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Atonement TCD2018

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posted on Aug, 11 2018 @ 07:25 PM
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It was a cold night. Not freezing, but the kind of night that sent a chill through you straight to the bone. The old woman wrapped her scarf around herself leaving just a small opening to see out of. She didn't like blocking her peripheral vision in this part of town but what kind of stupid criminal would be out in this weather anyway? The only reason she was out was because her granddaughter was having a baby shower and she needed a gift. After all, how many people get to see their own great granddaughter? She spent more on the gift than she could really afford, which was nothing, but this was a very special occasion and no sacrifice was too great for such a wondrous event. She hadn't seen her granddaughter since her wedding. What a great time it was to get reacquainted.

The two men were noisy and raucous coming down the street. They had obviously been drinking, or something to that affect. The old woman hoped to pass by unnoticed. She made herself as small as she could and stayed in the shadows as much as possible. Somehow, though seemingly blind to the four inch curb directly in front of him (that he did trip over) the louder of the two managed to spy the small woman huddling in to herself against the cold in the shadow of the inset doorway. The shiny, brightly colored ribbon on the freshly wrapped gift peaking out of her tote had given her away.

“Hey! You bought me a gift,” the louder ruffian shouted with a feigned look of surprise on his face. “You didn't have to do that.” He laughed at his own joke and looked at his friend for approval.

“Leave the old woman alone. She's scared enough already. Let's get out of here.” The second thug wanted nothing to do with the old woman and much preferred the idea of getting home and finding the remains of a bottle of scotch he had started the night before.

“No, no, no. She was nice enough to buy me a gift,” slurred the thug. “The least I can do is take it from her,” the drunk insisted as he moved toward his intended victim. The old woman tried to flee hoping the stumbling drunk would be unable to catch her. The drunk had no intention of messing with the woman herself but had his eyes set on his prize – the shiny ribbon wrapped gift. Drastically over estimating his abilities, as these types of people often do, he attempted to strip the tote from the old woman's grasp as she ran by. He had planned to finish his brilliant act with a hearty, “Ole'!” as she went by. He hooked his arm in the strap of the tote and swept it in a huge arc with a matador's flourish. Instead of sliding free of the old woman's grasp as he intended, he sent the old woman reeling, knocking her off her feet, her head hitting the four inch curb with a sickening cracking sound where she lay motionless.

Time seemed to freeze for a moment as the drunks tried to process the event that had just transpired. “I didn't mean to hurt her,” the louder drunk insisted. “I just wanted the box, you know, just messing around. I wasn't even going to keep it. I was going to give it back.” It was unclear whether he was trying to convince his friend or himself of his benevolent intent.

The old woman was not moving at all but her attackers were, and fast. Panic had set in and the two were running like the devil himself was on their tails. He was, but they had no way of knowing that. They ran without incident the rest of the way home where they collapsed in two very different heaps. One was mumbling a myriad of excuses meant to convince anyone listening that it was an accident and not his fault. The other, overcome with guilt, insisting they turn themselves in. They fought briefly, neither wanted to do any real damage to the other in hopes they may still figure out a plan they could both agree on. Exhausted and full of liquid depressant they eventually passed out, situation unresolved.

The hangover made its presence known the exact moment he awoke. Then the memory of the event flashed through his mind and the fear it generated made the hangover seem like a minor inconvenience. He turned on the television just in time to hear the news anchor talking about the sad state the city was in and the violence on the streets that must be stopped. They were talking about an eighty two year old woman who was savagely attacked the night before. She was found by passing motorists and taken to the nearest emergency room. She would survive the incident but due to a most unfortunate combination of conditions, would be left blind. There was a surgery that might be able to restore her vision but it was very expensive and the woman could not afford it. It was $30,000 worth of expensive.

