The Snow Angel, Part Fourteen

Amber nestled a sand-weighted paper bag against the sidewalk, turning it to align with its sisters. She fished a flameless tealight from her totebag. Her toddler wobbled in an awkward gait on the nearest square of walkway. Amber extended the candle. "Want to turn it on?" With a grin dimpling her…

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The Snow Angel, Part Thirteen

Winter's breath needled through Amber's worn soles to bite at her toes. She trudged the walkway, burdens slipping and swinging at her sides. She clamped a stack of mail in her hand, while her arms fought to balance purse, diaper bag, and twenty pounds of wriggling flesh. Angela stretched her demand…

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The Snow Angel, Part Twelve

Meg slid the scissor edge along the packing tape and popped the seals free. As she unfolded the boxtop flaps, dust rose to dance where smoke once flowed through the air. "See it!" Angela wriggled her fingers toward the crinkle of packing tissue as Mrs. Standover drew out the long-latent gift.…

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The Snow Angel, Part Eleven

Amber shifted Babygirl to her other hip as Meg opened the front door. A deer-stalker capped fellow turned on the sidewalk. He clutched a package against his navy blue coat. "Oh, you're home." "And you're not the fire department." Meg stepped out of the smoky haze onto the threshold. She glanced over…

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The Snow Angel, Part Ten

Citrus, thyme, and basil scents wafted from the kitchen. Angela wriggled on her mother's lap to grab a handful of the umber tablecloth. "No, no, babygirl." Amber scooted back from the table's edge and drew her child close. She raised her chin and yelled over the clattering sounds in the adjacent…

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The Snow Angel, Part Nine

Hickory and poultry scents wove through the neighborhood's brisk air as Amber lifted her cherub-faced daughter from the car. White flecks floated aimlessly on the breeze, dotting their cheeks with chilly kisses. A flake landed on Angela's long, dark lashes. "Whassat?" She blinked at her mother and pointed a chubby finger…

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The Snow Angel, Part Eight

Instruments clattered. Latex gloves and masked faces loomed beyond the blur of Amber's squinted eyes. She groaned louder and deeper with each increasing, merciless cramp torquing her womb. Amber gripped the sweat drenched hospital sheet at her sides. Pain clenched her abdomen, searing through her entire body with horrific intensity. Every…

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The Snow Angel, Part Seven

 Intense pain seized her abdomen. Amber doubled over and staggered backward, knees faltering. Cradling her womb with one hand, she clutched at her neighbor's porch column with the other. She crumpled as horrific cramps shocked her entire core. "Are you okay?" The neighbor caught her before she hit the deck. Arm…

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The Snow Angel, Part Six

 The damp scent of snow tingled at Amber's nose as she waddled across the parking lot. Handbag clutched tight, she hugged it as a shield over the drafty opening of her coat. The buttons no longer met to close over her swollen belly. The drugstore manager yelled out of the door.…

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The Snow Angel, Part Five

Amber shuffled through her birthday cards, scanning the well wishes until the words blurred together. A hot tear spilled down her frigid cheek. She stacked them on the end of the kitchen counter. Reading the rest would have to wait. She shuffled back to the entrance and re-tacked the draft-blocking coverlet…

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