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In the Ghetto

  A baby’s wail perforates though the stillness of the Chicago night. The snow falls heavily and seemes to insulate the sound for a long period. The mother slowly arises from her spot on the couch. She sets down her mug of tea and grabs up the baby, from his cradle. She embraces him in her arms, while softly cooing to him.  She sadly remembers the circumstances that surrounded his entrance into the world. Another child in the ghetto. Another child that would amount to nothing. She didn’t know how to change it. He had quieted in her arms and was asleep with his thumb in his mouth. She slowly rises and places him back into his cradle. The mother cries.
 Ten Years Later…
  A young boy runs back further down the street, trying to catch the football. He jumps, and catches. His friends applaud his efforts. He feels a gush of pride and performs a victory dance for their benefit. One of his friends calls out that he is hungry. The young boy agrees. The boys start in the direction a convenience store. They enter the store and separate. The young boy looks through the aisle, settles on his choice. He heads to the cashier and pays for his candy. He meets his friends outside as they all compare their plunder. They begun to laugh at him as he asks why he never saw then at the cashiers. He is hit full on by the realization that they had stolen. He is slowly getting the hang of stealing and fighting. He ignores his mother as she tries to dissuade him from fighting. He becomes one of the best young fighters on the streets. The small voice of his mother fades as the cheers of his peer’s increases.
 Ten Years Later...
  He looks over his shoulder. His breath catches in his throat as he slides into the driver’s seat of the car. His heart rate increases as his foot applies pressure to the accelerator. He moves the car out from the alley and onto the main road. Suddenly his heart feels as if it has stopped, when he sees red, white, and blue lights in his rearview mirror. He jams the accelerator hard to the floor and the car leaps forward. He turns a corner trying to lose the cop. He is distracted by the cop behind him and crashes full on into another car. He collides into the wind shield. He hurtles himself through the door of the wrecked car. The cops are all ready out of their cars. Their doors are swung open and their guns are trained on him. He turns to run. His feet desperately try to find traction in the slushy snow. A gunshot cuts through the stillness of the late night. He drops to the ground. A policemen yells toward him telling him to stop and turn himself in. He struggles to rise as his feet continue to slip. He finally gains grip and rises. He starts to run again. As he is warned again; another gunshot stabs through the dark still night. He feels the bullet slam into his abdomen. The impact throws him to the ground. His blood mixes with the snow. The night is peaceful as snow continues to fall. His breathing shortens. The snow falls. Drops of blood fall from his nose. The snow falls. Policemen yell. The snow falls. His breathing stops. His mother cries.
 Same Night…
  A scream punctures the cold, snowy Chicago night air. The snow falls outside the window of a young woman’s house. The scream erupts from the newborn baby again. The mother cries.
 Are we too blind to see the needs of those less fortunate? Are we going to turn our heads and look the other way?

a story||by Farm Girl

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