During Black Hours

October 22, 2007
By Tojil Potter, Fort Meade, MD

A chilly breeze went through the house signaling the end of the day. The clouds darkened themselves and the sun began to hide behind the mountains. The dogs returned home after a long day of scavenging and moths checkered the wall of the front porch. Church bells rang that signaled seven o’clock and I began to grow tired. I sat on the front porch as if waiting for someone and expecting no one. At that time I saw a dark mass of people through the thick night. They were family, and they were worried as well. They revealed to me that my cousin had gone crazy, after being assaulted he had attacked my aunt and was headed here.

Inside there was a comfortable atmosphere, yet everyone was shaken. However, in that instant we heard wails of an angry man. We didn’t react but listened. Violently flailing his arms he attempted to attack us and we restrained him. Some of the boys grabbed rope and fastened him to a tree. His father was crying; he had already lost a son and now he had to deal with this. He faces me and curses me, asking for his freedom. I stood there speechless because all my life he was a friend, a cousin. Now, for this night, he hated me. Bewildered, I decided to sleep. It wasn’t until his final cries that sleep arrived that night to my room, and for this one time I welcomed it more than ever

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