GIRAFFES AND OTHER GENTLE CREATURES.
The barrels of their rifles and guns are placed against my neck and head as I’m ordered to look ahead and march forward along a gauntlet of jeering citizens who spit and laugh every time that I’m punched in the eye by a deputized posse member.
“You’ll never have a chance to terrorize our people again. We’ll hang you from the nearest tree. Your corpse will rot and then no one will ever give you a second thought.”
People are taking pictures with their mobile devices and some even use professional video cameras to fully capture the moment.
“Hey, what does it feel like now that the guns are pointed at you?”
I am not clear about what I’ve been accused of nor have I any recollection of committing any crimes whatsoever. My day started off in the usual mundane fashion. The alarm clock went off at 5:00 a.m., I ate my typical breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast with jam, and gulped down a cup of strong coffee. I readied myself with the most common ritualized sequence of a quick shower and even put on my inexpensive blue suit with favorite blue shirt and red necktie. I stepped out the front door and was immediately surrounded by uniformed police and plain clothed detectives. Several undercover agents were lined up on the sidewalks and special militarized snipers were on the nearby rooftops. I was immediately accosted, handcuffed and told that my accomplices would soon be joining me.
“The sheriff will be handling your case. He’s the meanest man in the Southwest. He killed his own mother as he stomped his way out of the birth canal. Ruptured her spleen and ripped out her ovaries so that there would be no chance of sibling rivalry. He hated being born so he’s done everything to punish those who enjoy living life to the fullest.”
So that was my offense. I’ve had fun ever since I was a small boy. Always playing in the streets and not giving a damn whether I worked or went to school. I never had any problems making friends. I was always the first to kiss the girls. There was never any need to get into fistfights. Money came easy. And I always loved my mother and the mothers of my children.
“Freeze. We’ll be making additional arrests here at apartment building.”
Several blasts of automatic gunfire splattered across the entrance of the building, hitting the first and second floors. The battering rams knocked down the doors and smashed the windows. Several explosive charges filled the area with acrid smoke and tear gas. Another round of gunfire as nearly twenty corpses were dragged out onto the front lawn. Even in death, the body of a small girl clutched to her stuffed toy giraffe for the long journey to the netherworld.
“Mostly women, children and a few dogs. Not the men we were looking for. It is your fault that they escaped. This will count against you in a big way. Start walking.”
The masked officer cut me across the face with a sharp dagger.
“Don’t protest too much or you’ll lose an ear or your nose. I’ll cut a hole in your cheeks. Maybe I’ll knock out all of your teeth. Your kind makes me sick.”
The voice sounded vaguely familiar. Maybe I heard it once before in a crowd or on TV. It was distinctly intoned with the authority of a killer.
“Pick up the pace, we’re running a bit late. They’ll be waiting for us in front of city hall. The reporters and paparazzi will have a field day with you. The city workers have taken the day off. No one will want to miss out on the spectacle of you being slaughtered for the good of all.”
I’ve read about how the Nazi SS would murder and cause mayhem at will. I’ve met people who survived the Dirty War against students in Latin American during the 70’s. I’ve seen pictures of what happened to villagers in Vietnam and to the average people of Syria. But this is 21st Century America. It is all playing out like a cheap melodrama. Human Rights are nonexistent. The frenzy is palpable.
“The sheriff is on his way. Guess you’ll be the only one for today. Too bad you warned your friends about us. He won’t be happy.
The main square is visible in the distance. There are many people crowded along the perimeter. The helicopters are hovering overhead. Dignitaries and their staff are lining up at the entrance of the large building.
“Keep walking, it is only a short distance. There won’t be much more for you to do once we get you into place.”
The pain that stretched across from my forehead to the tip of my jaw was the illuminating reminder that my unexpected situation was real. I had not seen the faces of everyone who was involved in my capture or of the random murderers. As I neared the civic platform, it was a surprise to be presented to so many luminaries including elected officials, actors, corporate representatives, and faculty form the nearby research university. The sheriff was standing in front of everyone bearing an automatic pistol in his hand.
“Once you get to know him, you’ll hate him as much as he hates you.”
I was forced to my knees with a swift blow from a baton to my lower back. A young woman walked up to the microphone stand.
“Welcome everyone. We’ve waged a successful campaign against our enemies. During the last few years, nearly two million illegals have been decimated. Another hundred thousand drug offenders have been eradicated. Anyone who sings, whistles, dances, laughs, or is sexually active has been publicly executed. We are a free and autonomous nation of like-minded people. There is no place in our spacious Sonoran desert for anyone who violates our values. Without further ado, please applaud our hero and benefactor, the Sheriff.”
The Sheriff has a permanent scowl. He is an ugly man.
“Citizens, I was elected to protect you from vermin. I intend to keep our way of life in its purest form.”
He pointed the weapon to my head and pulled the trigger. There wasn’t any pain only a distant reverberating echo as my body collapsed to the ground. It is difficult to explain how I could sense several people hacking away at my torso with large butcher knives as they removed my internal organs, chopped of my arms, legs, head, and separated my ribs, tossing all the flesh to a waiting pack of coyotes, gila monsters, scorpions, and rattlesnakes. Several politicians/maggots took a bite of writhing intestines. Within a few minutes I had been dismembered and ingested leaving a blackened stain on the sandy soil. My consciousness remained in place for a few days until it drifted away somewhere towards the shadows of forgotten moments and lost places.
Giraffes and other Gentle Creatures
©2014, Harry Gamboa Jr.