My daughter made me a beaded bracelet

It breaks while I'm waiting near the school gates. Dropping to my knees, as if to pray, I scrape my fingertips over the dusty gravel and pick the beads up one by one. Other things I find there; a penny, a curled leaf, a shard of glass and a single clover clinging on by loose, fragile roots. 'Did you hear me?' I look up at the woman. The sun haloing behind her head makes her the image of something ethereal. She has a son in the year below my daughter but I've forgotten his name. I want to remember, because it's important now, but I can't. 'The shooter is dead,' she says, 'they'll be getting the children out soon.' Before rising, I notice a gold bead hiding near her feet. I reach for it and close my fist tight around it.
Sam Payne