The body of a child washed up on the shore. 

It was discovered by a young tourist as she walked along the placid lake as the sun rose over the horizon. The still, picture-perfect serenity of the lake and the tranquility of the morning was pierced by her throated scream. Naturally, it created a furore. The media and the masses raised a frenetic cry and the Missisippi Police Department worked overtime to keep up with the Senator’s plea and public frenzy.

Back home, somewhere, a family must grieve the loss of a child. 


Two girls played a game of Hopscotch on the deck of their parent’s yacht. 

“Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of rye. 
Four and twenty black-birds, baked in a pie. 
When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing. 
Was n’t it a dainty dish, to serve before the king!”

The nursery rhyme dissolved in a maddening burst of laughter that echoed into the surrounding snow-laden mountains. The happy parents looked on with contented smiles. It was the perfect family on a perfect holiday. Or so it seemed.

“We made the right decision, Sweetheart. By giving Nina a home when she needed one. And a little sister for our own Clara,” said Mr Taylor.

Mrs Taylor nodded her head silently, in agreement. 

“We only need to love both our girls in equal measure, in order to foster a sense of mutual trust and nurture their bond,” continued Mr Taylor. Mrs Taylor, this time however, did not reply. She only looked in the direction the girls played and remembered.


“Why did you hurt your sister?” The mother began with a quizzical look upon her tired face. 

“Because I don’t like her,” replied the child, nonchalantly.

“But she is your sister and she loves you very much..” Mrs Taylor trailed off; she saw and understood the cold, defiant look of the young girl. 

Adopted as an infant, Nina had come to stay into the home and hearts of the Taylor family. However, as the girls grew in stature, the difference in their appearances and temperaments only served to amplify the adoption. And then the bullying began.

A week after the ill-fated physical brawl, Mr Taylor came up with his “Brilliant Idea”.

“Why not a week away at our lakeside cabin in the woods! What, but the fresh mountain air to whisk away the blues,” he chuckled gleefully.

Little did he know, his idea was n’t as brilliant as he had thought.


All it took was one gigantic push. She went hurtling down into the hungry, dark waters. Her sister watched from the railing of the deck.  

“Was n’t it a dainty dish to serve…,” she giggled into the cold black night.


The next morning, the Taylors sat groggy-eyed and unbelieving, as the truth sank in. Their child had drowned. 

It was little Nina’s turn to be questioned. She sat upright in bed and blinked back blankly, at the detective.

Trauma-stricken, he scribbled. 
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Anne Adarsh
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