The news anchors continued their story relating the areas where this kind of violence occurred most often in the city. There were several parts of town that it just wasn't safe to be in at night. Overwhelmed with guilt, feeling sick to his stomach looking at his still unconscious friend, the more sensible of the two attackers wanted to turn himself in but couldn't find the fortitude to turn in his friend also. He knew he would be blamed for what his friend had done and that would solve nothing. His mind was awash with variants of this theme, all ending with him in prison and nothing making any of it right. He resolved that his friend was on his own. He would do what he had to do and his friend would have to deal with his own conscience in his own way.

Conscience. His was not doing him any favors. He wandered the streets half hoping someone would victimize him so he could somehow feel as if his debt had been paid. He thought about the many thugs who preyed on innocent defenseless victims like the old woman but did not count himself among their numbers. He didn't do it, his friend did. And he isn't that kind of person drunk or not. But here he was, accessory to the crime whether he liked it or not. He wondered how the people who intentionally do these things lived with themselves. His guilt was trying to drive him insane even though his involvement was accidental at best. Something had to change. He had to make it right.

Continued
edit on 11-8-2018 by Vroomfondel because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 11 2018 @ 07:26 PM
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The detectives looked through the two-way mirror on the interrogation room wall at the lone occupant. “This guy is never going to talk. He won't take a lie detector test and he hasn't asked for an attorney. Its like he wants to just go to jail or something.”

The lead detective entered the interrogation room and looked at the man handcuffed to the table. “Say something man. Sooner or later you will have to say something to someone. It might as well be me. Why did you do it?” The man stared at the handcuffs on his wrists and said nothing. “Did you watch too many Bronson movies or something? Or was it Marvel superhero movies? It had to be something...” The detective trailed off seeing no response from his suspect.

The detective opened the case file and started laying crime scene photographs on the table. One after another, all with one thing in common – dead thugs.

“We know this is your handy work. The bullets match your gun. That silencer you made from the oil filter was brilliant, by the way. Nice and quiet. Where did you get that idea?” The attempt to engage the suspect failed. “Eighteen bad guys in one night. That has to be some kind of record. Is that what you wanted? Don't tell me this was just so you could see yourself on TV. If that was it I am going to be real disappointed.”

No response of any kind.

“I don't get it,” the detective continued. “You off these thugs all over town, collect all the loot they took from their own victims in a trash bag, except for the cash, and then park in front of the station like you were ready to punch out when your shift ended. What the hell, man? Give me something. Anything! I need to know why you did this.”

No response of any kind.

“Well superhero, your hearing is tomorrow morning. Don't expect it to go well. You haven't exactly been cooperative.”

A very pregnant granddaughter entered the hospital room to find her grandmother laying in bed, her hands resting on a manila envelope addressed to the hospital. She gasped at the sight of her frail grandmother, bandaged and bruised, from the attack she had suffered. The granddaughter's husband, still wincing from his hangover could not make himself look at the old woman. He just stared at the floor mumbling how terrible it was. Opening the envelope, the granddaughter found a cashiers check in the amount of $30,000 dollars made out to the hospital. On the line marked “memo” someone had written, “It was the right thing to do.”

The End



posted on Aug, 11 2018 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel



Nice.



A good story. Well done!



posted on Aug, 11 2018 @ 07:41 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

Great story. Man, I have been loving all these stories.




posted on Aug, 11 2018 @ 08:20 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

Good on ya mate. A telling read. This is what I expect from Vroomguy.

KInd regards,

bally



posted on Aug, 11 2018 @ 09:10 PM
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Loved it. But don't forget to link it over



posted on Aug, 11 2018 @ 09:46 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

nice! and nice writing too.



posted on Aug, 12 2018 @ 06:44 AM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

That was grim in a good way, the drunks fooling around, yeah I could see how easily that could go on. Well done S&F



posted on Aug, 12 2018 @ 12:28 PM
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Thank you to all who commented. Very flattering words from some very talented writers.



posted on Sep, 6 2018 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

I really enjoyed the read! You set the scene and tone very well, interesting characters and theme.

Well done.




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