by John Gied Calpotura (Fiction)

Under a tree, in the corner of a forgotten park, in a city where blood flooded the streets, lay a baby inside a shoebox. The baby’s cry was muted by the louder cries and screams of armed men.

No one heard the little boy.

The shoebox was smeared with dry blood. The mother had been in a hurry to leave her child alone in hopes that someone would pick up the mistake she was making.

The baby was wrapped in a cloth that had too many holes in it. He stopped crying, but the world continued fighting. His tiny fingers were clutched as he tried to reach a bird up on a tree. He smiled. The bird was a bright shade of blue, and its chirp was loud enough to be heard in the pool of misery.

The baby was laughing now. He reached up two clutched hands in the air, still trying to grab ahold of the bird.

Then there was a shot. The infant was so shocked, he cried louder than before. A color of red bloomed on the blue feathers of the bird. It flapped its wings frantically, trying to fly, but alas, it fell. It fell into the shoebox, adding to the number of lost souls inside it. It fell on the baby’s stomach. The baby, once again, stopped crying. He picked up the bird, and studied it. He pouted; there wasn’t any red a while ago. He hugged the bird nonetheless and waited for a beautiful chirp that he would never hear from it again.

Oh, how the world treated the child like a toy.

“Hey! There’s a baby!”

The voice made the baby open his eyes. He saw a man with a dirty cloth wrapped around his head and a rifle slung on his shoulder. Another man, with the same attire but has more red on his face, came into view. The baby hugged the bird tighter.

“This is a great shield,” said the second man. “Nobody shoots a baby.” His crooked voice made the little boy flinch.

They picked him up.

“Drop the baby down,” said yet another man, in an army suit, accompanied by five more. “Or we’ll shoot you.”

The two men grinned while the baby was as confused as ever.

“You think we’re dumb?” said the man holding the infant. “I know you good soldiers won’t kill a baby.”

“You don’t know to what extent we would go to save our country.” The soldier aimed his rifle. “We can kill a baby if we have to.”

“You want to save your country?” The man took a step forward. The soldiers readied their guns. “We are trying to save ours too!”

Shots rang out.

Under a tree, in the corner of a forgotten park, in a city where blood flooded the streets, an innocent soul fell to his death.