Thu, May 24, 2018

It was soon after World War II when an incident happened that changed many lives in the small community in which my parents lived in. The men coming back from the war was so hyper it took months for them to calm down. They had seen the horror of death, escaped it barely, and when they got home they were still in the wild stages of fighting and basically not having to abide by rules. Most of them was barely 18 and some younger when the went off to the war. They were kids when they left but came back as men. It was hard on the parents also trying to deal with the changes in their children. Kids that was sweet, churchgoing boys came back men, drinking hard, cursing, and disobedient to their parents. Even though they all hung out, there still was friction among them that was there before the war. One night at a bar it came to a head with a fight that left one of them severely injured and barely hanging on. He had four brothers and many cousins that wanted revenge. Before the community knew it was divided and talk of retaliation was looming. Little incidents like bricks threw windows, trees cut down across roads, a pig being shot, and more was the calm before the storm. The doctor gave news that the brother that was injured in the fight would survive but would more than likely have some brain damage. The brothers were furious and swore for revenge. On Sunday morning the brothers knew that the ones that caused their brother brain damage would be setting in church and they always sat by the back window. They had stolen some dynamite from a local coal mine and they were going to light it and set it under the corner of the church to bang them up a bit and teach them a lesson. When they got to the church the youngest brother who was barely 18 grabbed the dynamite and said he got to scare the living ghost out of his brother’s attackers. He lit a cigarette and held the dynamite behind his back and started towards the church. He was almost to the corner of the church and could here singing when one of the attackers saw him, unaware what was behind his back. The attacker started heckling him out the church window, with the singing drowning out the attacker’s harsh words. The young 18-year-old was furious and was just lighting the dynamite when the attacker made a comment about his brother’s brain damage, now he would fit in with the rest of his family. The 18-year-old emotions overwhelmed him and before he thought he threw the dynamite at the attacker which went in the window and exploded. All the brothers stood frozen. Then they all rushed into the smoking church to help get everyone out. The one at the window died, his brother setting beside of him lost his legs. The only witness was the one that died and with the other brothers rushing in they were considered heroes and never suspected of the incident. Incredibly the only death and major injuries were the two brothers. Others had minor cuts and bruises, but no one was hurt bad. The brothers were scared that someone would find out and since it was a church incident the State Police was called, and a large-scale investigation was started. The brothers were questioned and ask why they were at church and their excuse their sister was in the church and they were waiting for her got them off they hook. The brothers all had so much guilt over the incident that they were fighting among themselves, drinking more, and went on a self-destructive path. Within months all the brothers had died in tragic deaths. A tree fell on one, a train hit another, one fell off a roof and broke his neck, and the last one left was the one that threw the dynamite. He was so paranoid that he believed they were being punished over the church incident everyone was saying he was crazy. One year after the incident when the church crowd arrived at church they found the last brother sitting on the front row staring at the statue of Christ. When the preacher patted him on the back he fell to the floor. He was dead. The cause of death was never determined, but the sister that knew the her brothers had been the ones to dynamite the church and figured their act of desecration against the church could not go unpunished and who knows if they caused their own deaths or if there was a higher authority that had a hand in it.

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