Sidenote: I will try to stop where I originally put page breaks into the story.
He had opened the gates to die. He knew the deal's consequences, and he accepted them all for her. They could kill him, his wife, his people, but they could not hurt the child that lay on the ground under his feet. He turned his eyes to his kingdom's walls, and an old woman swept the baby girl into her arms. The child was wearing nothing but a torn old grey blanket. Her umbilical cord was still attached to her belly button. The old woman smiled at the child as a single red dot appeared on her forehead.
Their steady march grew near as the old woman lay on the ground, eyes glassed over, staring ahead. Her only duty fulfilled, she had been a cushion as the baby fell.
A young woman, one of them, picked the baby up off the old woman, and she carried it at her bosom.
“Shh, child. You’re going to come with us. Everything will be ok.” She lied.
A man standing in the distance glanced their way, and they were escorted to a long black vehicle with tinted windows. The young woman gingerly sat the baby in the car seat next to her.Outside the tinted windows bodies of crimson lined the dirt road, but the baby girl was saved. They could have saved themselves had they let the child die, had they left the gates closed, had they not given everything for that little girl.
The car came to a halt in front of a small white building. The baby was marched into a colorful little room with animals on the walls. The young woman had handed her over to a man in a white lab jacket. He made stupid noises at the squirming child before injecting her with a serum to make her lie still; a plastic mask with little tubes was placed over the child’s mouth and the child’s little eyes closed as the doctor went to work. When the little girl awoke, the colorful walls were no longer shades of blue, pink and purple. Rather, they were greys, whites, and blacks. There was no color.
The young woman and the child went back to the long black car awaiting their arrival at the curb. The child was sat once again into her car seat. She was without her umbilical cord. yet, she was still wrapped in the ratty old blanket that she had been placed in straight out her mother's womb.
The car pulled up to a large grey building. A man wearing dark sunglasses waited on the curb. The car pulled up next to him. The young woman climbed out of the long black vehicle, bringing the child out with her. The man with the dark sunglasses asked her to kindly hand the child over to the man on his right who had stepped out of the shadows. She frowned and clasped the child to her bosom, “You said she’d be mine!” she shouted. The man in front of her simply nodded. Another man stepped out of the shadows, grabbing the woman from behind, but she wouldn’t go down without a fight. She thrashed, holding the child ever tighter as the men tried to extract it from her. The man who had greeted her at the curb did not help his associates in their struggle to get the child from the young woman, instead, he stepped forward and whispered something into her ear. She looked back, straight into his eyes, and he nodded. She looked down at the child in her arms, and in that one moment, in that one phrase, she lost. She extended her arms for the man to take the child away from her, and with tears in her eyes, she smiled at the child and mouthed, “Goodbye love.” The baby smiled at her one last time before being turned around. The man’s body blocked her view as the woman behind them noticed the gun that the other man had pulled from his belt, “You promised me! Please, God, no!” She screamed. Her final words as he pulled the trigger.
The child cried as the man walked her inside of the dark building, “It’ll be ok love.” He whispered. He walked her into a dark room consisting of only a mirror and two metal tables. Another man entered the room after them carrying blank files.
“What would you like to call her?” The man asks the one carrying the child.
He glances at her, pets her head, and says, “Love.” The baby smiles brightly at him as he sets her down on the metal table, and as the two men are lost in discussion, the girl is lost in her own wonderland, full of perfectness and color. There is no grey or white, she is only surrounded by beautiful color. Her father and mother come running at her, and Love's smile grows before she in picked up again by another man in a black suit. He walks her down a dark and dingy hallway before coming to a loud room filled with other children, infants, no more than a couple of hours old. A metal line, covered with glass that runs in a zig-zag from the ceiling to the right wall. He hits the giant grey button on the side of his head. He grabs a needle from a metal cage beside him and inserts it into the child’s arm. Her eyes slowly close, until the only sound is of her barely audible breaths.
He lays her onto the cold conveyor belt like a slice of meat, he walks back to the red brick wall, and he hits the giant red button. Love is lost among the thousands of other children beside her. She is enclosed in the conveyor belt with her paperwork wrapped alongside her in her torn old grey blanket. The man slams the metal door as Love disappears into her new life; the only one she was supposed to know.