A Poem: Bedtime

Bedtime

By Robert J. S. T. McCartney

As I lie here and rest my head
Next to you, where we’ve made our bed

In the dark, where my eyes dare play tricks
My view obscured by the plight of the night

The light, faint and ever growing tired, it mimics
A heart, and lungs, breathing

I often worry, though
That, how of which you lie
Restful slumber; your silhouette
Is as much as death, forever sleeping

So I cling and often toss and turn
Waking to the demons that dare try to come and take you away;
Wildly swinging, and shooing them tirelessly
“Begone, pest from another plane!” I growl

And so I’ll fight until my eyes do tire
The morning light comes, and then you stir
Then I can rest until the night comes again

As long as I have you by my side
I’ll try and try, defend and brave against the darkness and the demons that lurk

Otherwise…

I’m nothing without you
I can sleep when I eventually die

For my wife.

A Novelette: The Crystal Manor’s Secret

The Crystal Manor’s Secret

“Time heals all wounds,” he remembered someone saying. He thought it to be horse shit.

Simon is a 14-year-old dealing with plenty of things: depression, suicide attempts, parental issues, and being the subject of plenty of kids’ jokes at school. His parents take the advice of their son’s psychiatrist and go on a family vacation to the fabled Crystal Bay Estate.

This family trip, however, is anything but helpful. Read on to read the story in its entirety. Continue reading

A Poem and Post: Time

I have a story outlined in my massive stack of “Untold Tales: Volume X.” One of them, in which I will actually be finishing up here soon, is something along the lines of a double-edged sword. It’s sweet. It’s terrifying. It’s loving and caring. It’s selfish and damming. The end is coming, and life as we know it will cease to be. One man’s vision and in all of his smarts creates a time stasis field where he can live out the rest of his life with his family until the True End comes.

It probably sounds confusing because when you start involving time and getting all “timey-wimey.”

So, I figured I would have a piece dedicated to the inevitable friend and foe of us all, next to death. Time. It’ll appear again, soon.

There will be new things coming up as well as far as writings (or musings. . .whatever have you. . .) goes.

Until next time,

RJM


Time

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

My greatest enemy and my most cherished friend.
Grandfather, father, husband, brother; bringer of the end.

You’ve watched me grow from afar.
You’ve shown me what life has to offer.

Lies.
Truth.

Beginning.
End.

That it is continuous, whether we are in it or not.
That we can exist, be remembered, and our lives forgot—

—Ten years it’s almost been.
Nothing more than a drop in the endless sea.

I’ve lived, yeah, I’ve seen,
What this mortal life has yet to bring.

You are my enemy and my friend.
Still, I will welcome you, all of you, at the end.

 

Poem: Black

Black

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

All these scenes I’ve painted black,
To hide the pain, I’ve yet to have attack—

Me; nay, us, for the day will eventually come,
An assassin lying in waiting, where it shall strike from?

They say to “go in faith” and “take this tome,”
Tis often true, tragedy strikes close to home.

Where I’ve found myself on my back,
crippled from a fall; an attempt to snap—

My neck, my limbs, my life. . .broken,
The words I’ll never utter, never spoken.

As darkness comes and overwhelms what I see,
I know you’ll never understand who I really was. . .me.

“It’s better this way” I once thought,
To give up, that it’s all for naught.

However, I’ve learned that there is much more, to this thing called life.
And that is why I am so happy to have you as my wife.

Though, I fight, the right and wrong; with the light and dark,
I know you’ll be there to guide me along the way, on this journey we embark.

For I now see, I was selfish and wrong,
That alone, I was weak but together, we are strong.

The scenes will become clear, and on that day, we may weep,
For when one goes down to eternal sleep.

That’s alright because at least we will be there,
No one else, with nothing left to care.


This was originally posted on A.B.Normal Publishing’s site.

Suicide: A Poem and Post

Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other disorders. Let none rule your life and hold you down. Talk about your problems. We all live together, in one shape or form.

For several years, I’ve struggled with depression. As such, I’ve attempted suicide a few times, often to make it look like an accident. From much trauma, chaos, and disorder, I went through adolescence and went without help.

