Monday, June 10, 2013

Faith, Hope, and Charity Excerpt

“Yes!” I shouted. For once a victim was fighting back before their death.

Then the strangest thing happened. Mary, who was running past me as I shouted, stopped in surprise and turned toward me. For just a split second I was sure our eyes met, that she could see me as well as I could see her, which was impossible. She blinked and shook her head, brushing off whatever it was she’d seen.

“Maya? What just happened?”

“I don’t know. It’s like she saw me,” I said. We couldn’t stop, though. We had one shot at setting them free, so we forced the Witnessing to continue. If we stopped, Mary and Cassandra would be trapped in the Gray until they became Unredeemables. I would be able to Witness them through their bite, then, but that would take years of suffering for them and I wasn’t about to let that happen to them.

The scene suddenly shifted. We went from the bedroom to the hallway. Mark and I ran behind Mary, following her into a child’s empty bedroom. Mary grabbed a bag and began stuffing random clothes from Cassandra’s dresser into it.

“Run,” I thought, encouraging her to get out of the house rather than trying to pack. This was the late forties, though. Women of this era didn’t have the benefit of decades of movies featuring abused women making such a mistake as trying to pack before leaving an abusive partner. They didn’t have true crime books and TV shows that taught against remaining in a house with a man like Mary’s husband.

Manny came into the room and aimed a gun at Mary. She froze in place, the bag slipped from her fingers, and she stared at her husband.

“You’re makin’ a mistake, Manny. Everybody knows you got a bad temper. They’ll put you in prison for this. Put the gun down and just let me leave with Cassie. I know you like bein’ single. You never wanted to get married. Your daddy made you do it when you knocked me up. I’ll leave, I’ll give you a divorce, and you can be free.”

Manny’s hand was shaking. The gun trembled in his sweaty grip. For just a moment it looked like he would let Mary leave.

The moment passed, however. He came up to her, his head caked with blood where Mary had struck him. He put the gun to the side of her head.

“I ain’t gonna have no divorce, Mary. I ain’t gonna be the first man in my family line who couldn’t keep his woman. You shamed me. Ev’ry body knows ‘bout you and Larry…I’d rather rot in prison than let you leave me and take my kid.”

“Please, Manny—”

Mary didn’t get to finish her plea. The gun went off. She was dead when she hit the floor.


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