The Vigilante - Prologue and Chapter One
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THE VIGILANTE PROLOGUE "Okay. Mister...." The middle-aged, obese woman conducting the interview prolonged the 'r' sound as she scrambled though her papers to learn the name of the man whom she was interviewing. Alas, she found it: Parks, Simon James; now she could stop enunciating that final letter. She restarted her sentence: "Mister Parks, are you aware of why you are here today?" "They say I'm a murderer." His quiet growl was barely audible. "'They say...'? I take it that you disagree?" "I've never murdered nobody; not in my whole life." "So you deny killing a one Rudolf Möller? He was only one of your many victims." Her voice, while agitated, remained constant. She had interviewed many a criminal throughout the preceding ten years, he was not the first to deny his crimes, and definitely not the last. "No. I killed him." "I thought you said that you had never killed anybody." "Nope. That's not what I said." "Then would you please explain what you meant when you said you had never killed anybody." The look in her eyes grew more agitated with each question. Surely she did not enjoy her job. "I said I'd never murdered nobody. I did not say I'd never killed nobody." His dark eyes remained in a constant stare, looking directly into the woman's eyes. This greatly disturbed her, more even than the other criminals she had interviewed. "They were murderers and pedophiles, child pornographers and drug dealers; every last one of them. I never hurt nobody that hadn't hurt somebody else first." "So you were a vigilante of sorts?" "I only hurt those who hurt others." "The law is there to deal with these people." "The law didn't do shit." "What if they were innocent? Can you prove that they were guilty?" No response. She waited about ten seconds before asking the second question again. He still stared deep into her eyes, almost as if he were reading her thoughts. "They were guilty." "But can you prove it in a court of law?" He waited about twenty-five seconds before replying: "No." "As far as I am concerned, Mr. Parks, you should be rewarded if they actually were responsible for what you say they were. The problem is, however, I am not God. I am not the lawmaker. I am a simple psychologist brought in to assess you. I can't help you if you don't help me." CHAPTER THE FIRST "When I was seventeen my girlfriend was murdered. I had gotten her into that damned marijuana habit, and she foolishly went to get some without me. I went downtown to a place where I had heard some drug dealers liked to hang out. I figured that they ought to know something. "I brought my father's gun and, since nobody was around, I stuck it in a dealer's ear. I brought him to my car and drove to a more secluded area where I shot him twice: once in each leg. He insisted that he didn't know anything, but that a friend of his might be able to tell me. "I brought him to a payphone where he called his friend, my gun at his head the whole while. I told him that if he so much as gave a hint that I was there I'd shoot his brains out and serve him to my dog. He acted beautifully! The man, Louis d'Avignon, lived only a few blocks away. "I drove up to his house where I was greeted by his live-in girlfriend. She insisted that he had gone away and wouldn't be back for another week, at least. The gun convinced her otherwise. It turned out that he was horribly abusive to her: I liberated her as well as getting revenge for my girlfriend's death. "She brought me to his bedroom where he was sick with the flu. He didn't even know what had hit him when I put three bullets in his head. It was getting late. I brought the body to my car, the guy I shot had run off, and drove to the forest behind my house where I buried him." "That was your first victim?" She looked slightly awed. She had not expected such a confession - she was not even sure if it was a confession. "Yes. That was how I learned just how powerful a gun could be." He had a look of pride on his face. She did not know what to think of that - should she be disgusted that he could take pleasure in killing, or glad that he took pleasure in killing off the worst members of society? "How can you be sure that he was your girlfriend's killer? What if they lied to you to get you to kill off an enemy of theirs?" "They could have. Nevertheless, he abused his own girlfriend; she can live in peace now." "How did yo explain the gun to your father? He must have noticed that several bullets were missing." "I told him that I brought it to the forest and shot at some trees. He never imagined I could have killed somebody. I couldn't imagine that I had killed somebody." "And yet you killed again and again. How much time elapsed before the next one?" "Five months later. I had read in the newspaper about a little three-year-old girl being kidnapped. The suspect: Thomas Jackson Morrison, a known sex offender. "One of his neighbors had suspected him of kidnapping the girl. The newspapers got wind of it and all hell broke lose. I found out where he lived - not an easy task. I had brought my father's gun, but I hoped to use a knife to kill him. He lived in a suburban area and I didn't want his neighbors to hear the blase. I was certain they'd have felt at ease at hearing his death, but I couldn't take that risk. "It took me about a day to find out where he lived: far too long, I had feared. I drove up to his house at about five in the morning, broke the window leading to his basement, and crawled right in. He had fallen asleep in front of his television - dumb bastard. I walked up to him slowly before slitting his throat. "I found the girl handcuffed to a bed in the spare bedroom with duct tape covering her mouth. The windows had been boarded up and the door had a bolt lock and two dead bolts. I had to stab at the door with my knife for awhile - I don't know, maybe ten or fifteen minutes - before I managed to get in. "Seeing that look in her eyes, that's when I decided that I'd spend the rest of my life saving innocent people and killing their aggressors." "You do know, Mr. Parks, that we have no record of you actually committing that crime?" "What does it matter now? How many offenses do you have me on: fifteen? That doesn't even come close to the number of criminals I've killed, and many more I brought to justice."