Who’d Want To Read That?

“Oh my god, did that really happen?” they ask. It did.

Linda Caroll
6 min readMay 22, 2024
Woman and child standing outdoors surrounded by trees
Mother and child photo generated by AI Pro Photo, licensed from Vecteezy

She’s afraid. The stink of fear radiating off her body as she yells and kicks at the men crowding around her. They’re trying to pull her baby out her arms. Meaty hands grabbing pudgy baby arms, chubby legs, fat baby belly while the baby screams, red-faced in her arms. No, she shouts, no.

Her husband, he’s no help. He’s fighting too. Holding their toddler as the men grab at the boy. Deep voice yelling. Angry. Scared. Holding his boy so tight to his chest the child screams, slaps at daddy, tries to wiggle free. Man just trying to protect his family, all he’s got in the world. Them and a few measly dollars in his pocket.

Concentric circles of pain like a target and they’re at the center. Him and her. All them city men in their clean pressed uniforms, yanking and pulling at their babies. Making a wide berth around it all, farmers and laborers in rough hewn clothing watching in horror. Clutching tight to their own young.

Could have been any of them, really. Be some other poor family another day except they wouldn’t watch. No one did once it happened to them. But that kind of thing happens, no one talks about it later. Too awful. Tell anybody they stare at you with wide eyes. Can’t even comprehend.