Chill

Fiction By Erin // 5/20/2009

The bitter cold chilled her to the bone in that dark alleyway. The baby in her arms cried and wailed, tears streaming down her red cheeks.
Robin, the mother, sighed and rocked her gently in her stick-thin arms. “Shhh…My Hope,” she whispered. The babe continued to cry, most likely cold from the winter stillness.
Robin looked around her, trying to tune out Hope’s crying. Graffiti covered the old brick walls and the dumpsters where right at the end. She and her daughter huddled up in a corner with the mice, dressed in practically rags. A single tear dripped down her cheek. This was not what she had wanted for her child.
She looked back down at Hope, who was still sobbing. Robin let one hand free and untied the old, torn scarf from around her neck, letting her long, thick hair hang, and wrapped it around the child. Her crying quieted slightly, but she wound up bursting into tears again.
In the distance, Robin heard a faint harmonica. A slight hint of a smile came upon her face as she thought up an idea.
“Sleep please, sleep please, My Angel,
Sleep- sleep, sleep-sleep.
Your momma needs to go night-night,
Do you not too?
Sleep-sleep, sleep-sleep My Angel,
Sleep, sleep, sleep.”
Her voice was far from beautiful, in fact, it was week and missed several notes, but it still made Hope quiet down. Robin stroked Hope’s face with gentle fingers and sighed. The bitter cold bit at her face. She only wished for warmth. She had never had an actual house before.
The streetlight faintly shined, so she was able to see Hope’s beautiful, blue eyes peering up at her.
“There’s my girl,” she said, smiling faintly and gently stroking her daughter’s cheek. She hugged her close and lay down on the concrete to try and sleep through another night.

The next morning, Robin awoke to the usual shouting and traffic and fog. Hope was crying again, awoken at the crack of dawn. “Oh, please Hope. Please. I know you’re hungry,” Robin said, rocking Hope in her arms.
Robin knew very well that she should get food from the food drive, but her pride was too much. A wave of guilt came over her. She was starving her child and herself. She sighed and rose. Tonight, she knew what to do, even if it broke her heart.

That after noon, Robin sat in front of a window shop. “Ma’am, will you please donate? My baby is hungry!” she pleaded to a middle-aged woman with frizzy brown hair that passed by. “Sorry, busy,” she said with a French accent.
Robin frowned and asked the next person. Then the next person. Then the next person. Finally, one gave her five dollars. “Thank you!” Robin said, gripping the five dollar bill like her lifeline.
Her lip trembled and she rose and hugged the young man. “This means a lot,” she said.
He smiled at her. “I wish I had more,” he told her.
Robin smiled weakly, the world in her eyes as he walked away. Enough to get some sort of food.
She scooped up Hope and headed to the nearest fast-food restaurant. She entered a McDonald’s. “Do you have anything a baby could eat?” she asked.
“Sure. Kid’s menu has stuff, see?”
Robin blushed. “I-I can’t read,” she whispered.
The cashier rolled his eyes and Robin just about wanted to strangle his lazy teenage neck.
“I’ll have anything that my baby can eat that’s under five dollars,” Robin said firmly.
“Whatever,” the cashier said, taking the five dollars.
He called out the order and she was handed chocolate milk with yogurt and a burger with a side of fries. Food. Good food. She hadn’t had that in a while. She took the tray and ate at a table for the first time in a long while. Hope was smiling and giggling, and she savored this. She wouldn’t ever see it again.

It was that very evening when Robin knew the exact place to bring Hope. She picked up the few things she owned, including a scarf and a photograph of her father, now long gone.
Holding Hope, Robin raced down the quiet streets and found a very traditional building. It was brick with tower upon tower and small windows all around. Hope had thankfully fallen asleep, so that Robin’s last few moments with her child could be peaceful and sweet.
Tears built up in Robin’s eyes looking at her daughter’s beautiful sleeping face. “You will be beautiful. You will make somebody a great daughter. I wish I could see you again,” she whispered. She gave Hope a quick kiss on the cheek, lay her on the porch above the steps, wrapped securely in the scarf, knocked on the door, and left a single note tucked in Hope’s scarf. “Goodbye,” said Robin, crying and running away.

Oh goodness, another child perhaps? Too many had been coming in the past few weeks at St. Mary’s Orphanage, thought Patricia Mellow, coming to the door. She opened it to find a crying baby. Oh dear!
Patricia picked the child up and found a note written in barely readable handwriting, due to the tear drops all over distorting it. Holding the baby in one arm and the note in the other, Patricia brought her inside and read the note.

Please take care of my child. I love her dearly but cannot take care of her as needed.
She will make someone a beautiful, beautiful daughter.
Her name is Hope.

Patricia smirked. Hope. A fitting name. She set the note on the bedside table and set the babe in the last empty crib. Little Hope could stay there till she was adopted out, and she could be safe. The first warm home she had probably ever had.

Comments

Chill

Nice story. Very descriptive. I could feel the cold and the dilemma the mamma was faced with. I am very curious as to why and how Robin got herself in this predicament in the first place. How could she be homeless, living on the streets in the cold with a baby? I hope you continue to develop this story. Just one question, in McDonald's Robin says she can't read, so...how can she write the note she left with the baby if she can't read? Thank you for sharing your story, and please tell us more.

Anonymous | Thu, 05/21/2009

Thank you. And thanks for

Thank you. And thanks for pointing out the note thing, I hadn't even noticed it.

~Erin~

"Okay, so I'm like the Jonas Brothers' older, evil stepbrother..." -Adam Lambert on Joe Jonas comment

"Perhaps he's that Neevil! Tally-ho! Tantivy! Cut him off! Round him up! Keep it up! Hurrah!" Talking Animals in Magician's Nephew

Erin | Thu, 05/21/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

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