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Another sleepless night comes and goes. Glowing tendrils of light begin to crawl across the horizon. A young girl breathes; her relief escaping in the silence of the dawn. She has survived for yet another day. If I could tell you more about this girl, I would. But the memories of a name and dreams of a future have long since been forgotten. Tiny, stick-like fingers cling to worn clothes. The air is cold and she has not the resources nor the money needed to supply heat.
If she strains her ears she can hear the murmurings of a crowd. Like mosquitoes, the humming grows louder and she detects the faint melodic tune of a hymn. She picks herself up from the dusty road and stumbles toward the noise, wondering all the while if the Jesus they mention will be kind enough to provide some bread.
Men, women and children alike retreat when they see her come, almost as if she has contracted a deadly disease. She has been branded since birth from the actions of her parents. Though they are now gone, their memories linger; does thunder ever cry?
An old church looms up ahead and the singing intensifies. Chords and harmonies and cadences thread between each other to weave a heavy blanket of song. It may take days or years or decades, but these voices will rise up together and penetrate through the doors of heaven; a prayer of the abandoned children.
She strains to peek in through the window at the sea of red, blue and green. Young orphans like her fill every corner of the vast space. Their deadened eyes now shimmer with a glimpse of hope. Their sweet, sweet voices faltering but determined; does thunder ever sing?
Exhausted, she huddles against the stone wall, turning her back on the children. A tear slips from her eye; it sparkles once in the sunlight and drops to the ground as a replicate of the morning dew.
When she sees the man, he is staring at her. She knows what he will see; a young girl of age seven in rags and dying. With an expression of sympathy he rummages around a small bag before placing a sandwich at her feet. Grateful for the food, she downs it in an instant and whispers a thank you. He seems to hesitate before crouching on the dusty ground beside her.
"Do you have a name, child?" he asks her.
Because she doesn't know, she says the first thing she imagines.
He straightens up.
"My name is Blake. William Blake."
Inside the church, the hymn has reached its climax. Words tumbling over words like fish in the sea. The man turns and walks away, unconcerned with the whispers of the crowd; does thunder ever laugh? They stare at him as if he has gone mad; what sane man would speak to a branded child?
He stops only to murmur to himself.
"Cherish pity lest you drive an angel from your door."
Let me ask you something; does thunder ever die?