Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Chastity Beldt" by Michael Gray


This story was sent to me as part of my first competition.  The way I set up the competition was a bit confusing and so Mr. Gray submitted a story that wasn't about the "Aviator"


He wrote his story about "Chastity Beldt,"  


I liked the story so much that I decided to make a painting of this character and publish MIchael Gray's story to my blog.   Here is is:


Chastity Beldt by Michael Gray

I've never really been a confrontational person.

When it comes to protecting my family, I had to draw the line. Ever since we moved to the south side of the railway tracks, I have not felt the same. Not about how we are perceived by our friends and congregation. Not about my or my children's safety as we walk from the bus stop to the dark entrance into our apartment complex, looking over our shoulders, hyper-aware of our surroundings. This sense of fear continues on as was we walk into the front door of apartment #332, through flimsy woods combined with inadequate locks. The second three on the door is written sloppily in ink. It usually takes a few minutes before the muscles in my neck and stomach return to what is a tight-normal. Constant tension, but relaxed enough to breathe a deep sigh and address the tasks at hand, which are many.

You can imagine my disgust, but not an overwhelming surprise, as I realized we were robbed. Not only this, he was still in the house. I saw him, his curved back hovered over the side of the bed, lifting the mattress as if he were in search of an Easter egg, or a lost key, or his soul. I pointed for the children to fetch the police, they ran back down the stairs. I on the other hand had become possessed, or enlightened, or empowered. I'm still not sure which.

By the time he realized I was there, it was too late. The square lamp bottom, heavy usually, felt lightweight while holding it upside down. The balance seemed a miracle. It sliced through the air towards his head, catching him directly behind his left ear. Thick dark blood, slow at first, then faster, pooled into the wide crevice on the floor between the wall and where the carpet used to be.

I never meant to hurt him to that extent. The coroner's report stated it was a subdural hematoma from blunt force trauma that was the cause of death. It was determined to be self defense, but as I pray for forgiveness, now, I have a new fear. Fear from One that knows all, sees all. I could have walked away, down the hall, down the stairs with my children. Was I protecting, or was I actually the aggressor? My Bible is heavier to carry as I head into church. The same eyes that casted judgement before, now their perceptions are changed but equally as judgemental. My load now heavier than ever.

Why me Lord?

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