Now, after enduring with my PTSD and anxiety; coupled with depression, I sought out help. It’s taken many years and many sessions. . .but so far, so good. I’ve learned to cope, to deal, and to make the best out of things.

Everyone handles their stress, depression and such differently. It’s good to talk about things that are occurring and impacting your life. Just know this, you are not alone in the fight.


My Suicide


To some, it’s a taboo,
To others, it’s nothing new.

It’s a choice we’ve come to make,
Either to live or die.

Fake.
Cry.

Alone.
Atone.

Always putting on a front,
Being told it’s just a stunt.

It’s ours to take.
A choice.

Live.
Born.

Give.
Die.

Abstract; we live in denial,
The End, its impact; a hung jury, mistrial.

I, too, have suffered and wandered alone,
I’ve tried plenty; to also push beyond it and overcome grief.

At times, it’s gotten to be the end,
There was always a reason to stay, it was just beyond me.

Now when I look into your eyes, I know I was right,
Being led through the dark, with you as my light.

I’ve killed myself and let go,
All the feelings of pain and guilt.

No more hate or regret,
Of the things that could have, should have been.

Silhouette.
Forget.

Sin.
Has-been.

Empty words to try and make it worse,
To lay us to waste and curse—

A reminder: for we are all one in the same, just trying to make it through the day.
Don’t be scared of the darkness or give it blame, this I say.

Call it friend.

For I tell you, friend, this is not your end.
I will not influence your choice for if you are set, but let me tell you: life is a test.

Trials we must face and endure. Make the best of any situation, even in death.
For when you take your last breath, sigh in relief. Friends help friends, even strangers; close and far, through grief.

I wish you well, friend, and to those very same who may suffer alone.

Here is my hand, let me help. Here is my ear, let me listen. Here are my lips, heed my words. These are my eyes, they see you.

May you be, released from your prison. . .be free.


Originally was posted on A.B.Normal Publishing

 

Expectations

What are your expectations? It doesn’t matter if it’s in business, life, a career, sex, your spouse (or significant other/mate), food, eating out, a new video game, your president, your government, etc.

Where did you set the bar? High? Low? Somewhere in the middle? Do you set certain expectations high in your list that only you know about?

With people nowadays, you can see something like:

“10/10. Would bang again.”— Internet Troll

“Drove like a snail in rush hour traffic. Wouldn’t recommend. 1 star.”— Anon Uber App User.

or maybe something like:

“They looked great but was horrible in the sack. Also found out now I have The Clap.” — Anon, Booty Call App User

I mean, we have a president that uses Twitter to influence others; ratings can go up or tank at a single whim.

This leads to the next point: Reviews—they’re similar you know. In fact, they’re mostly just the faux mask that covers “expectations.” You are reviewing your expectations and addressing those expectations of an establishment, book, place, person, etc.

Some folks nowadays can’t function very well out in the world without the strong opinion of “the elite.” You know the folks that are on Yelp that say “Elite ’15, 16, 17,” and so on? Or “highest reviewer” accredited to their username via Google+.

No, I am not one of those folks.

There are tons of horrible people, sure. However, there are a lot of good people in the world too. We’re humans. It is expected. You can sort and sift through reviews and you get a glance—a glimmer of what type/kind of person someone is. Not only by their history of visits, purchase history, and the sort but by how you are being told how they interacted with whoever they are reviewing [this also constitutes an establishment, customer service, etc.].

“I had a bad experience here. They threatened my fish.” — Anon

“Food was horrible. I wouldn’t even consider bringing it home and giving it to my dog.” — Anon couple; I actually overheard this one.

There are millions of reviews out there. Those who feel the need to make a point. Those who must feel the need to feel needed. Those that seek others satisfaction.

Ah, the Digital Age.

The Internet is a wonderful, yet, scary place to be on. You have an insurmountable wealth of knowledge and tools. Yet we spend hundreds to thousands of hours watching cat videos. Fragging people [Nothing wrong with that, game on! And yes, that is me being bias.]. Stealing other peoples’ identity. Hacking elections. Ousting pedophiles that have horrible images on their computer drives. I can keep going.

