A girl of 16 has been charged with the murder of a newborn baby boy at a house in Lincolnshire, UK. Police were called to a property 5 September. A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death was a blocked airway and that the child had choked. Officers are piecing together the sequence of events over the last couple of days. Lincolnshire Police said a girl of 16, who cannot be named, had been charged with murder and would appear at Grantham Magistrates' Court later.
So sad. I can imagine the circumstances and wish I could change things.
By whispering into their mind, she offers alternatives.
Here's an example from my work in process:
Too quick. Reach a safe place. Liliha staggered through the doorway and pressed her back against the rear wall behind the shop counter. She dropped her coat and bag and checked the customer gazing at the street outside before tilting within the deviation toward another place.
* * *
I peer down with my tunneled telescopic vision and ignore the fuzzy edges and the surreal floating sensation. Below, occasional cars roar along a wide road. Concentrating on this area, I hover under bright, late morning sun and get my bearings. To one side, shops line the roadside and people stroll along the pavement.
Ahead of a line of traffic, a car slows. The horn sounds.
A child stumbles along the edge of the road--a toddler on unsteady legs, dressed in pink trousers and top. More cars reduce speed.
I zoom toward the closest pedestrian and meld with a middle-aged woman. "Pay attention to the road."
She turns her head and notices the toddler. Her first instinct is to help, but she hesitates. I read a deep-seated problem inside her consciousness.
'Quick. Get the child before a car runs her over'.
Overcoming her uncertainty, she darts forward and swoops the little one up into her arms. "Well done," she whispers to herself. "When I tell my husband, he'll say, 'Good for you, Daphne'." She speaks louder to the child to be heard above the traffic. "What are you doing on the road? Where's Mommy?"
The girl points.
Our gaze swings to a woman lying prone close to the gutter between cars, face tilted sideways. Daphne tucks the child on her hip, hurries over, and leans close, adjusting her burden to compensate. "What's wrong?"
The disheveled woman mumbles. A strong smell of alcohol rises from her swollen lips.
"Mommy, Mommy." The child squeals and wriggles. Daphne lowers her to the ground.
Worry seeps into Daphne's mind. Unless she reports the incident to the police, the child will be in very real danger and she can't remain with her. She's on her way to pick up her grandchildren from pre-school.
She doesn't want to call the authorities. Flashes of her unhappy childhood with foster parents rise to the surface. Welfare services took her from her own lackadaisical mother. She wouldn't wish a similar future on any child.
The slumped woman stirs, but then sags.
'Call the police', I whisper. 'Things might not turn out the same way for this child'.
The toddler tries to wander off again. When Daphne grasps her, our gaze falls on the dial of her watch. Close to the time to collect her charges, she scans the area for someone else to take over.
I issue a strong certainty to her. 'You must call'.
She flicks open her phone and asks for help.
A female voice says, "An officer will be with you very soon. There is one just around the corner. Please remain with the child."
The little girl struggles, but Daphne keeps a firm hold on her dress strap. With a squeal of tires, a motorbike stops. A uniformed officer dismounts, removes his helmet and strides over.
After explaining the situation, Daphne alerts him about her need to leave while he bends to examine the woman. She blurts, "What will happen to the child?"
"Don't worry, Ma'am. We'll keep them both safe for the night, and if all is well, they'll be released in the morning."
Daphne hurries away to meet her charges.
I lift off too.
* * *
Soft sounds in the tearooms eased Liliha's passage--the hum of the refrigerator, an occasional muffled clink. She'd love to find out what happened to the mother and little pink toddler--so innocent. The child had no control over the circumstance of her birth. However, the mother would have been intoxicated before and could be again. She might pull herself together after the humiliating experience of being locked up for the night.