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The Handkerchief Part I
The water leaked in the prison cell. It smelled of piss and stale body odor. Lying above him was his roommate, “Blaze.” Blaze told him he was in prison for arson, but to Amare the true crime was the obnoxious smell that lingered around him. It was prison, not hell. There were showers here, but Blaze liked when people left him alone. Amare had no way of escaping it, but he was not one to complain. Actually he was not one to talk, which got him in this whole mess.
When Amare was thirteen, he met a man. Not an old man, a young man of twenty five. He was feared on the block. Amare at the time was tall for his class and heavy. He was constantly made fun of, so he decided to shut his mouth and try to stay hidden. Of his size and stature, where could he hide?
Amare was standing outside of school waiting for the bus to take him home when three upperclassmen came by oinking at him. Amare ignored like usual. An older boy Amare recognized as Stu took an apple out his bag holding out to him. “Maybe if you ate more of these, you wouldn’t be a fat ass,” Stu said cleaning the apple. “Even pigs eat apples,” Stu’s lackey, Clive laughed. Stu smiled as an idea came into his mind. “Even dead pigs eat apples,” Stu snarled. Amare narrowed his eyes at Stu wondering where this was going. Stu whispered something in Clive’s ear and the other boy, Rod’s ear. Both of the boys smiled. They walked away oinking while Stu just ate the apple with an evil grin. Amare was frightened.
He tried acting sick, but his mother sent him to school. “Get an education, get a job, make me money. Math!” she said shooing him out the door. Amare just sighed watching a man pull into the driveway with a BMW. The man saw the boy and glanced away quickly. Amare just walked on pretending as if the man did not exist. Amare walked to the bus stop when suddenly he felt hands pulling him into the woods away from the street. He broke from the grasp seeing Stu, Clive, Rod, and a couple other boys standing there. There was a fire already burning. Amare looked confused. The school bus was about to come and they had a fire burning at seven in the morning. Stu just smiled as the boys surrounded him revealing ropes hidden behind their backs. Amare backed up frighten knocking over Rod. He started to run, but one of the boys lassoed his ankle bringing him down. The boy hog tied him securely. He walked off nodding to Stu. Amare recognized the boy as Clint, a poor farmer’s son. Stu walked over tossing an apple from hand to hand. He rubbed the apple in the dirt sticking it in Amare’s mouth.
“Now, pig, what is about to happen is really going to hurt, but you will remember what you are for the rest of your life,” Stu said nodding to Clive who was standing by the fire. He revealed a branding iron that the fire had been licking. Amare’s eyes widened in fear as he tried to break the ropes, but there was no use. Clive handed Stu the iron while Rod pulled down Amare’s pants. Amare closed his eyes just as the iron was pressed into his left butt cheek. His screams were muffled by the apple. The boys laughed when suddenly the man appeared. They all recognized him scurrying away quickly to the bus stop.
The man took out his switch knife cutting the ropes. “Come on, boy. Let’s get this taken care of.” The man had cooled the area and applied ointments. The man had a friend come over and gave Amare stuff to treat the area without going to the hospital. “Quiet kid,” the friend said. The man nodded with a thoughtful face, “Silence is golden.”
When he met the young man, his life changed. The man became a mentor to him. They would jog the neighborhood every morning and lift gallons of water and other heavy objects. Amare would go to work with the man cutting lawns, cleaning gutters, and other jobs to help pay the bills for the family. Amare was given a purpose in life from the help of him nameless mentor.
“Why you home so late boy?” his mother asked fifteen year old Amare. Amare just shrugged placing his backpack down on the table. He was dirty. It was his first job with the man that involved breaking the law. Amare was shaken up by it, but he reassured himself that he just dug a hole. There is no crime for digging. His mother eyed him suspiciously until he opened the bag revealing $800. His mother whistled not asking anymore questions.
When Amare was twenty-six, his life had changed. The man and he always did crimes that they were paid to do. He never liked it, but his mother did not have to sell herself anymore for money. Whether she stopped or not, he did not want to know. He also was able to live on his own. He was the “silent partner.” His strength made him a bodyguard to the man. Yet, he only fought those who were really a threat to the man. The waitress was not a threat.
She was beautiful. He hated the thought that the man was forcing himself on her, but he was drunk. That moment had forced him to reexamine his life. He never considered himself a “bad guy.” He just dug the holes and fought those that fought against the man. He fought in fist fights which ended him here in prison.
The guard walked up opening the cell. “Visitor for Amare Matthews.” Amare narrowed his eyes at the guard. He never got visitors and the man would not visit. Amare let himself be lead into the unfamiliar room. He looked at the visitors through the glass wondering who was here for him when he saw the waitress.
She was just as beautiful as he remembered. He sat down picking up the phone. “I know you,” she said. He nodded. “I saw your face on the news. Look I want to get that guy that tried to hurt me. I need your help though,” she sniffled. He looked at her confused. “I know, ‘Why would you rat out your friend?’ I saw your reaction and I know that you could help me. You felt pity for me.”
He sighed looking down at his fingers. “No one believes me,” she whispered to herself. He looked up confused. Why would no one believe her? She was crying. He pulled out a handkerchief that his father gave him. He couldn’t give it to her he realized. He looked to the guard. The guard knew he never talked and that the gesture was his way of communication. The guard looked conflicted, but took it and handed it to another guard to give to the woman. She took it with a smile.
“Thank you,” she sniffled. “There is something inside me saying you would help me. Is it true?” Amare just sighed.
“Come back tomorrow,” he said surprising the guard and the woman.
"Behind the Scenes"
There is no inspiration part for this story because it is not done! This is only part one!
Look out for Part 2!
There are A LOT of hints in this story from past short stories. It is not hard to figure out the implications, but there are still some surprises in store.
What saint or angel will be introduced in the next part?
I want to hear from you! Post in the comments what you think.
Which is your favorite short story in The Angel Series?
The Angel Series
- The Sea's Maiden
Betrayed by her husband, a woman seeks guidance from the sea where an unexpected stranger provides the guidance to the true answer.
- Blind Faith
A man is given a second chance to cure his blindness. Will he accept the offer this time?
- Bittersweet News
A woman obsessed with having a baby gets very bad news. After receiving the news, she is comforted by a child who is the message to her prayers.
- Zuppa di Morte
Danielle is back in the last part of her story. After giving her husband a second chance, she realizes that he hurt her again. Do people deserve a third chance? Did they ever even have a chance?
- Caged Angel
A short story about a child's faith and love and above all bravery.
- The Red Deer
How a courageous woman escapes a grave situation with the surprising rare help of an animal.