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"There are some that you simply can not reach."

Ytte Skovlund's picture
Submission type:



There are some that you simply can not reach.”


Ytte washed gently the body of the girl, almost reverently. Closing the eyes and doing her best to place the once protruding tongue behind the blued lips, behind the broken teeth. She carefully applied foundation to cover the still not insignificant bruising on her thighs

The girl looked barely seventeen. It seemed a colossal waste of a barely started life.


Throughout, Hyle sat on the rough chair in the opposite corner of the room in silence. She absent-mindedly ran the ripped sheets that the girl had used to end her life through her fingers. Her gaze was fixed in the middle distance somewhere between herself and Ytte.


Ytte paused occasionally to add a few notes to the report which sat on a clipboard in the edge of the table upon which the corpse was laid out.


Not much had been learned of the girl’s past. Her more recent history could be gleaned from the evidence on her body. The bruised wrists, where she had been bound, the pinprick holes above the veins of her arm where she had been subdued chemically into drugged compliance. The fist sized patches of discolourment about her torso and face. The thumb marks on her neck, almost but not quite covered by the weals left by the fabric which Hyle now help limply in her hands.


Hyle heaved a sigh and went to stand by the window. Outside the sun shone, the spring flowers sought the warm rays and exploded into colour. One or two girls tended the flower patch. One or two of the successes.


Behind her, Ytte finally folded the long white sheet around the body in preparation for collection, to be taken to her last resting place.


Ytte stood beside Hyle and squeezed her shoulder gently. “We did the best we could. She was just too far gone.”


One a month…” Hyle voiced the grim statistic.


Twenty-eight of those last month Hyle.” Ytte nodded to the two girls tending the small patch of flowers outside.


Ytte looked at Hyle, her face was half covered by the curtain of hair which had fallen forward. Despite the enthusiasm and hard work Hyle put into their work in the refuge, despite the drive she exhibited, despite the sheer bloody mindedness she often displayed. Ytte knew Hyle took events like these quickly to heart. She knew Hyle took it as a failure, a battle lost, And these hurt her deeply.


Hyle…” Ytte waited until Hyle turned to face her before continuing. They exchanged glances for a few moments, thoughts exchanged and read in the others eyes. “… I’ll finish up the report and tidy up here. You go home. Tomorrow is another day.”


Hyle’s lips parted and she drew breath to speak, but Ytte’s expression stopped the words that were forming. Ytte had that gift, as sort of inbuilt authority, a glance that conveyed instruction, that demanded obeyance. A trait bred into her and instilled by her military days long ago.


Okay.” Hyle forced a smile and headed for the door, pausing for a moment to lay a hand on the shoulder of the girl beneath the shroud.


Ytte found Reavy just after sunset. She knew exactly where to look. Reavy’s dusk patrol of the boundaries of Hope Springs.


Reavy’s face showed about as much smile as Reavy allowed herself. The two women nodded at each other in greeting.


We lost another one today.” Ytte stood beside Reavy as they looked out on the darkening hills


Oh.” Reavy breathed, her gaze not shifting from the far distance. “How is Hyle?”


Usual. She always takes suicides badly. But no doubt she’ll be back to normal tomorrow.” Ytte smiled thinly. “Some shit will fly.”


Ytte passed a small piece of paper to Reavy, it contained a resume of the girl’s case and, more importantly, a name. Reavy scanned the note. She and Ytte exchanged knowing glances.


Take care.”


Ytte stood stiffly and brought her heels together sharply. A small sharp bow as her Prussian upbringing demanded, the business with Reavy had been concluded. Ytte turned and walked briskly back in the direction of the hostel.


Joe Spivey's picture

((Grim reading :(

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Law Dogs's picture

(( Another life lost in the meat grinder of the wastelands.  Dark, but well done read

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