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The Future is Set in Stone on the Corner of Ivy Road This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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It did not matter that she had set out to change her life, for even she was aware that intentions carry no weight in time. Perhaps Adalyn could have solidified her noble thoughts into tangible deeds, had the taxi not been so solid. Although to blame the taxi and its driver is a mistake only to be made by the inexperienced griever – one who has never spared more than half a thought for Death and Death’s own. No, the spread of blame is infinite, so really, each portion of guilt is so small it ought not matter at all; and yet people prove themselves to be most adept at assigning themselves much more fault than they can legitimately be credited with.

For as far back as she could remember, which was not very long at all as the years of highs and trips and drunken nights had somewhat muddled her brains, Adalyn had never really had a name. Her identities were purchased in burnt out buildings or abandoned warehouses or the occasional smoke filled apartment. But one thing she did recall was “Adalyn.” Her mother used to call her that before she was suddenly deemed unworthy of a name. And although the mere thought of her mother sickened her, she kept “Adalyn,” for it was the one thing the witch had given her that she could never reclaim.

The police arrived at the accident scene along with paramedics for good measure, although there was clearly nothing that could be done for the lifeless girl in the crosswalk except to return her to the dust from which she was born. Red hair was strewn over her face because life had become too foggy for Adalyn to remember to keep it bleached that blonde which she loved, a color that was utterly implausible to be naturally occurring with her freckled complexion. There had happened to be a most unlucky passerby at the moment of impact who had done what the taxi driver had not and informed the authorities. He proceeded to go through the motions of CPR, although he himself was a former oncologist and knew all too well the icy feel of Death once it had laid claim to a body.

Adalyn had awoken that chilly autumn morning with a hangover and although this was not an uncommon experience it was nonetheless still increasingly unpleasant with each morning it occurred. At whatever hour she would manage to drag herself out of bed, Adalyn would normally pull a match out of her pocket, grope for a cigarette, realize she had none and take it upon herself to make yet another mental that would inevitably be crumpled and tossed behind some ancient desk in her mind. But the morning of the incident was different. For some reason that no living mortal can hope to guess at, Adalyn awoke and reached for God.

The paramedics examined the body of the faceless girl with five names in her pocket. The corpse was so mangled it could hardly pass for human. Aside from the damage caused by the taxi that rendered her incapable of resembling little more than an unassembled woman, the girl had tattoos in the oddest places that she doubt had no recollection of having done; permanent reminders of nights she would never know, engraved in her flesh. Her forearms were covered with distinctive bruises and scars and her faced was scabbed over where her fingernails had dug away and the flesh, clawing in bloodlust. In another life, that face might have been beautiful; although who is to judge whether or not the scars make her beautiful or otherwise for it may be some new beauty, a colder harsher beauty, but undeniably beauty. But no, if there were reason it would be so, but she has nothing but reminders of decisions she should have lived to regret.

There is a stone church in the old section of town that dates back to the seventeenth century. It stands regal and ancient on the corner of Ivy Road, surrounded by headstones with names worn away by wind and time. Adalyn meandered toward it, stumbling over cumbersome cobblestones, not bothering to trouble herself with the placement of her feet as she stepped. The wrought iron gate came into view and she became aware of the puddles from the night’s rains seeping into her shoes. She paused at the crosswalk and realized, as a child might, that there was no one there to inform of when to cross, so she stepped out into the road. And because of her small footsteps, a certain taxi driver now sits in a dark apartment, staring blankly out a foggy window, numb. Little does he know, he is looking through Adalyn’s eyes.

There is no fighting Fate, just as there is no fighting Death once you are within its clutches. And we are all delivered at birth into the hands of Fate. The hands of Fate discarded Adalyn as though she were a threadbare rag doll, refusing to allow her the privilege of meaning; had Fate a heart and a longing to allow meaning to penetrate human life, surely she would have been allowed to live long enough to say a prayer. Perhaps in Death she does pray. However, Death is infinite and there is always time to delay, so it is in the life that one must be noble. But Adalyn was noble in only name and intent, before becoming captive on the corner of Ivy Road



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ajkstarr said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 1:12 pm

This was excellent! I enjoyed your style of writing, a lot. Your metaphores were very powerful, and the words you chose to use were all that needed ot be said. I've read a lot of stories on this site with similar themes, but yours managed to seperate itself from them.

One thing I would be careful about is not to make your language too dark and dramatic. There is a fine line between just enough, and too much.

Another thing, is that it is written in such  a way that it might ... (more »)

 
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