It had felt like a smart decision then…

The hunger pangs, his mother’s tears, a drunkard father’s abuses, a shrivelling sister hopelessly waiting to be wed someday. There is money to be earned in the big city he had heard. On an impulse he boarded the train.  

He was scared now. Scorning looks, lecherous touches, sweaty bodies shoving his emaciated frame around as they rushed about their business. Which way should he go? He walked towards the kiosk hoping to ask for a job. “Get away… useless filth…” He ran. Huddled in a corner, he wept.

Suddenly a shadow approached…

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

**************************

Written in response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 16 July 2021.

Across the world millions of children are forced to survive alone on the streets. In India, every five minutes a child arrives alone at a railway station. Immediately, they face violence, exploitation, trafficking and abuse. These children make money any way they can, scavenge for scraps of food and sleep huddled together in groups for safety. Their lives are typified by violence and often cut short.

http://www.railwaychildren.org.in

17 thoughts on “The Railway Child

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