Sadness hung thick in the small, but sufficient abode.

Avenue of Poplars by Van Gogh

She came to commiserate with a family who just this morning lost their child, born without taking his first breath.

They spoke little English but seemed to be of a spiritual nature. Sadness hung thick in the small, but sufficient abode. The bewildered father desperately tried to console his grieving wife who rocked in her chair still clinging to the lifeless body.

He stepped aside, grateful for the presence of another. She approached the mother and kneeled at her feet. Laying her hands on the mother’s knees, she began chanting in Latin: a soothing voice barely above a whisper.

Slowly she reached for the child.

The mother’s sobs lessened, and her grip on the infant loosened until finally releasing him.

Quickly scooping him up, she stood and moved to the door, then spoke in English, “Be strong for one another.”

The father wringing his hands followed her outside. “Why would god take our son?” He asked in a heavy accent, maybe Russian.

“That is a good question. Perhaps it was not his time for this world.” She answered and hurried down the path, away from the mourning family.

Tucking the little body closer, she thought aloud, “Master will be very pleased with my sacrifice.”

– Written for Jane Dougherty Writes, Microfiction Challenge #8: The Avenue. Painting prompt by Van Gogh. Word prompt was “leaving.” WC 204.

%d bloggers like this: