Mártir By Chris Deal
She’d bled through her bandages, the cloth over her midsection cruddy with the runoff, already a dark brown. Each breath was a struggled, a brutal rasp like the shot that had torn through her frame. The phones were out, but there was no one to call. Those supposed to offer help to the hurt had done this. The power flickered as I carried her into our home like on our wedding day. Gun shots and screams echoed through the window as I sat her down. La Policía, hijos de puta, patrolled the streets, taking their wrath out on whoever they came across, whether or not they were the right color.
We came together peacefully. The crowd was made of manifestantes. We had funneled ourselves into the heart of the city, the buildings looming like tombstones above us. We were packed in where the thugs could hit two or three with a single bullet. As soon as we heard the shots, we ran, after ten feet the people dispersing down alleys. After a block I looked back but she wasn’t there. She was sitting on a bus stop bench clutching her belly, a circle of red growing over her shirt.
Her eyes went dull in the candle’s serpent tongue. I lay my head on her breast, my ear to her cooling skin, and everything resembling an emotion spilled out of me as I tried to fill her up with what I had left, the life coursing through my veins. I told her once she could have my heart, and if there was anything I could do to give it to her now, I would. We just wanted to be accepted.
Chris Deal writes from Huntersville, NC. His debut collection of very short fiction, Cienfuegos, was published by Brown Paper Publishing in early 2010. Check him out at http://www.Chris-Deal.com.