Lost Souls

Three Simple Words

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Three Simple Words

by Cornelius Fortune

He waited to hear the three words: three simple words. Three simple words would make his life so much easier. Three simple words would cure his ailment. Three simple words were all he would ever need in this lifetime. But they never came; not once. Only the eyes revealed what wouldn’t be said aloud. The little girl uttered not a word; she left him hanging and watched as the reverend read his last rites. They all stared at him. The little girl’s father held her shoulders so tightly she winced. A smirk crossed her father’s face. Then the rope tightened. Three simple words and he wouldn’t have had to scream at them, cursing God, insulting the stupidity of the town’s people. The corpse of the girl’s dead mother was overhead, leaking onto him, a slow torture devised to remind him of what he hadn’t done. He waited to hear three simple words: “It wasn’t him,” but he heard nothing but the snap of his neck and that was all. Three simple words would have saved him.

Copyright Cornelius Fortune 2006

Cornelius Fortune’s stories and poems have appeared in Tales of the Unanticipated, Nuvein, Dark Fire Fiction, Dreams of Decadence, and others. He is the author of Stories from Arlington, and resides in Michigan. Contact him at arlingtonbooks@yahoo.com or visit www.storiesfromarlington.com

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