The Five Points or Bronagh's Nightmare

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A postage stamp perspective of early middle American life in the inner city. A historical event that was only repeated twice in the same century, in the same city and in the infamous Five Points.

Submitted: April 13, 2017

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Submitted: April 13, 2017



July fourth,1857 the Five Points in lower Manhattan, New York City. The Dead Rabbits riot would last two days. And a life time for some.


Bronagh kissed her husband quick as he made for the door. He shoved her back roughly and said

“Aye, woman! There be no need for that now. Ye would have us both buried before we even left.” He motioned for his son. Colin’s eyes were huge with fright but he knew not to utter a word. Bronagh touched her fourteen year old son’s hair as he slipped by her. The two were out the door without any further discussion.


A skinny man in blood soaked long underwear stood screaming in the center of the Points. It was currently raining and streets were running muddy red. It had been an hour since the fighting was over when the man started his banshee like a wailing.


Mathew had returned alive but he returned holding their broken son out to her. His tears streamed through the blood, from multiple contusions, running down his face and onto the boy’s cheeks. Bronagh took her son from him and laid him down on a cool pallet in the corner of their little tenement. She ran her hand through his bloody hair and cut herself on bone fragments. The boy was surely brain dead. Bronagh raised her gory hands into the air and released the most blood curdling scream. She shook all over. Matthew collapsed in a kitchen chair and protected his face from the barrage of blows she laid on him with savage intent.


Matthew screamed at the sooty ceiling

“Oh God! Oh God! Can ye let her end me life this instant? Oh God, what have I done? My boy! My beautiful boy!”


Bronagh was out of her mind with rage and pain. Mathew had fallen to the floor under his wife’s blows. Bronagh smashed the chair over her husbands back and then kicked him until he was unconscious and all her toes were broke and bleeding. She then collapsed on the pallet beside her son and cried until she passed out for lack of oxygen.

The wailing man stood there, arms loose at his sides and his back slightly bent backward. His body shook with every wave of his lung busting cry. A short man with a savage look in his eyes came up behind the crying man. And with one swift move he passed a marlin spike through the banshee’s liver and into his spleen. He dropped to his knees splashing in the mud and the blood and the rain. He let out an ear splitting high pitched sound. The savage little man, Father Brown, put a hobnailed boot right betwixt his shoulder blades, sending the man face down in the mud. The Five Points was finally quiet.

© Copyright 2018 R.Guy Barringer. All rights reserved.

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