H O W A R D   U N I V E R S I T Y

Faces & Voices 5
An Anthology
of Verse and Prose

the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

E. R. B

Faces & Voices 4


By Keosha Moon

      Friday, September 13, 1979, was a day like no other. The sky was ebony dark, with howling winds, and an atmosphere that possessed a certain boisterousness. Hail descended upon the earth with a force so sadistic that car windows were being shattered instantly upon impact. On a day such as the aforementioned, one would be safe in assuming that no one in their right mind would be outside wandering aimlessly down the dark, uninviting, and solitary streets. Contrary to popular belief, some eccentric people relished in this type of sordid weather. Meredith was among this infinitesimal population. In fact, these happened to be among the days she enjoyed most. She felt as though they shed an eerie albeit fascinating realistic light on a world that she otherwise saw as falsely personified. Meredith Seeay, a 34 year old computer technician residing in Gloomsdale, Pennsylvania, was a loner. She had not one friend in the world nor did she have any immediate family. If she were to turn up missing one day, months could pass before someone even noticed her missing existence. She was not what one would term a “bad” person but rather she was “misunderstood”. She had come to terms with the fact that this was how things had always been and there was no foreseeable change in the future.
      After leaving work on this stormy day, she decided to take an unfamiliar route to her modest living quarters located on the outskirts of the town’s worst neighborhood. This neighborhood had a silent reputation for being a mafia run neighborhood. Unlike many other citizens of Gloomsdale this neighborhood did not in any way make Meredith fearful of traversing through it. She began meandering along paying close attention to all of the details in the neighborhood analyzing, processing, and storing as though she were an investigator. So engrossed was she in taking in all of her surroundings that she failed to notice the quiet scuffle approximately 50 feet before her. She proceeded to walk until she was within five feet of the fracas and was stopped dead in her tracks by the horrendous inhumane sight that her eyes witnessed. There stood four large burly men of the Italian persuasion pulverizing this tall lanky Hispanic man who was bound at the hands and feet while hanging from a lamppost by a chain that was wrapped around his hands. The sight of the bloody visage and lifeless body of the young man frightened her to the point where she made a slight squeal. This squeal changed her life, for at this moment the four brutes looked up and realized her presence for the first time. With fury in their eyes, they looked at her. With trepidation in her heart and disbelief in her eyes, she looked into the faces of the villainous individuals. Within a split second, decisions were reached on behalf of both parties. On Meredith’s end, the decision was to run in hopes of escaping their wrath. On the other end, the four men wanted to catch and detain her with the intent of ensuring that the story not be told to anyone. They were willing to do this by any means necessary. For four blocks, there was a mad dash with Meredith in the front and the men on her heels. She hung a quick left and ran into an abandoned warehouse. There, she lost them by hiding in the overhead heating ducts. She waited there, scared to move, for what seemed like an eternity, but in actuality was six hours. Finally, she got the courage to leave. She wasted no time in getting to her apartment, all the while very sensitive to every movement around her. Once she reached her home, she closed the door and fell against it and down to the floor with a thud.       Immediately thoughts began to race through her mind. Should she tell? Would they continue to look for her? Should she exile herself to another country? Should she keep quiet and forget the face of that helpless man? So many burning questions, yet she held no answers. She did something that she rarely did. She prayed. It was not a long drawn out prayer, but rather a short prayer asking for guidance or perhaps an omen. Within one hour, she got one of the things she asked for, an omen. This omen came in the form of a telephone call from a stranger. Apparently, there had been a sixth person. That sixth person was the lookout. As the younger brother of one of the four men, he had been forced to take on the role as lookout. Overcome with anxieties and feelings of guilt he wanted to go to the police. He felt strongly that his case would be more potent if she were to go with him. In his eyes this was the only route to safety for both of them. They agreed to meet at 5:00 am at the same abandoned warehouse. 
      She arrived ten minutes early in order to check out the scene. Likewise, she wanted to find an optimum spot for hiding in case this was all a ploy by the four men to capture her. He arrived but much to her surprise, he was not alone. A shadowy figure loomed behind him. She did not emerge from hiding space until finally they gave up and left. She stealthily returned to her apartment. Within five minutes of her arrival, she received a phone call. She picked up the phone and anticipated the voice of the caller. “Hello?” She recognized his voice and spoke. “Who did you bring with you?”, she asked in a venomous voice. He explained that that was a friend of his who also knew of what went on and was interested in helping. After all matters were cleared they set yet another meeting date this time with stipulations in place. 
      At that hour of the morning she was quite surprised, and pleased, to find that the coffee shop was not crowded, as usual. She quickly chose a table near a window which afforded a clear view across the busy Avenue to the Metro Station, the bus stop and the parking lot. This time there would be no surprises. From her vantage point she would see if he came alone, as promised. Any sign of a third person and she’d be gone.

© 2001 Keosha Moon

© 2001 Howard University.
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse and Prose, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2001. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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