he sun is just coming up lighting the deserted city and casting ominous shadows in the littered streets. Pip creeps along the sidewalk, like a phantom, unseen and unheard. A long, double edged knife is in her hand, and her calculating blue eyes are dancing in and out of doorways and alleys. Movement catches her attention inside an old, rusty red pickup truck. A small hand is waving in the passenger side window. She stares intently, a look of deep concentration on her small dirty face. She’s trying to decide whether to move on or inspect the vehicle. Her heart is pounding as she begins to move towards it making her decision. She peeks nervously inside. A small child sits on her dead mother’s lap, her tiny hands pressed to the window. Her dress, face, and hands are covered in a dark burgundy substance. Her mother’s blood. A gun rests heavily in the mother’s right hand, a piece of paper in her left. She turns to walk away again, but she pauses staring at a brick on one of the tall skyscrapers a few feet away, thinking. “I’m sorry for what happened to you.” She says after a moment, still staring at the brick. She turns back to the rusty red pickup truck, and takes a deep breath in anticipation. Pip knows she isn’t the type of girl who can just walk away from such a horrendous scene. She lets her breath out slowly and grabs the handle of the door. The little girl presses herself against the window almost snarling as she begins to pound on the glass trying to break it. Pip opens the door quickly letting the toddler fall to the ground. She lands on her head on the dark asphalt. She was too young to have learned how to walk and lays on the ground reaching and growling a small human growl with a look of hatred the likes of which Pip had never seen on a child before. The little girl glares at Pip furiously and tries to roll into a crawling position. Pip places her foot on her small body stopping her. The little girl continues to growl and Pip sighs with a deep sadness knowing it was up to her now to end this. The little girl opens her mouth and sucks in a huge gulp of air. Pip panics then and flings herself on top of her and covers her mouth just as the little girl begins to scream. “Oh no you don’t. I don’t want any more trouble.” She says and pushes her knife into the back of the baby’s head before she can think about what she’s doing. The small body jerks and goes limp and Pip stands. She stares down at the now lifeless body of the girl for a long moment. She cleans her knife on the seat of the pickup truck, forcing herself to stop thinking before she starts to cry, and takes the gun and piece of paper from the woman’s hand. Pip unfolds it and reads the woman’s final words.
Her name was Sarah. She was only 11 months old.
Pip glances at her watch. The date today is exactly one month from the date the woman had written. “Happy birthday, Sarah.” She whispers. She stands and walks away, the sun climbing higher in the sky. “And the world keeps on spinning.” She mumbles.
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