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by Cal Marcius

It wasn’t hard to convince him to come with me. Now he’s tied to the chair and he’s crying. I hit him. Tell him to shut the fuck up. A second later I change my mind. I want him to talk. That’s why I came here. I want him to tell me who else was there. Want their names. Want to know where they live. He’s trying hard to stop crying. But one look at my face and he knows this isn’t going to end unless he tells me what I want to know.

“Names, Stuart.”

“Mr Sullivan, please.”

Spit’s dribbling from his mouth. Tears and snot all over his face. I don’t give a shit that he’s my neighbours’ son. He isn’t a child anymore, but a man. Had it coming as soon as he crossed the line, got in with the wrong people.

“Tell me,” I shout at him. “Or you won’t walk out of here.”

You can see the hope in his eyes, the desperation. He doesn’t know I won’t let him go, not after what he’s done.

“Russell,” he says.

“Surname?”

“Howard.”

“That’s one.”

“I can’t.”

I hit him again. Twice to the left side of his face. The skin breaks. The third connects with his jaw and he’s out cold.

I got the tip off from Franklin. He works down at the station, helps us out whenever he can. He knows it’s personal this time. Made the tape disappear before anyone else had a chance to see it.

I watched it seven, eight times, the quality surprisingly good. A young guy and a little girl snowball fighting. An innocent game. The girl’s running circles around a snowman, still throwing snowballs. Then one goes astray, hits a passer-by in the face. He’s with a group of friends. The young guy apologises for the girl, but it makes no difference. They punch him to the ground, kick him, stomp on him. All in front of the little girl. She hasn’t spoken a word since.

I make some phone calls while I wait for Stuart to come round. When he does he spits out the names as if they are poison.

I take care not to leave anything behind once I’m done. Exit through the back door and walk the two blocks to my car. I drop off the crime scene overalls at Winslow’s Funeral Home, where they’ll incinerate them with the body.

I carry on to the hospital, take the lift up to intensive care. I can hear the whirring of the machines before I walk in. My boy, Adam, is sitting on a chair, fast asleep. My youngest is still in a coma.

I sit down next to him, take hold of his hand, and tell him everything. Tell him about all the people I’ve killed. Tell him about all the others I’ll still kill for him.

Adam moves and looks at me. He’s heard. But he just nods at me and watches me leave.


Cal Marcius is a freelance writer who lives in the frozen wastes of northern England. He has been published in Shotgun HoneyOut of the Gutter, Near to the Knuckle, and Yellow Mama. He also has a story in Near to the Knuckle‘s new Rogue anthology.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CalMarcius
Twitter: @CalMarcius

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