Death of a Child

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The title sort of speaks for itself really. I just found this on my computer having forgotten I'd written it, and thought y'all might appreciate it.

EDIT: A while back somebody left a comment on here which was very lovely, and the person had abviously had a big tragedy in their life, and what they said about the story really meant a lot to me. I accidentally deleted the comment. If it was yours, I'm really sorry.

Submitted: November 20, 2007

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Submitted: November 20, 2007



The moonlight barely peeked through the gaps in the dark clouds that night, so the room was nearly in blackness, despite the drapes being wide open. The window itself was also open, and a strong breeze buffeted the curtains, their even darker shadows gaining a life of their own in the blackness. As the clouds sped past outside, the moon would shine briefly through the gaps, pushing its way through that thinnest of midnight mist, between the grimly reaching branches of the yew outside, and would glint off the window ledge, the slightest fraction of illumination reflected into the gloom inside.

As eyes grew used to the dimness, vague shapes became visible, a shelf on the wall near the window first of all, filled with shadows barely discernible as books, and toys. A chest of drawers below revealed across its front what would have been in better light a brightly painted mural. The floor was softly carpeted, and in one corner was a pile of soft toys.

Looking to the other end of the room, opposite the window, the dark shadow of a cot was visible against the wall, and before it, a chair. A man was sitting hunched in the chair, visible only as a silhouette, rocking slightly, backward and forward, as if swaying to the same breeze that blew the curtains. He was staring, not into the cot, but at the floor, his eyes glazed over, not seeing what he was looking at.

As he rocked, he hummed, almost, it seemed to himself; his hands together, his face always downturned, the humming growing ever softer, softer.

He hummed a lullaby. A pretty tune, but melancholy, and moonlight glistened off a tear that traced its way down his cheek.

His rocking slowed, and stopped, and his humming turned to silence.

The room waited.

The darkness filled the room once more as the moon was swallowed by a cloud, and all was shrouded in blackness, but for the pale white of the man's face and hands, almost luminescent in the night.

The silence was broken, suddenly, by a sob, as the man buried his face in his hands, lost to all but his grief.

A picture dropped from his lap, and we backed away, through the open window, and left him alone.

We left him in the dark, quiet room, alone with his pain, next to an empty cot.

© Copyright 2018 Sam Halfpenny. All rights reserved.

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