by | Jun 13, 2011 | Fiction, Flash fiction, Relationships | 6 comments

Here’s the next story, based loosely on some news I heard on the radio last week.

By Laura McHale Holland

Myrna sits on the steps of an abandoned library building across from the police station. Crime fighters amble in and out, their badges, guns and clubs properly affixed. They laugh, slap each other on the back, sip coffee. Myrna stares. They do not look her way.

If she weren’t a mother, she’d go on a hunger strike, but she can’t put her children at risk; she’s the only parent they have now. So she sits on the cracked stairs and waits while her twins tumble and climb the morning away in preschool.

It’s been six weeks since her husband, Edward Sanchez, was killed at home, right at their front door. She and the twins were at the park just minutes away when it happened. She remembers the glow of the sun on her children’s skin as she pushed them in the swings, the perfection of their little feet pattering through the sand after they jumped out and wiggled to the wading pool. Then later, all the blood just inside their front door and Edward in an ambulance unconscious, and the muscled arms that held her back, the voices that said she could not ride with him. And her babies crying.

This time last year Edward was in Iraq. Only two months ago he’d passed the exam to become a fire fighter, passed with flying colors, a battalion chief who lived nearby had told him.

The officers who shot him swear Edward brandished a gun when he opened the door. They say he cocked it and refused to put it down. Myrna knows he had no gun. Edward was through with war, through with violence of any kind.

Meanwhile, another Edward Sanchez counts his money in a different part of town. He runs a gang with crews selling drugs in all the nearby communities. A lawyer who might take up Myrna’s cause says the officers paid a visit on the wrong Edward Sanchez. The police aren’t talking. They haven’t even released Edward’s body.

So Myrna waits on the steps, because right now, that’s all she can do.

Share this:

The Kiminee Dream: Now Available!

My new novel is coming soon. Mark your calendar!

Influenced by folklore and magical realism, The Kiminee Dream is a lyrical story with characters equally charmed and challenged while living where the ordinary and miraculous coexist seamlessly. If you like depth as well as whimsy, arresting twists, and details that rouse your senses, you’ll love what is both an eloquent exploration of acceptance and a tender tribute to the people of Illinois.


  1. Jerry Kohut

    happens all the time, wrong person. Police must of planted the gun to cover themself of the shooting. things are going to get worst. Just read today that the FBI no longer needs a search warrant to enter your home or even a reason to. Nice story

  2. Lysle

    Oh yes….I am familiar with the loosely based news story…good imagery..

  3. admin

    Thanks, Lysle. Yes, the news can be a fertile source for story ideas.

  4. admin

    It does happen too often, doesn’t it. It’s frightening. This morning I saw a headline about FBI agents getting more power. I didn’t read the article and didn’t really imagine what that power might be. It sounds like one more way our civil rights are becoming eroded. That’s frightening, too. … Thanks for stopping by, Jerry, and for leaving your supportive comment.

  5. wordwranglinwoman

    Beautiful, touching. Truly a lovely word painting.

  6. admin

    Thank you, Word Wranglin’ Woman. I’m honored that the story moves you.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up here to receive your free copy of Just In Case

Subscribe to Laura McHale Holland’s newsletter

Thank you! Watch your inbox, your welcome email should arrive soon.