Story by
Neha Dhunna
Artwork by
Zoha Haque

It was a dark night early that winter and the ground had been covered in flakes of snow. People bustled about, minding their own business as they walked down the empty streets of the end half of town as if enjoying the cool breeze of the winter air. It had yet to become truly cold as Christmas was still two weeks away.

A couple walked across the road, hand in hand, while the woman attempted to fix her mitts. But the man refused to let her do so, and she playfully nudged him in the arm, giggling.

Down the road was the small town’s only theatre, a tiny old place like those back in the 80’s. It was clear that the town had developed much since those days, but many still chose it as the ideal location to settle down.

Soon, the door to the theatre opened and a young girl stepped out into the darkness. A single lamppost shone light over the old building and onto her like a spotlight. She smiled at the little boy by the curb of the road who sat, fiddling with tiny pebbles. She watched as the child tossed them into the air one by one only to return to picking more from beneath. It was a refreshing site.

Near in the distance a loud rumbling could be heard and it was only a matter of seconds before a truck came speeding down the road. The truck came roaring from the far end of the street, skidding across the pavement.

It was all so sudden.

The young girl screamed at the child to move, but he refused to budge. Again, she screamed, yet it was still of no use. That was when she realized it was the same child she had seen early that week, in front the town church. She had seen the boy’s mother weeping as she confided in a friend, mumbling how her son had been born deaf and that it had been very hard on all of them since. Day and night she would pray for her son, she had said.

The young girl watched as the blazing headlights neared.

Looking around for someone who could help, she noticed the street had cleared. Instantly she knew it was all up to her to save the child, and so she ran. She ran as fast as her thin legs could carry her, yelling at the top of her lungs. Her head spun with possibilities of their fate and the fear of the boy getting hurt only pushed her further.

Adrenaline coursed through her veins, pumping her heart faster and faster. She took a gulp full of air before diving forward towards the boy.

She reached for the child, pulling him tightly to her chest as they both dove further into the road. She closed her eyes tightly as the truck sped closer, waiting for the impact of it crushing into her.

She waited.

And waited.

But, the pain never came.

Confused, she opened her eyes and took in her surroundings. The steering wheel of the truck sat in her hands as she sped through, the night sky enveloping her, past the tiny body sprawled across the and road drenched in blood. A smirk touched her pale face.

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