A Murderer Takes a Stroll on the Black Sand Beach

Flash fiction by Gessy Alvarez

A child runs. Charging forward. Laughing, holding a red ball, running as if she’s committed a theft. Pigeons fly out of her way, short legs in motion, tips of toes touching pavement. Strangers taking a stroll along the waterfront give way. She runs straight towards me, and I want to bend down and scoop her up. Thank her for showing me pure joy. A joy where nothing else matters but the present pleasure like the first time you saw the ocean or tasted an ice cream cone. Pleasure uninterrupted by thoughts and fears. I no longer feel this unadulterated joy. I fear something will be taken from me.