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head is throbbing so hard my hearing and vision fade. The last thing I remember is the smell of my mother’s cookies in the next room. *** It’s like I’m consciously dreaming. Everything around me seems so real. I can hear, see, taste and… I can smell my mother’s perfume. My real mother. It smells of lilac and jasmine. I have the taste of blood in my mouth as she rocks me back and forth in her arms. She’s not speaking to me in English, but I know what she is saying anyway. She says, “It’ll be alright (rebenok). You are safe. Mama will keep you safe.” I cry into her breasts, soaking up every ounce of the scent I can. My face hurts, like I’ve just been hit. I look up at her and she is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. She is very young. Sixteen, maybe seventeen. I look about the room, full of half naked stickily women. So thin they almost don’t look human. They smoke cigarettes and stare into nothing with emotionless faces. A few of them are passed out on stained mattresses with needles hanging out of their arms. Green stains around their nostrils. The room is dimly lit with creeping high window light. The green walls are chipped in spots, exposing the wood and wires beneath them. There is no happiness here, only my mother. * I’m being ripped from my mother’s arms. I’m a bit older this time. A woman screams at the top of her lungs. “Pyotr, no! You can’t take her baby. You can’t take her son.” I struggle in hands as big as paws. I fight but to no avail. When I look up I see a large chubby man with a cheap dime store lion’s mask. He stares down at me with expressionless eyes. I claw and scratch, but it is no use as the man throws me under one arm and takes me Page 48 | The Paragon Journal

Profile for The Paragon Press

The Paragon Journal - Issue Ten  

The Paragon Journal is an online literary journal that specializes in helping younger authors find their way in the literary world.

The Paragon Journal - Issue Ten  

The Paragon Journal is an online literary journal that specializes in helping younger authors find their way in the literary world.

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