode. She screamed and cried but no one listened on that nightmare ride to the woods. Under hazy night clouds that dimmed the stars and painted an eerie purple sky, they parked the car and his ex took her turn pummeling the girl. “I’ll fix your pretty face so you’ll never steal another man,” Marie screamed. The angel begged, but no begging would stop the blows. Did someone say, “Hit her harder?” Had there been headlights of another car behind? Spurts of memories and spurts of blood, like fireflies in the night, came and went with every heartbeat.
In a daze, as blood dripped from Amanda’s broken nose, she thought she heard a baby cry, so she held her belly in the darkness. Her head throbbed the words: “Bitch! Dump her! Get back our lives! “like echoes of a bad rap song. Then more screams, and that crying baby! Was that really the baby in her belly crying?
Frightened by something they heard, Jake quickly opened the door and threw her out of the car. Her head slammed on a rock, but they laughed and drove off to continue drugging the night away. Marie had final words to the angel, “Hope you enjoy your walk home in those high heels, bitch.” Amanda crawled through the mud to a bush, a wounded animal not knowing she was about to die. For a moment she thought she heard a car door open (maybe someone to help) but then silence.
There she remained on a bed of damp, moldy leaves, her golden hair matted with blood. The purple sky bled out and the sun came up. It shed its rays on her speckled blue eyes that could no longer focus on flickers of the evening. A bird’s song belied the sickening scene. Flies flitted around her bruised body, and a dried pool of blood between her thighs exclaimed, “No more crying baby!” The stains on her cold dead cheeks spoke of a blessing in her final moments; she had found tears to mourn her baby. Perhaps there was also a tear for those high heel shoes now ruined by mud and blood?!
Amanda’s lifeless body was found a few days later. As in all crime cases, the boyfriend was questioned. Would they also search for a stranger riding a bull at some dusty rodeo fair ground? Marie’s strand of hair wrapped round her finger, and Jake’s skin under her fingernails would implicate both. The couple would plead that they never meant for her to die. A jury would decide their fate. Yet the saga goes on!
Oh, it’s such a lovely day, but a serial killer is still walking about. He looks for another young girl just wanting to dance. Will he be caught in time? When the cowboy noticed that Amanda was gone he paid his tab and left to find her. Outside the bar and just in time, slowly, never letting it out of sight, he followed what he thought was the angel’s car. But, he arrived at the wooded spot too late. Even as he approached the bush he could see that his planned evening to kill had been spoiled; someone had beaten him to it. He vowed not to let that happen with the next one!