Technology has changed us—humanity. The human race. Technology knows no racial bias (except maybe console versus PC; Sony vs. Microsoft, .etc but that’s reaching at best.). It knows what we have programmed it to be. What we want it to be. What advances we want. Cures. Curse. Death. Damage. What can we do to inflict unto others? The good intermingled with the bad and vice versa.

You may ask, “What the hell does that have to do with expectations? Why did you bring up reviews? Who the hell threatens a fish?”

Well, we expect a lot. So much from businesses, people, schools, etc. Our family. Some men expect women to put out on the first date. We expect food to be hot (or cold) and served at our preference. We expect to be put first, high up on a pedestal. Some people expect their religion is right and is superior to another person’s. We expect the loser to go home crying. . .with a participation trophy. We expect too much—as a society, a whole. It’s a path that can—and will—lead us to our downfall. We cater too much, while not giving a damn about consequences. Enter your “keyboard warriors,” cyber bullies, trolls, etc.

Great expectations.

We are not a community that is so transparent. Well, we are. . .when it comes to greed. But that’s another lengthy discussion, though. We’re not a close-knit community that really backs each other up, helps one another without expecting something in return, gratification, or simple enough—money.

Technology has sped up our dehumanization and desensitization. When we are able to truly modify our bodies as cyborgs and/or androids, will a person even care about anyone else? Would we still exist as being. . .human?

That “eternal salvation” of uploading your memories and consciousness to the Internet (Transcendence on crack), while say, a meteor that will destroy mankind indefinitely here on Earth, but elsewhere in the galaxy or universe, we are beamed via satellite signal to space and wake up in new sleek android models. It was just a few seconds in delay to us, but in actuality, it was a hell of a long time.

I digress. Simply put, times have changed. The radical evolution of societal influence and lack of actual human interaction, the lessening of empathy, lack of sympathy, morals tossed out the window, common sense that is now rare, and so on.

We often like to say that we are the superior race, especially, when it comes to man versus beast. However, are we really that much better? Cool—poseable thumbs, a large neocortex, “alleged capabilities of complex problem solving, and operating weapons of mass destruction.” Sure, I guess we are. I suppose I would say that sardonically, because I know even after we are all gone, Nature will go on without us. It has for millions of years and will.

Sure, I guess we are. I suppose I would say that sardonically because I know even after we are all gone, nature will go on without us. It has for millions of years and will continue to.

You can consider this, I suppose a young person rambling on. Perhaps. But would you disagree? That there are a lot of issues that are presented here that are of importance and relevant, that are just tossed aside like everyday refuse? Swept under the rug. Dismissed and barred from public discussion because it’s a “no-no” and would make someone else upset and they might break out the whips and chains [Not the good kind either.].

Suicide, depression, anxiety, PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder], bullying, all of these and more are getting quite out of hand. As a sufferer of one of these many. . .side effects. . .I’ve made it my way of life to explore them, help others, learn other peoples’ stories and experiences, and even just listen. We all bleed the same. We all break. When, how, and why, though will come in to question.

So, you will see posts about suicide. Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. Other mental health issues and such. Writing is my therapy. It’s my way of sharing with others. Though it may be fiction in some ways, you do not have to feel silenced, judged, oppressed. With how news, media, and press are getting gagged, misinformation everywhere, etc. What’s next? Writers of fiction and non-fiction are hunted? We’ll see, right?

While I hope to entertain people, make it my career, provide expectations, get reviewed—I do it for myself. Do you want to know who my most cynical critic and ball-breaking is? It’s me. Granted, I am changing that way to not giving a damn completely, it’s still a process. I want to write just for the pure enjoyment I get out of doing it; being a god amongst men and women, creating worlds, life. In the very same manner—becoming death, chaos, a destroyer of worlds and relationships.

I could go on and on. . .though I would like to know: what are your expectations in life right now?

