There was a ringing clamor outside my window last night. I looked down and saw two gangly teenagers wailing on a neighbor’s car with an aluminum baseball bat. They took a few turns inflicting damage until the taller one wheeled around and popped his friend with a mighty whack to the chest. He dropped to the concrete and began coughing up blood as the alarm on the car blared. He struggled to his knees only to be greeted with another cracking blow, this time to his lower back, that succeeded in laying him out flat.
I knew I should’ve called 911 immediately, but I was mesmerized by the casual brutality. I watched as the attacker quietly swung the bat up to rest over his left shoulder and paused to look, not at his motionless friend on the ground, but at the battered sedan. He then cocked his head up defiantly and walked back towards the street corner.
I thought I should wake my girlfriend to tell her what I’d just witnessed, but she was so worn out and I felt ashamed. And it was at that moment I looked back out the window and saw that the kid was no longer laying there on the street. The lights from the car blinked in time with my pounding heart as I stepped back from the window and sat on the bed. Dazed, I fell sideways onto the comforter and gave myself over to exhaustion.
© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.