This story was first published in The Drabble

The green-grey eyes of her newborn look at her intently. She wraps him tightly in everything she has. Below, at street level, there is shouting and waving. She kisses the child on his bronze forehead, whispers his name, and lets go. Eyes pressed shut, two, three seconds in which there is no sound, no feeling, only her heart, clenched. At last, she opens her eyes to see her angel, held up for her to see, safe. She crumbles down against the hard balustrade.

A single, piercing wail joins in the chaos around her. Flames are licking the cracked balcony doors.

Photo by Álvaro Ibáñez on Unsplash


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