Crime and Justice- by Umar Mohamed Iyoob

It’s two O’clock Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Fifth and Claire Street. The rustle and bustle of big city life echo and radiate in all directions. A taxi cab blares his horn at a careless pedestrian who ventures into the street to retrieve his lost dime. A filthy crow perches on the edge of a public waste can to snag a meal. An old man sweeps the sidewalk in front of his deli. And Gregory Porter stands on the south corner of Claire St. wearing an overcoat, brown slacks and a white shirt, and doesn’t know who he is. His eyes on edge and his brow narrowed, he surveys his surroundings. The area feels at least somewhat familiar. His stance and posture seem to indicate that he was about to cross the street before, before what? What had just happened? A feeling of profound mystification sweeps over him as he struggles to remember how he got to this particular location? Where had he come from? Suddenly the intersection has a changing of the guard and the flashing walk sign flashes across the way. A crowd of about ten or fifteen people flood by him, pushing, shoving, he is the only one standing still and is paying the price. These people, they weren’t here a second ago, were they? He struggles against the grain, not ready to venture from his current position. Could he have been so busy trying to remember, that he could have been oblivious to this small mob that just poured by? A young girl remains standing at the corner with him, the top of her head comes just above his waist. She looks up to him with inquisitive eyes. "Sometimes were just not ready to cross," she says. He frowns at her presence, her pasty skin and pigtails. Her expression is sullen and her eyes reflect something deeper than her external ten years." Excuse me?" he replies." You didn’t cross" she says. Gregory looks behind him at the walk sign now signaling to stop. Slowly he turns his head back to face the girl." No… no I wasn’t ready…" says Gregory." That's what I said" she snaps with the scorn of a little girl and her eyes flare. The sound of glass breaking instantly pierces through the air. Gregory’s head darts in the direction of the distant noise on reflex. He himself runs out of a jewelry store about twenty yards off on the same side of the street. Right behind him was a uniformed security guard. He is approaching his own direction fast as the guard pulls his revolver. "Stop thief!" yells the guard, then without warning fires a single shot. Greg gets up, his side hurting badly from the bullet wound as he begins to make his way to the side door of a building. He doesn’t know why exactly, but he’s compelled. There is a threat, someone after him, he knows it’s true, but he doesn’t know why. Reaching the side door he grips the knob, after a moment of pause he turns it and opens the door. As his subconscious mind knows, there is a guard, his feet propped up on his desk and fast asleep. Gregory stares at him as he goes past, this nightmarish game becoming more frightful by the second. Gregory makes his way to the elevator at the end of the hall and pushes the arrow heading up. The lighted display at the top shows it to be at floor nine and heading down rapidly, it reaches four, three, two, one… The elevator reaches the bottom and Gregory waits for the door to open, but instead it decides to swallow him whole. Sharp teeth sprout out from the once lifeless steel and gape outward; the points catch him on all sides, digging into his flesh and force him inside. What seems to be a hot and sticky tongue curls around his body and muscles him down the shaft into a hellish darkness. Gregory screams in blood curdling horror.

Gregory screamed in blood curdling horror. Nurse Claire shut the sliding view shade on cell number five, as both she and the new staff doctor had seen quite enough. "Like clockwork everyday he goes through that routine. In a morbid way it’s about the only stable thing around here." "Indeed" said the new doctor. "And how long has he been in this condition?" "Since he got here four years ago, he murdered a young girl while trying to rob a jewelry store; he was shot in the process. He spent nine weeks in a coma as his body recovered, and then he moved from comatose to psychotic dementia, as you have seen here. The District Attorney wanted him in prison for his crimes, but the Judge decided this dementia would be a punishment worthy enough for his crime. The doctor nodded his head and thought a moment. "Yes… I’ve seen it happen before, often the result of the subject not being able to cope with his offences. But… usually… they regress to a tranquil state, with only occasional panicked episodes. Mr. Porter… seems to re-live a daily torment… most interesting." Nurse Claire shrugged and said, "If you find interest in that kind of horror, I have no words for you. At any rate, welcome to Hancock home for the criminally insane, Doctor, we’re glad to have you on board and in this case, just today we received a petition approved by the Governor, appealed by Gregory's mother to put him out of this misery and let him pass away from this world and his mental torture. The Court thinks he has suffered enough and more." (950 Words)

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