Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The class applauded at the end of her speech and she returned to her seat, feeling confident she'd done well. She made only two mistakes, and they were likely noticeable only to herself. There was a lot of effort and rehearsing put into that speech. She sat through the rest of her public speaking class with mild interest - she resented having to take such a course given her academic plans, but she enjoyed learning either way.

She was going to be a vet. And using this as a springboard, she was going to do great things. Maybe inspire an animal rights reform. Maybe research astrobiology and Mars. She wasn't sure what she wanted to do exactly, but she knew she wanted to do things.

Class ended and she stepped out into the November air, cool and thin, carrying the faint smell of rotting Halloween pumpkins and decaying leaves. She fastened her coat and mounted her bike, and as she rode home she ran through her schedule in the front of her mind. I am going to go home, start dinner, take my dog to the park, and then study chemistry until my brain leaks out my ears. Maybe I'll even have time to practice the violin or watch a movie with Daniel.

But then a dull pain throbbed in her lower abdomen. Almost forgot about that. Pharmacy, then dinner, Fort, and study. Not too much of a hassle, it was on the way anyhow.

Halfway there she swerved to avoid a car and hit a pothole. Suddenly her bike was handling quite funny. She braked and dismounted to find that he back tire had gone flat. Pharmacy, then bike shop, then dinner, the park, and studying.

But wait, that's too late to take Fort out. And I still have to go to the pet store before eight. Shoot.

The entire way home she was preoccupied with these events, trying to arrange them in a suitable manner. She walked in her front door with a bike that was still flat. She greeted her dog cheerfully but was distracted by other things.

She walked up the stairs, still thinking of other things to be done, when suddenly her very enthusiastic dog bounded up behind her and ascended the stairs by weaving through her legs. She was thrown off balance, and tumbled head over heels down a very steep, narrow staircase. On the second landing her head hit the wall in such a way that her neck snapped, and she died almost immediately.

"But I have so much to do."

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