I will end with one of my favorite quote from the movie Legend with Tim Curry and Tom Cruise.

“The dreams of youth are the regrets of maturity. Dreams are my speciality. Through dreams, I influence mankind.” — The Lord of Darkness; Tim Curry

I wish you all well. Be safe and take care. The world is a mess. . .but it is a beautiful mess under all those bandages.

RJM

 

P. S. While I reintroduce some works, I invite you to check out a free ebook on the Kindle store: Abnormal Side Effects. If it’s not free for your region, then I invite you to a free copy here.

Feel free to talk with me, too. I don’t bite. Too hard.

The Final Countdown! Last Excerpt of Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.

LilahsHoyle3D (1)

I know I haven’t posted a blog post much “here” as I have over on A.B.Normal Publishing. I’ve been busy doing some other short stories, and getting outlines done, while making sure everything is ready for the Kickstarter for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.

I wanted to share the final raw excerpt before it goes through ch-ch-changes and gets red inked to death. So, here you go!


Dana flipped through the newspaper, sighing at the uninteresting articles. Another tragedy? The whole goddamn world is a tragedy. Give me something worth reading on this goddamn toilet paper. The rain beat angrily on the car, as rhythmically as a tribal ceremony, with the flashes of lightning here and there, painting the various gray-streaked sky. Dana leaned forward, looking up towards the heavens through the windshield of the car, noting the giant blobs that pooled together and were then swept away clean by the windshield wipers. He sighed again and let himself collapse back into the car seat. He looked over to his left, waiting for Walter to come out from the coffee shop. Goddamn it, Walter! What the hell are you doing, ordering the whole damn store? Dana rubbed his forehead and glanced back up to see Walter scurrying in the rain to the car. Walter opened the driver’s side door and got in, handing a warm paper coffee container to Dana; setting down a white and brown paper bag beside himself, placing his jumbo coffee cup in the cup holder. Walter buckled his seatbelt, giddy as a schoolgirl. Licking his lips, he reached for his ‘goody bag.’ “Don’t eat it all in one sitting now, Walt.” Dana jokingly jabbed Walter.

Walter sighed and slowly drifted his gaze at Dana, annoyed, “Are you seriously going to do that, every damn time I get a few doughnuts? I mean c’mon Dana.”

Dana snickered at Walter, “Easy, Walter, easy.I’m just pulling your leg, Walt. Don’t go having a coronary on me.”

Walter mumbled something incoherently about a ‘third leg’ as he reached into the paper bag, and grabbed a giant frosted raspberry jelly doughnut. He eyed it, having already turned ‘ignore Dana mode’ on, and then took a massive bite from it. “Mmm, this one, mmm, man, it’s so great.” Walter licked his lips, catching bits and pieces of jelly.

Dana shook his head at the sight of his partner’s eating matters. “Walt, use a damn napkin man. God, you are acting like a dog.”

“Yeah, well, at least I’m housebroken,” Walter mumbled, to which Dana grinned.


I hope you all join me in helping raise the necessary funds to get Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle out in your hands, and the hands of folks around the globe.

See you all Tuesday!

RJM

Blood

"Blood Cells" Photo by Andrew Mason. Andrew Mason has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

Photo by Andrew Mason. Andrew Mason has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

The serum that flows within our veins and helps give us life. It links us, as family and is an alleged bond. It is forensic evidence, life to others, and the preferred choice by vampires. Red by oxygen, blue by carbon dioxide. Recycled until the cycle of life ends.

Life

"Cemetery" Photo by Createsima. Createsima has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

Photo by Createsima. Createsima has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

It comes and goes with each breath. From the smallest of cells to the biggest of beasts. A cycle in which we exist only for a moment.

A series of events and experiences most will endure. Others long, some short, and some something will never get through. Though normal, it must end, but it’ll keep going, through a new way. Still, things will turn out OK.

