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In most tales, there is a clear story. A beginning, a middle and an end.

The villain is clear and set in stone, and there can be no justification

made for their actions. The boy gets the girl, and they all live happily

ever after. In most stories, the villain and the victim both agree on

what actually happened.

But that’s not how this story goes.

“For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none

to save her.”

Deuteronomy 22:25

An hour after it happened, she remembers taking a shower. Later

they told her that was stupid, she didn’t really care though. She just

wanted to feel clean, but the water doesn’t help, you know that right?

Maybe it washes away his touch, but it doesn’t do much about the

shame. It might work to make her look clean, but I don’t think she’ll

be able to feel clean ever again. All the water really does, is create a

secret, between her and him.

An hour after it happened, he remembers laughing with friends.

Laughing at some joke, like it actually mattered. He remembers

going back to the party, and having another drink. He didn’t feel

guilty though, he didn’t know he’d done anything wrong. In fact, he

wasn’t thinking about what had happened at all, he had a science

test coming up and he was worried.

A day after it happened, she goes to the police station,

embarrassed and ashamed. They tell her that she was asking for it,

that she shouldn’t have drunk so much, that she shouldn’t have

worn such a short dress. They ask for a follow up statement anyway.

She doesn’t go back.

A day after it happened, he wakes up with a raging headache and

nausea from his hangover.

He wasn’t the only one that threw up that day.

He remembers it differently, of course he does, we’re rarely the

villain in the stories we tell ourselves. He remembers a pretty girl,

with a short dress and a painted mouth, the Juliet to his Romeo. I

suppose he also remembered it as a game, and that that time, he

won. In this story that he tells himself, he is not the villain. He

remembers making love in an alleyway, and feeling quiet elation.

He doesn’t boast about it though, he isn’t that kind of person. And

No End

Laura Flood

Isobelle Carmody Award

For Creative Writing

Highly Commended