One Hundred and Fifty (Hard Boiled) Words


Joseph Dougherty

I thought she might jump, the girl on the pier. At first, I didn’t even see her. I came to propped up against a crate facing Manhattan. El Dorado on the Hudson. I felt the bridge above me, cars thrumming on the steel roadway. Then I saw the girl-shaped silhouette at the end of the pier. She was looking down at the river. If she jumped, I might have to do something. But she didn’t. She turned, her profile curved and sharp at the same time, and walked away. I got up, went to the end of the pier and looked down. Big mistake. Down there, floating in the oily water and the upside down reflection of the city, was a dead man. His arms were open, like he was reaching for something that got away from him. His face was white-blue. The color of a China cup.

Joseph Dougherty is a writer living in California.

Return to Contents.