Isabel had already fallen by the time
Chloe struck her the second time.
And then after hitting her another five times,
Chloe set the stone aside.
The stone was the size of a grown man’s fist.
Chloe had wrapped it carefully in a towel
and placed it in the basket
beside the sandwiches and soda.
Chloe kneeled beside the body,
her heart racing like a thoroughbred’s.
Isabel’s body was trembling.
Chloe looked down at Isabel’s deformed face
choking on its own blood and mucous.
Then she reached out for the ring
on Isabel’s finger and pulled.
It was made of gold with silver filigree
and a 24-karat diamond heart.
The ring came off with surprising ease.
There was no one around for miles
out there on the lonely beach.
Blood from Isabel’s wounds seeped into the sand,
staining her blonde hair crimson
and her blue swimsuit maroon.
The sun felt warm on their pale skin.
The seabreeze teased with its coolness.
As though afraid it would lose its shine,
Chloe wrapped her hand around her prize.
And then she leaned over Isabel’s body
to whisper in the dying woman’s ear: