• Jon the Semite

Paper Chains

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

by Marina Montenegro

The Girl

She was sitting on the grass with three friends, pointing up to the clouds as they passed

overhead. They laughed together, her laugh light and free spirited. Her imagination and

innocence captivated me, and I found myself unable to leave without, at the very least, saying hello.

The Bike

It was bright pink with a white wicker basket and silver tassels hanging from the

handlebars. The bike was Marcy’s favorite of all her birthday gifts. Weeks passed, but it sat in the Brighton family driveway, unridden.

The Escape

The door was not locked and the hairy faced stranger was asleep on the big couch in a

dirty room that smelled like cigarettes. I sneaked past him and pushed open the front door super quietly so that I could squeeze outside and run towards the pine trees. I forgot my shoes, but I remembered Teddy.

The Drive

Only my headlights illuminated the pine trees that surrounded us. We drove silently until a figure caught my eye: a small pale girl, with long brown curls in a white dress, no shoes, and hugging a teddy bear, just standing in the middle of the road. “Oh fuck no,” I said, steering around her and slamming on the gas petal.

The Recovery

A teddy bear lay behind the trees next to a yellow #3 crime scene marker. Eight weeks

and four days of searching and the closest we could get to finding Marcy Brighton, age six, was an old teddy bear and the remains of boot prints before last night’s rainstorm. Our

dogs circled around trees, but even they couldn’t pick up a scent.

Marina Montenegro is a prize-winning Latinx poet from New York City. Their work has been published in various literary magazines, and they're launching their writing blog later this year.

Twitter: @MarinaProse

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarinaProseWriter/

#flashprose #mystery #quickread