Gwen always liked to go for long walks on the trail behind her house every Sunday morning. Most of the time she would pass one or two people and they would nod a greeting or exchange a brief sentence or two about the weather. Overall they never made an impression on her and vice versa. That was until the first Monday in August when after a long day of typing catalog descriptions she looked up from her supper to the nightly news and saw the face of a man she passed the day before. She turned up the volume in time to hear that he was the father of a young boy who went missing. The story never made the news. Gwen assumed it was because the young boy had the complexion of cocoa like his father who just yesterday had a sparkle in his eyes. But as the man spoke, his eyes started to dim:
His name was James.
He loved matchbox cars.
And if he was white or female, he may have been alive today.
In the woods behind the trail a man was watching the same newscast on his cellphone as he tossed the naked body of four year old Heather into the shallow grave he dug earlier He then pelted it with matchbox cars before spitting on her and walking away.
Gwen would cross his path next Sunday.
© michele mitchell, 2014