The New Boston and Middleton, MA. Investigations: Retribution

"Shopping Carts" Photo by Dan4th Nicholas. Dan4th Nicholas has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

Photo by Dan4th Nicholas. Dan4th Nicholas has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

The New Boston and Middleton, MA Investigations: Retribution

[Roland]

By Robert J. S. T. McCartney


His gaze fell upon his reflection in the red pick-up truck’s rearview mirror. Sweat beaded on his dark brow. A pair of bright verdant eyes flickered with each hesitant blink; shifting from the outside world back to the confines of the driver’s seat. Silvered hair with sparse strands of black peppered the man’s scalp. His clean-shaven face was wrinkled with the creases of age and told of a long line of police experience, a veteran—married to no one (not anymore) but to the force, and was seeking justice.

He closed his eyes and prepared himself for what was about to unfold. As he opened them, he saw the last of the few on the list wander into the supermarket.

Well, here we go.

He wagered a glance at the discarded Middleton Police badge: Roland Johnson. The name was hardly visible anymore, scuffed, scratched, battered, and broken. He grunted as he leaned over to open the glove box. and retrieve his Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum revolver* from its resting grounds. He inconspicuously glanced around to make sure no one was watching—save for the possibility of the security cameras, but that didn’t matter. He stepped outside and closed the driver’s door behind him.

There’s no turning back now. You gotta hold it together Roland. It’s just better this way.

He took in a few heavy breaths and adjusted his long sandy brown overcoat. Underneath, his black attire laid hidden (save for his black dress shoes and slacks that peeked out with each step) and the secrets of a plan that no one knew—except for the one piece of paper that was left behind to a friend. He was a good friend and a hell of a good cop.

They’ll never understand, but I sure hope you do, Dana.

His face was beginning to show the strain of his plan. His sweat became tainted with uneasiness. It befouled the once good man and began to soak and elaborate the coaxed mask. He fixed his holster under his coat and continued with his stride of redemption and retribution.

He wrinkled his brow under the bright golden eye that loomed up high above. A swift gust of wind of the summer day cut into him, ruffling the short hair of the man. He couldn’t help but glance up at the sky: pure azure, with not a single cloud in the sky. It was the last bit of bliss he could afford.

Inside, footsteps paraded about—marching to and from the marketplace. Roland’s eyes watched everyone as he made his way in, with his hands deep in his pockets.

“Hello, sir. Good afternoon.” A soft, grandmotherly voice peeped from the short cotton-tipped elderly woman, as she greeted customers that wandered in, and said goodbye as they left. Her gray eyes hinted with a smile, but under the stress of the wrinkles and the knowing of how hard the economy was—he didn’t know if it was true or just another piss poor excuse to make a buck. Either way, he gave a nod to the elder, and flashed a brief smile, while hurrying past. She wasn’t his intention, none of the other people were.

The marketplace had sprawled since the last time he’d seen it. The produce had more than doubled, with rows upon rows of fresh fruits and vegetables that formed makeshift barricades.

Just like cattle. Herding all of us.

The produce adjoined the deli and bakery, while the back end of the bakery met with the meat and frozen foods departments. The place seemed to measure for hundreds of yards. His eyes lazily drifted off towards the general merchandise side of the store. He shook his head to disregard the notion, and to maintain focus on his objective. His eyes continued to scan around, searching for the few that he had told to meet at the designated location. A group of familiar people all shuffled about the produce section. Some were making eye contact with one another, while some were uncertain of the meaning behind this escapade, looking about as to who summoned them all.

There were six in all—save for the unannounced guest of honor. Roland’s eyes recounted each one, his mind pulling the folder for each person.

Charles Deveau, 46, White male, 6′ 4”, 330 lbs. A child predator. Thus far, he has attacked 32 children; both male and female. He has a connection with the police department. I have a hunch on who. The pattern as of late has been irregular. He has been on a four-day hiatus, due to suspicious activity. Detective’s Conway and Deupree have been tracking. It’s too long to wait. He’ll strike again soon. I know it.

Huey Porter, 52, White male, 5′ 9”, 140 lbs. Terminal Lung Cancer. Carries an oxygen tank. He commits small time acts to try and be killed via cop suicide. He has taken out a $500,000 life insurance policy, with the children as beneficiaries. He’s tried everything. I feel for the guy. I’ve been a friend of his for 30 years. This method is the only way I can help.

