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J.D. Keith
J.D. Keith

   20.04.14 |‹ « 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11  (11)    
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          The police have grabbed him roughly, wrenched his wrists behind his back and clicked on the handcuffs. He’s hardly moved because he suddenly needs to pee and now he can’t see much because his eyes are blurry and he wants to close them again and not open them until he wakes up from this nightmare.

          All he notices through the blur is that the congregation is moving towards the front, singing at full strength, and that the pigs have got bullet-proofs on. They’re saying, “Stand back, stand back, we are dealing with an armed murderer,¸ and the preacher is saying, “De only authority you must respeck right now in dis place his de autority of de Lawd.¸ He’s at the pulpit, his voice still coming through the speakers. And the congregation has begun a new chorus of We Shall Not Be Moved. This has got to be a dream. His arm feels weird up against his back and the cold metal cuffs are digging into his hands. He’s still talking to himself, still asking God to help him and the police are patting him down. “Where’s your weapon?¸ they’re asking him and they’re going into his pockets and pulling out money and keys and cigarettes and rolling papers and nothing else. “Where’s your weapon?¸ they keep saying, and the chorus has gathered pace, quickening, louder, fuller, angrier. More police have trickled through to the altar and one of them is on his radio calling for backup and they’re shouting at the congregation, “Stand back.¸

          Through all the commotion he can hear them: “I’m arresting you, Christian Wilson, for the murder of . . .¸ and then “Just like a tree that’s planted by the wa-a-ters¸ and then “Anything you do say may be given as evidence¸ and then another pig’s threatening the preacher saying, “Quiet down or we’ll arrest you and all for obstructing the course –¸ and suddenly the preacher’s struck the cop and he’s been handcuffed too. But he’s still trying to talk into the microphone, saying, “Brethren, let us render unto Caesar dat what pertainet unto Caesar – but dey shalt be struck down if hany ’arm shall come upon dis boy.¸ And he hears the preacher saying, “Lawd, I deliver us into your hands,¸ but he’s not on the microphone any more.

          Then he feels himself being dragged up the aisle and the congregation parting like the Red Sea, still singing, right? Only it’s something else he can’t quite catch the words to. He can’t stand properly because he’s weak. And then Pastor is right behind him, saying, “I know ye scribes and Pharisees. I do know all your hungodly ways. I know what you did to my Joshua.¸ And he’s wondering who’s Joshua, and he’s wondering what happened to the gun, knowing now for certain what happened to the boy. And then he’s wondering where he is because his mind goes funny. Then he feels his wrists again and the arms squeezing his elbows and he panics and wonders where Shortie is and where Slicer is and where the rest of them all is. And then his head is being pushed down into one of the many police cars. And when he looks out onto the street and sees Constance standing among the crowd that has rushed out with him, he knows he doesn’t have to wonder what happened to the gun any more. She just looks at him through the glass as they speed off to the chorus of sirens.

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          


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