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Breathe, Just Breathe

It was damn cold again, good for the baby's croup, worked faster than the steam shower which took too long and never sufficiently steamed due to the uneven floorboards and the giant gap beneath the bathroom door. First time scared him silent, the fire alarm piercing midnight blares from all that loose steam escaping. First thought was 'of all the crap, that old thing's still working, huh', the last functioning piece of equipment worth a damn, though it was only the shower. Till that seal bark started back again, and it was cold outside, and, well, the boy slept naked and the neighbours kept watch since we'd moved here two months back, and even that Ms. Leary across the street with her welcome basket of jams and her friendly dog-walking waves, snapped her shutters one too many times, giving herself away each time the boy's mother started with one of her rants. No, outside was nobody's business. The boy was nobody's business. The window and its faulty latch would suffice.

All paint-chipped and rot, rolled right up its tracks like it was meant to fly open, or meant for escape, meant for the gust of cold air to help the boy breathe, just breathe, to keep the constriction from strangling us all inside.

Story by:

Melanie Pappadis Faranello

3 January 2013