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The Spotlight

"The Spotlight is where we preserve our past, celebrate our present, and encourage our future contributors."

-CSUDH English Graduate Association

  • Writer's picturecsudhega

Girl. 2020

By Tony M. Smith |


She was not shivering.

Luckily, he did not crash. Luckily.

Speeding…it was the sight of her that removed him from behind the wheel and placed him in a cold museum; a painting, she was.

The kind of painting that could kill Basil Hallward.

The middle of winter. It was that period in Los Angeles when although the day could reach 80, to sleep without socks at night meant a sore throat in the morning. Her mild case of a season was a punishment and a confusion to her own children.

Hoodies and swim trunks. Hoodies and damn swim trunks, they wore though.

But he did not expect to see her there, in front of the abandoned park. Gated off since the cops said it was a “No-Go Zone.” Next to the tennis courts that lost the war with the weeds. That park.

She should have been wrapped in a huge coat with the fur stuff around the neck part.

It was cold that day.

Though she was not shivering.

The wind pushing the palm trees back and forth waving to the smog.

An empty Cheetos bag bounced against the dirt.

Her eyes were hidden behind huge sunglasses that kind of just floated around her face. She was wearing a thin white V-neck that lifted in the breeze exposing a belly that could make a guy want to just … digress …

Red peeking at him underneath her frayed denim shorts …

She was not supposed to be there. Not like that. Who placed her there!?

Her toes playing musical notes in her sandals. Sandals!

Dante’s hell. That’s what it felt like. Where the devil was.

Though she was not shivering.

And luckily, he did not crash.

One of her hands was holding a diamond studded leash. The end of the leash was connected to a tiny, fluffy, silky-looking dog.

She exhaled.

He slowed as smoke drifted from her mouth and lingered around her hair like a halo made of a billion stars.

She looked in the opposite direction as if she heard a familiar voice call to her.

But there was no one there.



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