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Vengeance: My sister's killers

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“Freeze!” I yelled, aiming my trusty .357 at the fleeing suspect. It had taken too long to track him down; there was no way I was going to let him slip through my fingers again, especially after I had called the police saying that I had the suspect cornered. He didn’t stop. Instead, he ducked down into a dark alley I hadn’t seen before and took off towards the residential district. Reholstering my revolver, I flew after him, just barely managing to keep him in sight. The cops were just pulling up as I sprinted down the alley.

The chase took me into so many neighborhoods I lost track of where I was. All that mattered was that I was gaining on him. Sometimes I would lose sight of him, but my investigator’s intuition always led me back on the right track. I laughed as I ran. Although many a criminal had tried, I’d never let one get away from me. And I wasn’t planning to start now.

He seemed to be getting tired. As I hopped over yet another fence in pursuit, I noticed that the door of the enclosed house had been left slightly open. Sighing and shaking my head, I stepped over the threshold and took out my gun once again. What an amateur. As if any criminal could hide from me!

My mood was spoiled somewhat when I entered the living room and saw the suspect pointing a gun at my sister’s head.

This did surprise me a bit. I supposed that I had gotten so caught up in the chase, I hadn’t even noticed this was my sister’s house. I pointed my magnum right at the guy’s face and said, “Rae Baggs. At last, I have you right where I want you.”

Rae shoved his own gun (a dinky little nine millimeter) harder against Sarah’s head. “Don’t move, or the girl gets it!” His eyes were wild, like that of a cornered rat’s.

Interesting. It looks like he didn’t know Sarah was my sister. Her eyes were filled with tears, and she desperately mouthed Help me! over and over again. I winked at her to let her know everything was going to be all right (and it would be; I knew from Bagg’s case file he was a pushover) and responded to Rae. “As if, Baggs. You’re wanted for tax evasion. The only reason I’m being hired by the police is that you’re good at disappearing. You don’t have the guts to murder a woman in cold blood!” I started to draw closer.

Rae seemed to become even more frantic. “I’m serious! I’ll shoot her! Turn around and walk away!”

“Please,” whispered my sister. “Please. Just go. He’ll really do it.” Now the tears were gone; instead, she wore a pleading expression on her face.

I chuckled and continued to walk forward. “Don’t worry, sis. This guy’s a wimp, and the cops are right...”

That’s when I heard the gunshot.

Time seemed to slow down. I saw my little sister’s body fall slowly to the floor. I saw Rae holding the still smoking gun in his hand, a look of almost surprise on his face. I saw the police enter the house (too late) and knock him down and cuff him.

Everything went red. I didn’t care what happened, didn’t think about the consquences. All I knew was that I needed to kill Rae Baggs, kill him with my own hands. I remember throwing away my gun and diving for him, then everything goes black.

They tell me that it took four cops to hold me back. They say I was so furious I wasn’t even able to speak; I just hissed and growled and roared at the man who had murdered my sister.

The police understood. I was one of the department’s best consultants, and I had just seen my own sister killed right in front of me. There were never any charges pressed. Some of the officers I knew well said that they would have done the same in my situation. I got away scot-free. Rae Baggs was given life in a maximum-security prison. He would never be free again.

It didn’t matter to me. Even after I calmed down, even after the fire within me had stopped blazing out of control and simmered down to something cold and blue, I knew I could not live on this earth until Rae Baggs lay dead at my feet. It was when I was attending Sarah’s funeral that I started forming the rough outlines of a plan. I watched as the closed casket descended into the grave accompanied by the sound of my mother’s sobs. I watched as the first shovelfuls of dirt covered her coffin. I realized that when Baggs had killed my sister, my heart had died along with her.

Two days later, I was arrested. All according to plan.

