View Past the Edge of Night
Sara scanned into the distance just over the edge of the cliff. “You were right,” she said. “The view is amazing. I can’t believe we never came out this way before.”
“Zack told me about it last week. Told him I was looking for something different,” Jane said. She flipped out the blanket and spread it over the ground. “Can you get the picnic basket out of the backseat?”
“What?” Sara glanced at Jane from the edge of the cliff. “Oh, right.” She looked back over the edge before she walked back to the car. “Did you remember to pack a bottle of wine?”
“Yes, I packed it in the trunk,” Jane said. She maneuvered herself between the trunk and Sara. “Don’t you worry, I can get it.” She pressed the trunk release on the key fob and leaned deep into the car’s trunk.
Sara watched Jane’s hind quarters sway as she rooted around inside the trunk. It would be so easy, she thought. Slam the trunk lid down and snap her spine. Sara shivered with a cold chill. “Where did that come from?” she said.
Jane pulled out of the trunk with a two wine bottles in her hands. “What?” Her gaze traced the outline of Sara’s face.
“Nothing, I don’t know what that was at all. Just a strange random thought.” She reached into the backseat and grabbed the picnic basket. “This is a beautiful place for a picnic. I’m glad you found out about it.” Sara set the basket down at the far edge of the blanket to hold it down from the wind.
“Me too, we never seem to get out enough anymore,” Jane said, then looked out over the edge of the cliff. “I can’t believe we never knew about this place.”
Sara drew plastic wine glasses out of the picnic basket. The edge of a glass caught her eyes with a flash of sunlight. Though plastic the edge could cut through flesh. It would take effort on her part but still, she could rip Jane’s throat out with enough pressure at the right angle.
“Hold it straight so I can fill it,” Jane said. She unscrewed the bottle’s cap and held it up toward Sara’s glass.
“What’s with you?” Jane said. “You’re miles away. I keep losing you.”
Sara held the glass under her nose and inhaled the wine’s bouquet. Fresh plum and a hint of raspberry, there was a complexity in the nose she hadn’t expected from cheap table wine. She took some in her mouth and let the warm red play with her taste buds. A hint of copper mixed with the berries and plums of the nose, a thickness she expected Jane’s blood would have when sipped from the same glass. Jane stared openly at her. Her eyes followed the glass from Sara’s lips and then down to the ground again. “I guess I’ve had a lot on my mind lately.”
Jane swirled the wine in her glass and held it to her nose, but she didn’t take a drink. “I’ve noticed,” she said. “We used to spend more time together. It’s been such a battle to get free time. More wine?”
“Yes, please.” Sara emptied the boxes out of the picnic basket. “What else do you have hidden in here?”
“A little of this, a little of that, mostly stuff that will go great with the wine. I had Abner’s put together a little package of cheese’s and fruits that are perfect with this vintage.”
“I can’t believe how good this is. You picked it up at Abner’s?” Sara emptied her glass and then opened the boxes.
“Oh have some more,” Jane said, as she refilled Sara’s glass. She set the bottle down and spread some warm Brie on a toast point.
Sara slanted to the side. Not necessarily falling down, but slanted. “This really is great wine,” she said. “Where did you say you picked it up?” She slammed the entire glass and held it out for Jane to refill.
“Abner’s, you know, where Zack works,” Jane said.
“Ya, I like that place,” Sara said. “Zack is pretty cool. He always treats me nice when I visit the store.”
“Really, I didn’t know you ever went out to the store,” Jane said. “And you saw Zack when you went out there? Do tell, did he give you the special tour?” She topped off Sara’s glass. “Drink up, we really should finish this bottle off. I have another one for us to get into as well.”
Sara’s eyes dilated and crossed, as she looked sideways at her glass of wine. “This stuff has a kick,” she said. “Do you feel warm?”
“It is a warm day,” Jane said. “So what did Zack show you when you went out to the store?”
“Nothing really,” Sara said. “Well, there was this one time.” Her gaze traveled around Jane then settled on the top of her head. “This one time he took me to the roof.” Her cheeks burned with a red intensity. “But I probably shouldn’t tell you about all that.”
“Oh, please, do tell,” Jane said. “You can tell me. I am good at keeping secrets.”
Sara put a finger to her lips and blew air around it, a caricature of the intended effect. “We had sex on the roof. It wasn’t magical or nothing but it was fun on the roof.” She looked past Jane’s shoulder and over the cliff, then brought her gaze back to Jane’s forehead. “Come to think of it he was a bit bad actually.”
“I heard you might have laughed at him,” Jane said. She poured more wine into Sara’s glass.
“Thanks,” Sara said. “Oh ya, Tha’s righ. He shot in hid pans.”
“Did you know he had a girlfriend?”
Sara sat up straight, then slumped slightly forward. “He never says anythin.”
“I’m not blaming you,” Jane said. “This wasn’t his first time.”
“It was you?” Sara said. She tipped her cup and spilled wine on her lap. “I didn’ know! I am so sorry.”
“No you’re not,” Jane said. She stood up and walked over to the car. “We haven’t gotten along for a while. Don’t think I didn’t notice. Some people say it’s drifting apart, but I know, oh how I know. This was something more than that. You seduced Zack.”
Sara attempted to stand but her legs had grown numb from the wine. They didn’t respond as her brain commanded. She fell forward with her legs crossed behind her. “You never loved him,” she said.
“Love, that was never the point really,” Jane said. “You just couldn’t keep your hands off of him.” She pulled a bat from the trunk of the car. “I couldn’t just sit by and let you take what’s mine now could I?”
“Don’t be crazy,” Sara said. Her mind began to clear with adrenaline but her body refused to respond to her commands. She scrambled on all fours away from Jane, at least until she came to the edge of the cliff. “We used to be friends.” Sara pleaded on her knees.
“Used to be,” Jane said. She swung the bat, smacked into the side of Sara’s head. A second blow knocked Sara over the side of the cliff. “We used to be…”
She tossed the bat over the edge and then walked back to the trunk of the car. “This is going to be the hard part,” she said. She pulled at the legs of the dead man as she struggled to pull him out of the car’s trunk.
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