Speaking Out

Sultry. Typical July weather… I’d give anything for a glass of lemonade right now”, remarked Nathan as he walked slowly back home. A small breeze touched his neck, but the cooling effect lasted just a moment as the humidity caught up with him again.
Peculiar night this, not a soul around”, he thought. Indeed that seemed to be true. Humming a tune to himself, he continued walking the two blocks left to his home. The streetlights went out all of a sudden, but he moved on, the light from the pristine full moon showing him the way.
Entering his road, he noticed the streetlights had not gone out there. He heard strange voices echoing through the silent night. They seemed to come from one of his neighbor’s home. A moment later, the silence was broken by the sound of a shot, and a piercing scream. The door was thrown open, and he saw three men coming out. He hid behind a telephone booth, praying the darkness behind it would be enough to conceal him. It worked, and they ran past him.
As fast as he could, he entered his house, beads of perspiration on his forehead. The lights came on, and his wife came to his side, scared after hearing the shot. “What happened?” she enquired.
Kiss of death, I saw it. They ran past me”, he uttered.

It’s better not to tell anyone. You don’t know anything darling. Think nothing happened.”
No. I won’t tell anyone what I saw. It’s better that way. I hope it’s the right thing to do”, he said and went to bed. Next morning when he went outside, he saw the police vehicles around. The other neighbors were relating the incident to his wife. He casually joined them.
Gruesome. Shot right through the eyes. Poor Katie could do nothing, she was being held by two of them. She couldn’t see their faces either, she hadn’t her glasses on. It’ll take a miracle to get those vile murderers caught.” His face was becoming white again, and he hurried away muttering that he needed to use the bathroom. He got dressed for work, his thoughts blurred. As he hurried away, kissing his wife goodbye, he saw reporters asking Katie questions. Tears flowing down her face, she answered and ran inside, slamming the door.
On his way to work, he decided to tell what he saw. He entered the precinct police station and narrated to the cops what he knew. He saw photos and identified them. They thanked him.
Under these circumstances Nathan, be really careful. We’ll give you protection. You did the right thing coming forward.” His heart lighter at having spoken out when he could have stayed silent, Nathan continued on his way to work. Through his office window, he could see a police car monitoring the office.
The night was still as he returned home from work. His wife opened the door, just as a car approached, and two shots breached the silence.

Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

8 thoughts on “Speaking Out”

  1. Scary!They killed him for trying to become a witness…how cruel is our society, I even can't imagine! Vindictive in a very unfair manner!I will never speak out if it will cost my life and family! This is the kind of society where we exist and I am a hypocrite if I say I want to be a hero!Very, very good story!

  2. Yes, good story, and I understand that one take chances when speaking out … but the story does need a bit more work Leo, however you are doing much better.

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