ONE HOUR AGO
“Jesus Christ,” John muttered as he walked into the room. “What is all this stuff?”
“You said that you wanted him to suffer, right?” Donnie looked at his brother indifferently, as if the answer didn’t really matter.
“Don’t be a pussy, John. You knew what you were asking for when you got me involved. Your exact words were; ‘I need your expertise on this one Don.’ It’s too late to look back now.”
“But, is this all necessary?”
John felt sick. His imagination had only gone so far as beating the living shit out of him, until he admitted to what he had done. And then, he would finish him quickly. As he looked around the room, a basement which had housed his family’s memories only a few hours ago, he realized that there was nothing left to remember.
Several sheets of plastic covered the floor. The seams were meticulously duct taped together, to prevent anything from escaping. In the same regard, plastic was hung from the ceiling, and over the walls. He felt as if he were walking into a scene from one of his favorite TV shows.
In the center of the room, beneath a hanging light, was a single chair. The latter was encased in a Ziploc bag, the light that it cast flickering weakly. The chair, which had once been used to seat many a hungry diner, had been fitted with brackets and bolted to the floor. Custom made manacles had been attached to the front to legs of the chair, as well as on the end of the armrests, where a person’s wrists most commonly lay.
A few feet to the right of the chair, as one would see if directly in front of it, is a small table, also carefully gift-wrapped in construction plastic. Donnie stands on the other side of it, removing several small items from his duffel bag and laying them carefully before him. Most of the items were the kind of tools that one could easily find in the gardening section of the local super store. Others, tools used for such tasks as carpentry, and possibly dry-walling. But also on the table were tools which he had never seen the likes of, outside of in the movies. Even then, only in the darkest section of horror.
“Listen bro, if you ain’t got the stomach for this-”
Donnie had been watching him, gauging his reaction to work that had been done. John knew from the sound of his voice what was going to come next.
“No,” he quickly replied. “It’s not that. That son of a bitch is going to pay for what he’s done to my little girl!”
“Yeah, Johnny. That he is. So, what is it then?”
John took a deep breath. He could feel the rage returning at just the mention of that bastard. The very thought of him, and what he had done, refueled the fires that had begun to cool.
“I didn’t think- I didn’t expect all of…this,” he said, gesturing to the scene before him.
“Listen brother,” Donnie said as he placed a power drill on the table, “you know as well as I do what will happen if we turn him in. Jack. Shit. Nothing. At the very worst, he’ll get twenty years in prison, and people like him never serve their full sentence. You know as well as I do that he’ll be out on good behaviour in half that time, and it will be somebody else’s baby that he’s got his hands on. No sir. Not on my watch. We’re going to make an example out of this fucker. In the very least, we’re going to know that he’ll never touch another child again.”
John trembled with nervous energy. A part of him was excited to finally act out the revenge he sought for his loved one, while another was afraid of the threshold he was about to cross. His gaze had fallen onto his hands while he was lost in thought, but now they looked up with a new-found appreciation for his brother. They looked upon him with appreciation, but also with sorrow. Sorrow for what he had lost to get to this point, and for what he was going to lose on the other side.