where the writers are
More Unknown Stories

Freezing rain falls. A man walks down the street in shoes, a jacket and shorts.  

Why is he wearing this?  It's not appropriate winter wear.  Maybe he's macho.  He has strong, mascular looking legs.  

Perhaps he's on medication.  

He walks as though unaffected by weather or others' curiosity.

Two police cars are idling at the curb across the street.  The sound of the idling cars calls my attention.  No officers are in the cars.   Where are the officers?

A third police vehicle pulls up.  Leaving his car idling, smoke trailing from the exhaust in the cold, softly gray day, he hires up the street to the next house.  

His return comes a few minutes later.  He goes to the car's trunk and retrievs something.  It looks like a handgun or a taser.  Holding it down along his leg, he trots back to the house.  He's left his car trunk open.

What is going on in there?

Is this a domestic dispute?  These new arrivals in the neighborhood, arriving just three months ago, include a husband, wife, and two young girls.

A firetruck arrives.

Why has a firetruck arrived?  What's its role?

An ambulance arrives.  EMTs emerge, don gloves and bags.  A third follows, pushing a stretcher.

What has happened?  Was someone stabbed or shot?  

No sounds break the neighborhood's silence. 

Cars pass, their inhabitants looking at the idling vehicles just as I watch them.

Fifteen minutes pass.  A man is wheeled out on a strether and loaded into the ambulance.  Police officers gather beside the ambulance and talk in a circle.

The third officer returns to his car. He can't close his trunk because of a rack sticking out of the rear.  Five minutes of effort is involved before he closes the trunk and drives away.

The firetruck departs.

The ambulance departs.

The other police cars depart.

Neighbors are watching.  A young woman emerges from the site of activity and approaches another neighbor. Discussions ensue.  They part ways.

The neighbor approaches my house, comes up the walk and knocks.  She's a friend of the new neighbors, here for Christmas. She wanted to explain what happened.  The man who was transported away in the ambulance has terminal cancer.  They're taking him to the hospital.

Other questions come up, about the police presence, moving into a new home, being transported to a hospital the day after Christmas with terminal cancer.  

Stories can be written about what isn't known.  

They can be books.  It would be better to know it all.  But I guess it would be impolite and presumptuous to ask the neighbors what has happened as they deal with their problems.

I'll live with my imagination.