The night was so pigmented she felt she could reach out, and the sky would envelop her. Her shoes sank deep into the mud on the bank of a river too dark and quiet to be relaxing. The only comfort was the child in front of her, who sat and splashed at the water’s edge. She had stay put; she wanted to run far from this spot, but the toddler was in danger.
While she waited for the other women to return, she looked at the little girl. She had sleepy eyes and little knots in her dark hair from many naps in the grass. The child looked like any other, but yet…
The sudden crash through the bushes caused the baby to startle. One of the women had returned. She drug a limp leg behind her, her mouth open in pain or horror – it was hard to tell.
“Where are the others?”
The woman fell into the river as she struggled to swim, prompting the girl watching the baby to abandon her and go help the floundering woman.
“Where are they,” she demanded this time.
The woman stared at her with empty eyes and shook her head. She began to speak, and pointed at the little girl on the bank, but
“- No, don’t…don’t tell me what happened.”
The baby began to scream.