The Vet

By Ilya Stotland

What a racket they stirred up that night

"Good hell, you're waking all the neighbors!"

The block is livid. Red and blue floods the spot like a hot tsunami

The old man fishes for his double-barrel in the pantry

A cacophony of sirens blasts out in the streets

Dumb kids. Serves them right

"Bob, Honey you have to come see this!"

That was her mistake

the thug slipped through the crack of the door

Thirst in his eyes, his veins burn like ether

Bang! - A rumble like thunder

"It's over now, honey"

The juvenile was no match for an honored vet

As the blood poured out from his heart

Seeping into the cracks of the fresh new porcelain

The old man stood proud

Heavy with the haughtiness of his latest triumph

So much so that he did not happen to notice

The flock of bandanas huddled outside his door

For a second they exchanged smiles

But the gangsters dipped, and now the old man peered down

And drops to his knees as his blood ran cold

The face of the boy hangs on their wall

Now stained with a crimson red of recreancy.

As the old man is cuffed and dragged

he takes one last look at the silhouette

of the young man in the roughed up black hoodie

whom he once called his grandson.