Emerging Writers. One Dark Night, by Mary Ann DiLorenzo
One Dark Night. Part 1.
“Mandy, I really wish you would put the air conditioning on instead of letting in all this hot air!” Taylor blurted out as she burst in the door and rushed to close the windows, while the curtains danced around her, blowing in the sticky summer breeze. It was past suppertime in Allegan, a small industrial town in southwest Michigan, barely a dot on the state’s road map but close enough to Lake Michigan to warrant some attention from travelers.
“Oh Taylor, it must be winter here ten months out of the year! Let me enjoy some summertime!”
“I’m sorry, so sorry for raining on your parade big sister,” Taylor teased. “Are we having one of your why-bother-following-the-recipe meals tonight or shall I scare up something a little less exciting? Mandy, are you alright?” She had quickly glanced at Mandy and immediately shivered in fright, something was wrong.
“He got out today,” Mandy told Taylor and Taylor’s heart almost stopped. “How do you know?” Taylor asked, as calm as possible under the circumstances and reaching for a chair to steady herself.
“Belinda texted me this afternoon,” Mandy replied, not very calm herself.
“Oh my,” Taylor said, getting wrapped up again in the past they had wishfully put aside the day the judge sentenced Thomas to the death penalty. He beat it on appeal and was sentenced to thirty years without parole. “Thirty years up already, oh my.”
Though neither said another word, both Mandy and Taylor thought back to that night so long ago that changed their lives forever. One dark night, shots fired, a man crying out, granddad falling to the ground, boots on the concrete, running, running away, sirens, an ambulance, commotion all around, they were so young, so young, Mandy five, Taylor four. They ran to Belinda, she held them close in the dark as it started to snow on that cold moonless night.