Terra Lhangley, 36, White female, 5′ 4”, 120 lbs. She is a chronic nymphomaniac; spreading HIV and AIDS to partners, and never tells them. To date, she has infected over 230 individuals and their partners—and the number continues to grow. Most have taken their lives or committed acts of violence, or further, spread the disease.

Michael Stevens, 45, Black male, 6′ 4”, 171 lbs. Michael has an obsession of stealing. He’s stolen almost everything: electronics, cars, etc. He’s also taken the homes of his victims. A class A+ fraudster, he’s gone up—rather down—to stealing the lives of those in his path. He’s claimed 19 lives; rerouting all monetary gain, and removed any and all links to any of the victims.

Benjamin Clarence, 79, White male, 5′ 6”, 156 lbs. a.k.a. “Bennie the Nipple Ripper.” Preys on females that wander alone at night, or in desolate areas. Has a fetish for removing the nipples of his sexually assaulted victims. Sometimes changes from clean removal with a knife or blade to a cheese grater. Has confessed to…taking delight in consuming the leftovers. It could be months for him to go on trial. Ben has posted bail and was garnished a favor from the same connection as Deveau.

Tiffany Kruger, 29, Black female, 5′ 3”, 113 lbs. Murdered her family, and is reaping all the benefits. All plausible evidence she had attempted to destroy. Detectives Conway and Deupree have some remainder of proof. I have what is leftover in my safe. Was placed on bail, and has since been posted. I’m not letting her get away that easy.

Anita Dalton (formerly Timothy Diego), 36, Hispanic female, 5′ 3”, 114 lbs. Transgender; Tim is accused of butchering his family, selling the body parts to black market buyers. With these proceeds, he funded his gender change operation. Also preys on unsuspecting men on dates, prostitution, and has a fetish with removing the penis and testicles. She needs to be stopped—permanently.

He opened his eyes. They were all here. They had all showed up, just as he had planned. He could see them starting to intermingle with one another now. He knew he had to act fast. Now.

I don’t want any of them to escape.

Roland’s right hand slid into his inner coat pocket and removed a dull pewter cigarette case. He pulled out the last cigarette and brought it up to his dry lips. His left hand searched another pocket and found a silvered zippo. He brought it up in a swift, fluid motion, lighting the hairs of the cigarette. He inhaled deep and closed his eyes—savoring the moment. He foretold of how the events were going to unfold. His moment of foresight was interrupted by a supermarket employee.

The deep voice stirred him. “Sir, you can’t smoke in here! Please, extinguish it, or go outside.”

Roland frowned, his eyes still closed.

He sighed. “I am going to say this once—go call the police. Tell them…six people have been murdered here.” Roland slowly opened his eyes and gazed up at the ceiling of the supermarket—observing it’s rather dull almond fixtures, pipes, and lines that sprawled everywhere.

The male employee began to get hysterical. “Wha—what do you mean? Murder? What murder?”

“It’s alright…just stay calm…and go call the police.” Roland’s gaze drifted down, scanning over all the people. “It’s for the greater good.”

The employee mumbled, “The greater good?” as he scurried off in haste, leaving Roland to smirk to himself.

He started to walk towards the group on his list. They all looked at him, locking eyes, one by one. Some eyes were in such a demonic twist, while others dealt in bloodshed, while the last was sad, in pain…pitiful.

“Who the hell are you?” Tiffany remarked the question pressing—drilling for an answer.

Roland smiled, “Just the man who posted your bail.”

“Really now? I don’t suppose you posted mine too?” Anita cocked her hip, her lips cracked to a crooked grin.

“Why, yes. In fact, I posted everyone’s.” Roland began to pace, his hands behind him. “Now, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve gathered you all here for a significant undertaking. You’re all in grave danger, and we need to remedy that situation. So, it’s imperative that we decide…” he stopped with his back to them all, “which one of you will be the first to die.”

All of their looks changed to such mixed annotations: anger, horror, absolute shock, except for Huey.

