Heartless

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Even Death can make regrettable mistakes.

“Ma’am, your daughter is getting close to the road.” He warned the young mother browsing through his wares.

She turned, her phone still against her ear “Pearl, come back here.” She didn’t wait to see if her daughter listened, she turned back to the scarves she was browsing talking on her phone.

“I’m thinking of doing my nails in a periwinkle to match my dress when we go out tonight.” She giggled at something her friend said rubbing the material of a scarf.

He glanced up at the girl to see her crouched at the curb, watching the cars.  She was unsteady, tiny. How old was she? Three, four, no older than five at least. Why wasn’t the mother watching her?

“She’ll be fine, I’m going to put her favorite movie on a loop and I have her some food. I can’t afford no babysitter.” She laughed, moving onto the next ware.

Nails usually cost anywhere from thirty-five dollars to fifty depending on what gel type you received. His merchandise alone cost well above that. Hand sewn silk scarves and hand stitched clothing. The scarf she currently had thrown over her arm was sixty-five dollars and on sale. So add up the nails, and the scarf, and anything else she is going to buy she is looking close to two hundred dollars. That is more than enough for a babysitter.

 

She was stepping off the curb, something catching her attention. He looked down the road, so far it was clear of cars.

“Ma’am your daughter is now in the road.” He warned her again, raising his voice so she could hear him.

“Pearl! What did I tell you about getting in the road. Hang on.” She snatched her daughter’s arm and swung her back on the sidewalk. The little girl cried out in pain and held her elbow. “Don’t go in the road. Come here.”

The mother jerked her arm and the girl started to cry, holding her shoulder. The mother was being too rough with her. She was starting to get disapproving looks from other people.

He didn’t like the way she was treating her daughter either. However, it was not his place to correct her.

 

The girl was near the road again, holding her arm gingerly at her side. Poor thing, she didn’t understand why her mother was being mean to her. She didn’t see any dangers in the large cars that flew past them.

He shook his head, ringing up a purchase for another woman. He kept one eye on the mother, watching her throw scarves around her gaudy necklaces and preen in front of the mirrors.

People like her should not have children if they weren’t ready to take responsibility for them. Where was the father? Was he even in the picture?

He said farewell to the woman he was helping and turned his attention to the child. How was she going to grow up? Would she even make it that far to being able to go to college, fall in love, and have children of her own? He didn’t want to think about how messed up she would be with a young mother like the one she had now.

The girl tittered on the curb, a large truck barrelling down the road trying to speed through a yellow light.

He didn’t think, he simply did.

The driver slammed his hand on the horn, throwing his entire weight on the break, but it wasn’t enough.

Everyone screamed, the mother looking widely for her daughter. Her scream was the loudest. She rushed to her daughter's side, picking up her limp broken body.

He calmly picked up the phone and dialed the ambulance.

 

“How could you?” She tapped her foot impatiently, her arms crossed disapprovingly over her chest.

He glanced at her from the corner of his eye. They covered the small body with a sheet, loading her into the back of the ambulance. Heavy silence filled the air.

“She was better off.” He said simply, closing down his register.

“You don’t know that. You can not know that.” She reprimanded him, following behind him as he closed up his shop.

“I know that mother didn’t care about her, I did them both a favor.” He carefully folded his wares, placing them in silk boxes.

“Death, you can’t just take lives as you see fit, that is not up to you!” Life argued with him, stomping her little foot on the cracked sidewalk.

Death turned to her, his eyes seeing more than she knew. “Take better care of her.”

Life sighed and stroked her hand down the little girl’s hair.

The girl looked up at her and smiled sadly, “Will Mommy be okay?”

Death watched her get in the back of the ambulance, his scarves dropped on the ground, gently blowing in the wind. “She’ll be fine Dove.”

Life gave him one last glare and faded from the physical plane, taking the spirit of the young girl with her.

 

Death sighed, rubbing the tears from his eyes. He would try better in the future to keep his dark impulses to a minimum.


Submitted: May 01, 2019

© Copyright 2021 Lamiae Blackstone. All rights reserved.

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