#mynypd (based on a true story)
part 2 of 2 (part 1)

There are scrubs at her feet. She pulls the dry fabric over her naked lower half and makes her way across a corridor into the bathroom.

She closes the door, looks in the mirror, and for the first time – she realizes what they did to her. There’s blood coming from her right ear. She reaches for a paper towel, holding back tears, she’s in auto pilot.

Cold water, apply pressure. Don’t cry.

Once the paper towel connects to the blood, she realizes her ear is torn in half. Only she wasn’t wearing earrings. She wants to know what happened, but she is distracted by the reflection in front of her: two black eyes, a split lip.

She exits the bathroom without realizing or remembering the blisters lining her torso from being tased eight times. She hasn’t noticed the black and violet forests of abuse that wrap her arms and legs, the scars on her wrists from the handcuffs.

Walking from the bathroom in a daze, there is a homeless man with no teeth and a divine heart lying on the gurney next to hers.

“Don’t cry,” he says as she sucks in a sob. “If you cry, they’ll never let you go home.”

She has no ID, no one to call. She doesn’t know what hospita she’s in, or how far away they brought her. She remembers yelling and lights and the final zaps of electricty that shot her unconscious.

It’s coming back slowly, there weren’t two. There weren’t ten. There were more officers than that. Twelve. Maybe fifteen. They made a mistake. A terrible mistake.

“They’re doing rounds now,” says the man beside her. “Sit up straight. Look sharp.”

(these two pieces are an excerpt from my forthcoming short story collection, stay tuned)