Ever Vigilant

He threw the local newspaper down in disgust.  Another story about a person being a victim of violent crime.  On the the adjacent page, a story about a task force busting a marijuana grow operation.  Further down, a story about a serial rapist on the loose at his local university.

It was clear that law enforcement was not serious about stopping the crime that mattered.  The drug war was business.  Assets seized in drug raids could be auctioned off to benefit the departments.  Bust a rapist?  You just get a person in prison.  He knew exactly why the priorities of law enforcement had nothing to do with protecting people.  He knew why there were task forces to stop drugs, but a rapist was free to hurt women his daughter’s age at the university.  He had enough.  He was done reading stories about it.  He would do something about it.

He had his handgun, a Kimber .45 he typically used for shooting at the range.  He decided to purchase an AR-15.  He went to a gun show and picked from among the many for sale.  On the way home, he went to a sporting goods store, and picked up a good knife and holster for it.  He got a pair of binoculars, some good boots, and a tent.

He wasn’t ready.  He decided to go out to the desert to train.

He set up his tent, and spent the next few days running and shooting.  Jumping over obstacles in the desert.  Doing exercises to build his strength, then firing accurate shots when exhausted as quick as he good.  Lifting boulders and any objects he could find to increase his physical capability.  After about a week, he began to adapt to the harsh conditions.  After a month, he was ready.

He drove back into the city.  Dressed in black, he picked a spot in some bushes near the scene of the last rape, and he waited.  His AR-15 in the trunk of his car that he parked down the road, his Kimber on his hip, and his knife on the other.

When the sun came up, he walked back to his car, and drove home.  He secured his weapons and went to bed.

Around sunset, he got up, showered, got ready, and went back to the spot he chose.  He waited.  Nothing.

He left again when the sun came up.  After eight days, he was wondering if he would ever get the the chance to make a difference.

It was just about two in the morning, when he heard her running toward him.  She screamed.  The guy behind her yelled at her to come back.  She was crying.

“Leave me alone!” she cried out, gasping as she sobbed and from the run.

She ran past as the man chasing her came into view.  He raised his Kimber and fired three times.  Two to the chest, one to the head.  The man fell instantly, he knew his shots all hit their target.  She screamed when she heard the shots.  He holstered his weapon, and left through the bushes to his car, which he then drove home.

He woke up at sunset and flipped on the news.

The top story was the shooting.  The story was just ending when he clicked it on, so he didn’t hear the details.  The next story was of a rape in a park near the opposite side of the campus.  Police were not ruling out that it was related to the previous rapes reported earlier.

His heart started racing, and he began to sweat.

“Oh God, did I shoot the wrong person?”

He began to desperately flip through channels, looking for more information.  One of the other local stations was just beginning their news.  He waited impatiently through the beginning graphics for the story.

Young man shot after fight with girlfriend at a party.

They interviewed the crying woman who said she had too much to drink at the party.  When her boyfriend tried to get her to leave with him, she slapped him and ran.  He ran after her.  Then she heard three gunshots and he was lying on the ground, dead.  The woman was shaking and crying.

Then the story about the rape in the park.

He put his head in his hands and began to cry.  Then came the knock on his door.

He wiped away the tears and went to look out the peephole.  It was a police officer.

He began shaking.  He wondered how they could know.  He decided they could not prove anything and would answer the door as if he knew nothing.  He took a deep breath, and opened the door.

“Mr. Wayne?” the officer asked.

“Yes, what can I do for you?” he asked in reply.

“I’m looking for your daughter, Janie,” replied the officer.

He didn’t know whether to be relieved that he was not the person the officer was looking for, or scared that the officer wanted to talk to his daughter.  “She isn’t home yet.  She has gymnastics until 8.  Can I ask why you need to speak to her?”

“Yes, she was at a party on campus last night.  There was a shooting afterward, and so we’re just interviewing all the people at the party to make sure everyone’s version of events line up.  She is just another witness.”

“Okay, you can find her at All American Gymnastics.”

“Thank you Mr, Wayne.”

“No problem, I hope her information helps with your investigation, officer.”

“Not likely, but we need to cover our bases.  Thank you, and have a good night,” the officer said as he turned and walked toward his cruiser.

He shut the door.  He knew he had to make it right.  He got ready, and drove back to the campus.  He needed to take this scum off the streets, and he needed to get the right person this time.  He chose not to go near the park, banking that the rapist would not strike in the same place twice.  He went back to his place in the bushes, near where the crime scene tape had been just a few hours earlier.

“Help me!” he heard a young woman shout just down the road.

“Shut the fuck up, bitch!” he heard as he he ran toward the two people just off a walkway.

He came upon them.  He found the rapist.  He was standing over a woman, holding a knife to her.  She was crying.  He came on him from behind, raised the gun to the rapist’s head, and fired a single shot.  His head exploded and the woman screamed.

“Go run and get the police!” he shouted to the woman who ran away covered in blood splatter.

He turned the gun on himself, and fired.  His last thought was a happy one.  He had succeeded in taking two scumbags off the streets that night.

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

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