Image courtesy: SammySams Photography

[#18] Blood

What did the bullets mean?

It was in the backyard of Carmen’s house where the shoot out took place. She had low walls fencing her home and it was easy for any skilled person to jump into her house. Lack of crime in Rockford had made her feel comfortable with the fear of someone entering her house unwanted. Moreover many houses in her neighbourhood had similar walls.

The constable ran towards the noise of the shootout. Peter ran after him. Scott was scared and chose to run to comfort Carmen as she cried loud in pain. Mr. Castillo ran to Castillo too. He had always wanted to die a peaceful death, not one stained in blood.

The constable ran in his war pose as Peter merely followed. As soon as they reached Carmen's house's backside, they sat hidden behind the wall adjoining the backyard. A few horrified faces in the neighbouring houses staring out of their windows from where only their faces showed confirmed to both of them that the action took place just on the other side of the wall. But the gunshots had stopped just before they had reached the house.

“Pig! Pig!” shouted a voice and there were sounds of someone fumbling and utensils falling inside the kitchen that lay just next to the backyard.

“We must try to get in,” said the constable politely to Peter. But Peter would go in only if it was a safe situation. He had never known death but now realised he was afraid of it as it stared straight in his face. The constable didn’t wait for Peter to respond and tried to climb the wall and peek into the backyard. He saw death. Cockroach was trying to raise a blood stained Pig by forcibly feeding water into his mouth. A young but matured girl sat in a corner with her hands on her ears, her face smeared with tears and though her shivering lips and red eyes said she cried, no voice came out of her. Before the constable could see anything else, Cockroach fired a shot randomly aiming at him and he fell back. He was unhurt. Cockroach had by now realised that if he didn’t run away, he would probably never be able to run away. There might be a big police force waiting with the constable on the other side. He ran inside the room, not forgetting to carry his gun with him. With the help of a bold neighbour who dared to open his window and shout out to the constable that it was safe to enter the house, the countable made the leap again and successfully jumped inside. Peter sat where he did, deciding whether to run away or wait there so his conscience does not tell him later in life that he ran away from a fearful situation.

Constable had never expected what he saw. Pig wasn’t the only one who lay dead there. The inspector had been killed too. His body lay close to where the constable had jumped. He had been too ambitious. He was unfortunate to assume the noises that came from inside the house to be coming not from Carmen’s backyard but the backyard of the next house. Without any fear or readiness, he had plunged into the backyard and met his death too early in his life. However his death hadn’t gone waste. While Pig’s bullet hit him, he tried to understand what the shriek of pain was, and during those nascent moments of understanding, he had blindly shot at Pig who was unlucky too to have the bullet hit him straight in the throat. There was two deaths in an instant. But the inspector's death saved at least one life — Carmen's maid's. As the young girl sat crying in a corner of the backyard, Constable noticed another dead body on a wheelchair. Though the constable didn't know her, but he rightly guessed it was Susan. She was dead. Merrifort had successfully consumed her.

It was at the same time that Maria woke up from her afternoon slumber and Mrs. Castillo from her unconscious state as a doctor checked her — both shivering and in a state of shock. They had been damned.

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