by Trisha Blaze
Story of an abused little boy.
The sun slid above the black tiled roofs of the housing project buildings, lighting the winter mist that had settled into a shimmering veil. Then it danced through the cold air to land on the frost-tinged wall of the next building. As it hits just below the roof, it turns the frost into glittering diamonds of dew clinging to the dull, red brick. The line of sunlight moves slowly down the rows of brick as it glides higher in its never ending journey through the sky, melting the frost as the bricks warm on this new day.
Nearing the bottom of the building, the sun finally peeks into a square hole between two sets of dirty concrete steps. It crawls across the ticking-striped cloth of an old mattress discarded long ago. Between the tattered, ratty rips of cloth and batting, the sun continues its probe to land on a soft white cheek nestled between the springs. The sun strokes a small closed eye, causing it to flutter against the brightness. A smooth forehead crinkles and moves blindly toward the warmth seeking its comforting glow. A little fist slides up to the eye, rubbing it against the brightness and fighting sleep.
Then the hand moves forward to the springs, grasping and pulling with dirty fingers. A black haired head rises followed by an arm and eventually the small body of a boy in a loose white t-shirt above a pair of dirt encrusted underwear that threaten to abandon his slight hips and bottom. As his legs, covered in scars and open wounds from cigarette burns, push his grimy feet off of the mattress, the little boy pauses at the entry way, blinking at the light so bright in comparison to the dank gloom of the crawl space.
The boy slowly emerges, pulling himself up and steadying himself on the steps, careful not to lean on the cold concrete. His unsure legs tremble from the cold early morning air as he makes his way up the steps with hope that his mother will let him come into the warmth of the shabby apartment and maybe let him have some food.