Dan stopped and listened. The footsteps had stopped. It was quite dark in the bushes despite the lampposts some fifteen meters away. He was about to rush towards the street when he noticed a pale blue mass at his feet.
The woman’s feet were bleeding. The broken pieces of glass had seriously pierced her sandals. She sucked in her breath. Everything was for him, even the blood. But he wanted only the purse. For a few seconds she remained half sitting, half reclining, with her vision riveted upon him. At length, defeated by the severity of the situation she fell back, coiling.
"Plea...se," she said, "I told you, I got nothing. Leave me for the sake -"
The words tumbled out of her trembling lips. Dan motioned for the purse. Deep inside, he was experiencing pity for the first time, feeling the helpless beauty of the woman, who, clutching the purse even tighter to her sweating breasts tried to get up to run away.
Dan pulled the knife out and stopped her mind. ‘Purse,’ he said. An incomplete and feeble scream poured out of her chest as she kept her head straight.
The woman didn’t let go of the purse. In the end she surrendered, screaming wildly and startling a nearby family of black cats that ran deeper into the field. Snatching the knife from him she stabbed herself. She collapsed in her scarlet dress, hands folded in prayer.
Dan ran away only to realize that the purse had only a few dollars. He wondered why it was so precious to the woman.
submitted at 4:19pm
17 June 2010
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