She screamed. The louder she screamed, the more alive she felt. They found her, an hour later, still screaming. She was clutching the body, they said. Her hair clinging in tendrils to her face, dripping with perspiration. She screamed, oblivious of the drops running down her nose, the sweat that drenched the back of her blouse and the unforgiving shameless stares and glares of the crowd that devoured her.
It was a hollow scream that seemed to go on for days or for a second. Desperate. And loud- as though she intended to wake the boy up with it. Wake herself up from this sudden nightmare she had been thrust into.
The people gathered, the crowd grew and still she screamed. She cradled the body, the face which could not be differentiated from the mud and grime that caked it. The boy had been dug out out the manhole five minutes ago. He had fallen in more than an hour ago, when she had started screaming for help. She kept screaming down to him, reassuring him that she was still there. He was afraid of the dark. He was fond of Cadbury. He was clumsy.
She screamed. She screamed till she stopped hearing his little voice from what seemed like miles below. She screamed his name after he stopped replying. She screamed till someone called the police.
Now that he was in her arms she screamed to drown out the silence. She screamed to drown out the piteous cries echoing in her head. The crowd had started to lessen. Already they had lost interest. And still, she screamed.