I walked out and the worls was cold, so cold, warmed only a little by the sun's rays and the pavement was jagged with spiky little edges; the grass was covered with what could have been raindrops or dew - and the sky was a clear canvas, stretching out above and blue, so blue.
I reached the house. Went in.
The living room was almost, but not quite, silent. There was noise, but it was hushed, murmurs and whispers. They moved aside, making way, making a path for me towards the body.
I walked through until i reached her. Her. It. Was she merely a body now - just that, not a living, breathing, child with thoughts or emotions anymore?
She had a name.
She had cried once, or laughed or smiled. Had been breathing once upon a time.
But not now. It was over.
She was beautiful in death. Beautiful in the way that all children are beautiful in their innocence and beautiful further than that because she could not be touched by the corruption in this world, because she was gone.
It was a sweet, sad, beauty.
She was tiny. but for her pale skin, she could have been sleeping softly, peacefully. Eyes closed.
And a feeling of sadness swept over me as I looked down at the child who was no longer there, at her mother sitting by her side; a figure of grief, a grief set apart from that of mine or the woman on one side of me, or the woman on the other, and more painful than ours because it was a mother's grief, I looked around the dark, dark, room, at the people gathered inside it and at the child in the crib who could have been, but wasn't, sleeping.
I moved away from the scene to the other room, then outside; drifting away.
I walked outside and the world was still cold; the sunlight had gone and so had the little warmth it brought, the pavement seemed so much more sharper than before and it was not rain or dew on the grass but delicately intricate teardrops. and the sky still stretched out; blue till the end.
Turning back, I spoke, but the wind snatched the words away.
Echoes. Shadows. It was over.