I’ve been following the news story about three young women in Cleveland, Ohio who were reunited with their families after ten years in captivity. It certainly is a horror story, albeit one with a happy ending. It’s so rare that kidnapping victims are found alive that the discovery of these three women is nothing short of a miracle. Everyone, including myself, is happy to see these women rescued. But there are these nagging feelings and questions that have been bothering me all day. How is it possible that three women and a child can be held in captivity for ten years and no one notice? Had not one person in that neighborhood stepped inside that house – IN TEN YEARS? Had not one person recognized signs that something was wrong? Or, did they see and turn a blind eye? Or maybe they did report it to authorities and the authorities didn’t care? According to CNN, one of the next door neighbors of this house of horrors was brave enough to call the police but wasn’t taken seriously.
“She was just walking around, and naked,” Samoylicz said. “We thought that was weird. We thought it was funny at first, and then we thought that was weird so we called the cops. They thought we was playing, joking, they didn’t believe us.”
And that’s not all, another neighbor, Israel Lugo, heard screaming coming from the house, but when he called the police they only did the minimal investigation which was to knock on the door and leave when no one answered. Can you imagine being in that house and hearing the police outside, hoping that they will rescue you, only to have them walk away? Now can you imagine hearing people partying in the backyard and barbequing while you’re inside suffering? Just the idea of this makes me angry. I do not believe for one split second that everyone in that neighborhood was somehow kept in the dark about what was happening in that house. I believe that SOMEONE knew. Someone knew and decided to shrug it off or tell themselves that it was none of their business. That’s what my instincts say. My instincts also say that in a city that is ranked as one of the most dangerous in the country, minding your own business is probably the unspoken rule.
My novel New Hope City is set in a place like that, a place where people turn a blind eye to the crime, abuse, corruption, and where the police simply ignore your suffering – and that’s if you’re lucky. These types of places exist; they’re here, right now in America and all over the world. And I think it’s critical for all of us to recognize that there is evil in this world. If we fail to recognize that evil exists, how can we stop it? How can we choose to be one of the good guys if we believe that these types of things don’t happen? This is one of the reasons that I write the type of stories I do. I want people to get a glimpse at how things sometimes go wrong and how bad things sometimes happen to good people for no apparent reason.
SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopic and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts.
NEW HOPE CITY