Quincy jerked awake, gasping for breath. His heart raced. Sweat soaked the pillow and sheets. He stared up at the ceiling, the bedroom almost in complete darkness. Only the slightest hint of dawn shone through the open windows of the farmhouse, the home his father had built and the home he’d worked hard to make a happy place for himself and those he loved. Although the nightmare was gone, vanishing back into the dark void in his mind and soul, he couldn’t shake the vivid image of his papa’s lifeless body. It was covered in blood. The crimson soaked through his father’s brown herringbone topcoat and streamed onto the sidewalk.
“Oh, God,” he whispered, clutching the sheet close under his chin. He suddenly felt cold, despite the warmth of the summer breeze that gently billowed the curtains. “Why can’t I forget?”
The murder had happened long ago, back when he was only eight years old. It was a day he’d never forget, even though he’d tried for decades. The shooting had occurred on his birthday. For quite some time afterward, the violence of that day had ruled every waking hour. He’d kept seeing the horror on his papa’s face. He’d kept hearing the earsplitting crack of the guns. The men, the faces of the killers—he’d kept seeing them too. He tried to forget but couldn’t.
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