[Fiction] Baby Talk

Constantine trotted by Sarah’s side like a shadow even when the sun wasn’t out. At first, the new baby brother had been a nuisance, a pest, on the same level as spiders and mosquitos to all fourteen-year-old girls, until he started talking.

Sarah listened as she never listened to anyone else, because when Constantine spoke it was not like other people speaking, but music. Soft rising. Sly falling. His toddler’s babble was possibility: untamed, uninformed, and incomplete.

She pressed her fingers against his cupid’s bow. Wet and slick with saliva, it was hungry for more than a bottle. She wrapped him in her thin arms, the ones her girlfriends taunted as anorexic at school, and found a surprising strength welling deep inside her.

She lifted a lullaby, a wonder, as Constantine sang.