A girl my age died our senior year; kidnapped, raped, murdered, mutilated, her body in a bag left in a shed. I didn’t know her. I remember reading the newspaper (we still did that then) and seeing two photos. The first was her, poised and smiling. The second was the shed where she rotted.
I recognized it, had driven past it hundreds of times on my way to the dam. But it was just some shitty sheet metal shed in a farmer’s field. I’d never stopped before, but I’d noticed it.
Death was still romantic to me at seventeen, and I drove to the shed that night by the moon, with flowers for her. When I hit the access road, I parked. I left the car running. Death Cab was on a loop; Plans had just come out.
She wasn’t there, of course, but I felt her. I stood chattering in the cut corn during the last cool night of summer’s end, unaware of the chill of ghosts and bad men. It was the first time I knew that a body in a bag in a sheet metal shed in a cornfield in autumn somewhere in Ohio could just as well be me.
Vic Nogay is an emerging writer of poetry and flash fiction; her work tends to explore small traumas, misremembrances, and Ohio, where she is from. She has one poem forthcoming with The Daily Drunk. After earning her English/Creative Writing degree from Denison University in 2010, she discovered a passion for animal welfare working as a humane agent. Her return to writing is a personal reclamation.