Black Without Breath

We all take that next breath for granted. The cool sensation of life blowing through our lungs is hardly even recognizable. We pace through each day without ever needing to acknowledge the threat of fear. Now close your eyes for a moment and try hard to picture a more Utopian dream.

What could be safer than a morning jog? What could be more satisfying than the sanctity of Sunday morning service? There's no better place to stand than before the alter as the grip of your firm fist almost automatically cools into the ease of an opened palm. Our homes are the one place where our hearts are allowed to flourish. A short drive is a relaxing way to knock off the edge of a challenging day. We're Americans. We're entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Just laws and infallible morals define our way of life. This is the only country in the world where the lowest class can become the highest esteemed. We're a beautifully crafted fairy tale perfectly placed in order to conceal its foundation of inhumane acts and intentions.

Do you see it now? Its breathtaking, right? The view of blurring pavement as your safe jog accelerates into a heart-clenching race for life. A citizen's arrest demands your death, and there's nothing you could ever do about it. Now picture yourself in a place of worship. Are you able to see the serene darkness behind closed eyes as your mind becomes solely focused on the divine? Who knew that those eyes would never again open as a place of worship is warped into a one-sided warzone? Wrong place. Wrong time. You should just remain home but then locked doors do forcefully collapse. It was just one ordinary night at home. Who knew it could become your Homegoing?

Even with all that chaos, you still have that relaxing drive. Can you see it? It's breathtaking right? No worry can reach you as you push the pedal to the metal. There's the calming breeze of bliss as it soothes every shadow of stress from your face. You're one with the wind, and the wind is gone with you. Now you're truly untouchable.

Oh, no! You hear sirens. Your heart's racing. Your hands won't stop shaking. You can't even hear your own thoughts over the buzz of frazzled anxiety. Your thoughts stammer over what to do next. It's too late. He's outside your window. There's a blue shield over his heart, and a black target covering yours. You can't remove your stare from the weapon dangling inside his holster. Can you see it? Its breathtaking, right?

"License and registration?"

Your hands are steady shaking. You can't think. Your only hope is to comply. You then reach for the glove compartment. Suddenly your hands are no longer shaking. Your heart's the opposite of racing. Can you see it? It's breathtaking, right? It's taken your breath. You can't breathe. We can't breathe. Oh God, help me...please! Our pain can't go unfelt. This world sees us dying, yet somehow, we remain black without breath.

J.E. Tyler is a five-time published fiction author and poet. He has also served as a contributing author for His Favor Magazine. Tyler's creative muscle has no bounds as he has written several different genres including adult drama, children's literature, romance, comedy, and science fiction. For more on Tyler's published work, visit the links below.

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