His Face A Pallid Mask of Abject Grief
She was an independent single woman with career goals. Everyone called her Alex, but her name was Alexandria Green. She lived on Brooklyn’s East Side in a small house on Davenport. The small home was squeezed between two larger houses. It had a lovely walkway that led up to a gray front door with a golden knocker. The front porch was freshly painted and there on it was a love chair swing, barely used. In the front of the porch was a small fenced in yard dense with rose bushes.
It was hard to look at the graceful elegance of that charming little home and believe something so horrible happened inside.
The master bedroom had ceiling fans but no air conditioning. And on that night she left the bedroom window open. It was her choice between being comfortable or secure. She chose the former.
There was so much silence in the air. It was like the calm before a storm.
Later, as the paramedics were carrying the stretcher down, her father leaned against the door frame, clutching it with white knuckled emotion. He watched the shape of his daughter’s body go past, his face a pallid mask of abject grief.
A detective gripped his arm with unspoken feeling and went in the wake of his incomprehensible loss. His gray hair was clinging damply to his forehead, his wide tie was loose, his short sleeve shirt was badly wrinkled in back as if he was sitting for a very long time. His eyes deeply set in shadows as he turned back to the charming little house. In the harsh lights of the emergency vehicles he looked menacing. Suddenly he just broke out in uncontrollable tears.
The stench of death lingered on the front porch.
© 2011 Frank Atanacio
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