In the Chair

    The FishingTrip-Trial by Water, Execution, & Deliverance of Retribution

    Author: Ey Wade Genre:
    Rating

    Yesterday you met Joshua Brooke dealing with trauma of the present, today he relives a scene from his past.


    ripple effect

    Joshua Brooke sat at the small table in the Java Juice café and between intermittent peeks out of the window he looked through his paperwork. The café and this particular table were a favorite spot of his because the shop was situated in the middle of the street and its windows offered the opportunity to view the 4-way intersections and the interstate. He could see anything suspicious or totally out of the ordinary, coming and going.
    Within the past three weeks several people had come up missing. True they deserved to be a lost part of society and he didn’t particularly care if they were ever found, but he had returned to Shiningbal to do a job. Regardless of the thrill he got at hearing of another deviant disappearing. The thing was lately, all he could remember was how in his youth his ‘job’ had been to help eliminate just the type of scum that were now missing. There was no way he would ever forget the night maneuvers that he and his best friend had participated in during their reign of protection of young children. He didn’t want to believe his friend was back in town, but things were definitely pointing in that direction.
    With his wife being a caseworker for the Child Protective Service and the latest missing cretin being a part of her current case, the man’s disappearance was hitting just a little too close to home. He just wanted to make sure Penny, with her late night excursions wouldn’t get caught in any dangerous situations. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt somebody, but when it came to protecting his family, the well-being of the entire world could slip to the pits of hell before he would let anything happen to them.
    Holding the cup of Banana-berry juice to his lips he let the memories purposely hidden deep in the recesses of his mind bludgeon its way to the surface. They broke through the tenuous hold he held on his conscious and caused an immediate headache. As a child he was diagnosed with stress related headaches. By the middle of his teen years the headaches had all, but disappeared. Recently they had returned full force, he’d been getting so many of them the pain was becoming as much a part of him as breathing. After Roman, he never shared with anyone the pain his childhood had been. It was probably becoming time to waste good money on a psychiatrist. He needed someone to talk to.
    When he and Roman made the pact to end the torture put on them by the couple running the foster home where they were living, the first ‘accident’ had been an easy thing to accomplish.
    It had been ten o’clock on a Thursday night and he and Roman had noisily and purposely stomped down the stairs and run out of the front door. Letting it bang loudly behind them, they hid in the bushes next to the porch and waited with stifled breath. Not daring to move, they peered through the mass of leaves and held each other in place by the tight clasp on the other’s shirt tail. As expected the foster dad came barreling out of the door after them.
    ‘The Monster’ as they would call him behind his back, stood on the porch of the house, anger written all over his face and his favorite ass whipping belt gripped tight in his huge fists. Twice The Monster smacked his own leg with it and Joshua had shuddered at the remembered feel of the leather on his own naked skin, the only way the enormous bastard would beat the children in the house. He didn’t care how old or rather they deserved the beating he would just yank off their clothes, pull out the belt and very nearly beat the life out of them. And yet even that was better than what he would do to them when he didn’t have the belt. Those actions were what initiated the ‘accident’.
    Just as was planned, Roman parted the leaves, crept from his spot behind the bush and threw a rock that broke the window nearest the monster’s head. Then without a backward glance he ran down the street and towards the woods. When The Monster jumped off the porch to run after him, Joshua threw a large rock that struck him in the back of his head. The plan was to distract him and give Roman who was younger, as much of a running head start as possible and then he was to follow. All plans have a little hitch. The rock barely stunned The Monster on impact and as Joshua ran from the safety of the bushes and tried to get around the tree blocking his route to escape he was hit hard across the face and neck by the stinging whip of the thick belt, the contact bringing instant blinding tears to his eyes. Blinking them away he fought the instinct to stop and nurse the pain he ran on, the echoing heavy steps of The Monster behind him urging him to quicken his own steps.
    He had to make it to the beginning of the woods and to a particular tree. Seeing Roman disappear safely into the darkness of the woods a few seconds earlier spurred him on. Once he was at that tree the ability to see by man made light disappeared and nothing could be discerned through the blanket of darkness and he closed his eyes to help them adjust faster.
    From memory and constant practice he counted his steps. At his tenth step he shouted out the world ‘life’, a signal to Roman that he was on his way. They’d planned this scenario perfectly and at Roman’s response of ‘demanded’, he continued on to his next position with The Monster a few steps behind him. Swiftly zigging to the left and behind a tree he stopped, hand over mouth to stifle the sounds his effort to catch his breath was making. The dark clothes he wore helped to make him invisible and The Monster continued in the direction of Roman’s voice.
    Everything was going as planned. Moving quickly and quietly he counted his steps to be in place for the next shout out. Thirty steps, around the fallen tree, and then crouch beside a row of bushes. This would put him in the most dangerous and vulnerable position, on the edge of the raven. He could hear Roman’s light steps approaching instantly followed by the heavy thumps of The Monster’s shoes and his verbal tirade of obscenities and threats.
    At the sound of Roman’s shout of the word action’, he jumped out of his hiding place at the same time Roman made it through his maze and paused at his side. Throwing Roman one of the rods they had hidden during one of their practices they swung at the monster. Purposely smacking the back of his legs until his forward steps of attempted escape caused him to fall over the edge. His screams and the final thud of his body as it hit the ground below released the tension from their bodies and they cheered in triumph. When the celebration ended they ran back through the dark, placed the rods to their place in the garage and crept into their beds. The next morning they continued life as usual or as usual as living in Shiningbal permitted. 
    Joshua absentmindedly rubbed his cheek as he took another sip of his drink. The mark on his face had stayed forever as a reminder, but the headaches were gone after a few months, only to return during bouts of stress and the constant need to keep secrets buried. If only life followed wishes.
    THE INTERVIEWED CHARACTER 
     




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