He glanced back again, surely more times than was necessary. They had lost his trail and were no longer following him, at least he prayed they weren’t.
Anita said they were being tracked, and it was becoming glaringly obvious why.
When he walked through the front door, the first thing he spotted was it lying on her chest, nibbling at her breast, sucking the milk that was never meant for it.
He could only refer to it as it. Humanizing it would create an attachment, and he needed a clear and focused mind if they were ever going to escape for a third time.
He tossed Anita the dufflebag by the door, prepacked with the essentials—three pairs of clean underwear, jeans, a t-shirt, tennis shoes, a grand in cash, hair dye, colored contacts, prosthetic teeth to create new identities again (he knew a guy in Juno who made fake IDs; they’d visit him first), a bag of mixed nuts and chopped fruit for sustenance, bottles for the baby (they couldn’t risk stopping to breast feed while on the run).
“Sirens are close,” he said. “We gotta split.”
“Just a minute. He hasn’t eaten all day.”
Dammit, woman, he wanted to scream. The baby wasn’t even theirs. And could he even call it a baby? It looked nearly three, but apparently its mother never weened it, and so Anita cradled him against her raw nipples, pressed its head down to latch on, as if it were an infant, an infant like the one they lost at the hospital when her body ejected him from her womb five months too soon.
Not this source of all their troubles, lying there, drinking the drugs still circulating in her system that killed his precious baby boy. That grew into an even bigger burden the closer the police came to finding them.
He peeked out the window. Flashing blue lights reflected on the apartment building across the street. If they climbed down the fire escape, they might still make it, but Anita would have to leave the boy.
He sighed and folded on the floor. It was pointless. From the day she scooped it up from the playground sandbox, Anita would never let it leave her side.
Written for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt, hosted by Candice Coates over at I came for the soup… The objective is to create a story in 20 minutes using the above line in bold and the picture provided.