Mary Kay Bonfante is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Mary Kay Bonfante
Guadalupe and Alberto had been traveling for weeks with a coyote known as El Santo, three others in his gang and eight other immigrants.
After they made it past the border checkpoints, Guadalupe started feeling labor pains. She knew she would be delivering twins. El Santo and his man Jerry said they’d go to a hospital, so they split off from the group.
But they drove to a huge, creepy building, covered in graffiti. Jerry drove the SUV through a large opening. “This isn’t a hospital,” said Alberto in Spanish.
“It’s the best you’re gonna get,” answered El Santo. The men stood by while Guadalupe screamed, bled and had her babies. They grinned at each other greedily, when the second child emerged.
She lost a lot of blood, passing out. Alberto cut the umbilical cord of each baby, wiping them off with his shirt. Two cries were heard in the lonely desert night.
Alberto held the newborns up to Guadalupe’s two breasts. The babies drank. Alberto divided their only blanket to swaddle his children and cover his unconscious wife. But El Santo shot Alberto and took the babies to sell illegally.
Guadalupe regained consciousness to find her babies gone, and her deceased husband covered in blood. She wept bitterly.
El Santo didn’t know that Guadalupe survived. Border Patrol later checked the area — a haven for gang activity — and turned the case over to Human Trafficking. They were hot on the trail of El Santo.