She struck a match, and breathed in the poison.  She pulled it into her lungs, languidly.  She released the smoke in a steady, hazy stream.  No one would have guessed it was her first cigarette, held between her fingers like a question.  She was making an impression.  When he came out the door, he was impressed.

“What you got there, Sadie?” He was casual.  Her last foster father would have knocked it out of her hand and sent her away, praying.  Interesting, she thought.

“Can I bum one off of you?”

She shrugged, and offered him the pack.  She had stolen it off her social worker, anyway. 

“So.” He took a drag.  “You’re fifteen?” 

She nodded.

“You’re very pretty,” he reached for her arm, stroking it gently.

She froze, stomach twisting.  Sensing her hesitation, he moved, pushing her against the fence, mouth against her neck.  She could feel the heat of his breath, the slide of his tongue.  She struggled against him for a second, but he was so much bigger, so much stronger.  She was just a girl; a girl who had jumped from foster home to foster home, a girl who was always prepared.

When the cigarette sizzled against his skin, when her knife flipped open like lipstick, when it sliced into him like butter.

Her social worker had tried to infect her with a sense of hope, a sense of a future, but she knew better.  She knew what men were like, she knew what humans were like, and she knew she liked them better when they weren’t.  The consequences of her actions would be steep.  He screamed on the ground, clutching the hole between his legs.  It was his word against hers, and she didn’t have the faintest hope that faith would fall on her side. 

But she didn't run.  Either way, she was already in the fire.  Here, there- it didn't matter.  It didn't matter at all.

When asked if she knew how to use a knife, Sadie answered yes.

1: to contaminate with a disease-producing substance or agent (as bacteria)
2a : to communicate a pathogen or a disease to
  b : of a pathogenic organism : to invade (an individual or organ) usually by penetration
  c : of a computer virus : to become transmitted and copied to (as a computer)
3a : contaminate, corrupt <the inflated writing that infects such stories>  
  b : to work upon or seize upon so as to induce sympathy, belief, or support <trying to infect their salespeople with their enthusiasm>


  1. I love the imagery of her knife opening like lipstick. Beautiful (and super tough).

  2. scary story, oh how much easier it is to corrupt a young soul with abuse that to infect good thoughts. This is brilliant story telling that unfortunately sounds realistic

    1. It is very sad. Thank you so much for your kind words. Luckily, it's all fiction.

  3. This story took a chilling turn. It's sad that someone so young would need to be so prepared.

  4. Sad that her future and any potential hope are corrupted by him - although he won't be corrupting anybody else...

  5. Too many hard lessons, learned too young.
    Well written!

  6. I liked the part where you mentioned her knife opening like a lipstick, most.

  7. Whew, life's made her tough and then some. Nice descriptions, and an especially good job slowly revealing her character.

  8. Well written and painfully real

  9. This is intense and so good, although I worry about what brought her to such a state.

  10. This is some really strong writing. I love the progression in this sentence: "She was just a girl; a girl who had jumped from foster home to foster home, a girl who was always prepared." It completely transforms the reader's view of her.

  11. Sounds like she's being recruited in the end. Tough cookie.

  12. Great word choices and imagery, this story was very vivid and easy to see.

  13. Very gripping yet sad are who you choose to be when the world isn't watching...most men are waiting for chances like these when no one is seeing...good answer to them.