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 Long Island, New York 11971
The sunlight tapped gently on the glass window. A soft breeze slipped through underneath. Clouds
decorated sky, a portrait of life compared to the dark, dismal walls inside. A murmur of traffic hummed with
rhythm, and vibrations fell quiet against smooth, pale floors. And the world continued on without a second
thought, leaving this place, leaving me behind.

Time had become a dream. Days were counted into nights, and nights were spent waiting for days. Whispers
of the wind told of the seasons to come, and another end to another year passed by. Yet, I remain. I am
denied from walking beyond these walls and disappearing into a world that has forgotten me, but somebody
out there remembers. Someone knows why I remain left behind, but when will it be my time to go?

Life once resided here. These empty hallways were decorated with portraits of family. Children raced by,
scribbling crayon against the wall. Laughter rang out; a haunting sound that still finds me today. Arguments
thundered like slamming doors, but now those doors lie broken against the floor. They’re all gone. Tragedy
turned them away and broke them apart, and I was to blame. And they couldn’t stay with all these
memories locked inside, and I begged to go with them. But they ignored me, and they packed up their
things, wiped their tears, and left without a single good-bye.

That was a long time ago. Maybe even a decade before now. I don’t remember. Time no longer matters, but
here I am, waiting for my turn to go. I find myself drifting, existing without living, and my only connection to
this world is captured through a glass window. And I beg for someone, anyone to come and pass by. Would
they see me? Would they understand? How long must I be punished for my mistake?

It was a game. A stupid game. We were being silly. It was late one night, and the parents weren’t home.
What harm was there? It wasn’t even loaded, or so I thought. And the last sound I heard was that bang.
The funeral was a few days later. The house was filled with mourners. My mother sobbed her heart out for
hours afterward, and my brother hardly spoke. He just looked at me, knowing that I was there, watching
him. Nobody believed him, but he spoke to me. He only spoke to me, and my father slipped into comfort
through the beer in his hand. And then they were gone.

My brother would often visit. He took a seat in the room, where it happened. We would talk for hours. He
made me feel real, alive, and I needed his company. And then he stopped visiting, and I lost track of time. I
don’t know what became of him. Sometimes, I catch a glimpse of an elderly man drifting past the house, but
he would stop right before the glass window and stare right at me. But was that man my brother, and if so,
why would he not come inside? Was he afraid that I was still here, or was he afraid that I too was gone?
I have tried many times to leave. I can open the front door, but neighbors would argue that it was just the
wind. I could step outside and feel the fresh air touch my face. Then, in a blink, I’m back inside, and the door
is shut once again. But I would still try to leave, but over time, I gave up. I have become a prisoner to my
own home, and here is where I stay. But I grow tired of this. When will I be allowed to go?

Today felt different. The sun was shining more brightly like a star ready to burst. Warmth flooded against
these barren walls. A soft tremor rumbled through the floor. It was as if I was being prepared for lift off, and
I heard something. It sounded like wings touching down, but it was coming from inside the house. And I ran
through the empty halls in desperate search of another, but nobody was there. But I sensed that I was not
alone. For the first time in a very long time, I was not alone, and I knew something was about to happen.

A wave of white light rushed toward me. It reminded me of being at the beach, and I could almost feel the
sand between my toes. Warmth engulfed me, and I imagined being pulled out to sea. The world remained
behind on the sandy shore. Its sounds, its memory lingered on a soft, salty breeze, and white clouds
decorated the perfect blue sky. But as the waves carried me across into the golden horizon, my footprints
remained behind, telling you that I was here.

                                  ©
2011 Melissa R. Mendelson [All Rights Reserved]
I love all of Melissa's short stories. And this is no exception. A rich, beautiful writing, with a shadowy cast
of characters that always makes us think twice and read more than once, to know the truth. And now
offered on a new literary plane . . . poetic prose. Great new addition, Melissa.*****__Su Chang-Wu.

What a nice surprise from one of my favorite members of LMI. After such a long while, a new story by
Melissa. Nothing lost in her ability to "turn the screw" though. Poignant and poetic, as fine a read as she
has ever offered. If you have not read other writings by Melissa, including her poetry, you should.****
__Barbara A. Sabo.

This is my first encounter with one of Melissa's pieces, which I found a very compelling read. Interesting
character development and story subtleties. I look forward to reading more of her works. She is obviously
a well known and respected writer and poet. ****__Linda McIntire.

Nice to see Melissa at work again. I have followed her stories and poems at LMI and AuthorsDen.com
often with great pleasure. She is a true word smith with a determined eye for strong character
development and story lines that spin a twisted path. Welcome back, Melissa, and thank you for a fine
nudge to maker me write more often. ****__Karen Vanderlaan.

An interesting read. I enjoyed the dream-like sequences and gray characters. Fine element of suspense
also. I will read other stories by Melissa. ****__Sanya Cast-Sun

A disturbing story filled with haunting clues to another time. Another life? Interesting and dangerous  
interplay between children when the parents are away. I could hear their laughter, feel their pain, and
taste their desire for reconciliation. Was there? ****__Fred McIntire.

Thank you, ladies.  It means the world to me to read reviews such as yours, and the thought of not writing
disappears with your every word. Take care, Melissa.
OTHER WORKS:  To enjoy other works by Melissa R. Mendelson,   CLICK HERE.
REVIEW STORE: Did you enjoy Melissa's short story? Please tell her so. We know she will appreciate
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 CLICK HERE to write a review of "Footprints In Sand".
"Footprints In Sand"
By Melissa R. Mendelson
Monday, April 25, 2011
Rated
"G" by the Author.
Some lessons take a long time to learn.