The Thaw

The Thaw

By Valerie Brown.

It’s been five years. Five years he’s been living on the streets. Five years that his mind’s been clouded with disease. He doesn’t know me, but I changed his diapers. I washed his clothes. I taught him to speak.

Spring blooms all around me, but all I feel is winter.

A woman ushers her child across the street to avoid my son. My blood rises, but I bite my lips. I’ve become just another statue in the park. An immovable object watching the world go by. But how can I help it? My world is begging for change on the street corner.

Around noon I leave my bench and purchase a couple of sandwiches at the local deli. Roast beef for Nathan, ham and cheese for me. In the bathroom I dissolve a pill into a water bottle. Nathan’s only ticket to sanity.

The gritty pavement crunches beneath my shoes as I cross the street. Blinking back tears, I offer Nathan the to-go bag.

His eyes flash across my face. They’re red veined and dilated. Streaks of dirt run down his cheeks, matte his hair to his brow.

Returning to my bench, I wait for him to drink the water. Hope rises, thawing my heart.


VALERIE BROWN has been writing for five years. She loves creating character driven stories in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and speculative fiction. She lives just north of Richmond, Virginia with her husband, rowdy two year old daughter, a golden couch potato/dog, and two wired tabbies. Check her out on: Twitter: @VedBrown and her Blog:

Photo credit: Organic and Manmade by Taber Andrew Bain via Flickr CC.

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