War Stories

Tyrone

Key Fourteen: Tyrone:

He grew up surviving. He’s still surviving now. He’s forgotten what rest looked like. They were all supposed to escape this god-forsaken city. Escape together. Who knew something as simple as storm would derail them? Looked like he would try to have to survive a little bit longer.

“Ty,” Harry said. The dark-skinned angel looked at him.

“Hm?” he asked.

“I keep having more strange flashbacks,” his old friend said. Usually, Tyrone would dismiss this as him going crazy, but now he wasn’t too sure. The dark-skinned angel rubbed his forehead.

“What do you want me to say?” he asked. Harry shook his head. Tyrone looked out among the empty sand wasteland. To be honest, he started to have strange memories himself. No, he had been having them for a long time. When? He couldn’t say. Or rather, he didn’t want to say. The dark-skinned angel shook his head.

“Listen,” he said, hitting Harry on the side. “We’ve got to keep going.”

“Where?” his friend asked.

“Anywhere,” Tyrone said. “Anywhere from here.” He picked up his friend and started dragging him along. They’ve done this before. It all became clear in his head.

“Say, Jim,” he said.

“Yeah?” Harry asked.

“We’ve met each other before, haven’t we?”

“I’m not sure. Why?”

Tyrone looked up at the dusty sky. He thought of something to say, but closed his mouth when he couldn’t form the words that he wanted. Instead, his mind began to wander away.

-Brooklyn-

It had to have been the 70′s. That summer was the hottest in New York that year. He was a child back then. He raced down the street to the run down apartment that he called home. Up the stairs, into the musky, dim lobby, over to the worn-out elevator, down the cigarette-smelling hallway, and up to apartment 313. He as a little boy unlocked the door.

“I’m home!” he said.

“In here, dear,” a woman’s voice said from the living room. The child ran all the way across the room. A big black woman sat in a stuffy green recliner. Her faded red dress came down to her ankles. The little orange flower pattern faded in with the material. She sat next to an open window. The woman slowly lifted her head.

“Baby boy,” she said. “You’re home.” He ran over and sat in her lap. His mother put her arm around him.

“How was your day?” she asked.

“Good,” he said. “Mama.”

“Yeah?” she asked. He looked up at her with a proud smile on his face.

“I’m going to be a big man and make you proud!” he bragged. His mother smiled and laughed.

“I believe you will,” she said. The big woman held her son in her arms.

Where did he go wrong?

He had so much promise when he was younger. The little boy was certainly the brightest in his class. Sure, he was lazy at times, but still managed to pull through. Where did it all go wrong? Through his teen years, he had his ups and downs. Hormones and teenage rebellion were a rather dicey combination. But, he wasn’t alone.

Who was that with him? For some reason, he kept seeing Harry’s face. But he came along much later in his life. He couldn’t exactly place when, however. Those lines blurred the harder he tried. Those lines boiled down to a rather cruel element that brought downfall to his life.

He and his friend became slaves to the needle. They had dreams of making it big in Brooklyn. That was a great summer too. But then, it started to fall apart by the fall. They struggled, but their slavery to the needle grew worse. By winter, it had crashed and burned. He himself wound up in jail. He didn’t remember what happened to his friend. They got separated when they were to be assigned for work and then it blurred into misery from there.

-Present Day-

The dark-skinned angel looked down at his friend.

“Say, Jim?” he asked.

“Yeah?” Harry asked.

“Have you ever been to a place called Brooklyn?”

“Brooklyn?”

“Yeah. I think it’s a city in Brooklyn. Does it right any bells to you?”

Harry took a minute to think. “I can’t really save that I fully remember. But, the name sounds familiar. Why? Are you starting to remember when you were human?”

The dark-skinned angel frowned and shook his head. “I didn’t say all of that.”

“But you can feel it, can’t you?” Harry asked.

“I didn’t say all of that.”

“But you can feel it too.”

“Listen, man, let’s just get out of here, okay?”

“Right.”

Tyrone dragged his friend further across the desert-like landscape. He narrowed his eyes as images of him as a little boy sitting in that big black woman’s lap flashed back and forth in his mind. Sweat began to form on his body. The thin air made his lungs hurt. The more he thought about it, the more he began to wonder if he ever was human.

That’s just ridiculous! Me being human? He used to tell himself that and believe that. But now, he wasn’t quite sure anymore.

The dark-skinned angel paused and looked around in the sky.

“What’s the matter, Ty?” Harry asked.

“Shhh,” his friend whispered. “Do you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Harry asked.

“Shhh,” Tyrone said again. He strained his ears as he listened towards the sky. The question came through his ears again.

Can any of you hear me out there?

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