His attack came swiftly. Kneeling on the ground, his back facing his enemy, he gripped the knife hidden in his boot tightly, as blood slowly dripped from his nose. Suddenly his feet sprung up, his body turned, and he launched himself at his enemy; taking him completely off guard. The knife slid smoothly into the chest of his enemy once, twice, three times. His enemy slumped to the ground, lifeless, as he stood over the now dead body calmly, with the blood of his enemy on his shirt.
He let out a long held breath, and wiped the sweat from his brow. His face was stoic, as if all feelings of remorse, guilt, horror at what he had just done at been snuffed out, as the fire of a slowly dying candle is when a cap is put over it. He looked around him, the dark alley was empty now, save himself and his slain enemy; all was silent, brooding. A clang could be heard reverberating through the alley as the knife fell from his hands. He emptied his pockets of all the bags of white powder, still amazed that such a trivial possession could have caused this bloodshed. He took off his bloodstained shirt, and he ran through the night, not once looking back.
Once he felt he had gotten far enough he stopped, exhausted. His chest heaving with the weight of running, and the gravity of what he had just done, he slowly sank to the ground, unable to go any farther. As he sat he looked up into the night sky; there were no stars visible this night and the moon only a faint outline, all around him was darkness. A tear formed at the corner of his eye, and slowly fell to the ground. The silence was such that even the lone teardrop breaking on asphalt seemed to have its own voice. That lone tear triggered a flood of emotion inside him, tearing at the very core of his being, like the knife he had used to eradicate his enemy; and he began to sob.
For what seemed like hours on end, he cried. His body convulsing with his sobs, his wall of stoicism had eroded and years of pain, suffering, hunger, and death rose from the depths of his soul, escaping his body through his tears. What kept resurfacing though, was the face of his fallen enemy. It crept inside his thoughts and dominated his vision, seemingly beckoning him to join the ranks of the dead and forget about his troubles.
If only my enemy didn’t try to kill me, none of this would have happened. What am I going to do? I’m going to get caught, they’ll send me to jail, and I can’t go back there. I had no choice, I had no choice, it was either him or me, I had no choice… I had no choice…
His sobs continued until his greatest fears were confirmed; the sound of sirens and men running through the alley. They were close, he could hear them speaking, he had to run. His body wouldn’t move – paralyzed by his remorse. He clutched himself tighter, his body shaking. They were getting closer; almost there. As he sat it seemed as if time itself was stopping, his body trembling with a primal fear, and the earth had silenced itself. He didn’t even see them coming, but soon he felt hands grabbing him, lifting him to his feet. He looked around slowly and saw their faces; grim and merciless.
All at once a new life awoke inside him. He was back in control. His mind returned to the state it had been when he had killed his enemy; I can’t let them take me back there, I’ve got to escape or die. He sprung into action, flailing his arms and kicking his legs violently, finally breaking free of their iron grips. He looked around momentarily, amazed that he was actually free – then he turned and ran.
He didn’t know what direction he was moving, or where he was going, but he knew he had to go somewhere. And so he ran, ran for his life. Walls and windows and darkness rushed past him as he ran, seeing the faint light of the street quickly approaching. No sooner had he escaped the dark ally a loud crack could be heard, interrupting the stillness of the night. He let out a grunt as the bullet entered his leg, and went out the other side, blood exploding out of the exit hole. No longer able to run, he crumbled to the ground, broken. He had been caught.
He watched as the police men walked slowly to him, taking tentative steps, guns drawn. As they approached, the blackness of the night seemed to drown out the light of the street lamp overhead and even blotched out the police men. Soon enough, the world itself was shrouded in darkness. All of his feeling and emotion seemed to have drained from his body in the small pool of blood about him which was slowly expanding. He embraced the darkness, wrapping his spirit in its multitude. And then, there was nothing.
