Jacqueline watched her daughter from the bedroom window. She was outside playing in the snow and trying to catch snowflakes with her tongue. She smiled at the scene. She knew her husband was sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee, keeping careful eye on their girl. She felt it then.

The tickle at the back of her throat. She put her hand to her mouth and began to cough and hack. Her body shook with every cough, her throat ripping itself apart with every breath drawn. Then she could taste it. The metallic burn of blood. Once her body stopped shaking, Jacqueline pulled her hand away knowing full well that it would be slick with red. She wasn’t wrong.

She couldn’t take it. She began to sob and scream. She threw her weak fists at the windows and beat them. Each hit surely bruising her her delicate hands. She didn’t care. She beat at the window harder and harder, her hands screaming at her to stop. She didn’t. She screamed louder and louder until it was too much. She slumped against the side of her bed and pulled her knees up close to her and cried.

She crawled towards the window and looked back down at her little girl, undisturbed by the screaming, her little hands stretched out in front, still catching snowflakes.


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