Cry of Innocence

3. Hiss

Drinking from a brown paper bag, Mark sat in the warmth of the morning sun. After driving six painful hours through the night, and then passing out for three in the front seat of his white Ford F-150, the daylight seemed strangley out of place—the hellish night before had seemed to last forever.

Now, sitting on a dusty curb like a wounded animal, Mark tried to erase his mind of the previous evening, when he had beaten his wife to death in a drunken rage. Impossible. The images of himself punching and throwing her frail body consumed his brain regardless of the alcohol he was forcing down his throat. The look of her bawling eyes remained implanted in his memory. Helpless, panicked screams of terror still hissed in his ears.

Ashes from Mark's chain-smoked cigarettes covered his clothes and the scraggily brown hairs on his pale face. He had flung the butts, watching them float in the dry desert wind towards the local savings bank across the street. His hands, as well as his dirt-caked leather boots were coated with white powder—the limestone that had been hastily spread over her shallow grave would help speed the decomposition process.

2. Draw

Staring at himself in the mirror, sucking in his gut as to ease the stress on the buttons of his blue uniform, Bob felt powerful. Every morning he did this.

Bob went into the kitchen and meticulously fried three eggs. He sat down at the table and flipped the television to a cable channel showing an old Clint Eastwood movie. Bob loved Clint Eastwood movies.

He sat and ate for thirty minutes, quietly repeating lines from the movie. Just before he left for work, Bob went upstairs to kiss goodbye his wife, who still lay asleep in bed. On his way out of the bedroom, he again stood in front of the mirror. This time, Bob practiced drawing his gun, which in his twenty years of experience as a small-town cop, he had never fired for real.

1. Hush

The sharp cry of their two-year old daughter continued despite their efforts to help her all night.

"Timothy, she won't take her bottle. Something is wrong. I feel powerless," said Nora, as she gently rocked her only child.

"Should I call the pediatrician? I'm going to call her. I'll stay home from work today."

"Hush Hannah, go to sleep baby. Mommy is here. Everything's alright."

Nora began humming a soft tune that accompanied Hannah's faint cry.

"The doctor said we could come by at ten."

Well let's get ready to go. We should stop at the bank on the way. It'll be easier than going afterwards.

0: Showdown

People had stopped screaming and were not deathly silent, except for the innocent cry of a child.

"Shut that things's mouth before I blow its fucking head off," shouted the crazed man wielding the revolver. "You, put the cash in the bag."

The young bank teller scrambled to follow the order. Tears of fright poured from her eyes.

"Everyone against the wall!"

The blond-haired businessman in the suit and tie cowardly crawled into a corner.

The cry of a small girl persisted.

The muscular Mexican man hesitated.

"What? The raging lunatic shouted and motioned his gun towards the wall. "No fucking comprende asshole?"

Pausing again to torment the Mexican, the crazed man shouted, "Why the fuck don't you go back to your own country, you dirty, piece-of-shit parasite.

He then spit on his face. The Mexican man used his fist to wipe the spit off his motionless, contemptuous stare.

"Hurry up with the money, bitch. And you...shut that thing's mouth!"

The crazed maniac aimed his black revolver, held in his shaking, chalky hand, point blank at the gently wailing baby's head. The mother, shrieked and the gun redirected to her. Shot in the neck, she died within seconds, still holding her daughter in her arms. Her husband dove for his wife and child, and his anger exploded.

The two fought for the weapon for only a few seconds before the front door burst open, and a short, stocky, bald policeman entered with a near-adolescent partner behind him. The experienced peace officer did not hesitate to blast three rounds into his target, whose eyes bulged as he collapsed drowning in blood.

The two policemen did not have time to understand the enigmatic and sickening expressions on every living face in the room, because seconds later, they were both instantly pumped with bullets. The last man standing reserved one bullet for his own temple—his brain was finally erased.

The Mexican and the young teller both watched in horror. The spineless businessman did not look. The black man's wide motionless eyes looked like buoys bobbing in the red swamp that was his body. A blood-spattered baby's faint cry was still heard.

Break the stereotypes.