The darkened alley was filled with water from the overflowing drain in the corner. The pungent smell of the spilling drains burned one’s nostrils. Cobwebs hung from the street lights along the length of it. Small, barricaded shops were closed in front of the alley and street rats ran from one corner to the other, their tails wagging while they fished in the garbage cans for the remnants of food. A pungent odor lurked around the alley, keeping the people to the other side whereas drain gurgled in the surroundings while the alley cats and rats strutted around the place as if they owned it.

A figure appeared around the corner of the alley, cloaked in black and was carrying a small bundle in his arms. Slowly and gradually, he made his way through the water towards the waste bin where the rats roamed around, looking for their part of the food. His nose was covered with a mask, to keep off the smell. Once there, he unrolled the bundle from inside his coat and placed it on top of the bin while all sparkling, intelligent eyes of all the rodent and alley cats were upon him. He shooed them away once and then left.

As the eyes of the street urchins followed the figure back to the alley, a car rushed through the alley, spilling fountains of water on either side. A woman got out in front of the shop whose shutter was closed and cursed loudly.

“Always closed, they are. I wonder if they want to do business with us or not.” She muttered to herself. Just then she heard a baby crying and she looked here and there for the little one but there was darkness everywhere. Getting back in her car, she searched a torch and was back out in a matter of few minutes. Her ears strained to listen to the faint yowls coming from an infant and then, with her hearing ability she spotted a huge garbage truck at the corner of the alley. Rushing towards it, she shooed away the cats and rats who were chewing onto some black cloth. She picked up the quivering bundle and removed the cloth. A baby with a complexion as fair and clean as milk opened her eyes and looked at her with intelligent blue eyes.

Alice looked about her, for the parents of the child but there was not a soul for as far as she could see. She wrapped her back in the same quilt and holding protectively in her arms, she walked towards her car. Alice Mayberry was the founder and owner of the Mayberry Foster Care situated at the center of the city. Orphaned children under her care were treated really well and that was how she had earned the respect and trust of the authorities. With her family’s vast connections, she normally got a large number of donations for the children; therefore, orphans in her Foster Care were taken well care of.

That day, she took the little baby she had found from the garbage can to her foster care and had personally taken the duty to take care of her. She named her Sarah as there was no other name that suited her more than this one. The baby’s exuberant expressions, her childish giggles and her smile made Alice love her all the more. She decided that she would always keep Sarah as her own and never put her up for adoption.

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