North Star by Tammy Breitweiser

Demons are not effective unless they can be cryptic with their daily abuse. Purple stars appear as body constellations. She battles with rage and angst. Do not utter the words that squirm just under the skin. Her only recourse is band aids of medication named Jack and Patron who yield fewer calories than other numbing liquids.

Star’s excuse is buying a doll for a friend to add to her collection. She fills her glass with more tequila from the decanter on the table. It is smooth but does not cover the bruises. Those are harder to mask. A glance at the clock shows just enough time to make it.

Every second she is afraid the emergency broadcast system will announce her escape to him. A conspiracy to rat her out. But she remembers it is only winter and he doesn’t have that much power. She is dramatic and dares a smile in the rearview mirror.

Her car starts over the bridge. The Prius slides past the ICE ON BRIDGE sign and twists. The passenger side is leading the way forward until it hits the barrier. The water is frozen.

She is going to die.

A sigh of relief comes as the purple star ornament leans from its perch. The physical manifestation to remind her to keep focus. As the frozen water slams into her cheekbone her flavorless gum flies out of her mouth as the passenger door comes toward her with the next wave. Freedom.

Tammy Breitweiser is a writer and teacher who is a force of nature; accidental inspirationalist; keeper of the little red doors, and conjurer of everyday magic who is busy writing short stories. Her poetry has been published in The Storyteller Magazine and her flash fiction in The Ninja Writers Monthly. Her essay is published in the I Wrote it Anyway anthology. Connect with Tammy through Twitter @TLBREIT or Instagram @runnertammyz

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