Fiction

The Gray Girls

A short story by five authors.

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“Hey listen up, fucker! This is the voice of the Gray Girls. You better stop running or we’ll push you under a bus!”

Her voice carried through the darkness. The desperate crunching sound of running footsteps was becoming harder to follow. He was getting away.

“We should have ripped off his shoes,” Bettina said. “Isn’t it nice when their feet get bloody, and we can lick it off.” When Bettina asked a question, it never sounded like a question.

“FUUUUUCKAH!” Leslie screamed, throwing her head back like a wild dog. The sky above was cloudless, filled with stars. This was bad luck. The Gray Girls preferred hunting under thick clouds. They liked capturing their victims at the first light of morning, just as sky at the horizon changed from coal to gray.

Shannon scanned the forest. Her eyes were like two raisins pressed into a blob of pale dough. “He went that way,” she said, pointing. “But the other one went that way. We should split up. Me and Leslie will get the purple dude, you three get the handsome one.”

“Dad said to stay together,” Mary Kelly said. She was always sucking up to Dad and trying to be his favorite.

Shannon scowled. “Dad said, Dad said! Who cares what Dad said! Dad would be starving if it weren’t for us. We hunt all night long while he organizes his Niagara Falls postcard collection. I say we can do whatever we want.”

“I want to get the handsome one,” Leslie argued. “I want to kiss him. I deserve him!” Leslie thought she deserved everything.

“The handsome one is slower,” Shannon said, always practical. “Let the little ones get him.”

“I’m tiiiiiired!” Jenny, the youngest, whined. “And I want a snack! And I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Do you ever pee while you run,” Bettina asked, in her weird non-question-asking way. “It’s gross but kind of incredible. All your muscles relax and you can actually run faster. But then the pee gets cold and smelly.”

“Bettina you are disgusting,” said Shannon. She lifted her head to the stars. They shouldn’t have come out tonight. But they were hungry, and Dad was hungry, and there hadn’t been a handsome one in ages, and all of them wanted the other man’s purple coat. It was the prettiest shade of lilac, almost ash. They would treasure it forever and take turns wearing it. The five sisters shared everything, especially clothes and food.

“You may as well stop running, you foolish fucks!” Leslie shouted into the night. “You’re DEAD MEAT! Just relax and let us catch you!”

“Shhh, be quiet,” Shannon said. “Listen.”

And that’s when they realized that it was mostly silent. No footsteps. Only a heckling breeze that swished the leaves.

They’d lost them. Two men! The Gray Girls were getting careless.

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