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OUR TURN

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“Listen to me! We’ll have to make sure she is asleep before we do anything.”

“I get it! I get it!” 

Robby whispered back to Angie as the two tiptoed across the corridor. In the deepest hours of the night, the corridor seemed longer, darker and scarier than normal. Clutching her shabby soft toy close to her body for courage, Angie followed an equally frightened Robby as the two slowly pushed open the door to their mother’s room. 

With a slight creaking sound, the door flung open revealing a dark but moonlit room to the two kids. On the bed that was set in the middle of the room, they could see just the shape of the woman sleeping, her body facing away from the two kids. The faint sound of breathing filled the room. When Robby turned to Angie, she placed a finger on her lips and warned him to not say anything or make any noise. After nodding his head in reply, he turned back to the woman, sighed and tiptoed across the room, Angie following closely from behind. 

The two kids walked around the bed and stood facing the sleeping woman. They watched for a few seconds to make sure that she was asleep before doing anything further. 

“Now?” he asked Angie. She nodded.

As he pulled out a small knife from his pocket, Angie slowly moved the arm of the sleeping woman, off the baby she was holding. Suddenly the woman stirred in her sleep causing Angie and Robby to freeze in their spot. Unaware of the kids in the room, the woman drifted back to sleep and the two kids let out a breath of relief. Angie immediately replaced the baby with her soft toy. 

The two kids hurried back to their room making least noise possible and closed the door behind them. Robby immediately took out his inhaler and breathed in for a few seconds. Hearts racing a thousand miles an hour, they took in a few deep breaths before turning to each other to make sure the other one is alright. Then, Angie walked a few steps to the middle of the room, amidst the empty bunk beds, placed the baby on the floor, and retraced her steps to her brother. 

“Take him,” she said. “Take him and leave.”

Moonlight that brightened the sky, caused to form a silhouette of a well-dressed lady who sat on the windowsill. Legs dangling outside, she sat up straight when Angie spoke. She turned her head towards the two kids inside the room and asked, “Are you sure your mother won’t mind?” 

Angie felt quiet at that as her head lowered and her eyes fell to the floor. Watching her reaction Robby said, “She’ll be fine. She has us.”

Angie looked up at him and he nodded his head in assurance. 

The lady swung her legs inside the room and walked to the baby, her Aline dress swaying with each step. Picking up the sleeping baby, the lady admired him as she licked her lips and said, “Your baby brother is very healthy,” as she walked towards the window. 

“How are our brothers and sisters?”

Angie’s sudden question caused the lady to stop in her tracks. She turned around and said, “Don’t worry about them. They are all in a better place now.”

“Tell them we miss them,” Robby said.

The lady breathed in and said, “I will try to come next year, if you two take care of your health like I asked you to. Next could be your chance Angie.”

When Angie smiled, Robby asked immediately, “The year after, could it be me?”

“Sure. If you get healthy and stop eating those medicines, next year could be your chance!”

Robby smiled at Angie as they held hands. He whispered to Angie, “We’ll get healthier and then the both of us will leave this place! Together!”

Angie chuckled and replied, “Then we’ll be with our brothers and sisters, play with lots of toys and eat good food! We will be much happier than we are here!”

Listening to them the lady beamed at the two kids, exposing her beautiful set of sharp teeth, a hint of wickedness hidden in her smile. As the kids watched, she climbed out the window, jumped off the windowsill and disappeared into the surrounding dark forest.

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