Here is my entry for Rachel Harrie's Second Campaign Challenge:
We dig in the trash, the filthy trash, my brother, sister and I. Most days we find ourselves here, scrounging for treasures: scraps of metal, worn tires, anything that may be of value we can sell.No matter how many treasures we find it will not make Mother better.
On this day I find a surprising treasure. A ring.
Mandeep snatches it from me. “Nandini! We are rich!”
I know I should be happy but all I can think about is our mother lying on her side, a mat of woven grass beneath her. Her lips are cracked, her eyes devoid of awareness. Where has she gone, the woman with the bright eyes who used to fill our home with laughter? She cannot even drink the water we dribble into her mouth. My father pretends as if she is sleeping ... you cannot fool a child who has grown up on the streets of Calcutta.As my brother turns the ring around in his fingers I realize that Mother deserves more than to die in an inferno of a hut, flies perched on her sweating face.
I snatch back the ring. “It is my burial gift for Mother.”