“Roland, please. . .” Huey whispered among the group.

“Huey, yours shall be merciful. No matter whether you are first, or the last.” Roland assured.

“Roland?! You’re that stalking, no good, piece of shit cop! Ho ho, oh no! No! Nuh uh, there ain’t no fucking way I will not be dying to some has-been, who’s been intent on making MY LIFE a living hell!” Charles rebuked, and started to storm towards Roland.

Roland turned around, and in an amazing display, withdrew his gun of righteousness; his coat unfurled, and twirled, much like the dramatic performance of an old Western shootout.

It was long past that now, Roland had already decided the order. The people around in the market hadn’t even caught on to the public execution in progress. Maybe it was better that they saw what happened to criminals in public.

A thunderous roar rang out within the store, and to that end, Charles laid crumpled and discarded on the glossy almond tile, next to the display of onions. Horror and shock remained on his face. Just like those whom he assaulted. Blood poured from the back of his skull onto the tile. Roland aimed at the next one—Terra. The shots started to become quicker, more precise, and more humane—perhaps too humane. One by one they began to fall: Terra, Tiffany—they even tried to run! He fired upon their malicious heads, sending their evil souls to Hell. Anita jumped over a display of assorted peppers attempting to spare a moment. People rushed for the exit, the march of a thousand terrified souls.

“Hiding won’t save you. Nothing can.” He slowly walked behind the display, crouching. “Give the devil my regards.” Anita’s eyes widened, her instinct forced her erect to try and run. It was too late. Her body dropped and slid across the tile, colliding into the base of a meat display. He turned his arm towards the oncoming shadow. “Eager, aren’t we?” He shot a round through Benjamin’s skull, dropping him.

Michael had tried to run but saw it was inevitable. The mighty hawk’s gaze fell upon him now. He clung to Huey, hiding behind the decrepit old man.

“Y—you wouldn’t shoot your friend would you?!” He cried behind the smiling frail man.

“You’re pathetic…hiding behind a dying man.” Roland slowly approached the remaining two. “My friend…I am sorry it couldn’t have ended another way.”

Huey’s smile grew. “It is better this way. Everything’s in place. I just ask I be the last.”

“You’re fucking crazy man, fucking crazy! You’d kill your own friend?! What the hell is wrong with you?!” Michael shrieked.

Roland nodded, “So be it.” With a quick draw and sheer precision, he fired at Michael’s head. Michael collapsed behind Huey, clinging to his oxygen tank.

Roland approached Huey. “Thank you.” The two shook hands, then hugged. Best of friends until the end.

Huey knelt before Roland, while Roland had closed his eyes. “Goodbye…old friend.”

His finger was hesitant at first. And then a gunshot thundered from within the store, followed by the warm caress of blood that splattered against him. He opened his eyes slowly to see Huey sprawled in a bloody mess with that bright smile still on his face.

Outside, squad cars had surrounded the building. Red, white, and blue patriotically waltzed in the parking lot. The armed men and women of the law all drew their weapons towards the doors. Two familiar men stood out there with distraught looks on their faces. Roland knew them well.

Dana…Walter…

Dana and Walter were veterans like him, while the pair were up and comers in the Homicide division. Dana—thin, with a broad square face, dark hair, and pale blue eyes. While Walter was slightly overweight, with salt and peppered hair, green eyes, and square glasses…he was considered a god amongst foodies.

He smiled to himself, at least he was in good company now. He loaded the last two bullets into the revolver, just as he had planned it. He began his walk of remembrance, glancing down at the bodies of his friend and the evil he had slain. Roland emptied his coat pocket and placed a piece of paper on Terra’s body, “CONTAGIOUS, BIOHAZARD” in large letters.

“Roland Johnson! Come out with your hands up!” An officer he hadn’t known shouted on the P.A.

He grunted as he walked to the doors. He scanned the army through the doors, searching, waiting.

Ah, there he is.

