It was the pause between her haunted words that terrified me. Of course, it was her words repeated to the others that terrified them. Not because it was something she said, or the days between her visits, but because I was the only one that could hear her scream.
They said it was too late to run for office.
Our local paper picked up the story, like any decent rag in a small town would. It was a national story, you see, and the other twelve-hundred people in the town of Castro didn’t seem to care that the story was me. I was our Sherriff for ten years.
I served less than sixty days.
Probably on account that I committed myself. Problem with turning myself in was that it really did mean everyone thought I was nuts. My voices were unanimous. What I really needed was a break from the new wave of punks who decided to hassle our town and sleep behind our one Greyhound station. Why they chose Castro over Kansas City, would take more time than I had to figure out.
We were positive they’d be gone by the time we got out. I got out. Jesus, it was just me who was positive. I alone walked out. Didn’t matter, they were still there, and I stood in front of them ready to say, it may be too late to remember why, but it wasn’t too late to remember how.
Her voice came to me, from the dark corner of a room draped with dread from the silence between her words, the punks ran toward the only way out – through her shadow.
This was taken from my journal. I wrote this last week during a writing workshop in response to a prompt: It’s too late too, it’s never too late (the group made a list – I chose: It’s too late to run for office/too late to remember why, its never too late to talk to the dead/never too late to remember how). It was the first, of hopefully many, writing exercises with Laguna Writers!