“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too.
They live inside us, and sometimes they win.”
– Stephen King
by Kendall F. Person
The trembling began in his trigger finger, before snaking its way through his long sleeveless arm, finally exploding inside his torso. He continued to hold her with brute strength, but his mind had begun to float, lost somewhere in space. And for the first time in his entire pitiful life, he thought of the nothingness he had created and that he would leave behind. He was thirty-seven years old and had never registered to vote; never obtained his driver’s license and never found true love. Spending his entire existence jumping over backyard fences and initiating street fights, Donald suddenly realized, he may as well catch the ghosts. He had taken his last hit over seven hours ago, and the virtual high had come to a screeching halt, igniting his senses and blowing up reality into a 3D billboard.
Sensing a tragedy of sorts, and feeling helpless to do anything to save his mother, little Roman allowed his knapsack to drop to the ground, but held onto his 35mm with trembling, sweaty palms. Tears rolled silently down his face, but he fell within himself, blocking out the chaos, to be alone with his subjects.
Although those who were there, would swear that time had stood still, in reality it had not. The sun continued its setting pattern, as the fiery red rays gave way to darkened skies; and a bright spotlights shone from the helicopter that hovered directly above. The Sergeant continued his soothing pleas. Betty continued her prayers and crazy Donald Jackson finally lost his mind.
Pushing Betty to the ground, he raised the gun in victory then threw up the peace sign. Sergeant Mike Picholo held his team at bay, allowing Donald Jackson to dust the stench of his life off his battered chest. Betty crawled away, deciding it better not to look back and her second son – Roman – clicked the red button on his camera and captured the crossroads of life.
Some would say that Donald had displayed the lack of fear. Others thought him mad, but few would shed tears. But what happened to Donald on that fretful day, would become a part of Roman’s life, even after he grew up and moved far far away.
But on that day, it was not the safety of his mom that he cheered, but the look on Donald’s face, when the first bullet ripped off his ear. While the onlookers ran for cover, when the shoot-out happened at last, little boy Roman caught the entire ordeal in photographs; from the first frame to the Godforsaken bloody last.
to be continued….