~I’m scuttling through the web of alleyways I know so well. It is calmer. In the dark and the silence, I enjoy being left to breathe. Clay and Erin went off trying to calm Vinn down. The state his face is in, I’m not sure what they think they can do for him. A plaster and some pain killers isn’t going to fix that nose. Or the black eye. Or slow the blood coming out his mouth.
He’ll heal well enough in time. Granted he might not look quite the same but that’ll make him a better person. Getting his ego under control will do him more good than the crooked nose will do harm. I think Erin and Clay are mad at me. Horatio’s gone off with his girlfriend and although Casper was pretty angry he stuck around because he doesn’t really care about Vinn anyway. He thinks I overreacted but he gets what I did. Besides he’s not with me with me, he’s floating around doing his own thing.
It’s better that I don’t run into anybody, I’m strained to my brittle point where I don’t even snap. I shatter into a burst of sharp shards of words and actions. But I do run into somebody. The worst person I could possibly find and which is particularly infuriating tonight of all nights. The chances of me seeing this one person are remote on a normal night. This kind of efficient snob is rarely seen on the dirty backstreets of the city. Rarely, it’s more like never. And tonight is our festival, there shouldn’t be a greenie in the city. Something is wrong. I don’t care what this guy’s up to though, I’m too mad at him for the damage he’s already done.
This particular piece of greenie scum is more filthy than the rest. He’s Charles Morgestern. He’s at the top of the whole rotting, stinking, disease festering pile. The point is, it was him at my mother’s execution. Smiling and gloating. I hate this man.
The way he looks at me is a challenge. Everything he does irritates me. His contented face makes me shudder, his evil schemes clearly give him some kind of twisted satisfaction. I can’t stand how men like this seem to profit from so much greed and wickedness. Seeing this man makes me go twitchy all over like a prickly rash. He leaves emotions I haven’t yet learnt how to control raw and exposed.
In casual, confident strides, he comes closer to me. The man who killed my mother looks so at ease and unburdened. My mouth feels dry because I’ve forgotten to swill my spit around and moisten my ever tightening throat.
Since this idiot seems to think he doesn’t have a care in the world, I decide to give him some problems he won’t be able to ignore so easily. If his conscience won’t do its job and give him some pain, I suppose I’ll have to stand in.
Throwing him back hard, I watch his skull yield to the solid concrete. I get right into his face, I want to stare into his eyes. As I said earlier, I like to look truths square in the face, however difficult or inconvenient. This face is the harshest face of depressing reality I have ever had to peer into. In each cold feature, I see the flaws of our society. Every form of greed, hatred and selfishness is expressed deliberately. Like he’s proud of the monster he is and the bad things he can do without guilt. This isn’t a full-grown man but a child gloating about the naughty things he’s got away with, avoiding the punishment another would have to endure.
A glance, as he brings his eyes in line with mine, defying me, pushes me the final shove into insanity. And I know at this point, I have to break him. Letting him go would be a life-time regret. This is the only way to start making any sort of progress towards filling the empty space inside my human looking body.
So I shoot him.
I grab the pistol. It’s from his pocket. I lift it. His skin touches the tip. I press firm. Take a second so he can know terror. Give him the time to show himself a coward. My mother was no coward. He’s about to scream. I stick my fist in his mouth. He bites hard. I don’t care. He can’t hurt me anymore.
I hesitate, unsure how I’m going to deal with the guilt. Perhaps when the events of today fade into the past, my countless justifications will not be so strong. When my brain returns to rational processes, will I still excuse myself. Or will I stumble across this case, search through the evidence, sift through these arguments and condemn myself. Whatever I will be tomorrow, today I am a killer.
I am justice. Murder is wrong. That is a truth deeply engrained into society. But what if this isn’t murder. This is execution. Justice. Delayed justice delivered at last. Isn’t that his logic? There’s a sort of irony to that. He’s being judged by his own standards, it is his own logic that demands his death, that gives me the will to kill.
Anyway, in a weird, warped kind of way, I can believe I am doing a good thing. It feels like a bad thing because I am having to break from and reason outside of all accepted morality. Still, if you think about it, I am going to face probably the worst consequences any human being has ever had to cope with. Living with guilt is probably worse than death. I’m going to sacrifice my mental and emotional peace, forever more because this man needs to die. I am making a sacrifice for a cause and that’s worthy.
I pull the trigger. The time for thinking is over. He falls. He bleeds. The gun feels connected to my hand. As though they have fused together now. Now I am a killer. You can kill one person and the effect is the same as killing a thousand. You realise what you are and have always been, in over words, what you are capable of. Some can, some can’t but when you find it out there’s no way of escaping the fact. I can. But I knew I was messed up anyway. Maybe I always knew I’d be one of those who can. Maybe I’ve not just found out that I’m a killer. I don’t seem too surprised.
The bullet was loud. I run. At some point I started moving. I’m fairly sure I haven’t stopped. I down the rest of my bottle. Beer, the painkiller of the conscience, is jogging the sensible, practical part of my mind awake. Keeping me doing whatever I have to do. Because my own will has dissolved.