By the time the photographers arrived, all that was left of her was a chalk outline. Her corpse had been removed from the scene, leaving the otherwise empty alleyway to a handful of spectators and journalists. Their voices filled the air with speculation: “From fifteen stories? Nobody could survive that.” “Nah, no foul play is suspected. People who knew her, they knew she’d eventually pull something like this.” “Her husband doesn’t want to talk. Just wants a lawyer. Go figure.”
The noise didn’t last. One by one, the reporters disappeared, back to the newspapers from which they emerged.
Then, as moonlight filled the city, she rose from the pavement once more.
There wasn’t much left of her, of course. She was an outline of an outline, only a whisper of dust away from being a ghost, yet somehow, she was alive. What remained of her was two-dimensional, and barely so; if even a single breach of her boundaries took place, she knew that she’d unravel. She could barely stand, but at that moment, she was standing. It wasn’t much, but it was something.
For a moment, she thought about running back to her old life like that. Maybe she could fill her outline with flesh again, or maybe even paint a new body around herself. No matter how lovely such things seemed, however, she knew it could never be, and not just because of what had happened. She could feel the wind eroding her delicate borders, removing her from the world grain by grain. This form was temporary. Death was still coming, and perhaps only minutes away. She thought about how she might yet accomplish something before it arrived, and as she did so, she could hear the words of the bystanders from before echoing through what passed for her mind. He was going to get away with it.
That’s when she knew what she had to do. As much as it pained her to do so, she pinched her thread of self apart at the hip, and the whole of her being slid back down to the Earth. Now, she was little more than a shapeless loop of chalk, but she was about to become something more. With what little control she had left, she curled in on herself again and again, becoming living cursive. It took everything she had. Then, after one slow, final tug, she fell motionless, and all that remained on the pavement was her murderer’s name.