Trespasser (Part XXVI)

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.

“Yes, but-”

“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.

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Trespasser (Part XXV)

For the next two days, each of the men began working on their carefully laid plans. Vacation time was put in, tools and materials were gathered, and a room where they could conduct their grim business was being prepared.  Very little was said between any of them during this time, for what had needed to be said had come out over the poker table.

There was a different kind of storm coming to Bryer Street, one in which the clouds would rain crimson.

John and his brother were the most active.  While Rob helped in gathering what they would need, it was the brothers, father and uncle of the victim, who were the most invested in the plan.

John slaved for the comforts of his family.  Over the last few years, his job had come before his personal life, so that the bills were always paid and food was always on the table.  It was something that he loathed, but it was also something that had to be done.  As a result, he found himself often at the breaking point.

Donnie had recently returned from a tour overseas.  As a soldier, he had seen things that most people could only imagine, and even then, only in their worst nightmares.  Like his brother, he suffered from the years of duty, but, in a more personal way.  He fought evil on a day to day basis, fueled by his emotions of grief and repulsion, so that the world could be a little bit better place to live.

And while the things he had done haunted him, he actively sought ways to come back from the nightmares that had chased him home.  Had a former resident of their community still been around, he would have been able to appreciate the ways Donnie used his time. When not with friends and family, he was an active instructor and mentor at the local halfway house for displaced children.

As they finished putting in the last nail to their project, John grabbed his cell and called the number to third member of their group, a man who had something just as personal at stake in all of this.

“Hello,” came the answer of his raspy voice.

“It’s ready,” John said flatly.  “How are things on your end?”

“The missus is packing up to go to her mother’s,” he said quietly.  “Though she’s none too happy about it.”

“We’ll work that out after…”  John’s voice lingered for a moment before the other cut in.

“No, I understand.  I’m not worried ’bout her now.  She’s been mad at me before.  How’s Rob doing with his part?”

John glanced over to his brother, who had similarly called the final member of their group.  Donnie caught his inquisitive glance, smiled, and gave the thumbs up.

“Everything’s going as planned.”

The silence broke on the other end, as the other suddenly broke into a fit of coughing, all through which John patiently waited.

“Are you sure you’re good to go Davie,” he asked with concern.

“I’m good, John.  I mean, I’m hurtin’, but I’m good enough for what’s to come.”

Trespasser (Part XXIII)

Vanessa sat quietly in her room, staring across the table she used for tea parties, at the three guests she had invited over this morning.  Barb, who looked lovely in her pink flowing gown and perfectly applied makeup, smiled sweetly as she waited for the latest gossip to begin flowing.

Ted, the rougher of the three, leaned slightly to the left in his chair.  A true bear if there was one and covered in splotchy brown hair, which was falling out in places, he was the quickest to lose interest in such affairs.  However, she had known him since she was a little girl, and she trusted him with every fiber of her being.

Finally, there was the Professor.  She was sure that he had a name, but he looked so intelligent, with his enlarged head, that she had figured him to be the type of character who could easily build time machines, and flying cars, and such!  The Professor, however, wasn’t a person.  He was a small mouse, with brooding eyebrows and a long pink tail.  He had come with a taller, dumber, looking companion, but she had long since lost it.

“Thank you all for coming,” she began solemnly.  “I’ve gathered you here because something terrible has happened.”

There was a collective gasp, or, at least that’s what she had heard, but in truth; Barb only continued to grin, with that vacuous expression of hers.  Ted only leaned a little further out of his chair, and the Professor only glared at her from atop the pile of books he was perched upon.

She paused for the longest time, longer than she had originally intended, but it wasn’t something that she could help.  It had sounded good in her thoughts.  She would tell her closest friends first, and then her mommy.  This way, when she did it for real, it wouldn’t be so hard.

When it came time for her to utter the words, she couldn’t do it.  Instead, hot, bitter tears began to pour down her cheeks.  She began to cry, but not out of loss or sadness, but out of hurt and fear.  She had been hurt in a way that was hard for her to accept, or understand.  It made no sense to her, what he had done, and it was just as embarrassing for her to even think about, than to actually say!

Crossing her arms on the table, she buried her head, hiding her shame from those with whom she spent most of her time.  If she couldn’t face them, then who could she possibly ask for help?

Soft moans grew from the depths of her soul, rising through her lungs, and escaping with the anguish that filled her.  They were sounds that no child should ever create, sounds that would break that hearts of any who heard them.

Sometimes, when it’s hardest for one to tell their story, something happens that makes the way for it to come forth.  In this case, her cries reached the ears of someone who shouldn’t have been home this day.  His heart sank beneath their weight, threatening to suffocate him beneath the pure emotion that filled them, but instinct would not keep him still.

” ‘Nessa, honey, what’s wrong,” he cried frantically as he burst through her bedroom door.

“Oh Daddy,” she wailed, “I’m so sorry.”  She buried her head in his chest and bawled tears normally reserved for grieving mothers, or widows.  They were tears from the man who had just lost every last thing he owns, or they were tears of the infant who hasn’t eaten in days.

She cried until there was no breath left inside, trembling in the arms of the one person who had always done his best to protect her from harm.  And when she was done, she told him her story.

And, by the time it was finished, his eyes had narrowed, and his brow was as furrowed with the Professor’s.  Only, instead of thinking of the next greatest invention to build, he was thinking of ways to take someone apart.