The Fourteenth Cookie

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9. That’s the way the cookie crumbles

On the very last step of the ladder, the boy summoned all the strength he had left in him, did a little jump and landed, face-down, on the roof’s surface. They had made it. He looked at the cookie, she seemed fine despite the rough ride. The little boy started to sprint across the roof, running practically on fumes now, jumped to a different nearby building’s roof, then to another and another. He looked back. No one was coming after them, they had gotten away. He noticed a doorway to a staircase in one of the buildings.

He pushed the door open with all the strength an exhausted little boy like him could muster and started climbing down the stairs, checking all along how the cookie was holding-up. She looked worried, she was transpiring, she was shaken-up, but she was well. That’s all that mattered. They got out of the building and he gently pulled her out of his pocket. The cookie looked around and said “There...to the left, we’re almost home”. They looked at each other and smiled warmly. It was a beautiful, innocent, full of purity smile, which contrasted wonderfully with their hopelessly worn out faces.

The boy started again to run very fast, using his newly-found energy that their mutual smile had provided him with. He was now holding the cookie in his left hand; he wasn’t going to risk again her falling off his shirt’s pocket. Less than a minute away from the flat, the little boy’s left foot landed on something green, on something soft, on something slippery. His knee gave way. His small body veered slowly to the left and he began to fall. His left shoulder hit the pavement hard. His head made contact with the road surface. Blood started running down his nose almost instantaneously. He glanced at his left arm and then at his left hand. He opened his palm slowly, worried sick of what he might see. His tiny fingers were refusing to open out of wholesome fear. He got a rapid glimpse of the cookie’s body and then came to the shocking realization of what had really happened.

The cookie was in the little boy’s small palm, no longer moving. All broken-up, in small pieces…in crumbs. She was crushed accidentally, in his hand, during the fall. He looked at her in utter disbelief, by now on his knees. He stared at the sky above and let out a cry of absolute anguish, of complete hopelessness and of unfathomable pain. Everyone around them stopped what they were doing and looked at the little boy. Tears started coming slowly down his deep-red-colored cheeks. They were trickling down, but remained rested at the very edge of his small chin, dangling there, but without falling.
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