Tuesday, September 24, 2013

By His Own Hand

It was time for action, and if the city wouldn't deal with the high crime in Felling Park, John Glassmoore would do it himself.

The sign shop was hesitant to follow his instructions; after all, painting a sign as if it were an official police notice, could get one in trouble if it weren't. It took an extra sixty dollars on top of the already steep hundred twenty to grease the wheels; but at last the sign was completed and mounted on an appropriate pole.

It seemed silly that he'd need to be digging at three am, but the fear of being caught by the police themselves was incentive enough, coppers weren't fond of vigilantes... or in fact, anyone who took street matters into their own hands.

Finally the hole seemed deep enough. John stuck the clam shovel into the soft soil beside the opening and slipped the sign pole into place, followed by a sack of gravel and Portland cement brought for the occasion. All that was left was the watering, but as John reached for his camper's thermos he heard a low voice behind him.

"Gimme your money or you're a dead man; and no funny stuff buster, I've got a gun!"

John's heart nearly thrust itself through its two closest ribs. For a moment he stood paralyzed in fear, the shock of the irony was overwhelming, that he'd be robbed as he tried to lessen the chance of neighborhood robberies.

But then came anger, and a rage in short order. John was tired of ducking, tired of fearing for his family and friends, tired of having people joke about his address and the crackheads that must sleep in his apartment lobby. Enough was enough, today was judgment day.

John slashed his right hand across his body, snatching the shovel from its perch and rearing it back as if a baseball bat. In that split second, as the shovel reached its zenith he knew what a mistake he'd made and why the police would constantly warn citizens to leave the business of law enforcement to professionals.

A blue glint was all he needed, the flash of reflected light bouncing off the barrel of a large caliber handgun. As the face of his wife crossed his mind's eye and he silently screamed "I love you", the blast of powder and flame echoed in his ears, and the wind struck his chest so hard he could no longer breathe. It was over in moments; his last vision, the sign he'd purchased and hung, then installed as a warning to both locals and passersby;
Police Warning: Muggings in this area!

"Perhaps now" John whispered on his last breath, "I'll have made my point."

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