The woman by the side of the road

It was raining heavily when a magnitude 4 earthquake hit. There was a danger of landslides near the mountainside residential town I lived in, so I evacuated with my family to the nearby shelter. I met up with one of my friends on the way, and we chatted while we walked. Then he saw something by the side of the road.

There was a woman on the slope beneath the guard rail. She said she fell while trying to pick up her things, twisting her ankle, and she couldn’t get back up. We banded together to help her up, and myself, my friend and a university student from the neighbourhood formed a human chain in the pouring rain to reach her.

As my friend got close to the woman, she pointed to something in the distance. We could hear the sounds of a crying baby through the heavy downfall. Apparently the woman was pregnant, and the shock of the fall had caused her to give birth.

He ran to help the baby right away, passing the child to those waiting by the roadside. I remember seeing the person’s face change colour out the corner of my eye as they were handed the baby.

We made a human chain once more and descended to help the woman, but she was gone. My friend wanted to look for her, but as he was about to let go of my hand, we heard a voice from above.

“Hey, hurry up and get back up here!”

We explained that the woman had gone missing, but they refused to listen and just told us to come back. When he went to go looking for her again they screamed out once more.

“Don’t let him go! Get back here, now!”

I could tell by their voices that something was wrong, so I dragged my reluctant friend back up. According to the person waiting up top, the baby we handed to them was already long dead. We couldn’t believe it.

More so because even in the heavy rain, we had both heard the baby’s cry.


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