J. C. Kuehn Miller

Read. Write. Repeat. Aspire to be a Janitor.

Sleep my Child

Under the minaret of the street corner mosque, I walked.  The day had gradually become darker and darker from the clouds forming above my head.  The summer heat still burned on even without the sun to fuel it.  The air had a brown tinge to it because of the dirt caught up by the brief bursts of wind.

People walked on, not minding the person beside them, acting as if nobody else was around.  “Allahoo Akbar” sung the melodious caller.  Oblivious, no one paid any attention.  Preoccupied minds filled with shattered dreams and family needs.  Despair filled every pair of eyes connected to an empty shell.

Rain started to fall upon the desolate people.  The pace of their walk quickened to get home and out of the wet, dirt filled streets.  Soon the streets were emptied of all its pedestrians, only a few cars remained.

Brown spots formed on my shirt from the mud-rain.  Steam rose from the black pavement and the cobblestone sidewalk.  I stepped to the door of the pink colored mosque.  I noticed one person on the inside bowing down to the east.  Drops of sweat beaded on his forehead but were absorbed instantly when he touched it to the ground.

I turned from the empty room to face a lone woman holding a child in her arms.  She was clothed in a dark brown robe and a black veil covered her face.  Her son was clothed in naught but rags too worn for any use.  She held him close to her bosom, him asleep in her arms.

I walked over to where they sat and knelt down in front of her.  I looked into her sad dark eyes.  Years of hunger and thirst, anger and sadness, loss and hate spun in circles in the windows of her head.  Her lips mouthed the words to a lullaby but no sound was heard.

I looked down at the child in her arms.  I could hear the coo of his soft breathing.  I took my hand and wiped the rain from his face.  He stirred and slightly opened his eyes.  I smiled at him.  He never looked directly at me but soon closed his eyes back and drifted into dreams of a brighter future never to be reached.

I stood up and the rain ceased to fall.  I walked home and laid down.

Yesterday I returned to the same corner in the shadow of the minaret.  The same mother sat there with the same child.  I tried to catch his attention by waving my hand in greeting.  He kept on staring off into the distance.

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This entry was posted on May 21, 2013 by in Short Story.
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