February 4, 2017 at 7:33 pm #954849ValentineAdmin
A MEAN CONSENSUS
As my wife and I alight from our car, the smoke catches my eye.
We wade through the ogling crowd, who resemble satyrs minding pornography, and are presently confronted by the object of their fancy: the smouldering remains of a human! The burning matter is already devoid of spirit, and the skin has turned sable and ripped open here and there, granting you glimpses of inner flesh. The teeth show the ineffable pain that attended the last moments. The face is a graphic pattern of death.
I feel revulsion well up in the pit of me. My revulsion soon gives way to another emotion – the urge to help someone still in great pain – because standing in front of the crowd, facing towards me, is a woman in her early thirties. She carries a handbag on her right arm and, with her left, presses a silk white handkerchief to her nose. The misery in her tear-sodden eyes, I do not wish to ever see again in a human.
Before I fully realise what I am doing, I have abandoned the dead and am by the lady’s side with my right palm on her left shoulder. She apparently does not sense my presence, even the feel of my arm. I lean a little closer to her and say an audible “hello”.
She sobers, sobs and leans her head on my shoulder. As she does so, tears course down onto my shirt. Joy is a few metres beyond. For a moment I am uncertain what to do, losing my mind to the mystery of a burning human, a vulgar crowd, and a sobbing patrician lady. If this were an opening scene created by Ruth Rendell, I would up the temple of my reading.
At this stage, you are probably wondering why I can’t see the obvious. No. The young woman crying on my shoulders is no market folk, and city Brahmins or their consorts do not go around getting the “rubber chain” treatment for petty thieving.
I think quickly. In a moment the fire will go out and the scene here, for the crowd to feast their eyes on, will be a sobbing high society woman, a middle-aged lawyer holding her, and his wife standing nearby. The party helps me out because at this moment, she says, “I want to go home.”
One look at the front of her Mercedes V-boot and I have the whole story. Almost the whole. The front grille is missing. This woman has been robbed of something valuable, but being a witness to the mortal violation of her malefactor has put too much a strain on her sanity.
Can she drive herself home? She says she can. But when she takes the seat, her hands tremble badly. I want to drive her home while Joy shops, but being a careful man, I decide it will be wiser to let my wife accompany her. On second thoughts, I change my mind. I cannot let Joy leave with a total stranger of an unfamiliar address, even if the stranger is a tear-sodden crime victim.
I look at my Joy, a sensible lady, and she nods. The two women get in the backseat while I take the steering. Her place is only about a kilometre away.
Ingrid, that was her name, narrates the story. It happened as I had surmised. Having a motorcycle on standby is not an open sesame to a quick getaway, because motorcycles sometimes tangle with bigger hunks of metal on the road, getting them off balance. The dead man’s accomplice did make it away. Ingrid’s tearful pleas found not a single pair of heedful ears in that medieval crowd. A roadside vulcaniser volunteered a tyre, a danfo bus driver offered some petrol, an idle smoker proffered a match, and an eager passer-by struck it.February 4, 2017 at 10:09 pm #954939σиєαℓ32Member
Jungle justice.February 4, 2017 at 11:57 pm #955001WillingYung(KOGR)Member
Hmm,okFebruary 5, 2017 at 12:05 am #955005AdeshinaMember
hmmmFebruary 5, 2017 at 9:31 am #955181AbsoluteMember
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hmmmmFebruary 19, 2017 at 3:23 pm #963310UCDMICMember
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