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The Lord Giveth, the Lord Taketh Away

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You lay on top of Da’s old wool overcoat, your thin chest rising and falling with each shallow breath you struggled to take. Your eyelids fluttered restlessly and your forehead blazed under my touch. As I watched you your tiny body suddenly erupted with racking cough that had been ripping you for the past month. l tucked your shawl closer around you and stroked your cheek.
“a thoil, stor. Stoir. Hush, darling. Hush.”
I glanced at the mouth of our alley, then made up my mind. I scooped you into my arms and made sure you were well wrapped in the shawl and coat. You weighed nearly nothing now. You whimpered like a puppy when I lifted you.
“Hush, Bridey. Hush dearie.”
I hurried out of the alley and walked as fast as I could towards the square. There were mostly people like us, poor and shabby, but there were a few well-dressed rich people milling about. I carefully scanned until i found an older couple. The man had a kind face and the lady seemed very soft and sweet, like Mam was. I hurried up to them.
“Begging your pardon, but could you take my sister? She’s so ill, and I can’t take care of her. Please. Please help us.”
The lady stared at us in shock, but the man leaned down and inspected you. Suddenly his face fell.
“Dear child, your sister is now with the Lord.”



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