The High Horse Route
The scream silenced everything around the immediate area. The residents of The Clinton Avenue Housing Project were awakened abruptly, and they assumed that because the scream was so piercing only a major catastrophe could cause that level of panic and pain.
The breeze was soft, but strong enough to carry the scream through all the opened windows. The screaming had finally stopped, but the panic swayed precariously as if it had obligations. The fear had seemed snipped for only a few minutes as it continued floating freely in the early morning hours.
A young black woman was on the alley way ground crumpled into a ball. Her clothes were ripped off and she guarded her nakedness with her arms and legs. The blood beneath her seemed to be cooling rapidly. She felt rather than actually heard the words “help me,” that vibrated in her throat.
She was still except for the strands of hair that the morning breeze brushed against her face and it stuck there because of the blood and tears. Pain was emanating from every part of her body and there was nothing she could have done to sooth it. The panic in which she believed was inevitable held its grip.
For several minutes, the people living in the building were too stunned to react. No one called 911. However, they all had the need to know bug biting at them. They needed to know what was going on. Some of the residents were moving briskly down the stairs and onto the sidewalk, which was congested not only with trash cans, but recycling bins that have been picked thoroughly by the homeless in search of returnable bottles and cans.
The young woman stayed completely still. Her exposed nipples along with her lean muscled legs and firm buttocks attracted several male passersby, but still no one called for help.
The gatherers just stood around and watched the young woman suffering as their brains were being pickled by stupidity.
After a while death was secure and it didn't need public approval. Death saw an opportunity and took it. It just simply took over life and it didn't even have to embellish. She was truly dead and death took the high horse route.
An old man moved in behind the dead woman and placed his hands on her bare shoulders, his intense, empty eyes stayed fixed on her as though he was waiting for her to jump out of a deep sleep.
“Is she dead Horace?” a woman asked from the left side of the building, trying to stay as far away from the body as she could.
“I think so,” he replied.
Horace had dark rings around his sunken eyes, proof of how tough his life was, but it was still in progress as the young woman's life ended violently. He thought about just that as he released his hold on the woman. He turned to the woman who had interrupted him and shouted, “she's dead for sure.”
“What do we do Horace?”
“Call the police,” he answered.
“I'm sure someone already did that, with all these eyes on that poor thing,” she replied in a half whisper.
She was wrong. No one was called. No one.
© 2016 Frank Atanacio