“Whited-Out”

A smear of wite-out blotched the space just beneath the signature of the Murphy’s Christmas card. I already knew what had been obliterated, what the writer had attempted to erase, but I had to see. I snatched the closest thing on the kitchen table– a pen cap–to scratch off the thick layer of the stuff, revealing just five letters.

Rache, the ‘e’ abruptly cut off in mid-swing.

I couldn’t even brush the hardened white flakes off the paper. They blurred through welling tears. Fresh pain, like a fish hook through my guts, buckled me, and I collapsed into a chair.

Her mother had made the mistake. It had to have been. The feminine loops in ‘Love,’ and the rounded edges of ‘Nancy, Mike, and Matt’ couldn’t be the work of her father or brother. She had caught herself before she finished–but barely–the ‘L’ at the end the only missing letter.

The question wasn’t how a mother could make such a mistake. Rachel had only been dead a handful of months after all.

The question that raised bile in my throat was how many times had she pulled that little brush out of the tiny bottle of Wite Out? How many times did she have to slash out her daughter’s name as she worked through her pile of Christmas cards?

Something had fluttered to the ground when I’d opened the card, but that smudge of white had distracted me before I’d seen what it was. I picked it off the floor.


It was a picture of Rachel, staring at the camera, with more self-possession than a 14-year-old girl should have. Like she knew something I didn’t, but it was the other way around. The girl in the photo had no idea that soon she’d be stabbed, raped, and left in a shallow grave in the woods to die. I was glad she didn’t know. I wish I didn’t.

If only her death could be covered in Wite Out, not in a blanket of early fall leaves.

 

 

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
The Story Behind the Story Featured Fiction New Fiction
Sort by

The Story Behind the Story: “Weehawken”

Just a few months after graduating from college, I moved to New York City with three other friends. Or, well, more
2019-06-17 09:29:39
jakegoldman

0

“Pizza”

I asked Mae twice.  She squealed, we get a pizza party.  I didn’t respond.  Even the second time.  I think she felt t
2019-06-14 23:29:28
rdagostin

0

“Cold Shoulder”

He was still her living, breathing husband until that evening, when he came home late for the third time in a week,
2019-06-10 10:00:35
timbascom

0

“The Dancer”

She had practiced the dance just once, and only then in the smallest of spaces, behind the basement stairwell where
2019-06-07 07:57:42
trocchia

0

“Two Flash Pieces”

Linger The alien at the foot of my bed
2019-06-05 09:21:27
mhall1127

0

“Unhinged”

So how did I get here…well, okay, where do I start? The strippers. I’m going to start with the strippers. The
2019-05-31 07:55:44
vprovazza

0

“Bluebird”

The bluebird perched on the fence facing the neighbors’ bedroom window. Ann relaxed, drinking her morning tea, w
2019-05-29 09:20:14
beulahamsterdam

0

“If Table Legs Could Cheer”

Dogs are allowed in the bar and one night this sharp-tailed sharp-eared dog trotted in, went up to a table and
2019-05-25 14:30:16
ajatwater

0

“A Hand for Scale”

I know from experience that there are beetles the size of my palm. The experience: a failed honeymoon in Brazil. Joe
2019-05-24 10:01:07
norabonner

0

“Doc Oils”

  Bolinas Seventies – 48 clicks by ‘Nam talk but a time warp from civilization which refugees’re ra
2019-05-22 11:14:19
gsarnat

0

About Laura Wilson

Laura is from NJ which means she is genetically predisposed to big hair and has a predilection for pork roll. She got her Masters at Harvard University and married her high school sweetheart. She was a high school history teacher for several years before leaving the workforce to care for her two children, Bella and Jake, both of whom are on the autism spectrum. She lives in Reading, MA and is currently eating a pork roll sandwich.



WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com