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Rated: E · Fiction · Cultural · #2213733
An orphan art protegee shares his dream with his nurse.
I


         Two randy teenagers had gone dumpster diving and found a toddler in the dumpster behind the homeless shelter. They took the child, near death, to the police station.
         “What do you want me to do with this child? He looks half dead, the desk sergeant said.”
         “Look, officer, he is almost dead. We found him in the dumpster. This note was pinned to his clothes,” Terry said. “Here, read it. It tells you what happened to him. Some junkie bitch abandoned him. She did.”
The sergeant read the note and looked at them. I’m a junkie and I can’t take care of a baby. I need the money for my daily fix. I can’t afford him. Ann
         “I have to go to the back for a minute,” The cop said. “I’ll bring someone to talk to you. Please wait.” the sergeant disappeared behind the double doors. Fifteen minutes later he came back through the doors, a tall detective in tow.
“This is Detective Thomas. He can help you with your problem.”
“Would you two please come with me?” He said as he led the boys back through the double doors.

         “So, how did you two boys come to find this baby in the dumpster?”
         “We were dumpster diving we were,” the oldest of the two boys said. And we heard what sounded like a kitten crying. So, I climbed the boxes piled beside the dumpster and jumped down. That’s when I saw this dirty gray bundle wrapped in a dirty gray blanket the smelled like puke. I unwrapped the bundle and voila. What you see is what you get. I picked up the bundle and climbed over all the trash heaped there. “It’s a baby, Cal,” I said. “Here take it.”
After Cal took the bundle, I jumped out again. It was Cal who found that note. He said we’d better go to the police station. He whined some and wiggled a little.”
         “Yeah, Cal said. It’s terrible what druggies will throw away for a fix, but a human baby. What kind of freak was she?”
         “Yes, well, you’d be surprised. This was just a baby. It gets much worse. Let me make a phone call to someone who can help us deal with this. It’s obvious we can’t keep him here.” He dialed a number and waited for an answer. “Yes, Sister Jane, I’, Detective Thomas. We’ve worked together before. I think we have a little bundle for you. He can’t be more than six months old. A couple of teenagers found him the dumpster out behind the homeless shelter.” They waited while the detective listened to the person on the other end of the line. “When will you be here to get him?” The detective asked. “I’m off in an hour. That will do. I’ll be waiting.



II


         “It’s no wonder the mother abandoned him,” the doctor said. Her abuse of illegal substances would cost a small fortune. If she made her living like most Junkies, she couldn’t afford the doctors and medicines necessary to keep him alive. His lungs are weak which makes him susceptible to pneumonia. His stomach is undeveloped which means he won’t live to be a teenager. He’ll have to be given a special formula. The cost of this formula alone is not cheap. Some might say the mother was brave because she abandoned him. But honestly, she just a selfish Junkie who was interested only in her welfare. The child did not matter.”
         “Oh, my, that doesn’t bode well going forward, but we’ll work things out,” Jane replied. As the child had been ill, he was taken to the hospital from the police station. “I think we’ll call him Danny,” she said.

III


         By the time he was three years old, it was obvious, Danny was a gifted artist. He could see a landscape in the book and paint it on a canvas. His art was not childhood stick people, it was adult and not childhood art. The mountains in the landscapes were detailed, and the trees and flowers were life-like. The seascapes depicted angry white-capped waves, and well-defined ships being tossed over those waves. Danny painted everything from dark gray and threatening cumulous clouds to greenish/black cumulonimbus clouds. And the quality of his portraits surpassed even the talent of seasoned pros. However, Danny possessed something those artists did not, a love for his art.
By the time he turned six-years-old, Danny had sold several of his landscapes. A highly acclaimed professional offered to coach Danny into doing portraits. Several months before he turned nine, he asked Jane, his nurse, to buy him some Kitchen curtain material. Although she couldn’t know why but she did as he asked. On his ninth birthday, he sold two portraits. But that night, Danny became gravely ill and an ambulance rushed him to the hospital. Three days later, he died of double pneumonia.
Two days later, his nurse came into Danny’s room and began packing his few belongings into boxes. She pulled a large box from the wardrobe. Folded neatly and laid on top of his art supplies was the curtain material. With great care, Jane unfolded the material and an envelope fell to the floor. It was addressed to her. She removed the letter from the envelope and unfolded the letter with trembling fingers.
Written in Danny’s hand, she read the following words: Jane, I know you couldn’t give me the home I always dreamed of. But I know you loved me, and that meant more than you know. I know you didn’t understand why I wanted the curtain material, but the picture depicted there will tell you everything. I love you, Jane.
Jane folded the tear-stained-letter and there painted with care was an oil painting of a beautiful house. A large Weeping Willow tree stood in a large back yard. Jane traced her fingers over the intricate lines painted there. But it was the woman standing at the front door waving at him as he walked away. It was a detailed picture of her. “Oh, Danny, it’s beautiful. I’m so sorry they wouldn’t let me adopt you. We would have been so happy together,” she said, sobbing as she folded the material again. “I’m going to hang this in my Kitchen window for all to see. I always loved you, Danny. Rest in peace.”





1060 words
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