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by Paul Curtis

Word got to me that she was killed when she fell off the bell tower. Devastated, I moved on immediately to someone else. She was blonde too. She liked to steal things.

On the drive out of town I asked her if she had seen Vertigo.

“No, but I love Psycho.” I nodded and carried on staring out at the road, both hands on the wheel. She was knifed to death in the shower that night. They found her a few days later in a car at the bottom of a lake. A tragedy.

On the way back into town I got another lift. She was blonde, and made comments about my dusty clothes and wet shoes. I didn’t have any money so she invited me up to her flat to use the shower. When I finished, I redressed and joined her in the living room. I sat down in an armchair and she handed me a cup of tea. I sipped the tea and put it down on the ring stained table and looked into her face.

“Have you seen Vertigo?” She said that she hadn’t, but she’d seen Rear Window. I nodded and looked back at the rings on the table again. She was found in the flowerbed underneath her window. That wasn’t for a few days though. Shame really.

My footprints followed me to the end of the street where I was cloaked in the shadow of the bell tower. I looked up at a figure silhouetted against the sunset at the very top. It couldn’t be her, could it?

I dropped the spade and ran to the church and up the stairs. There she was. It was her. Same blonde hair. She had faked her death to avoid me. I’d never actually seen her fall so I couldn’t argue. I asked her if she had seen Vertigo, and she had. I took a step forward to embrace her and she took a step back. This time she definitely fell off. Onto a birdbath by the looks of it, it might be a sundial though, I can’t really tell from up here. It’s dark now and the bells have started ringing.

Paul Curtis graduated from Edge Hill University in 2017. He has been published in Occulum and his Twitter handle is @PaulCurtis11.