If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Illegal Protector (chapter 3 and 4)

The Illegal Protector


As the man stood under the protective shade of the cooling trees he kept a watchful eye on 301
Oak St. 
Observation was paramount to any action that would be undertaken, if any. 
Not all jobs were the same and many were left as he found them.  After a few days of careful observance he would make a decision and either act or leave.  The last thing he needed was to make a hasty decision and do the wrong thing.

As he watched his mind drifted. 
Memories would come and go just like the old slide shows he had sometimes watched with his family as a boy.  The little plastic cards with the upside down picture.  A machine would project it on the wall in a larger, almost life size format. 
He admitted that there were good things that he remembered from his childhood but sadly they were few and far between. 
A child of broken homes, abuse and neglect he struggled bringing those good things into focus.  They were blurred by the stronger memories. 
Belts with buckles, dark closets, hiding, the cold look of hatred in those eyes.  The eyes that were supposed to love and care for you.
The physical scars would heal in time but those eyes would forever haunt him.  Those eyes were his fuel.  They fed his fire and gave him the determination to do what he had to do.

No one had helped him.  No one had  given him a choice.  It burned deep in his soul.  His heart, damaged, would never heal.  The scar was an open, festering slice of cruelty and inhumanity. 
He was just a child.  Just a child.

He was brought back from his past by movement at the front door.

Chapter 4

The door swung open and banged loudly against the wrought iron handrail that led up the steps.  A clanging sound that reverberated through the entire neighborhood.  The railing quieted some but the vibration, not unlike a tuning fork, still hummed in the oppressive silence of the day.
A small child emerged from the door, cringing, his shoulders humped up as if expecting a blow from behind.  The man noticed the child's movements and made a mental note.  The child hesitated, a woman's shrill voice from the inside made the child squint his eyes.  Nothing more came form the shrill voice and the child ran down the steps and into the front yard.  A package in his hand.

The man, hidden in the deep shade of a hundred year old oak and surrounded by lush hydrangeas, watched the boy.  Observing every movement, every sound.  He noticed how the boy held himself, his body language revealed everything the man needed to know.  He detected a slight limp in the boy's left leg and wondered what his skin might look like under his dirty blue jeans.  Black and blue or red? 

The boy made his way to a stump that looked as if had been recently cut down.  Next to the stump was a pile of coarse shavings.  It appeared that the tree cutting crew had been in the process of grinding the stump down and their machinery had broke down or something more pressing had pulled them away from their work because the stump was still sticking out of the ground with a small mountain of stump grindings next to it.

What they left behind was an imaginary world for the small boy and his new toy. 
He ripped it from the package and tossed the plastic carton and its background to the side and his new "Joe" began his ascent of the wood chip pile.  The boy momentarily appeared to be in a state of pure bliss.  The man could hear him talking to his new toy.  Presumably the voice of the "Joe" was what he was overhearing.

It was no more than 3 minutes from the time the boy sat down in the wood chip pile and began playing until the time he started to scream and flail about.  He was slapping at himself and wailing away when his mother came tearing out of the house.  As she approached him the boy began to apologize profusely.  She grabbed him by an arm, wrenching him on to his tip toes, the boy cried out in a new pain.  She swore at him and told him what a stupid little boy he was to be playing on a wood pile full of fire ants.  She drug the boy across the lawn by his arm, the whole time he kept swatting, trying in vain to get the biting ants off his body.  She screamed at him to shut up and stop fighting her.  She smacked him hard and the boy continued his crying but at a quieter tone.  The man could see the red lumps forming on the boys exposed skin.

The woman wrenched open the door, hitting the handrail again, the sound echoed through the trees.  She tossed the boy inside, giving him a kick in the behind to clear the threshold and slammed the door shut.
The "Joe" lay in the pile of chips covered in an army of red ants.  The plastic package and its background lay strewn in lush green lawn.  The sunlight filtered through the giant trees and a single ray of light touched the edge of the plastic causing it to shine.

A tear ran down the man's cheek.


  1. This is all great description. I can see it all clearly in my head. Very good writing. Such a dark story. Looking forward to more!

  2. i need to read 1 and 2 as well, but this popped up on the blogroll and i am in the neighborhood, so i peeked in to see the story...

    i feel angry and sad...the description and story work...


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