The Mercy of Silence
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Arabella was sixteen. She had her whole life ahead of her, yet in an instant it had been ripped away from her and tossed, crumpled, in the garbage.

It had been raining, and her brother was late to pick her up from cheerleading practice. She’d stood waiting in the storm for over an hour before he had finally pulled up and she’d gotten into the back of his beat up Chevy.

“Air, try not to drip all over my seats.” He’d scolded, his friend chuckling from the passenger seat.

“Yeah, okay.”

“Don’t give me attitude.” He scolded over his shoulder, the alcohol on his breath wafting into her face.

“Travis, stop the car.”


“Just do it.”

“No, Dad sent me to pick you up. I’m...

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