Silvery grass now crisp underfoot in the morning air. Hot clouds of breath from the boy at my side.
With no overcoat, this child, unshod and raggedy, appears a plaything too old, worn, forgotten.
I glance down. Soon, all will be finished.
Walking further, the boy stumbles, his toe hits a rock. I hear the anguish escape his blue lips. He whimpers.
Underneath matted hair, a single tear falls.
We reach the glassy edge of the stream.
He does not struggle as I plunge his head into the frigid water.
His life trickling away in its flow.
It is done.