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 XXIV)

Many hours had passed since having heard his daughter’s story.  The clouds had blown in from the north, carried by the bitter winds that had preceded it, and now blanketed the sky.  What little remained of the light dwindled as the coming storm choked out its life, making way for the inevitable darkness to come.

John sat quietly in his den, but he was not alone.  There were three other men in the room, all listening as he recounted the morning’s events, all looking at the grim evidence that backed his story. Where there was normally a chip dispenser, which they used for their monthly card games, was a soiled pair of girl’s panties.

In any other circumstance, there might have been excitement in the air.  They may have had a bead of sweat on the tops of their brows, and many possible scenarios would have already been dreamt of, or spoken about.  Any other time, there would have been the sharing of sexual tales, of conquests real and imagined, and nervous laughter would have filled the air.

This wasn’t like any other time.

The mood in the room was somber, the air; thick with tension.  The panties weren’t of the kind belonging to a grown woman.  They weren’t one of the many styles of lingerie used to ‘raise’ the interest of a potential lover, either.  These were nothing more than the simple cotton underwear that might come in packs of three to five, of which no man was ever meant to see.

They belonged to his daughter.

“Y-you’re sure about this,” a nervous Rob Hammond cautiously asked.  “There’s no way she could have accidentally…”

John shook his head back and forth, angrily, pounding a clenched fist on the table to interrupt his friend’s line of thinking.

“She wouldn’t lie to me, Rob,” he growled through clenched teeth.

One of the other men in the room, who had been pacing back and forth in thought until up to this moment, stopped behind John and put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

“Easy buddy,” the new voice said from behind him.  “It’s not that we don’t believe you, the evidence is plain to see!  I think that Rob, like the rest of us, wants to be sure on this before we do anything.”

“Donnie, if you had been there…”

John choked as his emotions reached a boiling point.  He was furious, but, when he began to recall the look on her face, he was hurt beyond comprehension.  Grief struck him as acutely as if her life had been taken from her, rather than just her innocence.

Donnie, John’s older brother and the only person who didn’t live on Bryer Street, leaned forward and embraced his sibling, wrapping one arm around his chest and placing his left cheek against his brother’s right.  Rob stood, quietly, and walked around the table to place a supporting hand over his friend’s.

The remaining person in the room, and the only one who had yet to say anything, slowly leaned forward until the light revealed his haggard face.

“Whatever you want to do, John,” he said slowly for emphasis, “we’ll stand behind you one hundred percent.”