Friday, 21 September 2012

144: Suffer The Little Children

Our brother died last night.  He was puny and only just whimpered when he was born.  He lived four hours then he just slipped away without even a final cry.  His breathing shallowed then he breathed out and never took more air in.

I had to go and find our Aunt Mamie to help with the body.  I was scared because it was dark and I’m not allowed out in the dark until I’m 11, which is not until after Christmas.  I ran as fast as I could all the way there and Aunt Mamie let me ride on the handlebars of her bike going back.  She said our Ma should have called her in to help with birthing but Ma said she didn’t want to be a bother.

Ma was poorly a lot with this baby so I’m glad she isn’t still waiting to have him.  I wish he didn’t have to die though.  My other brother died too but I was only 4 then so I don’t remember.  All my friends have had a brother or sister die, nearly.  Only Jennifer hasn’t, but her Da has a good job and so he paid for her Ma to see the doctor twice each time when she was expecting.  That means they must be very rich, I say.

Aunt Mamie washed him and put him in a blanket so he just looked like he was sleeping.  Ma came to see him and she was the quiet kind of sad.  She had a little tear in her eye, then she hugged me and said it didn’t do to wish for things we can’t never have.  Then she went back for a lie down, because she is still bleeding Aunt Mamie said.

Thomas they called the last baby that died.  I wonder if they will call this one Thomas too.  Maybe that is the special name for babies who die very soon.  I like Brian, very modern, but I suppose they won’t ask me.

We have to call him something though.  If we don’t give him his name how we will be sure he was ever here?


  1. Very nice Katharine, you captured the mood just perfectly. ^_^

    Welcome to friday flash!

  2. What a powerful, and saddening short story.

    This hits hard, the facts from a child's perspective making it all the more poignant.

    So very well done.

    Welcome to #fridayflash. :)

  3. Thank you Helen, thank you Steve. Your comments are really appreciated :)

    And I'm looking forward to taking part in fridayflash and read other stories x

  4. Those last three paragraphs are brilliant!

    This is a hard story set in hard days, and you capture the feelings so very well :)

    Welcome to Friday Flash!

  5. Welcome to Friday flash -- Katherine -- I think you handled the time and place very well in this haunting piece, also the voice of the young child questioning the inevitable comes across so beautifully.