I am called away from my play by the shrieks of my mother echoing from the laundry room. Sprinting to the sound of her cries I stop at the portal between the kitchen and the washroom. The metal of the doorjamb is cool against my feet as I stare at the blood falling on the linoleum tile. My older brother is bent forward, my mother is pressing a towel that quickly saturates to his head. She is frantic, asking what happened and getting only sobs in return. The summer sun shines through the open door from our backyard illuminating the scene. The blood on the floor is the brightest shade of red. I still don’t know what is going on when my younger brother steps up behind me to make sense of all the noise.

Taking our brother by the arm, one hand continually pressed to his forehead, they exit the house. I hear the growl of the Blazer’s engine and the slam of the door as our neighbor, who has appeared out of nowhere, ushers us back into the house.

A1 Michael Shelmet

MICHAEL SHELMET has never lived more than 50 miles from Philadelphia and currently resides in West Philly. He received an MS in computer science from Drexel University where he has worked for over a decade providing technology support to faculty, staff and students.