Victory of Death

Michael Scribner, Guest Writer

Dead silence accompanies the darkness. I hear a faint voice telling me I cannot go on, while another voice lingers for hope. The silent cacophony depletes my remaining morsels of happiness. In a moment of peace, a ghastly and hideous peace, I put the noose around my neck. The year is 1933 and the horrors of the Great Depression spread their roots from the east coast to the west coast, all the way here, to Washington state. I am sure that the Great Depression will swallow us all. My name is Cyrus Worthington, and I am a wealthy co-owner of a bank during the Great Depression. Although I survived these past years, the next few may take a brutal turn.

*          *          *

All my problems began when the stock market crashed on October 24, 1929 and since then my life has never been the same. Rations had been created due to the shortage of food and bread lines were long. Luckily for me, my wealth sustains me, but Adriana’s situation is much worse. My poor best friend faces a gruesome darkness. I need to visit her, but how can I get through without people imploring me for any scraps of food?

I peak through the black curtains complimented by the gray, former white, walls. The transparency of the glass displays half-living bodies surrounding the perimeter of my gates. Masses of homeless people crowd the streets as they flee from the Seattle Hoovervilles. They find refuge in any corner, wherever cover shelters them from the downpour of Seattle rain. Therefore, my gates, which have a canopy over them to protect the iron from oxidizing, are a popular hang out spot. I need a way to get out unseen, I think to myself. I close the curtains, trying not to disturb Georgia, my wife, who is fast asleep. Slowly, I walk to my dresser and pull out jeans and a work shirt, but these clothes are too new. How can I get them to look distressed? I open the door leading to the living room, where I keep the dogs. I throw the jeans in first and in only ten seconds the dogs successfully do their work, and I now have ripped up jeans. I do the same to the work shirt. Perfect! My shirt looks ten years older. I now look like I live the horrendous life of the homeless.

As I reached the sidewalk of the hospital, the reeking smell of feces reaches my nostrils. I feel a motion coming up my throat, but I hold it in. Finally at the door, I ask the front desk assistant where Adriana Mahescu is housed.

I find Adriana lying on her bed, but no movement occurs. I begin to scream and one of the nurses comes running and asks me to stop. The workers are numb to death, but I am not. Now, my best friend lies in her grave. All the memories she had of me are erased, and all I have left of her is her sweet daughter, Mariana.

I want to adopt Mariana, but Georgia will not allow it. She always says she never wants kids, and she constantly reminds me, “You married me knowing that, so deal with it.” Sadly, Mariana is held in an orphanage. I try to visit and supply her with her needs as often as I can, but because of this deep Depression, I can rarely venture outside.

Not even one week later, I decide to escape my comfort of home in order to visit and see Mariana once again before her orphanage moves. Everyday I implore Georgia to let me keep her, but to no avail. At least I can see her one last time, I think to myself. But when I reach the steps and touch the handle for the door, the door will not budge. I scan the door for any information which will aide me in my journey to see Mariana. When I look at the bottom of the door, my heart sinks. The orbitals of my heart start to race and I am lost. Lost in space. Lost in thought. Lost for words. The last mortal thing on Earth connecting me to Adriana was gone forever. She is ripped out from me. In a streaky voice and a dripping countenance I yell, “I tried Adriana. I tried, but I failed.”

*          *          *

Mariana, age 12

Momma always told me not to steal. She said it wasn’t right, but hunger did not have a conscience. As I surveyed the line in order to find a place to cut in, I saw no way of doing so. I looked for another path inside the bakery. I saw a small hole but small enough for a ten year old girl to fit in. I silently moved the jagged metal and slipped inside. Did my eyes deceive me? Mountains of bread was a fresh view to my eyes. I silently tiptoed into a storage room where a found a large loaf of bread. As I opened my mouth to take a bite, my angry stomach roared louder than a lion. Oh no! Did anyone hear that? Sure enough someone did.

“Girl get out of here. You can’t be eating this bread. Wait in line like the others.” and with that he took my last meal and threw me on the ground.

As my stomach roared even louder, I heard my lips slowly mutter, “Momma I always wanted to be like you. Now I can.”

*          *          *

Entering my office, my heart hurts. I long for a way out. I look through the window to try and escape my sorrow. I see a Model T pass by and my heart replicates it. I realize that it is too late. I scan around the room for hope but instead I find rope.




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