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The Fallen Girl

Marge Simon lives in Ocala, Florida. She has won three Bram Stoker Awards, Rhysling Awards for Best Long and Best Short Fiction, the Elgin, Dwarf Stars, and Strange Horizons Readers' Award. Marge's poems and stories have appeared in Blade, Bete Noire, Urban Fantasist, Daily Science Fiction, YOU, HUMAN, CHIRAL MAD 2,3,4, and THE BEAUTY OF DEATH 1,2 --to name a few. She attends the ICFA annually as a guest poet/writer and is on the board of the Speculative Literary Foundation.
Since her untimely birth in the Brothels of Lemorrah, she was mothered by many, daughter of none. The city spawned more children than the poor could afford. Boys were sent to work the streets; young girls to Lemorrah. She'd witnessed them be broken in for service. When it came her turn, she was the only one who didn't cry.
Her name doesn't matter. She's barely seventeen but she looks much older. In the forests surrounding Lemorrah there is a glade that she visits when she is depressed. This time, she thinks of suicide, for she's obtained a knife.
An evening breeze condensed with messages. Would that she were free to follow the moonlight out of this place.
A man approaches from the shadows. His robes are priestly, his demeanor condescending.
"What are you doing here, little sister? Do you await a customer?"
"I'm quite done with customers, Vicar. I can't go back to that."
"How about me, little sister? he smirks, loosening his robe. "Will you not make an exception, on the house?"
Smiling, she stands up. "You are indeed an exception, Vicar, as you've always been," she says, fingering the blade within her pocket.
After it is done, she cleans her knife. To her surprise, the moonlight reflecting off the blade reveals a new path she hasn't noticed before. Smiling, she looks up to the sky and nods her head.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, August 9th, 2018


I usually don't write this kind of fantasy, but this story was inspired by a visual prompt of a young woman in the woods with her head down and her body language signaling despair. I put the rest of it together from imagining why she was there by herself and what could make her so utterly sad--as if beyond hope.

- Marge Simon
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