Her Last Challenge

by Nathalie Boisard-Beudin

She had kept pieces of herself, clippings of her life, strewn about the room as clues for the police. The old munched about teddy bear, a dozen started diaries abandoned after a few pages, faded photographs of holidays that had never taken place, a ticket concert for a band gone from the rounds ten years before, a locket with her mother's hair and the picture of a stranger, ribbons she had worn once in her hair – before chemotherapy had taken its toll – and a straw hat. And of course the cookies, which she had baked herself with so much care – she had never been a great cook – before leaving home and eaten one of. The rented room bore no real trace of her; not beyond the fluids that had left her body along with its life anyway: She had wasted no time to leave her mark upon the anonymous settings, the dust undisturbed by her quickly planted guessing game. Something to taunt, something to tease, something to remind every one that a human life's is made of so little. On the table by the bed, her departing note was shouting its challenge in bold letters: Do not try to find out who I am.


Nathalie Boisard-Beudin, whose full catalog is here, is French but currently lives in Rome, Italy. Most of her writing is done in English, her second – and working – language. She works as in-house lawyer for the European Space Agency and has published micro-stories in the multi national anthology Wonderful World of Worders.