Dorthey May, drug addict and whore, watched as Billy walked to her house. She had got a fix of heroin and the drug had addled her brain. Everything seemed slow down when she was high. “Look at this little judgmental prick. Here he comes.” A wood bat was propped against the run-down porch. With her record firearms were out of the question for personal protection.
Billy walked into her yard. He waved at Dorthey. She sneered at him.
‘What do you want?”
“Please stop hitting, Annabelle. She doesn’t deserve to be slapped.”
Something in Dorthey’s mind snapped. It was like someone had thrown hot water on her. She gripped the bat and pointed it at Billy.
“Who are you to tell me how to raise my kid?!”
“Ma’am, I ain’t trying to tell you how-“Billy’s words were cut off when the bat crashed into the side of his head. Billy’s body crashed to the ground. Dorthey stood over him and continued to slam the bat into his head.
“How dare you! This is my house; Annabelle is my daughter! I do what I want. No one tells me how to raise her!”
Annabelle watched as her mother bashed her friend’s head in with the bat. She screamed. Annabelle raced out of the house and tried to stop her mother. Dorthey turned her attention, Annabelle. She swung the bat and it collided with Annabelle’s hip. The snap could be heard a mile away. Dorthey’s eyes were filled with rage. She dragged the bat to where Annabelle had fallen.
“You ain’t worth it. Go be someone else’s kid. Go back to that stupid killer.”
Dorthey dropped the bat and walked out of the yard. In the distance sirens sounded. Annabelle crawled to Billy. Blood pooled around his small head. He wasn’t breathing.
“Billy? Billy wake up! Momma’s gone.” She patted his face but there was no response. “Billy! Come on, Billy! It ain’t funny!” Strong hands pulled Annabelle from Billy. Cops and paramedics rushed to where Billy was, but Billy was gone. Annabelle was loaded into the back of an ambulance and rushed to the hospital.
Davy scarcely watched television; it was even more rare for him to watch the news. Today, for some unbeknownst reason, he flipped on the television. Commercials were shown for new medication that would kill you as assuredly as the disease you had, pets were shown in horrible living conditions, and the newest truck with the newest feature only cost you an arm and a leg.
The newscaster came on and she looked troubled. “Um, we have some breaking news to report. An enraged woman killed a young boy with a baseball bat. After she finished with him, she turned on her daughter. We will have more details a bit later.”
“What is the world coming to?” Davy had heard the sirens and seen the vehicles as they passed by, but he thought nothing of it. “Oh Lord, what if it is Billy and Annabelle?” Davy grabbed his keys for his 1999 Dodge Ram and rushed out the door. The truck started right up, and he raced down his drive. He drove until he saw the flashing of police lights. A lone patrol officer stood in the middle of the road and directed traffic. Davy pulled to the side and parked. He started down the sidewalk. An officer stopped him short of the scene.
“Can I help you, sir.”
“Yeah. I am here to check on Billy and Annabelle.”
“Are you kin?”
“No, they are my friends.”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t release any information at this time.”
Davy looked across the ramshackle fence and saw blood. The ground was saturated with it. Davy could smell it in the air. He cleared his throat and thanked the officer. Slowly, Davy walked back to his truck. He drove home and parked it under his carport. The television had an update when he walked into his house.
“We interrupt this program to provide further details concerning the travesty that happened earlier. Police suspect that the person responsible for today’s horrendous actions is Dorthey May Withers. Billy Thompson, age 9, was killed. Annabelle Withers, daughter of Dorthey May, is being treated at Memorial Hospital, and her condition is listed as stable. Police have been unable to locate Ms. Withers. We will keep you updated as details come in.”
Davy Walker sat in his recliner and stared at the empty wall. “How pathetic am I? I refused to help when asked, now Billy is dead. Annabelle is hurt. Some soldier you are.”
A tear rolled down Davy’s cheek, he wiped it away with the back of his hand. “I promised Billy I would talk to the police. I did nothing. The kid confronted the darkness and paid the price. Once again, I am complicit in evil because I did nothing.”
His phone rang. Davy walked down the hall to where his phone hung on the wall. He picked it up and softly said, “Yeah?”
“Hi, you don’t know me, but I am Thelma Withers. I am Annabelle’s aunt.”
“Annabelle wanted me to call you and let you know what happened.”
“I know what happened, ma’am. I went to what I think was Annabelle’s house. The cops would not tell me anything.”
Thelma sobbed and Davy waited for her to compose herself. “Annabelle wants to know if you would come to Billy’s funeral.”
“Of course. It’s the least I can do.”
“I will call you with the details as soon as I have them, Mr. Walker.”
Davy hung up the phone and walked into his bedroom. He pulled his chest from under his bed and opened it. Medals and ribbons filled the chest. He took out a Silver Star. It had been awarded to him for service in some dump, where he had killed someone who had been labeled evil by his government.
“Billy should have it. He didn’t shy away from the darkness, he confronted it.”