When the crowd parted way for the paramedics and E.M.T.'s it was already apparent that their expertise and equipment were no longer necessary. Sand was flirting with the static-charged desert air and the dusk was beginning to unravel its sinuous black tendrils to engulf the last remaining light. Shadows stretched themselves from the cracks in the pavement, growing longer with each passing moment. A requiem for the permanent midnight waiting to wreck havoc on the living. Somewhere between the sun that gives us light and the ground that puts it out, a dog barked.
The flashing red lights of the ambulance created a blood-soaked halo above the heads of the speechless crowd. Silence had bloomed like a tumor on their lips and not a murmur could be heard. As suddenly as it had appeared the silence was split open by a sound, the sound of razorblades squirming though cuts in a throat. A woman had torn her way through the motionless crowd and had broken rank with those up front. Upon viewing this crimson scene the woman's knees gave way and kissed the ground, drawing blood that in no way rivaled the puddle that surrounded the young man where he lay.
The noise that tore itself from her lips was part-sob, part-scream. The result was a guttural roar, a sound both transfixing and terrifying.
The paramedics were finished strapping the young man into place. The crowd parted like water as the paramedics lifted their still-beating burden from gravity's eternal embrace. Gears were locked and engines started as the ambulance doors slammed shut to the sound of a thousand screaming memories.
One by one bystanders began returning to their cars and commutes, attempting in vain to rationalize what they had witnessed, until eventually there was no one, save for a lone woman on the sidewalk, surrounded by shadows and the echoing of her anguished cries.