Sirens by Carla Marquez

I open my curtains having accepted that sleep is no longer available to me. Pulling back the blinds and revealing a half-opaque glass pane that extends from one end of the wall to the other. Foggy from the early morning frost. Standing in front of it, exposed, the waist up, I look out expecting the macabre scene I've conjured up in my half sleep. But am met with an empty lot.

A few feet further down stands the same white stone wall with cut out squares, barely five feet tall; more for decoration than any real barrier, separating this property from the next. The only real death I see is the brittle yellow leaves that the cold autumn wind make morbidly dance: tiny frail ballerinas, they twirl across the black asphalt; the sirens continue.

Though I can't tell from which direction they come, then they stop; no voices I've heard, even the wind holds its breath. A few seconds pass and the stillness replaced by the perfectly timed engine roar of a plane flying overhead, then the scraping of bare branches against the cold windowpane, like bony hands clawing in search of warmth, life.

Carla Marquez is a short story and screenplay writer living in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is currently attending University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where she is working on a BA in French and Film Studies.