I find Melanie in the next room. We struggle to our feet, and head toward the exit, when we hear little Natalie’s scream for help again. I tell Melanie to go get help and go back inside to find her.
It’s coming from the master bedroom. I run in to see her pinned to the floor, and Kevin, a former classmate of mine who I’d got expelled, on her stomach, assaulting her. My best friend Keith (Key) is there near the bed, knocked out, his gun near the open door. I think only of Natalie, take the gun and fire.
Kevin crumbles to the floor, dead from the bullet through his brain. I go toward Natalie who is still down, shaking all over, and help her to her feet. I put my arm on her shoulder, and we walk toward the exit again, slowly. She’s crying, and I try to console her. Melanie is standing outside still, and runs inside to help me with Natalie. We are almost out; we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It has been a day since we came here. The church nearby seems a distant memory now. The graveyard behind it is full of mourning people today. Maybe it is because it’s a Sunday and morning mass has just finished. As I watch on, the gathering breaks up. There was a memorial function outside the church today.
|Photo Source Unknown, via Magpie Tales|
As the families of the dead move away slowly, leaving empty chairs in the misty morning, a lone girl stays back. She has two roses in her hand. She hasn’t had the chance to place them yet. She moves towards a single headstone a little away from where she had sat. And with a tear, places one on each of the two coffins sharing it.
Melanie comes near me, and squeezes my hand. We know. The girl closes her eyes and we move closer to her and the headstone which says, “Here lies Raj Thomas and Melanie Cruz, united in death as they were alive.” We place our hands in hers, but we don’t know if she can feel it.
As she walks past the chairs, she turns back one last time. There are no tears this time. She just looks on at another headstone, her brother’s, which had the words, “Keith Sullivan – fondly remembered by all” on it. Almost all…
|Magpie Tales #91|
Magpie Tales is hosted weekly by Tess Kincaid. She gives an image for inspiring a poem or vignette. The image is from there, and its the 91st week at the meme.