by Julie Klumb
I wanted it back.
I'd left the bracelet on a rock while I was swimming, and that bastard just swooped in and grabbed it.
It was stupid. The diamonds sparkled in the blinding sunlight. I probably should have known it would attract attention. But I didn't expect thievery in the middle of the woods.
Sliding my jeans over the dripping bikini, I remembered the first time I'd come here. Jason had told me he loved me and given me the bracelet. We skinny-dipped in the lake, knowing full well if someone caught us they'd call the cops. Neither of us cared though. We were young and in love.
Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant. In three months, Jason and I were married. We visited the lake again and talked about how we'd camp here when the baby was old enough.
When Sophie was born, we thought our lives couldn't get any better. Sure, it was hard, but she lit up our world like nothing else ever had.
For four months.
Then one morning I went to get her from her crib. She looked like an angel, sleeping so peacefully, but she never woke up. Jason fell apart. He followed Sophie two weeks later.
The same amount of time between the bracelet and knowing she was inside me.
I grabbed my rifle from its perch and pointed it at the raptor circling overhead, diamonds sparkling from its talons. "Nobody steals my family," I whispered, squeezing the trigger.