Tweet of the Day: Why the Human Element Is All-Important to a Story’s Beginning
The Wilson Home, Stafford, VA, September 3, 7:16 p.m.
“Hi Dad,” said Robert.
“Robert? What are you doing here?” asked Mr. Wilson nonplussed.
His answer came by way of a cocked hammer of a .45, “From now on you answer questions, understood?”
Mr. Wilson turned around and stared down the barrel of my gun, “Young man, you know that your breaking the law, don’t you.”
“Yeah, but I’m used to it. Robert go find your Mom,” I said.
“Robert do not–” but Robert sped past him into the house.
“I’m afraid that he is not taking orders from you any more,” I waved my gun to the nearest chair.
He sat down. He wore a bland expression through out, as if strangers pointing firearms at his face happened every day and twice on Sundays. “I do not know who you are or what do you think you will accomplish, but whatever it is you will fail.”
“Probably, but I figure my chances of success are higher than your kids were up North,” I said.
Robert led his mother by the hand, “We gotta go, Mom, right now!”
Mrs. Wilson fired off question after another, “What is going on here? Who are you? Why are you pointing a gun at my husband?”
“Mom, is okay. I’m going to get you out of here,” said Robert.
“Dear, would you be so kind and call nine-one-one?” said Mr. Wilson in an unbreakable monotone.
Sam stepped forward and held Mrs. Wilson other hand, “This will hurt,” she said.
For a moment I felt nothing. Then thoughts appeared in my head and vanished just as quickly, as if something was draining my mind, “Sam, what’s going on?”
Mrs. Wilson collapsed to the ground. “Robert, help me, like I taught you,” said Sam.
Then it hit me. The shriek of a damned soul. The gun fell on the hardwood floor. A wave of revolution twisted my stomach into knots. The wailing continued. Mrs. Wilson flew across the room and sank her nails on Mr. Wilson face. Images flashed before my eyes.
“Mommy no! Please stop it! Don’t do it!” cried a distant voice.
I knew then what had happened. I knew her suffering. Her horror as she watch him play house with her body and her son. The powerless pain filled me with shame. I landed on the empty fireplace. The stench of urine pierced through the mental storm. I checked myself, but my pants were dry. Robert pulled his mother away. They huddled on the floor. My hand sought Sam’s touch. We clung to each other lest we be swept by the misery. My eyes focused on the gun. I took it and pointed at Mr. Wilson’s head.
You deserve this!
Sam grabbed my chin, “Arty, look at him!”
And I did. His stoic pose broken. His body shuddered in brief spasm. A large stain covered the front of his khakis. Mrs. Wilson swapped places with her husband. Same prison, different tenant. He got exactly what he deserved.
Who am I to put him out of his well deserved misery?
An unkind thought but one that put enough distance between Mrs. Wilson’s emotional outburst and my own psyche.
“My…my….my name is Yolanda. Oh god….my children…my children…the children…at Qua…Quantico,” she said.
“Mommy it’s okay,” said Robert.
“Oh great and I thought our side had cornered the market in changelings,” I said.
“If they have others….” said Sam.
“Then we got to take them out. Call the others. We are going in.”