Estimated reading time — 2 minutes
The time period is the late fifties. Liesel has thick, shoulder-length, dark red hair that curls at the bottom and she wears a pale yellow dress that snugly fits her thin frame and accentuates curves that are not there. The color of her dress matches the wallpaper, which matches the color of the sunshine beaming through the window and onto the kitchen table, where her baby sits. Liesel caresses a wisp of hair on her baby’s head, smiles tenderly, and turns back to the sink where she strains spaghetti for her new family’s dinner. She hums faintly for several minutes, handling the pasta, when she glances back to check on her baby. The baby has inched it’s way over to the very corner of the table. On all fours, it reaches up to the window as if to grasp the sunbeam, when it loses grip. It teeters and yelps before it topples to the floor, crashing head-first onto the spotless tile. Its soft, infant head is not crushed nor splattered, but rather, mashed. The appearance is that of a ball of dough which has been thrown to the ground. Liesel’s screams evaporate with the steam of the spaghetti, which is still in her hands.
Liesel stands over her mangled infant for many long minutes. Aside from the doughy head and the blood slowly leaking from its ears, the baby could be taking an evening nap on the floor. Finally, Liesel shifts her gaze to the clock, which reads 5:46. She reluctantly looks back down at her baby again, and starts back up humming. She rocks back and forth on her feet, almost swooning, before turning to walk out the back door. She removes her shoes by the porch, and, still humming, walks barefoot over the rocks towards the train tracks that cross behind her neighborhood. She reaches the tracks and sits down neatly with her legs criss-crossed. Her back faces the direction of the oncoming Amtrak.
At 6:04, she hears the horn of the train. She does not move, nor whimper, nor hum.
Credit To: Annabelle Warren