A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.
By Alannah Castor
She smoothed her gossamer hair down with one milky hand. Her profile gleamed in the moonlight, casting a luminous glow, like a faerie or an angel. She felt far from angelic. A bead of sweat trickled down her ashen forehead, joining a small stream that careened off the end of her nose and splashed somewhere unheard in the dark mud below. Thunder cracked in the distance. Startled by the sound, Elandra jumped and turned. No one met her gaze. Only the thickness of forest greeted her as if to say, “We grant you shelter.”
“Better make this quick,” she muttered to herself. Her white nightgown ﬂ uttered gently in the night breeze. It was getting colder and rain seemed imminent. She gathered her strength and grabbed hold of the gargantuan duffel bag once more. It left a muddy canal as she dragged it into the thicket.
Elandra gazed forlornly at the bag that held her departed love. She gingerly lifted a heavy-duty shovel from the interior, taking caution not to view the other contents. Her mind wandered as she began to dig…
He was always the kind sort. Not one to fuss or fight, Toby had not only been her true love, but he was also her best friend. When Elandra felt down, Toby rushed to her side to make her feel better. She remembered the way he kept her warm on all those harsh winter nights. Toby had been so loving, but lately, things had changed. When Elandra came home in the evenings, he didn’t greet her the same way. He seemed distant, like someone altogether different. Then one night, it happened.
Elandra had been out late working, and Toby just lost it. She saw his violent streak that night; it left her with eight stitches. She hoped that after some counseling things might change, but they just got worse. That’s how she ended up in the woods, digging his grave.
It was a night much like any other night, Elandra got home late from the office. The house was quiet and she assumed Toby had already gone to sleep. She quietly dressed for bed, then padded into the kitchen for a glass of water. It was there he cornered her, a menacing look in his eye.
“Toby, what are you doing?”, her eyes searched his for an answer. The madness she saw there was her only reply. He lunged at her- she toppled backward. Desperate for him to stop, Elandra grabbed the first thing she saw on her way down, an oldfashioned potato peeler. When he dived at her again, Elandra shoved the peeler in Toby’s neck. The look of surprise on his features broke her heart as he fell to the ﬂoor, dead.
Elandra cried out into the night once more as she replayed the scene in her mind for the hundredth time. Tears began to stream from the corners of her eyes, joining the rivulets of sweat coursing down her pale, smooth face. She pulled the black bag into the shallow hole she had dug. She peered inside it. “Goodbye, Toby,” she whispered, running her hand through his thick fur once more. “You were the best pet a girl could have.” With that, she filled the hole back in and drove off into the stormy night.