When life is busy, and I know I can't spend hours working on my lastest novel, I do love to tinker with flash fiction. Working in the judicial system day in and day out, I often see the injustice of people set free on mere technicalities. I once had to watch what clearly was a murderer walk free, a mistrial declared on a technicality. Before we left chambers the prosecutors reminded counsel and the judge this same person was on trial next week for raping an eight year old. I hope you enjoy -
One Man's Justice
Monica Stacy holstered her pistol. "They're all dead."
"Shit happens." Silas Cornwell glanced at the three bodies stretched out on the warehouse floor. Each had taken one shot, but each of those shots had been carefully placed and deadly.
"Silas, they're kids. None of them could be over eighteen." Monica knelt by the first body. She'd heard great things about Silas Cornwell. He was the main reason she'd transferred here last month. But if this was how he treated crime scenes she'd made a mistake. A big mistake.
Tapping the first body with his boot, Silas spit contemptuously. "Marty Crenshaw, eighteen. His first love was Cocaine, his second hurting woman and kids." Moving to the second body he bent down and turned him over. "Simon Benfield, seventeen. Child molester, and if he'd lived long enough, a future serial killer." Moving to the third body, Silas stopped long enough to light a cigarette. Taking a deep drag he exhaled slowly. "Timothy Bradshaw, fifteen. In and out of Juvie Hall since he was ten. Raped his own grandmother last year, and only God knows how many others."
Monica joined him and stood staring down at the third body. "Why weren't they in jail?"
Silas tossed the cigarette and turned toward the door. "You said it yourself, they're just kids."
Monica ran to catch up with him. "Shouldn't we call it in, get forensics out here? No matter who or what they were, we still have to do our job."
Silas stopped walking, his fingers twitching, curling into rock hard fists. "We'll do our damn job."
Monica took a step backwards as he turned. His pupils were mere dots locked inside a glacier of ice. "This was one man's justice. And I'll arrest him, but I sure as hell don't have to like it."
Monica swallowed hard. "One man's justice?"
Silas stepped outside the warehouse, breathing in the chill night air. "Two months ago those three brutally beat and raped a ten year old girl right here inside this warehouse. Everyone knew they did it, but little Jennifer Hidalgo suffered severe head injuries and she was left blind and unable to speak, so she couldn't identify her attackers. "
Silas lit another cigarette, offering the pack to Monica. She hadn't smoked in five years, but suddenly that Marlboro Red looked like manna from heaven. Shaking one out with trembling fingers she leaned into the flickering flame of Silas' lighter and took a deep drag. Exhaling slowly she wondered why she'd ever quit. "So what happened?"
"A slick lawyer, and minor technicality and the judge set them free yesterday. Insufficient evidence." Turning back to the warehouse a slow smile played around his lips. "James Hidalgo did what any father would do. I'm only surprised he killed them so quickly."
Monica tossed her cigarette, a sudden longing to rush home and hug her own little girl washing over her. If it had been her child she wouldn't have killed them with one bullet. She would have tortured them for days, weeks, months. She would have skinned them alive, one little slice at a time. She would have. . . .
Silas slapped her on the back and headed for the car. "Let's go do our job, partner."
Monica followed him, her heart heavy. "All right, Silas. I'll do my damn job, but I sure as hell don't have to like it."