art by mairi timoney paired with the prose it inspired by nailah king
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preview of king's text on police, parents, and bystanders:
"There was a woman in a hat staring back at them. He burst out of the room.
“Charlie! Where are you going?” she asked.
But, he was gone.
He struggled to push the heavy building door. Then, he saw her.
He stood there, staring as her blonde hair rustled in the icy wind. Goosebumps dotted his arms.
The cop car was long gone. He didn’t know if he’d ever see his father again.
The woman kneeled, still facing him.
“Did you know the man they took away?”
“You saw it! Why didn’t you help?”
He pushed her and watched her fall to the ground, as if in slow motion. He watched her tumble, instantly regretting what he’d done. Still, he stood with his tiny frame, chest rising and falling with anger. He said nothing, as she had done.
He walked back to the building and reached for the correct buzzer.