The Boy in the Crimson Veil

by Daphne M. Rivers

Gun smoke, panic, and flashing lights – it’s the sort of thing of celluloid fantasy, a tide of anger slams into the shores of our fear and complacency when it washes out there is only you, a boy in the crimson veil.
Neighborhood heroes and saviors line the pavement, purposeless because of the hole in your face. The real tragedy is them picking up your pieces, arranging them so they are presentable to those who knew you best, but they won’t know you, won’t see beyond the veil. Prostrate beneath the glint celestial bodies extinguished long ago, you are an offering to a silent witness. In the morning light will touch everything the night made dark except you, except me, except us. The villain who gave your soul to God or the Devil will retreat to the shadows, though nameless, though faceless, he will not be forgotten. Your stain shall forever be embedded on these concrete stairs; my daughter will endure the stares of those who watch her play there. The chorus of that night will replay in our waking thoughts: your pointless cries for help; fists slamming violently against door; then silence, moratorium on fighting to live. I would not open the door, wanting no part in the hell that followed; I could never have helped you. Believing that a soul lost is not gone, I wed myself to your last moments and whisper these words to you in my dreams,”Do not fear the shadows; God dwells among villains too.”