Sunday, May 21, 2006

The self-absorbed artist records his reflection. Am I real?
Innocents' Massacre cont'd


“If I could be any more worried about our government I don’t know where I would be. They send your black ass over here to help deal with this shit and you proceed to have a Pow-Wow with the damned killers you’re supposed to be investigating! Please boy, please tell me you have an explanation for yourself!?”
Guy’s mind cleared a bit and he looked at the floor. He did not dare meet the glowering stare of the Sheriff. He responded in a flat tone.
“Sorry sir I must be tired from the ride to town. I was on the trail a good piece.”
Miles sat down in his desk across from Guy enraged.
“Well maybe you need to concentrate a little harder damn it, lazy shiftless…”
The Sheriff’s words trailed off menacingly. He stood up and crossed over to Guy. Grabbing him by the arm he yanked him from his seat and dragged him over to the closed door across from the front, through and into a grim room.
In the room were five covered forms on a long table. Miles placed Guy in front of the head of the table and pulled the sheet off. There on the table lay the five battered bodies of the victims. Dried blood was caked over vicious wounds adorning each misshapen face. They could not be identified as individuals, except in the various patterns of brutality painted on their distorted faces. Guy blanched at the sight. No sounds came from these dead swollen lips.
“This is what you are here about. You’re here to make sure no more of this happens. ’Cause believe me if anything like this happens again there is gonna be some real bloodshed! And ain’t no napping government nigger gonna be able to stop it!”
Guy bent close to the nearest body. His head finally and completely clear.
“What weapon did this?”
“A club. A simple club!”
“But those men…” Guy looked towards the cell room, ”those men could not of had the strength to do this?”
Miles again covered the bodies with the long sheet.
“Look I’m gonna send ya to where you’re gonna be staying. Rest a bit, collect your damn thoughts after your long ride, and then meet me at the saloon. You can talk to some witnesses there.”
Sheriff Miles walked back into his office and scribbled on a piece of paper. He thrust it into Guy’s waiting hand.
“You can read can’t ya boy? This where you’re gonna be. It’s noon now. I’ll come and get you at six to go to the saloon. Be awake for this!” Guy nodded focus on the sheet of paper.
“Yes sir.”
Guy walked out to his horse and patted him absently. He tried to recall the peace he felt at the old men’s song, but the vision of dried blood and battered faces flooded his thoughts.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Innocents' Massacre cont'd


Five bent and withered forms sat huddled in one common cell. Five very old Apache men. The room was filled with the soft low chanting of near intelligible words. The words did not seem to escape the confines of the cell bars. They whistled in a circular path just inside the cell doors. Miles and Guy entered from the hall. The five figures looked to be emaciated and nearer to death than life, but their countenance were bright and beaming.
“God damn it! Shut up that racket you savages! “
Miles slapped the keys against the bars of the cage. The prisoners stopped their mantra. They uttered absolutely no sound. As they went silent the seemed to shrink a bit more. Guy studied each “killer” in turn.
“Mister Miles I doubt these old men could get up from their death beds let alone brutally beat a man to death. What evidence do you have of their guilt?”
“See what I mean? But damned if they weren’t found standing over the bodies of their victims, a bloody club at their feet! And blood was splattered all over them!”
The ancient Apaches turned to Guy as one. Their lips still moved almost imperceptibly. The Sheriff shook his head.
“They’re all yours boy. We couldn’t get nothin’ outta them and I’m sick of trying anyhow.”
Miles turned rattling his keys at the silent old men.
“Hear that crazy old redskins? I’m sick of ya’! Can’t wait ‘til they hang your murderin’ hides!”
With that the Sheriff handed the keys to Guy and stormed out of the room. Guy stood stock still until the sheriff’s footsteps ceased in the distance. He then focused on the Apache in the cell. With Miles departure the men slowly raised the volume of their voices to an insistent whisper. The sound was light and repetitive. The words were definitely not English. Nor any dialect of Apache Guy knew or spoke. Guy nodded respectfully to the old men. Still they continued their song never taking their eyes off of him. Guy unlocked the cell and addressed them in Apache.
“Old warriors, I do not understand your words, but I hope you understand mine. I am sent by the Great White Father to learn of the killings you have done and why. If you help me then I can save the rest of your people from pain… if you have acted alone.”
The only response to Guy’s words was the lilting chant and the stares of the accused. He walked into the cell and sat on one of the dilapidated cots. The gentle sounds of the raspy voiced men held him in sway. His lids grew heavy and the words penetrated his head. The sounds reverberated in his skull as his eyes rolled back in his head. He felt searing heat against his skin then placid peace. The meaning of the words took form in his mind in a language clearer than any that could be spoken.
“the children cried
for we were sleep
and no where to be found.
We wake from our sleep.
The children cry no more.”
Over and over the chorus spun through Guy’s mid until suddenly it stopped. Guy opened his eyes to Sheriff Miles standing directly in front of him, face red and contorted.
“What in the name of Custer’s last stand are you about boy! What the hell are you doing? Why don’t you just walk these murder’s to freedom!”
Eyelids still heavy and light-headed Guy looked warily about his surrounding. The prisoners had not moved but Guy sat on the floor in the midst of them. The door to the cell was wide open, just as he had left it. Guy leaped quickly to his feet and crossed the short distance to the cell door. Guy shook his head clear. Sheriff Miles stomped behind cursing wildly as he slammed shut and locked the cage. He ushered the still wobbly Guy into the next room and pushed him into a chair.