“Shopping,” I crow.
“What will you buy me?”
“I don’t know-oh-oh,” I warble a song of syllables.
Heavy boots clomp along the hallway floor. Grandpère swings me to the floor near the bookcase. He steps behind his desk. The study door opens. Two khaki uniformed men enter. One wears a rigid cap, the other a soft cap with a bill. Marmar’s hand clasps mine.
“Sir,” the man in the rigid cap moves his lips. My ears hear a humming buzz. The air pulses against my skin.
“It need not be this way,” Grandpère’s voice echoes through the buzz.
Grandpère stretches out an arm towards Marmar. His hand motions, Back! Marmar’s hand clasps my shoulder.
The man in the rigid cap raises the corner of his lips. It is almost a smile. His lips move again. The humming buzz returns, the air pulses. The man in soft cap removes a gun from the holster at his side.
A loud, flat crack rends the humming buzz.
Grandpère slams against the wall behind his desk. He slides to the floor. Red blood bubbles from the front of his pale blue shirt.
One white Mary Jane steps toward Grandpère. Marmar pulls me back.
Three flat cracks sound in the hallway.
The man in the rigid cap moves his lips again. Marmar clasps my hand. Blood saturates Grandpère’s shirt.
“Walk,” she says.
I glance up at her. My white Mary Janes step in tandem beside her. Ti Eduardo lies in the hallway. Red blood plasters his dark hair to his head. I reach for him.
“Walk,” Marmar repeats.
I glance up at her again. My white Mary Janes tread the tile floor. The soldiers close us in the cool sitting room. Marmar sits amidst the red flowers of an upholstered chair. Her hands on my shoulder, she rests her head on mine. Loud sobs rend the humming buzz, undulate her back. Dark hair slips its pins, hides her face. Her tears strike my white Mary Janes.
Constraint: Use present indicative to express the immediacy of memory. Keep sentences simple. Avoid use of the conjunction “and.”