[Media prompt] 14-year-old girl gang raped for six days, Connecticut police say. Police arrested 20-year-old Miguel Pagan in connection with the case after confirming that he goes by the nickname “Wookie.”
When Justine looked up at the sky, there was a flock of birds flying in formation towards the coast, like a giant arrow hurtling towards the darkening horizon.
“Look,” she said to Grace, who stopped beside her to look up into the blue, which was so clear and infinite she felt dizzy for a moment. “They must be Canada Geese.”
“Oh, they’re beautiful,” said Grace. “Don’t you wish you could just fly away with them?”
Justine was surprised, because that was exactly what she was thinking. She wondered if birds heard the sounds people made far below them, or whether there was no noise at all, which is how she imagined Heaven must be.
“Come on,” said Grace. “It’s getting dark.”
The two girls walked to the corner, saying goodbye near a deserted store that used to sell hardware. Justine’s father complained after it shut down, blaming an influx of Latinos whom he accused of letting their houses run to ruin rather than repair them. Based on her observations, he seemed to have a point. Her route home took her along George Street, the clapboard houses far enough apart to accommodate car chassis and broken down sofas, which the owners left in the weather to sit on when it turned warm. As she turned onto Howard she saw a man she knew by sight as Wookie, surrounded by a gang of thugs who blocked the sidewalk.
“You know what they say,” Wookie said, smirking at a man with a tattooed face by his side.
“If a bitch is old enough to bleed,” said the man, looking pointedly at Justine’s breasts.
“Then she’s old enough to breed,” said a third.
“I just want to go home,” said Justine, terror rising from the pit of her stomach. She tried to swallow, but her mouth was dry. She took a step forward, but Wookie reached out and clasped her face tightly in his hand, pinching her cheeks hard enough for it to hurt. He pushed her to the ground. She looked up and saw a gold cross hanging around his neck, glinting in the last rays of light.
As tears ran down her cheeks, Justine said a silent prayer, and looked up into the cobalt sky to see a glittering arrowhead of Canada Geese sweeping downward towards her as though in a dream. Their wings shone like knife blades. Pulling out of their dive at the last second, they slashed through the gang of six men. In their wake, cleanly severed, thudded six heads onto the potholed concrete, like six pumpkins falling off the back of a truck.