Spark (5 of 11) “That smells great. Where’s mine?”

I sleep for a long while. When I wake, Mother is standing over me with a large bowl of soup.

“That smells great. Where’s mine?” Louis asks. He peers into the bowl. “That looks like meat! We haven’t had any in as long as I can remember.”

“Sweetheart, this is a special soup just for your sister,” Mother says as she lifts the spoon to my chapped lips. “To help her feel better.” I accept the spoon and swallow the finely cut, tender chunks. I look past her to our small kitchen. Three of her special powders are open and sitting on the wooden counter. The smooth brown walls of our cottage are rotted and unstable, dark with patches of mold.

My eyes open wide. This was delicious.

“That’s not fair,” he says.

“I can share, Mother.” My voice comes hoarse. “Who gave us meat? That was nice of them.” My throat hurts, and the warm liquid is soothing against it. “Louis, come here.”

“No!” Mother says sharply, shooing him away. She pauses and regains her composure, speaking gently, “This is Diana’s. Louis, your supper is still warm. It’s over there wrapped in the plantain leaves.” She motions towards it. He obeys.



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