Friday, January 2, 2015

Homicide In the Street by Sara Niles

Essay-length short story 4558 words 
One Full chapter from Out of the Maelstrom

Sara Niles fled for her life with her five children in 1987, as a victim homicidal domestic violence from her deranged husband; over a decade later, Niles begins work with a nonprofit domestic violence agency, dealing directly with victims of crime and violence. 
Homicide in the Street is the story of one of the most notorious of the abusers whose murder happened in the street in front of her adult son's home. It is through the telling of this story that the sad outcome of extreme violence is brought to the fore through the lens of society and the cultural mores of the times. 

Excerpt from Chapter of Out of the Maelstrom by Sara Niles

He was dead, alright. The sight of death is an ugly and fearsome thing I thought, as I absorbed the tragic sight in front of me. It was a man, ‘The man’ , who was lying in the road with blackish-red blood pooled around his head, and as he lay face down with his feet in his own yard, while his head and shoulders were planted in the street, giving the appearance of a killed animal felled in its tracks by a hunter.

By the time I arrived, yellow crime scene tape was strapped around the trees, while blue and red lights flashed out of sync with each other, providing the warning surges of light emanating from the tops of police cars and through the windshields of undercover detective vehicles; while the ambulance was parked askew with the neat, uniformed workers eerily standing almost idly by, in no apparent rush to ‘save’ the life of the already ‘dead’ man. I had rushed over as soon as I got the phone call, alerting me to what I was seeing with my own eyes. The phone call had been from my oldest son Tommy, who had reached me at the local domestic violence shelter with the news: “He’s dead! Mama-somebody just shot him-right out in the middle of the street!” 
Tommy had tersely stated, as a matter-of -fact summation of a wasted and dangerous life. The man was killed within fifty feet of my adult son Tommy’s yard, so naturally I felt I had a license to investigate, to see if he was indeed ‘really’ dead.