Excerpt from Every Night is a Holiday for Death

Screams, loud, filled with terror, rupture the sticky darkness. Doors slam closed. Windows slam shut. Loud televisions, turned up until the dishes rattle, deafen the listeners, blocking out screams sounding like a woman in labour, screams that break the cloying darkness into a thousand pieces. The shattered slivers bounce and careen down a littered alleyway.
A few shards stick to the glue like dirt, dirt that has built up over the years and turned old, weather worn bricks into nondescript ugliness. Jane street residents huddle close together and shiver in the oppressive, fear filled night.
The screams end as suddenly as they began. A death rattle fades, replaced by feet splashing through puddles. This too fades away into the endless heat. A brilliant bolt of lightning rips the darkness to shreds, tipping over a large cauldron overflowing with heaven’s tears.
The rain that had paused for an hour to take a breather starts up heavier than ever, and the only sounds now are the occasional cracking of distant thunder, and the rain sizzling into puddles and knocking on darkened windowpanes.
Thunder rolls, booms and bounces through the streets, echoes among the towering buildings.  Weary, bedraggled street sleepers, lashed by the relentless downpour, huddle in doorways, pull soggy cardboard closer around them-selves, and try to get comfortable. No one living in this ghetto of ramshackle tenements is interested in sticking their respective noses into anyone else’s business.
Screams and death rattles are nothing new to the dwellers of this drug filled war zone because death stalks the streets day and night and it’s better to ignore it or it might be you and yours spilling guts onto mounds of rotting refuse.
Sirens wail, howl their way between rain soaked canyon walls, walls of brick, walls of stone and glass. Their haunting song of sorrow echoes long after the ambulance, long after black and white cop cars have raced past them.
Rain bouncing up from fetid pools does nothing to relieve the oppressive heat of a mid-August, Toronto night.


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