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Mother's Love

Mother's Love

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Published by Dennis Gamblin
This is one in a series of short stories I am preparing for a release.
This is one in a series of short stories I am preparing for a release.

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Published by: Dennis Gamblin on Dec 25, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/08/2014

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Dennis Gamblin First Serial Rights309 W. Ninth St. Approx. 600 wordsPortageville, MO 63873dgamblin@sheltonbbs.comMOTHER’S LOVE byDennis GamblinThis forest seems too dark as shadows dance and skitter with each heartbeat and blink of the eye.Jenna’s legs hurt. Her chest heaves, begging for more oxygen, but she does not stop torest. She only stops to look up at the canopy of leaves and limbs above her; one morehour of darkness, then daylight. Maybe then she will be safe. They do not hunt duringthe day. But she can hear them behind her. They always seem to be just behind her,hunting.The bundle in her arms -- her child -- begins to stir so she cradles him tighter. “Quietnow,” she whispers. They can not be allowed to hear. Those bastards -- bloodthirsty bastards who, ever since the plague started, could care less who they kill. They just kill.The dew-soaked leaves slip from underneath Jennas feet as she climbs the steep hill;her knee comes down hard on the rocks underneath. A thin trickle of blood runs downher leg like a new born river. Slowly at first but as her heart pumps harder the blood river  branches out into smaller tributaries. With one stroke of her finger the river is gone.Jenna looks at the red stain on her finger, the blood. The fuel for the plague. The river of life for the living as well as for the ones who wish they were dead.
 
Mother’s Love/Gamblin/page 2She limps to the top of the hill, the ache in her leg does not slow her as much as thechild in her arms. Jenna stops and looks behind her. She can hear dogs barking in thedistance mingling with far away shouts, but she can not see them and they can not seeher.The child is heavy, like dead weight. The tendons and muscles in her arms tightenand strain to the point of wondering if she will ever be able to straighten her arms again.If she could just put him down for a minute, two minutes. Forever. She could put himdown and run away, never look back and they would not follow her. Because they wouldhave the child. They want the child.No. The caves are just ahead. If she can make the caves before daylight she will besafe. She puts one foot in front of the other, and then the other. Make the caves. Beforedaylight. Safe. They don’t hunt during daylight.She can see the caves, just ahead, but the bastards have gained ground on her. Theyare close, so close that the dogs have panicked. The dogs do not want to come closer.But they will come. The men from the village will come closer.The mouth of the cave is hidden but she knows where it is. Jenna has to crawl under the bushes and the burrs, the thorns tear at her clothes, her flesh. The child in her armssquirms and fusses. He is awake and hungry.“In a minute,” Jenna says as she now stands in the cave. “Quiet now.”The men lose her trail just below the cave, maybe because the dogs are fightingagainst their collars and leashes or because an early morning mist has turned to sprinkles,

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