all is fair

Wind chimes sung as a soft summer breeze passed. The swimming pool was glistening under the blazing sun like thousands of diamonds. Two redwoods stood their ground tall and strong. Aria and Erin sat on a steel swing eating slices of watermelon to help maintain some cool.

The two were close.

Aria’s mother had left the house leaving it large and bare for the girls to do whatever. She trusted Erin since she had come over so often. It seemed that there was almost nothing wrong with their relationship. Flawless even.

Erin slurped on her watermelon as a drop of juice ran down her chin and fell on to her leg.

“Oh,” Aria noticed. “Should I get you a paper towel or something? I can just run into the house and get it for you.”

“No there’s no need for that,” Erin replied. Both ends of her lips curled upwards in a powerful smile. “Thanks, though.”

Erin stood up suddenly and in such a way that the swing swung backwards a little too strong. Aria jumped at the abrupt movement and giggled.

“What do you say?” Erin asked looking off into some distance.

“Say what?” Aria inquired back trying to look at what Erin was looking at. But all there was was a wooden fence that separate her from her neighbors.

Feet pivoted against the stone ground. Erin faced Aria with a mischievous smile before saying, “We go for a little dip.”

“Sure, you can borrow one of my swimsuits,” Aria offered. “I’ll go get it from my room.”

“You’re no fun!” Erin exclaimed. “Let’s just jump!”

“With our clothes on?”

“Jesus! Are you dumb or something? No clothes.”

“You want to go skinny dipping in the middle of daylight?”

Erin was a strange girl, but something drew Aria towards her. She listened. Aria slipped out of her yellow spaghetti strapped tank top and white shorts. Unhooked her bra and slipped out of her underwear. Once she was done she found that Erin was two steps ahead of her and already in the pool.

“C’mon slowpoke!” Erin called. “The water feels great.”

Aria threw her clothes into a pile that had already been started by Erin herself. Then she jumped. The water was cold and seemed to slide effortlessly against her skin as she pushed herself up to the surface.

“Well what do you have to say for yourself?” Erin almost mocked.

Aria rolled her eyes. “Sorry for not thinking this would be kind of nice.”

“Did you just roll your eyes at me?” Erin snapped.

“I was just joking,” Aria defended surprised at her friend’s attitude. “Sorry if I made you upset.” Erin was being childish and immature, but Aria wouldn’t say anything. How could she?

“It’s fine,” Erin said. “Let’s play a game. Marco Polo. And you’re Marco.”

“Marco Polo with only two people?”

Erin glared immediately causing Aria to close her eyes. Satisfied, Erin swam away. Aria counted to a random number making sure Erin got enough time to distance herself.

“Marco,” Aria said clearly.

Then from behind Aria’s ear she heard Erin’s voice, “Polo.” Aria opened her eyes for the last time as chlorinated water flooded her vision. Hands wrapped around her neck and long nude nails dug deep into her throat.

Funny how even though you know you can’t breathe underwater, you still try.

Erin dragged Aria’s limp, naked body out of the water and pulled it to the wooden fence. She tentatively knocked against barrier with her knuckles.

“I-I did it!” Erin almost stuttered. “A clean death!”

But no reply came. Erin just stared at a blank fence as she shivered in her spot. Nothing was there.

“I’m sorry.”

-A.J.C.

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all is fair

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