My son watched as she was snatched away. It was the last thing he saw. The last thing he did. He felt the slugs from two handguns tear through his chest, leaving six-inch wide holes in his back, shredding his lungs, veins and arteries. He collapsed to his knees, his life bleeding away. His fall ending with him on his back.
His wife screamed. She reached for him, looked into his eyes and knew he would die. She never had the chance to cry. The men with the guns struck her face, knocking her out. One put his gun in his belt, and threw her over his shoulder. They walked off.
The police found her body the next morning. Her hands tied to a stake, hammered into the ground. Her feet staked out separately. She’d been raped. No one could say how many times. When they were through with her, they shot her in the head. Twice. They left her there, with a warning note.
“This is how we solve problems in our neighborhood.”
My son was white.
His wife was black.
I had hoped people had grown past their hatreds, prejudices and fears. As I watched my son die that night, and his wife suffer that inhuman assault, and brutal death, I knew.
People hadn’t changed.
In my anger, I crossed over. I left the land beyond the veil of life, and returned to the world of the living. I’d seen enough. The brutal nature of people always seemed so far away. Until I watched them murder my children. That act of violence changed everything for me.
I crossed over and hunted down the men that murdered my son, and his beautiful wife. I walked through the walls of the house of the first. Into his own bedroom, where he slept with his wife. When he rolled her face down on the bed, and raped her, I moved. I slipped my hand into his chest, and squeezed the life out of his heart.
I felt nothing as I did. It wasn’t murder. It wasn’t revenge. It wasn’t justice. It was simply throwing out the trash.
I found the second in his garage, with two of his buddies. From the flavor of the smoke in the air, I knew they weren’t smoking tobacco. From the beer cans scattered on the floor, I knew they were drunk. All of them.
I listened to the killer as he proudly proclaimed the neighborhood was purified, and safe once more, from the evils of the world. Like my son and his wife.
I reached into his brain, and ripped his brain stem loose from his spine. Another piece of trash thrown out.
Until the people of this world grow up, and change. Overcome their fears, hatreds, and prejudices, I will stay here. I will weed out the ones like the two that killed my son. One piece of trash at a time. One piece of trash at a time.
I wrote this for week 4 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought flash fiction challenge. It’s a fun challenge. Now, go read all the other entries in week 4.