Annie On Writing

June 22, 2016

It Would Be a Waste by Wondra Vanian

Filed under: Twisted Tales,Writing Tools — Annie Evett @ 2:10 pm
Mikhail watched the girl on the ledge. She had been there for some time, crying and staring hopelessly into the dark water below. Several times already, the girl had leaned dangerously forward, then thrown herself back against the railing at the last moment.

He wondered what it was that kept her from taking the plunge.

”Excuse me,” Mikhail said as he approached the girl. She started and her foot slipped on the icy concrete, making her scramble frantically for the railing behind her.

He held out his hands in the universal sign for ”I mean you no harm.”

”I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

The girl’s red-rimmed eyes were wide and wild.

”Who are you,” she demanded, watching him warily. Her fingers tightened around the rungs of the railing. ”What do you want? Get away from me!”

Mikhail noticed that the girl was sweating, despite the cold of the night. Her eyes darted from him to the water and back again. He ignored her and took a step forward.

”Stop! I’ll jump – I mean it!”

Her knuckles were white on the iron bar, making Mikhail believe that, contrary to what she said, the girl was looking for a reason not to jump.

”I won’t come any closer,” he said, hefting himself over the barrier so that he was on the ledge with her. ”I just want to talk.”

She sidled sideways, inching a step away.

”I don’t want to talk.”

”I don’t believe you,” he said. ”I think you need to talk. What’s your name?”


”Hi, Sandy,” Mikhail said. He cast a quick glance downward. Two hundred feet, at least.

”My name is Mikhail. I’d love to talk to you, if you don’t mind. Can we talk?”

His voice was even, soothing. Sandy stared at him hard before answering.

”As long as you don’t come any closer.”

Mikhail nodded his acceptance of the girl’s terms.

”Why don’t we start with why you’re standing on this dirty, old bridge in the middle of the night, in January? Is someone waiting at home for you? I bet they’re worried.”

Sandy laughed but it was a choked, humorless sound.

”Please,” she said derisively. ”No one gives a damn about me. My dad took off years ago and my mom is too cracked out to remember she has a daughter, much less wonder where she is.”

Mikhail frowned. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have children, he thought.

”What about your friends? Surely one of them is missing you? Maybe a boyfriend?”

Fresh tears streamed down the girl’s cheeks as she shook her head.

”Had. I had a boyfriend – until I walked into his apartment this morning and found him fucking my best friend.”

Mikhail didn’t try to stop the sigh that escaped him. Disappointing.

”A boy? You’re willing to die over as something as inconsequential as a boy?”

His words were harsher than they needed to be but Mikhail couldn’t help himself. The stupid things that people were willing to toss their lives away over…

”You have the gift of life rushing through your veins, giving you every opportunity in the world, but you’re willing to throw it away over a silly little relationship? With all the relationships that the future could hold for you?”

Mikhail’s voice was rising angrily. He shook his head.

”What a waste.”

With one last look of disgust, he climbed back over the barrier.

He stood, his back to Sandy, and let the brisk night wind drive his anger away, cooling his thoughts. One day, he told himself, I’ll stop letting stupid little girls get to me.

A hand came to rest on his arm. When Mikhail looked up, he found Sandy standing next to him, her eyes full of comprehension, rather than tears. She’d climbed over the barrier after him.

”I think,” she said hesitantly, ”that I understand. I mean… if he was willing to cheat on me with my best friend, neither of them were worth it, right?”

Mikhail blinked slowly. Nearly laughing out loud, he shook his head.

”Oh, that’s not the point I was trying to make. Not at all.”

Confusion crossed her tear-stained face.

”I don’t-”

”I only meant that it would be a waste to throw yourself into the ocean… especially when I’m so very hungry this evening.”

The girl had only a brief glimpse of sharp teeth in the darkness before Mikhail lunged for her throat.



  1. Surpring, like a plunge into the icy ocean waters. This short moment in time is immediate as well as significant, hooking you from start to unexpected finish.


    Comment by seekingroadslesstraveled — June 23, 2016 @ 1:19 am | Reply

  2. So he basically went out for take-out, didn’t he?☺


    Comment by ganymeder — June 26, 2016 @ 11:34 am | Reply

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