Petals Adrift (100 words)
You used to snort, call us delicate roses.
Seeing you now, a shrunken middle-aged woman against stark sheets, I weigh forgiveness.
Authorities on hard knocks seldom live on the streets with a teenage mom estranged from her parents. They don’t know about finding hiding places or begging for food while outsmarting predators or spending hours in a public library for warmth, to vanish into thousands of worlds of words.
Your eyelids flutter. “Gwen?” Disbelief then tears.
Frail fingers grasp mine.
“Good hiding spot?”
Crystal-clear: you were just a kid making bad decisions for you and your own kid.