I look up to the seventeenth floor. She is small and so high up. It would be easier to see her as a dot or a full stop. But she is subjective and coughing from the smoke. She has no choice. I cannot imagine what she is feeling. Maybe she isn’t thinking at all.
I am helpless as she dangles the child. It must be such a hard decision. It must be difficult to say ‘Goodbye’ in a language the child would understand. I can barely hear the sobbing. She lets go of her bundle.
As the child free-falls to the ground, I have to wonder which is worse. Burning to death or dying on impact. I lose sight of her mother. She is lost in the smoke. The girl tumbles and I manage to catch her. “Everything will be alright,” I say. But the words sound like someone else’s.
Mark Anthony Smith was born in Hull. His writings have appeared in Fat Cat Magazine, Spelk, Fevers of the Mind and more. In 2020, his horrors will materialise in Eerie River and Red Cape Publishing anthologies. Hearts of the Matter is available on Amazon.
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