The massive 2:00 AM explosion jolted the town awake. Lights came on in every house. People staggered outside wearing robes, to see if they could figure out what had happened. Neighbors met outside, wondering what had happened, as they watched the inferno at the Eastern edge of town.
Everything went as I’d planned.
I walked along the streets, a gun in each hand, with eight spare clips ready for use. Each time I saw a white man standing, watching, I shot him. And I know, not one of them went to heaven when they died.
I shot the Sheriff and his deputy, then the mayor, the judge, the doctor, the lawyer, the pastor, and the deacons of the church. I shot them all.
Mrs. Simmons took her daughter and left town when the pastor’s son got little Sally drunk, then got her naked and had fun with her, showing of the pictures of what he did. And the white men made sure Tommy’s future wasn’t wrecked by what he’d done.
Mrs. Waters hadn’t slept at night, since Deputy Bob gave Beverly that glass of tea with Ecstasy in it. Bob and Sheriff Don decided she liked two men at once. Now Beverly spends nights naked, in front of her Webcam, putting on a show, and you can watch her all you want for $9 a month. She’s slit her wrists twice now, and someday, everyone knows Mrs. Waters won’t find her soon enough.
I could have written stories about those evil men. About the girls they ruined, and the families they destroyed, but that wouldn’t have accomplished anything. They’d still be unpunished for the things they’d done, and they’d ruin another mother’s daughter, just to have some fun.
But the day we put Lenora in the ground, I’d promised her those men would never hurt another girl again.
Lenora had loved flowers, cats and dogs, and horses too. But those men never got over how she once had been a boy named Leonard, so they tortured her no end. Bobby shot her dog one day, for no reason he could explain. And they let their sons push her around, knock her down, and beat her. And the doctor wouldn’t have, “one God Damned thing to do with that thing,” named Lenora.
I told her we’d leave town soon. At the end of the school year. Two days later she climbed a tree, tied a rope around her neck, and a sturdy limb, and escaped the torture they made her live in.
After I shot everyone I could find that night, I stood before Lenora’s tombstone, at her grave site. “I got them all, sweetheart. They won’t hurt you or anyone again.” I let the fingers of my hand trace the outline of my daughter’s face on the cold, hard granite stone. “And soon, now, you won’t be alone.
I put my last clip in my last gun and knew I’d never see the dawn.