The Bill

Anna Foran

The sisters had worked all day in the blueberry fields and were given five dollar bills to show for it. When the sun set they lined up to receive their bills, fingers purple, before hitching a ride to their village on the back of a truck. The track rattled along, and the sisters sat admiring their bills, taking pains not to stain them. One of the sisters stood up in triumph and waved her bill at the setting sun. By now the truck crossed a bridge, rattling along, and when it hit a bump the sister lurched and the bill was released, into the air and down towards a river below them. When the sister saw she hesitated not a moment before jumping off the moving truck, off the side of the bridge, into the water. It was a scream, and then a crack, that made the truck driver go skidding to a stop. It was a drawn-out silence that made the other sisters wonder whether their sister would survive, the bill too. Long seconds passed and in that stretch a crow let out a startling caw. And then the flash of a hand, purple, lips purple with cold, a small girl waving her bill from a slit in a dark river.


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