J by Ron Shaw


A new short story to be published soon entitled J:





Ron Shaw

With his last breath, a child and a story are born.

They would become one.

James Blade of Spokane, Washington has died.

Some two thousand miles away, a nameless baby girl fills her lungs with air for the first time. She cries. Atlanta has a new citizen who will never know her mother or a parent’s embrace.

Mr. Blade’s eyelids are open. His eyes are fixed and frozen, lifeless, staring at the ceiling of a hospital emergency room. A single tear, rolling from the corner of his left eye down his bruised and bloodied cheek, goes unseen. The cubicle is empty of life now.

How he lived is unimportant. The manner in which he was killed is inconsequential. James Blade’s age is immaterial.

His second soul is paramount.

In Atlanta, Georgia, the newborn child would be known only as Jane Doe 7 until such time new parents were procured. In 1961, the adoption of children born to teen mothers addicted to drugs was no easy task. Some orphans, like Jane Doe 7, fall through the cracks of big city bureaucracy.

An old man naps upright, sitting on a stone bench that rests at the foot of a tombstone of pink marble. His tattered clothing appears fitting for his thin body, draped in wrinkled skin. His face grimaces with each long, faint snore, as a fall breeze lifts his thick, black hair from his shoulders.

Within hearing distance, a younger man quietly weeps, standing before the crypt of his beloved nephew, praying aloud for forgiveness. The mixture of rustling wind, words of remorse, and the old man’s snoring swirl around the cemetery like a small twister.

Two live souls, one in agony and the other at rest, are all that occupy this quiet plot of land today.

The old man wakes when the wind whispers in his ear, “Please, God help me. Son, let me know you’re alright. What can I do? What have I done? So many lives are destroyed. Please, Lord, show me the way.” He sees where the prayers are returned with the breeze. He rises, walking a path along the graves towards the sounds…

Copyright 2016 Ron Shaw


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