...The Beast He Was
“…The Beast He Was.”
It was around midnight when the two men were figuring out how they were going to kill the other. The older man took a long drink from his flask and never broke eye contact with the younger man.
“You know why I’m here” said the older man.
“I have no idea what you are talking about” said the younger man through a disturbingly large grin.
The older man took another drink. He slouched in his seat casually. He’s done this before. “You recognized me the minute I sat down. It wasn’t that hard to find you, you know? I figured you’d be here.”
“Because this is the only subway that you haven’t killed anyone on.”
“Once again old man, I haven’t the faintest clue what you’re talking about.”
The younger man tried to hold back from smiling so much, but it was hard. How can you not smile when you’re having so much fun?
“Subtlety is not a gift that you have is it?”
Noticing the older man’s badge, the younger man spoke up: “Officer….”
“Detective.” The old man interjected quite loudly.
“Detective, you should probably put down the flask and stop saying such strange things, you’ll scare the other passengers.
The Detective looked around the empty train, wondering if this man was just a smart ass or truly insane.
He took another drink.
“Cut the shit, you obviously know who I am, and I know who you are, so just spare me the games and let’s talk”.
“Now what would you like to discuss?”
“Well I am just flattered, but not interested.”
“Let’s get one thing straight: I am going to put you down like the beast you are.”
“That’s not very police-like of you, don’t I get a trial? Read my Miranda Rights?”
“I know why you killed over two dozen people; I want to hear you say it.”
The younger man stared at him for a while, his eyes black and dead, they died a long time ago. The howl of the train and the clicking of the tracks was the only other company he had tonight. He began to realize that this night was only going to end in one of two outcomes. His grin began to shrink.
“Who’s going to miss a few rapists, murderers, and thieves? A little spring cleaning for the city doesn’t hurt anyone does it? You of all people should understand. As a matter of fact, I believe a ‘thank you’ is in order.”
“You are cut from the same cloth, you realize that? No different “
“Of course I’m different. I don’t rape or steal from my victims. All I do is cut away at all the filth inside them. I let the blood run out. It’s like sin. I let it out and it flows throughout the subway platform and city streets. It stains clothes. It makes a mess. But while they make it look disgusting in the end, at least they are clean in the only way it really counts.
“What in God’s name is wrong with you?”
The younger man glared at the Detective, his grin replaced with an almost animalistic look of rage and hate that came from a past long ago buried.
“You want to know what’s wrong with me? You ever see a loved one get raped? How about murdered? You ever have your dad beat the shit out of you because you spent his drug money on some fucking pizza, because you haven’t eaten in a day? You ever live through that ‘Detective’? No, you haven’t. You were probably some dumb-shit jock bully whose dad was hard on him because his grades weren’t up to par. You probably joined the force right away so you could impress daddy, or maybe it’s just because you weren’t smart enough to get into a four year college. You’re an aging, alcoholic bully with a complex, you will never understand what’s ‘wrong’ with me.”
The Detective just sat there. He took another long drink from his flask and just held eye contact.
“You wanna hear a story kid? The older man said, while slightly slurring his speech. “Ten years ago there were a few disappearances around a shopping mall in a town I used to live before I got transferred here. It was all young girls, ages fifteen to twenty. After the third disappearance we had a squad car at that mall every day, all day long. I was in my car, at about hour eleven of a very long shift when I saw a girl. Pretty, blonde, wearing clothes that her father wouldn’t approve of. I watched her walking through the parking lot alone, and when she passed by a row of cars and out of my line of sight, I didn’t see her walk out the other end of that row. Just then a black SUV pulled out of its spot and started driving down the lane. He led me to a house a few miles away and he pulled into his garage. I was new and scared, and frankly I was just working on a hunch, but I knew this wasn’t right. I kicked in the door and when I entered the house I followed the sounds of muffled screams to the kitchen. The house was dark, the windows have been covered. It looked like nobody had been living in that house for weeks, or at least, no man. When I got to the kitchen, she was hog-tied, bound with jump-rope and gagged with her own sock, and missing about a fist-sized chunk of her left thigh. The man stood up from his ‘dinner’ and just stared at me with a mouth full of blood and eyes as dead as a shark’s. I remember starring into those eyes for what seemed like hours. Two holes, black holes that once spotted, nothing escaped from. He wasn’t a man, not anymore. I grabbed him by the neck and threw him down his basement stairs. And then I put him down like the beast he was.”
The younger man, almost captivated by the Detective, leaned in closer. “Exactly how are me and you any different from one another?”
“We’re not. But I have a badge.”
They sat there across from one another in silence. The Detective took another drink and said: “This train has got to stop eventually.”
“And your flask is going to run dry eventually, Detective. You may be some tough vigilante cop who gets away with murder, but one day that’s going to stop.”
“Is that so?”
“I guarantee it”.
The conductor spoke over the train intercom: “The final destination is coming up”
It was 5 AM when the group of people were lined up at the station. The train pulled up, and when the doors opened, some screamed and one fainted at the sight within the car.
One young man rushed in to see if he could help.
There were two men lying in pools of blood, from the initial looks of it they were both shot in the neck. The train goers would never forget the sight of carnage that day.
Neither would the conductor as he sat in the front car and put the photos he took with the others.
No one would know he was a warrior who conquered chaos itself. No one would know he was an artist who put away the personification of the old order.
No one would know the good and the bad he did.
No one would know the Beast he was.