I had been at a bar, drinking quietly in a corner, when a group of bikers entered loudly and obnoxiously. One of them I recognized; Niel Juergans. I had put him behind bars five years ago. His drug-running, assaults, and gang killings had not stood up in court, though, and he had recently been released on “good behavior”. I knew better. Niel was scum who didn’t deserve to have been born.
Immediately, Niel made a beeline towards me. “Hey there, Mr. Detective Daniels,” he rasped. “I’m outta the house. Did you miss me?”
“Beat it, Juergans,” I said tiredly. “I don’t got the energy to deal with you right now.”
“Awwww,” cooed Niel. “Is Mr. Detective Daniels sad about his dead sister?” He looked at me, expecting a reaction. I didn’t give him one, so he continued. “I was so sad when I heard the news, I started to cry.” He pulled his lip down and started to mime crying. Then he stopped and said, “But then I remembered that she was related to you. So it’s all right. As long as there’s one less Daniels walking around, why, the world is a better place. As a matter a fact, after I’m done talking to you, I’m going to go take a big ol’ dump on her grave.”
I still said nothing. Seemingly dissapointed, Niel turned around and started to walk away. It was then I flipped out my pocket knife and stabbed him through the back of the neck. He collapsed and lay convulsing in a growing puddle of red before choking to death on his own blood.
I didn’t run. I didn’t hide. I stood stone still, bloody knife still in hand, until the cops showed up to arrest me.
“Why’d you do it, Henry?” asked Michael as he cuffed me. “Why? I know you’re angry over your sister’s death, but this solves nothing.”
I smiled and said nothing. This solved more than my old patrolman friend could possibly know.
It was a very odd trial. The police department had paid for a very good lawyer as a courtesy to my work. She was talented, and very likely would have gotten me a very light sentence, if it hadn’t been for me. For every impassioned argument she made for why I was not at fault for the killing, I had one for why I was. For every law she cited to excuse my crime, I would cite one that proved me guilty. In the end, the very confused judge pronounced me guilty of murder. My lawyer stormed out of the courtroom in a huff. I just smiled. Things had turned out exactly as I had wanted them too.
I was sent to Jamestown Maximum Security Prison. Which, coincidentally, was where a certain Mr. Rae Baggs had also been sent for his crimes.
The next week was blur. As I went through the process of being imprisoned, I marveled at how surreal this all was. I had been a consultant for the department, and there was no one better than me than sending people to jail. Now, I was the one being arrested. Granted, I had purposely done this so I could get my revenge on my sister’s murderer, but the irony was not lost on me. After what seemed like both an eternity and no time at all, I sat in my small cell wearing the orange clothes of Jamestown Prison.
I don’t know how else to put this, so I’ll just come out and say it; my first couple years in prison was a living hell. Many of the inmates were people that I had put in jail in the first place. Now, it was time for them to get a little payback. I was beat up, choked, shanked, and that was some of the nicest things done to me. The nurses in the prison hospital saw me so often that soon I knew every one of their names.
It didn’t matter, though. The beatings only hardened my resolve, helped me kill of all the parts of me that I no longer needed. It constantly reminded me that I was there for one purpose. For one man. I just had to bide my time.
See, I had carefully argued just enough with my lawyer in court to lend me a sentence harsh enough to send me to Jamestown. I was not placed in solitary confinement. Rae, on the other hand, had been charged with solitary confinement for five years, and then a life sentence. If I was good boy (which I wasn’t going to be), I would be out in twenty years. Rae would never be leaving this place.
Five years somehow passed. The beatings had subsided; there was nothing they could do to me anymore that I hadn’t already experienced. It was a miracle that I was still alive. Then, the faithful day came. The day Rae was first released into the general prison populace.
I was lurking in my usual corner in the prison yard, the one that was drenched in shadow that no one ever went by. Rae was walking nervously across the yard. For good reason, too; Jamestown would scare even the most hardened criminal, and Rae Baggs was anything but hardened.
I doubt he even knew I was in prison; that news was old now, and he wouldn’t have been able to hear anything while he was still in solitary. My eyes drilled holes into the back of his head as he stood awkwardly, seeming very alone. Rae was a very average looking man, with graying hair and a bit of a gut. Not what you’d expect a murderer to look like.
Then, to my surprise, I saw a member of a powerful prison gang call out to him. Rae’s face broke out into a wide smile, and he walked over to the man and embraced him. I was shocked. How could Rae possibly have any connections in prison? He had been in solitary confinement. He was just a tax evader who had freaked out while evading capture and killed someone!

I did a bit of digging. Much to my surprise, I learned that the leader of the prison gang was in fact Rae’s brother. This made things a bit more complicated. He would certainly get protection from the gang if his brother was the head. It was going to be harder to get him alone now.

At last, though, my chance came. Rae was playing basketball with a couple of his gang buddies. He wasn’t bad, either. He took a long shot that missed, and the ball bounced away before stopping nearby me. He jogged over to get it. I walked over and picked up the ball before he could get there.

Rae reached over to take the ball from me. I held it away from him. He looked into my eyes, saying “What’s your problem, man...” He trailed off as he realized who I was. “You!” he shouted in surprise.

“Yeah,” I responded casually. “Me.” Then I punched him square in the nose. He bent, holding his face. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his gangmates starting to run over to where I was. That no longer mattered, though; at last, I had the pig who murdered my sister right where I wanted him.

Rae was now straightening up, eyes wild. He threw a feeble punch that I dodged easily. I grabbed his arm and threw him to the ground. Before he could get up, I put a knee into his back. Ignoring his screams of protest, I wrapped both my hands around his head and twisted hard to the right. The sickening crack, coupled with Rae’s sudden silence, let me know that the deed was done. I had succeeded in taking revenge for my sister.

Or had I?

I straightened up, and everything seemed to slow down. I saw Rae’s gangmates just feet away, murder in their eyes and on their hands. They seemed to be moving so slowly. I knew I should fell scared and yet... and yet... all I could think about was how unsatisfied I still was.

“You did it!” I thought. “You took revenge for Sarah. Rae Baggs lies dead at your feet. So why do you feel like that there is still something left to do?” The gang members drew closer... and closer... and closer... until suddenly, they were there, and time snapped back to normal.

There were ten of them. There was one of me. I had no chance.

As the gang members punched, kicked, and stabbed me to death while I lay on the ground, I felt myself find peace. I realized that it was not surprising that killing Rae had not finished the job. It made me realize that I probably would have ended my life after killing him, anyway. Really, the gang was doing me a favor.

Why, you ask?

Because in the end, Rae was not the only person who had killed Sarah. I had too. I didn’t take Rae’s warning seriously. I had let my cockiness get the best of me. I had let my arrogance get the best of me. I had kept moving forward towards Rae, even as he warned that he was going to shoot. I had ignored my sister’s plea to stop, and kept walking forward. So many mistakes. So many things that were my fault, and my fault alone

As I lay on the concrete, taking my last breath, I smiled. My vengeance, on both of my sister’s murderers, was complete.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

DragonRiddler said...
Apr. 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Wow! All your stories are so well thought out, and it was a very engaging read. I hope you post more.

-Beth

 
RainxFlower24 said...
Apr. 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Really good story Andy, very sad tho. but well written, and long, like you warned. Character developemnt was well done, along with the plot, and with no mistakes that I saw. I don't know what else to say, besides that it was a extremely good read :)

 

~Rachel.

 
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