Stalkers, Zealots and Sentries (2)

Go one post down to see the original entry: the point of this exercise is to imagine yourself as the battered-women’s advocate who has finally had enough of seeing women killed by their exes, whom the justice system can’t contain so long as they’re willing to deal with the consequences of their actions—hence, “murder-suicide”.

Your frustration is so total that you let your former client fool you into thinking her mother is dead (had you bothered to check up on it, this would have been obvious) and the cops really light into you for organizing what is ultimately a legal assassination. But women keep dying. So you go underground, and start counseling people what they might do. You’re conscious of the possibility of a conspiracy charge, especially because you’re on the cops’ radar, so what you do is phrase everything as a hypothetical—you’re just telling a story about how something might go down.

Now imagine what happens when it does.

Stalkers, Zealots and Sentries (1)

Imagine a woman who, with the help of some friends, escaped from her abusive husband a few years ago: they moved her out while he was watching the game at the bar. She moved across the country and has been living under a fake name. There is a restraining order out against him.

Her mother dies; she wants to come back for the funeral. She tells her friends, who not only tell the husband she’ll be there (and thus that he’d violate the order if he showed up), but come to the funeral packing the guns they are legally permitted to carry. Husband shows up anyway, friends give him fair warning, he pulls his own gun, they drop him.

Now, imagine you’re the homicide cops. There’s no way this isn’t justifiable homicide: the guy was warned. But then you find out that the woman and her friends organized all this. You’re appalled, because the thing the justice system hates the most is vigilante justice, for a host of reasons, some of which are even legit. But what are you going to arrest them for? All the guy had to do was not show up.

What you ask them is why didn’t they call the cops beforehand, get a patrol car to come off, make the guy think twice. And the friend’s answer is that if the guy were scared off, he’d keep coming back, and why should the wife have to live across the country under a fake name or else have a very real risk of being murdered? Why should she never be able to see her mom or nephew? And you don’t have a real good answer for that, because it’s a hole in the justice system.

Now imagine everyone’s surprise when the wife says she’s been lying all along and that her mother isn’t really dead.

New Story on Smashwords

My story Bird of Paradise is now available (free!) for your reading pleasure on Smashwords. Enjoy!

Clown Phone (3)

I’ve skipped over the end of the first scene and moved to the next. Again, the names in the final story won’t be Anglo ones in alphabetical order:

Patrick thought he had the hit held in right this time, but the damn tickle at the back of his throat got him. He ended up bent over the back of the couch, hacking and gasping, feeling the dizziness take over for all the air that wasn’t in his lungs no more.

“You cough like that, you know you’re going to be high as fuck,” said Quentin.

“Yeah? I already am, nigga.” He stopped to cough some more. “Man, you ain’t figured out the password on that yet?”

“Fuck you, man; you want to try?”

“You try one two three fo’?”

“Bitch, that’s the first one I tried. You want to criticize, you can step right up.”

“No, man; I’m too high.”

Robert came out of the bathroom, moaning. “I think that bitch done broke my nose.” He pulled away the dirty rag full of ice, reached up to carefully pinch the bridge of his nose. “It wobbles, now,” he said, whining like a little boy.

“Well, you was never pretty,” said Quentin from the couch. Patrick burst into helpless laughter.

“Fuck you, nigga. This hurts. I think I got to get me to the clinic. What did you find on them phones?”

“Ain’t opened this one yet.”

“You try one two three fo’?”

“Fuck you, man. The other one didn’t have no password. Ain’t nothing useful on it, but you gotta see these pictures. This grandma’s got her a church crown you wouldn’t believe.”

Patrick giggled. “Looks like a damn turkey on her head.”

Robert winced, put the towel back. “Fuck it. Give me them phones, I’ll take them down to Fatty J’s, get us some money.”

“Patience, nigga. Smoke some herb, play some Halo with Patrick here when he’s too high to smoke your ass. I’m going to get this phone; ain’t but a thousand numbers.”

“Ten thousand,” said Patrick. “Four digits. Hey, let’s call in and get us some Chinese chicken.”

“They ain’t going to pick up the phone,” said Robert. “They done blocked our number, after the last time.”

“Man, you got punched and wrecked your brain. We got us a new number, now.”

Half an hour later, Patrick’s eyes were stinging and dry, but he was mopping the floor with Robert, who was still whining about getting punched by a girl. After getting killed for the fourth or fifth time in a row, Robert slammed the controller down. “Man, fuck this.” He pointed at Quentin. “You take over. Give me that phone.”

“Nigga, I got me a rhythm.” Robert must have glared at him real good. “Shit, fine. I’m on 1179; just keep going.” Robert snatched the phone, went in the back room. They could hear the bong bubbling. “He going to forget.” Quentin sauntered over to the couch, sat down. “Get ready to die.”

Before Patrick could respond, there was a knock at the door. “Chinee food,” said a girl’s voice. “Got you some eggrolls!” Patrick tossed the game controller into the air and bolted for the door so quick he had the latch turned by the time the controller hit the floor. But then the door slammed inward; the corner caught him in the forehead, and the door shoved him against the wall.