One rusted hinge.
Wedge of sunlight,
Smeared across plank flooring.
Beretta in hand.
Push door with flashlight.
“I heard a shot but I was too scared to look. Is he in there?”
“Stay back, please.”
Standing to side of doorway.
Sweat trickles from lower back into waistband.
“Frank. I’m here to help. You okay?”
Darting in and out.
Lots of it.
Tissue on ceiling.
Sitting on floor.
Shotgun in lap, upright.
“Frank, you okay?”
“Is Daddy all right?”
“Go back in the house. I’ll be there in a minute.”
Hand over mouth, sobbing. “Okay.”
Squeeze through door.
Flashlight aimed toward ceiling,
Casts dim light throughout.
Friends since high school.
Twenty years, or more.
“Why, Frank? Great kids. Great wife. Nice house. Good job. Wonderful life.”
“Send M.E. and paramedics. No particular order.”
A wet breath, from somewhere.
Finger twitches slightly.
Another jerky, unbelievable breath.
“Hold on Frank. Help’s on the way!”
Frantically grab radio.
“Tell paramedics to hurry. Victim is alive. Repeat. Victim is alive.”
Sit in floor,
Holding Frank’s hand.
Sirens getting closer.
“Hey Frank. Remember when we …”