Patrick C. Crowell
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The young woman’s legs were long, lean and sinewy from hours upon hours of aerobic repetition. Streamlined and tanned, sensuous lines would appear in her smooth calves and thighs with every flirtatious step that she would take, especially whenever she had worn a miniskirt and high heels, sans stockings, driving men—even some women—totally wild. She had known this, and had used it.
By now, she had lived twenty-eight years, growing up in Alabama under the Christian tutelage of a father that she didn’t understand. He had always professed his love for her, but his actions had never shown it. There had never been time for her, especially through her gangly years; and each occasion when he had cheated on her obsequious mother, she had internalized his infidelity as continued rejection of herself from the very first member of the opposite sex whom she had ever loved. She wasn’t good enough for daddy.
During her high school years, she had found alternative meaning through the sport of rowing. She was tall—an attribute that, when combined with technique and strength, makes a solid rower. Add intense desire to show someone something, and the athlete becomes perfect. These traits had led to an athletic scholarship.

In college, she had blossomed when her complexion finally cleared and her five-foot, ten-inch form finally matured; and she soon discovered that she could indeed attract men, regardless of the deep implications of her father’s unfaithfulness. She had learned that she didn’t have to be just an athlete, and that she could be as stunning as a princess, or as sexy as a harlot.
But the cognition misguided her like an opiate, and it wasn’t enough to attract a man, or even just men; through her twenties she had craved her own attractiveness for any person, of any gender, who would notice.
Her healthful routines had not changed, however, after college, and she religiously maintained her perfectly sculpted body through rowing and weight training. After all, in her mind, it was what had created and nurtured her belated comeliness.

Those who beheld her, saw that her long, chestnut-brown hair was fine, straight and shiny. With round, russet eyes, her modest, retiring demeanor contrasted her well-known physical ferocity in a rowing boat; she was an intriguing mystery. Those she allowed close enough had discovered that she was a follower; and during this time, she had been led by differing persons down divergent paths, all, however, with one thing in common—carnal desire for her extreme beauty.

But here and now, her model-like physique was no longer flawless. Though she was adorned in a tight, lime-green mini-dress, and spiked heels that could stop traffic, her lips were swollen and cut, and her ankle was snapped in two. As she laid there in the dark—motionless—her contorted body was stiffening within a puddle of rich, murky blood. The sanguine fluid had streamed from severed muscle tissues about her now visible shoulder-bone, where her arm used to be. It pooled with the vital fluids from her lifeless head, which had been impaled through her temple by an unforgiving piece of pointed ride-steel.



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