Halima – Chapter 1

It was trash day again. I really hated that day specifically because there was no organized trash disposal system where I lived. So I had to gather all my trash in a big black bag and walk close to 10 minutes in the cold to empty my trash in a large pit dug by the neighborhood residents. And the weather was about nine degrees C – extremely cold for the tropics. But I couldn’t live in a house with smelling trash so I pulled on a thick jacket over my red sweater and got to work.

A few minutes later, I made the walk to the pit. There was trash all over, the whole area was littered with trash from those who were too lazy to walk up to the pit, not that I blamed them. The smell was horrible! Something must have died somewhere nearby. I tried to hold my breath, quickly dump my bag and get out of the vicinity. I was so intent on my chore I almost missed the sound. I paused for a few seconds but heard nothing; my imagination must be playing tricks on me, I decided. I released the breath I’d been holding, flung the trash bag into the pit and turned to leave when I heard the sound again. It sounded like a whimper but was so faint. I went totally still, holding my breath once again. This time, it was clearer; a whimper. It sounded like a baby but in the trash pit! Impossible. Nevertheless, I decided to investigate.

Using the infrequent whimpers as guide, I waded deeper into the trash pit, the stench wafting up in merciless waves was almost unbearable. I had to use my hand to move bags of trash aside in my quest. Finally, a few minutes later, I found the source of the whimper. There, wrapped with torn rags, in the midst of all the rotten trash, was the most pathetic sight I had ever laid my eyes on.

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