​Carlisle Lane

“Ma, they finally arrested them. It is a whole bunch of cops down there this time.” Sade ran into the house yelling. Sade was loud but her mother learned to live with it. Teenagers tended to be loud and there was really nothing you could do about but ride it out and remind. “Indoor voice, girl I’m standing two feet on the other side of you.” Her mother said as she looked out the window and down the block at all the commotion. From her vantage point she could see Sades’ twin Chris and his father being just as nosey as they always are. Those two had to know everything that was going on. It served them well as being the only black family in the neighborhood they knew what was coming and how to fight off racist attitudes before they hit the front door. Tonight was different though, tonight the Thompson family had finally been found for who they were. They had been causing problems for the Brain’s ever since they moved into Winter Green. Every time something happened the Thompsons blamed Chris, and every time they were prepared to fight back and win that day. It had become tiresome though. They had worked so hard to get to this point. She’d watched her husband come in play with the kids and as soon as they were in the bed cry in her lap because he wanted more for his family and felt he wasn’t giving it to them. She consoled him and told him he was doing enough and they were loved. She’d come in herself, thinking she was alone and her husband had caught her crying. He’d send the kids to the neighbors, and sit with his beloved. Letting her know that as she is there for him, he is there for her. The Thompsons would not take their dream away. They wouldn’t be allowed to.  On this warm summer night her family could finally completely breathe. The thorns in there side had been arrested. “Ma they say they found 4 bodies and a mutilated animal on the floor boards.” “Dad said the police are probably gonna wanna talk to all the neighbors” Chris said while walking past his mom into the house. “Hey Sweet, let’s go this has been enough excitement for a night. Kids got school in the morning and we got work.” Mr. Brian spoke as he seemed to appear out of nowhere grabbing his wife by the waist. She turned kissed him and grabbed his hand and led him into the house. The police led Mr. Thompson away all the while asking him where his wife was. They’d found his step-mother, son, sister and family pet. They been tortured and skinned alive. The step mother still had her face and frozen with fear couldn’t begin to describe the look it held. The eyes of the children had been removed along with three fingers on each hand. Mr. Thompson said nothing as he was taken away. Mrs. Thompson sat in silence, her tongue cut about by Chris, and watch the family come back down the stairs. She knew they would take their time as they had done with others. Scattered around her bones in specific patterns and diagrams etched into the walls. She regretted not heeding her mother’s advice. Her mother knew, she told them, she knew, and they didn’t listen. “I’m sorry to say Reby but you pressed. Had you not pressed then you would not have been chosen, but you pressed and so you and your family were chosen.” Mrs. Brian stated “We’ve been doing this for hundreds of years, my kind has kept the old ones at bay. Normally we would find the most deplorable humanity had to offer but you decided to get on my radar by messing with my kids.” She continued “So I’m sorry to say your time is up but take solace in the fact that your helping keep humanity alive and teaching my children what it means to be one of us and the responsibility we have.” Mrs. Brain stood and handed the dagger to Sade “Make it clean do it right. I love you baby” “I love you to mom!”

40 years

​”Today it ends, I can’t continue being here. Yes that’s extremely selfish but after 40 years of this I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve spent 40 yrs living this life, how they say I’m supposed to be. This is not me it never was me.” Thomas thought as he sat in his kitchen. This was a fight his wrestled with many a night. His son sits across from him and his wife stands over him, helping the boy with his homework. She notices Thomas looking at them both and smiles. He smiles back not, trying not to betray the thoughts and the blackness that’s hanging over his head and in his heart.

“40 years, I knew I wasn’t like other guys but how could I ever tell anyone, How could I break my mother’s heart, how could I let the family, the community down” Thomas took another drink and smiled. After years of pretending he’d learned to wear the mask well but now today, tonight he knew he could no longer continue to do so. His road was at an end. This was what he felt in his heart. Tonight would bring an end to what felt like an eternity of torment.

“Dad come pray with me and mom” came the voice from up the stairs. Thomas didn’t really want to go because he felt doing so tonight more than any other night would taint that prayer. He started up the stairs, it felt like a death march. It felt like the end.

12:30 A.M.

He waited till everyone was asleep and left the letter. He knew she’d be hurt and his son would be devastated but it was the only thing he felt he could do. They didn’t ask to be in this situation and they’d be better off with him in there lives. ” See there you go again being selfish but you know this time your being selfish for the right reasons” or so he thought trying to convince himself but deep down he knew the truth. They’d be taken care of, he made sure of that. So he left walking out the door never to return.

A son, a young man wakes up to a devastated world and a broken heart. A mother a wife her world shattered but she must carry on for the son. A husband forced to carry the burden of depression alone. Never able to speak of his demons because he’d been taught this was wrong, no longer here to love her and raise him.