Sargent Ted Matthers, 52, White male, 6′ 0”, 158 lbs. Accomplice to Charles, and Benjamin. Suspected of having helped rid evidence related to said case and several others. I’ve found incriminating evidence that supports this, as well as a recording that places him and Charles at several locations of attacks. Also, deals in sex trafficking. I have a ledger where he sold his daughters, Doreen, and Mona. He’s also responsible for ordering the hit on Tina…Roland sighed. This one needs to be put down.

“Roland! Come out! You are surrounded!”

He disregarded the taunts, waiting to see if Ted made a move. Sure enough, he saw him strap on a bulletproof vest and start making his way towards the door.

The other officers lowered their guns, watching as the lone cop wandered in alone.

Roland stood with his back to Ted. Visualizing him in his mind: what he thought, what he was going to say and do.

“I see you’ve been busy. That’s a shame really. What a waste of a good cop.” Ted mumbled as he scanned the scene. It was a massacre, and he knew he stood no chance.

Still fit for as old as he was: large build. He had given up on his balding—shaving his blond head entirely. Cold blue eyes stared back at him, with a numb expression on his face. The man was an incomprehensible piece of evil. Roland never knew why, nor did he care to know now. All he knew was he was about to put an end to it and get the justice so many had been denied.

“I don’t need your patronization, Ted. You know what this is about.” Roland snapped back.

Ted grinned. “I suppose so. How about this? You give me the ledger, and we’ll work the rest out.”

Roland shook his head. “I know how you operate. It’s not going to end like that.”

Ted cocked his head. “Oh? How is it then?”

“Like this…” Roland drew his gun, turned, and fired.

Ted had already had his gun aimed, and was able to get one shot off. The bullet of righteous fury bored its way into the skull of Sgt. Ted Matthers. While Ted’s shot missed Roland—due to his step-and-turn technique. Ted dropped to the floor, blood splattering against the market’s doors.

The army of royal blue outside raised their arms and began to unleash hell.

“Hold your fire! Hold your goddamn fire, I said!” Detective Dana Deupree yelled.

“For crying out loud! HOLD YOUR GODDAMN FIRE!” Detective Walter Conway bellowed.

It was of no use. Bullets flew and whizzed by Roland.

Horrible aim the lot of them, Roland thought. Like a bunch of Stormtroopers. He smirked to himself.

The glass in the front shattered, while bullets ricocheted off the metal of the ceiling and doors. A few finally found their way into Roland’s legs and torso. He fell to his knees, still holding on to his hammer of righteousness. He peered out into the eyes of Dana, and Walter. Both shook their heads, and flailed their arms, mouthing the word “no.” They attempted to run vainly into the hail of gunfire.

Roland closed his eyes, while the concert of deafening thunder rolled on. Life began to play on his mind’s reel. Everything that was a memory started to replay one final time. He remembered the day’s sun that hung up high and of Huey. All the good times, and all the fun he had working with the only three people he could have regarded as real true friends. Of his lost love and the injustice that had been done to him. Retribution was at its end. His task, his righting the wrongs, even if it was vigilante justice. Where the alleged system of Justice had failed so many.

As the gunfire stopped, Dana and Walter encroached on the threshold of the supermarket. Outside, one last gunshot echoed. Roland slumped over lifelessly to the ground. The too late duo approached their fallen friend, their hands running over their faces, through their hair—shaking their heads in disbelief.

“Goddamn it, Roland!” Dana shouted while Walter sighed aloud.

The blue blob began to descend upon the supermarket, the 20-some guns still aimed at the freshly slain detective, while white uniforms began to intervene and begin their process of elimination.

******

Elsewhere in Middleton, a Postal Service Agent approached Dana’s home, with a manila envelope addressed to him, from Roland, in their hands. The word URGENT in bold was stamped on both the front and back. The postal worker then trotted off the steps after completing their task, oblivious to the day’s transpired events.


Ths was originally published under the A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group website.
Retribution is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
*In case any are wondering, it is a 6.5″ barrel length S&W .44 Magnum revolver. Yes, he only had eight bullets, and yes, he was that confident. “Either hit your mark or die trying,” was his motto.