There was a courtroom, and many lights, people were bustling all around. Everything was moving so quickly, he hardly knew what was going on; life itself was a blur of motion. He remembered seeing a plain-faced man in the chair next to him, with short black hair and a cheap suit, must’ve been my lawyer… he didn’t care about me, and I don’t care about him. He knew nothing of the trial itself, there was a bailiff, members of the jury, and a judge. Throughout the trial, he heard only the verdict of the jury, “guilty as charged” and the sound of a gavel smashing onto the podium; sealing his doom.
He awoke from what seemed like a long slumber to a dark and dank room, with four walls and naught much else. He had a cot, a small desk, and a toilet. There was a door with only a small slit, letting in a small ray of light, and a hint of the world outside. This was his maximum security hold, a place he could call home for some period of time. He didn’t know how long he was to be there for… in fact, time had lost all meaning to him. He paced his room and sat and slept, rarely being let out of the confines of his cell, and time slowly passed him by.
There was screaming in the house. His parents were fighting again. Glass broke; his mother started crying. He ran out into the living room, screaming at his father: “Stop it stop it! Don’t hurt her!” His father turned and yelled “You mind your own fucking business, boy!” and beat him mercilessly; blows raining on his head, back, and shoulders. Then, everything became dark…
“I got an A on my test sir,” he said. “Yea, well an A ain’t gonna put food on this table, or clothes on your back, boy.”
“Fighting in school again?! You done messed up real good this time,” his father told him…then proceeding to beat him senseless. He was coughing up blood. Where is Mother, why isn’t she helping me…
His first hit sent chills through his body. Happiness at last. His troubles and fears melted away, drowned in a sea of pleasure. Where has this stuff been all my life? But soon the happiness was gone, paranoia took hold; sending him into a fitful rage. I need more, I need to find more, I’ve got to get more, I want to be happy again.
“GET THE HELL OUTTA MY HOUSE! YOU ARE NO SON OF MINE YOU GOD DAMN JUNKIE! YOU MAKE ME SICK!” The last words of my father, how I miss him… hah.
They called me Weroe. Yes, that’s what they called me. My new friends. Just like me – without fathers and hopeless. What choice did I have? I had to start selling it. I needed money. I needed food. They needed the stuff. I could get it for them, I was good.
He was running. Breathing hard, tired. I have to keep moving. Can’t let them catch me. He climbed over the fence, tearing his hands on the barbed wire, grimacing as he fell to the floor and proceeded to get up and continue is flight through the darkness. He heard the feral barking of the bloodhound, getting closer. How did it get past the fence? Keep running, keep running. It was too late; the dog was on him, attacking mercilessly, ripping his flesh. The policemen soon followed; lowering their guns, calling off the dog. “You mother fuckers! Get off of me!”
In here it’s always dark. They all hate me. They all want to kill me. His prison cell was crowded, filled with men much bigger than himself. Life in here is hell. His first night he cried; and was beaten unconscious. The second night he screamed in anger; let loose his fury on the world; and was abused by his new friends. By the third night, his spirit lie broken on the floor; he was dead inside.
His past brought up a fresh round of sobs. The floor of his cell became drenched with tears. The pain of his life was taken up by his tears, and flushed from his body. For days on end he cried; unashamed and unafraid. He opened his arms to sorrow, embracing it as one would a long lost brother. Wrapped in sorrow’s embrace, he explored the depths of his soul, cleansing his body and mind of the pain. Hell is my redemption.
He didn’t know how long he had been in his cell, but at last he was free. He would need a new name; a real name. Weroe was dead now, his corpse had joined that of his slain enemy; forever enslaved to his previous life. The door of his cell opened, and the world rushed to greet him. He was clean-shaven now, with fresh clothes. He walked out into the world with open arms, taking in the sights and the sounds and the scents. The sun was shining outside; the sky was cloudless. Finally, I am alive, and I am happy. He strolled down the street, humming a tune softly; towards a brighter future.