The Girl and the Dark Corner

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Объем: 10 бумажных стр.

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The Girl and the Dark Corner

Dedicated to all the homeless children around the world…

She was eight years old. A very thin girl, and always dirty. When her mother was sober and kind, she called her Ela, stroked her head, and fed her with rusks and sausage scraps. When her mother was drunk, she smelled bad and swore like a sailor, kicked her and called her Ida.

One day her mother came home, her face beaten and bruised. Her mouth was bleeding.

«Oh Mom, does it hurt?» Ela-Ida asked fearfully. «Why are you bleeding?»

But her mother said nothing. She sat down in the corner of their little room and began to sob under her breath. The little girl started to crawl around her, tried to peer into her mother’s eyes. The woman stopped sobbing and stared at her angrily.

«What do you want from me?» she asked through clenched teeth.

«I want to eat,» answered Ela-Ida in a quiet, frightened voice.

«Again?!» screamed the woman, erupting in a hysterical fit. «You’re always hungry, huh? Do you think I don’t get hungry?!»

Out of habit, the girl hid shrank into a dark corner under the table. She didn’t want to anger Mom. She was afraid that her mother would start beating her again.

«Get out, you devil seed!» Her mother didn’t want to calm down. «You’re an adult already. Leave, and go look for your food yourself!»

Ela shook her head desperately. But her mother still pulled her out from under the table. Then she dragged her to the subway station and pushed her into the first car they came across.

Ela-Ida had never been in the subway before. She got very scared when everything around her suddenly began to rumble. She screamed and screamed, but the roaring did not stop. A random man took her by the scruff of her neck and slapped her sharply in the face. Ela fell silent. She was afraid that the man would hit her again, but it turned out he meant well and soon pulled her out into the streets.

It was already dark, but Ela-Ida still bumped into a passer-by on the street, reeking of the familiar smell of alcohol.

«Where’s home?» Ida asked him.

«There!» answered the stranger and, belching loudly, waved in the first direction that took his fancy.

And so, Ela tried to go home. As she stumbled along the dimly lit streets, she grew colder and more tired. In the darkness, she could not see a thing, and bumping into the concrete slabs of the heating mains, she almost fell into an open manhole. The white steam billowed from the opening.

«It is warm over there!» Ela thought to herself and, finding a metal ladder, climbed down the hole to warm herself up and rest a little.


Ela never found the way back home. Not knowing where to go, she returned to the manhole. At least it was warmer than outside in the cold streets.

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