Darkness Never Knows Sunlight

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
We rarely see things from the other side of the story.

Submitted: May 30, 2012

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Submitted: May 30, 2012

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Emotions are dangerous; they are life and death.  For example, you feel sorry for the guy you’re about to shoot, you get shot instead.  Gangs are called brotherhoods, but in the Blood, brotherhood lasts only as long as it’s convenient.  When it ends, it’s every man for himself.  And speaking from experience, you don’t want to be a man on his own. 

Tonight a select few have been chosen to accompany Boss.  Last night a woman called the police when members of the Blood appeared on her street.  A fight broke out which resulted in the death of one of our “brothers”. 

Boss wants his revenge.  The thing about him is that he’ll never pull a trigger on an innocent- that’s what we’re here for.  He likes to be able to slip through the cracks of the story in case of police involvement.  The way he puts it is: he is the belief and we are simply the messengers. 

But I know this woman; I’ve seen her about with her little boy and her little girl.  A boy and a girl who now seem destined to watch their mother die- just for wanting them to stay safe.  But in this city, there is no safe.  Rage pulses through me as we walk through alleys and streets full of litter.  Death is so dirty, there is no hope in these streets.  I don’t want to do this. 

We arrive outside her house.  It’s just a small gray house with cracks in the siding and a door practically off its hinges.  But there is a pot of daisies and a welcome mat that makes you pity this single mother, no matter that it’s faded and covered in grime.

Boss urges Anthony forward with just a flick of his finger.  He follows, leaving me and Devin at the rear.  Anthony pounds on the door and we can hear the urgent murmur of a mother telling her kids to go to bed. 

“Who is it?” a voice demands from the other side of the sad wooden door. 

“It’s the Blood.  Open up.”  Anthony didn’t need to explain.  Everyone around here knows who the Blood is.  One of the top gangs in the city- we must be so proud.

The woman refuses and threatens to call the cops again.  Now that was just too much for Boss.  Another wave of his finger and Anthony kicked the door down, eliciting a small scream from her.  Anthony jumps in and grabs her by her wrists and pulls her arms behind her back.  She is one to four with no way out. 

“Move out of the door you idiot.  Don’t want to go broadcasting this scene for nobody.”  Boss demands and without a word we move into the tiny living room lit by one flickering, yellow light.  “Now, ma’am, do you know what your stunt pulled yesterday?  Calling those cops on my boys?  One of them is dead because of you.  How do you think that makes me feel?”  His voice had never been more threatening, but she said nothing, only spat on his face.  He slapped her so hard it left a handprint.  She breathed in deeply but said nothing more.  “Maybe you don’t understand.  Maybe I should bring your little boy out here so you can watch him die?  Would that help you understand?”

Anthony jerked her so she would look Boss in the eye, but he didn’t have to.  Now she has something to say.  “Please.  Not my boy.”  It is disturbing, seeing her face crumble under the weight of despair that only a parent could know.

She had seemed so tough, but there is only so much pride a helpless person can have. 

Boss’s voice is deathly smooth as he asks, “Now it’s your decision.  Either it’s you.  Or it’s your boy.” 

Tears leak from her eyes as her will dries up and she knows she can’t get out.  Then she simply says, “Me.” 

Boss must see the mixture of pity and defiance and rage that have been boiling up inside of me and gathering in the lines of my face.  Out of me and Devin, he hands the gun to me.  It wasn’t necessary since we all carry our own.  But it was the point he was making.  The choice I must continue to make again and again.  I’m so angry I feel I could cry.  But that would be the surest death sentence a man could give himself. 

This makes me sick, this life.  Where is the sun and those soccer moms you hear about with their minivans?  Who does this woman think she is, raising a family here where you only walk the streets at your own risk, can only close your eyes at night against your better judgment?  What kind of life is that?  It is not a life at all. 

I raise the gun and point it straight between her eyes like she is an old dog that I can take care of no longer.  She doesn’t make a sound, just stares at me with  those dark brown eyes.  I’m so angry I could vomit, but it’s not the place.  I have learned that emotions are for when you are alone.  My finger touches the trigger.  With a quick movement of my hand I twist sideways and pull, pull into Boss’s heart, his head.  This will not be me; I refuse to be that kind of murderer. 

But before I can move, Anthony pulls his own gun out and shoots me and the woman with a practiced flick of his wrist.  I’m hit straight through the chest, the woman hit straight through the head.  She groans, her life slipping away.

Before she is gone, Anthony tells her, “Don’t worry, your kids will be safe with us.”  Her eyes glaze over. 

I cry out in rage and agony that cannot be formed in words.  Why couldn’t he just let her die with some sort of peace?Instead he took even that away from her, letting her fade with fear and anger.  In this life, I’ve never known a God.  Never been able to understand why such a power exists but does nothing.  But I hope she finds something.  Or maybe finding nothing is better.  In nothing, there is nothing to fear, no emotions to hide from.  Nothing is nothing.  Maybe that is peace.


© Copyright 2017 Dorotea. All rights reserved.

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