Beauty is only skin deep

hurricane fence sign

Darrell sat on the ground cursing and rubbing his thigh. He ripped his jeans climbing over the hurricane fence, leaving a jagged cut down one leg.

Stumbling to his feet, he took off running again. Dogs leapt at the barricade, snarling and barking at their escaped quarry. Darrell didn’t stop running until the dogs stopped howling.

When he emerged from the underbrush, Darrell slowed to a walk. Still breathing hard from his getaway sprint, he pulled up the hem of his T-shirt to wipe away the sweat on his face. He chanced a glance over his shoulder, expecting to see his pursuers, but the only thing behind him was an old stray cat.

At the street corner, he sat on the bus bench to inspect the tear in his pants and to get a better look at his injured leg. His mom was going to be mad he ruined another pair of jeans. The cut on his thigh wasn’t deep and had already stopped bleeding, but the bruise was going to hurt in the morning.

Maybe his wound would garner a little sympathy from Paige, even if it was her fault he had to jump the fence. He was beginning to think she enjoyed the thrill of almost getting caught. This was the second time her old man came home early.

The more he thought about it, the more he started to question whether her dad came home at all. Doubling back, Darrell crept into the woods behind Paige’s house to spy through the chain-links, careful not to draw the dogs’ attention.

Darrell saw her standing by a chaise lounge wearing that red bikini that he liked so much. She reached behind her back, and he thought she was about to take off her top. Instead, she gripped her shoulders and pulled her skin over her head, sloughing it off like shedding a hoodie, then let her carcass drop to the pool deck.

Gasping at the sight of his insectoid girlfriend, he crab walked backward from the fence, breaking open his cut. Paige, with her superior olfactory organs, picked up the scent of fresh blood. Unlike Darrell, who didn’t have saltatorial legs, she cleared the fence with ease.

She let her hounds feast on what remained.

This week’s Studio30 Plus: Inspired by Katy, Katy Brandes Writes – “Taking a deep breath,” and/or “jagged

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

10 thoughts on “Beauty is only skin deep

  1. Tara, you’re a master at the unexpected ending. The detail given to this “like a hoodie” made it even more stupendous.

    Poor Darrell, see what a look back gets ya? 😉


  2. Holy crap! This went from post-apocalyptic escape to boyfriend running from wrath to full on fantasy horror. Brilliant pace and unfolding. Love how you slapped your reader hard at the end 🙂


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