Posts Tagged ‘justice’

Justice

Posted: April 5, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
Tags: , , , , , , ,

silencerThe truck slowed down to make the turn toward the prison dump, in the darkest part of the courtyard. Charlie knew the spot well. He’d worked here five years. As it made the turn, Charlie let go of the truck’s undercarriage and rolled to his right. The truck rolled on. Charlie got up, brushing himself off as he ran the other way. He wore his blue police overalls, and even his badge.

Sometimes simple solutions were the best. It was Christmas Eve and snowing. The guards were in their towers keeping warm. The prisoners were in lights-out, and who in the world tried to break into a prison?

A nut job like Charlie. A man with nothing to lose, with an axe to grind.

He jogged across the courtyard to the service entrance for the prison kitchen. This door wasn’t alarmed. He checked the lock and found a set of picks that would do the job. Charlie was inside in seconds. He pulled the door shut, leaving it unlocked. He dried his shoes on a cleaning towel by the door to keep from leaving a trail. If he was careful, his boot prints would blend in with all the others at the prison, and the Trace Evidence team would never pick him out.

The truck lifted the first dumpster. Trash poured into the top. Iron crashed against iron as the dumpster shifted and swung on the truck’s lifting arms.

Charlie moved from the kitchen to the cafeteria, then entered the prison population area. He walked slowly, as if this was his post, staying in the shadows. Another guard on the far side of the block didn’t even look at him twice.

photoCharlie heard the truck lifting the next dumpster as he reached cell A4. Charlie checked it three times. Then he looked at the face of the man who slept inside. An old face, gray as concrete, cracked with lines deep with age and as dark as the crimes he had never regretted, lay against foam pillow. His gray hair was the same color as Charlie’s grandfather’s. It was one thing to see him in the papers, another to hear him snoring. From here, this man had ordered the death of a witness, a little girl only ten years old.

Charlie lifted his sidearm. As the second dumpster unloaded, the crash of metal echoed through the cell block again. Charlie fired a single silenced round into the man’s head. Upholding the law was one thing. Justice was another.

He walked away, drawing a slow, casual beat toward the other side of the block. The truck had to pick up more dumpsters there. Head wounds bleed badly. The blood would have a copper smell, but the block already smelled musty from the cold, wet winter. In the darkness of the cell block, if he was lucky, they wouldn’t realize what happened until tomorrow.

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“Today’s lesson is judgment,” Master said. He walked over to Kit. He wore the red robe today, threaded with shadows and fear. Kit trembled. Master knelt down so that he was eye to eye with Kit. His eyes felt like they looked into Kit’s soul. “You’re old enough to leave the tower. I believe you’re also old enough to pass judgment on someone who’s wronged you.” He gestured at the changeling. “Were it not for this creature, you could have spoken to your family last night. Told them you were safe. Lady, what happens when we do something wrong?”

“We’re punished,” Lady said.

Master nodded. He continued, “That’s right. Kit, you have the power within you. Judgment is issued from the powerful against those who do wrong.”

Kit’s magic swirled. Master wasn’t lying. Still, this didn’t feel right.

Lady started to say something. Master held up his hand and she quieted. He continued, “The changeling is a thief. It stole your reunion with your family. Punish him.”

The changeling and Kit stared at each other. “I don’t know how. What would I do?”

“Did you know, some punish thieves by cutting off their hands?”

Kit’s heart screamed. That felt wrong, in the worst possible way. “I don’t want to cut off his hand!”

The changeling couldn’t hear what was happening, but it could sense that something awful was happening. It started screaming. It pounded on the glass like the fairies in the hall.

Master looked at Lady. Lady asked, “What do you do to spiders?”

“I kill them.” This wasn’t right.

Kit grabbed fistfuls of his hair. He squinted his eyes shut. He had walked upstairs wanting to do something that felt normal. Now it felt like his life was going out of control again.

“Leave him alone,” he heard Lady whisper. The words died at the end. Kit opened his eyes. The scene hadn’t changed, except Master was giving her a look far less gentle than the one he’d given Kit this morning.

He let go of his hair. Kit knew exactly what he had to do. He reached toward the jar, closed a fist, and broke the glass. It rained to the floor in bits the size of sand grains.

“What is this?” Vrajitor roared.

“Mastery,” Kit said. He waved his hands. The changeling vanished. Kit had imagined, “Somewhere far away,” and “back where you came from.” He didn’t know what that looked like, but magic would know.