Snuffed Hope


"Hey they got Fred c'mon man" I hear a voice yelling out as banging on the door yanks me out of my sleep. I roll out of the bed annoyed. It's either too late or too early for this. I make my way to the door to see Josiah standing there sweat dripping down his face like had just run a race.

"What man, I'm trying to sleep," I ask.

"They got Fred."

"Who got Fred," the police got Fred.

"So, he a grown man. He can sit in jail for the night. We all spent a night in the tank before. You really woke me up for this? You crazy," I say starting to close the door. Josiah has been my friend for a long time but this is some nonsense. It's not even like him.

"No," he throws his foot in the door, "they killed him."

"Shit, I'll be right there."

I quickly throw on some clothes. The same thing I wore the day before. I don't care. Something like this can't stand. I sneak back to the bedroom and pull my gun from the nightstand. I glance over to my wife. This might be the last time I see her. We're going to war tonight as far as I'm concerned. They killed Fred. The shining the star. We can't let that stand. He was gonna guide us to the other side and they took that. There's no reason we shouldn't be the monsters they think we are as far as I'm concerned. They might kill me, but I'm killing more than me.

"I love you baby," I whisper, she doesn't make a sound.

Speechless I slide out the front door and follow Josiah as he takes off running into the night. I don't know where we're going at first but as we start going I realize where we're going. We're going to Fred's apartment. These cowards killed him in his apartment, in the middle of the night.

When we get there the first thing I see is the police. They've got the entrance to the building blocked off. I make straight for them and pull out my gun. I'll fire the first shot in Black America's Revolutionary war. This is for our liberation. The torment. The persecution.

I start raising my arm to fire and feel resistance. "Are you stupid, they got enough cops here to kill us all and they don't care about women and children either," a voice whispers in my ear. Looking over I see a short man with a bald head gripping my arm and staring up into my eyes.

For the first time I'm seeing something other than police here. There's women and children everywhere. Fred meant so much to so many. It seems like most of us made our way here tonight when we heard the news. I don't know where we go from here. I don't know if the Panthers maintain a presence here or just fade away. I just know there won't be any more death tonight. We might do it some other time, but tonight we're done.

Tears start to roll down my cheek and I'm just so mad. This is so messed up. I wonder when it'll end. I thought Fred was the one that could do it. They killed my hope tonight. He was gonna save us all and they just killed him. This world is so cold.
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