The Triumph of Evil
I drove Cal to school the next day and returned home to round out the latest piece I had been working on. During the summer when I had been watching Gavin’s house nightly I had moved my office so that the window overlooking the front lawn was right behind my desk giving me a great view of those passing our lot and Gavin’s house across the street. Work was a struggle, after every line I wrote I would look up to Gavin’s house across the street hoping – but not wanting – to see something, anything to alleviate my fears. Every sentence typed was like one step forward two steps back as I began writing things that made no sense. I shot up out of my chair and kicked over the coffee table in frustration. What the fuck is that sicko doing over there? I could feel the heat in my chest boiling up within me, driving my heartbeat, growing faster with each image that flashed through my mind. I walked to the front door and grabbed my jacket, I had to confront him, I had to do something. I stopped at the front door and paused, my hand hovering above the knob; what if I’m right? I am right. I know it. What is he planning to do to my son? As images of the most horrific acts burned into my brain questions came pouring out of my lips; what if I can’t stop it?, what if I can’t help him?, what if I go over there and he kills me? – what stands between Gavin and my child then? My son, my life: my entire world.
I turned around and walked to the kitchen with determination in my steps. Every step on the hardwood floor clicked beneath my shoes and without so much as a break in my stride I retrieved a large kitchen knife from the wooden block on the counter. I turned around to face the front door, my legs giving out as I fell to the floor weeping. What the fuck was I doing, what have I become; nothing about this is normal or right. Do I put on the blinders? Go about my business and live my life praying that Cal grows up without being molested or kidnapped or worse – just hoping that he grows up at all. For as long as I could remember, the Edmund Burke quote hung by my desk, I had always thought it sounded crisp the way the phrase turned but maybe it was meant to be more than that to me; All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
In that moment I knew that I would do anything to protect my son and nothing in this world would stand in the way of that.
With tears in my eyes I stood up and slipped the knife into my jacket pocket. I left the house and closed the front door behind me as I wiped the tears from my eyes. I stopped halfway across the street as I noticed that Gavin’s car was gone and after a quick knock on the front door my suspicions were confirmed, Gavin was indeed out for the day. Slowly I looked around the street, during the day it was always quiet but today not even the wind blew, no one and nothing but the snow peaked houses sat watching. After a moment I walked around back and sure enough the back door was unlocked; with fire in my stomach I stepped inside.
Stepping into the house was a waking nightmare, its corners were dark and muddy, all the curtains were drawn and little to no natural light touched a single surface. He had only been here for a short while but he had already turned this house into a cesspool. Plates and dirty dishes littered the counter and showed early signs of mold – clothes were strewn about and the floor was covered with dirt and dust. Slowly I stepped in and called his name, quietly listening for movement. As I continued inwards I looked over my shoulder every once in a while, again calling out Gavin’s name to ensure that he wasn’t home. The house sat a putrid tableau of filth and my suspicions for trespassing were not supported through anything I could see, that was, until I found the basement.
I descended a set of cold cement steps as my heart beat audibly in the cellar. At the bottom of the stairs I could see a single light bulb hanging on a string and nervously I gave it a pull filling the basement with shadows cast by the single yellow light. Sitting across from an old stained couch was a large cork board affixed to the stone wall of the basement. I walked over and studied it with cold prejudice like a herder surveying the grassy field for wolves. Pinned to the board were pictures; the school yard, the name of Cal’s school….then my heart sank.
There was a picture of Cal.
Standing there with his teacher, holding her hand; his blonde hair and soft brown eyes that were so unlike his mother’s… but Cal’s hair was shorter in this picture and his teacher was wearing a sun dress. As I reached out and took the picture from the board it dawned on me that this picture was taken months ago in the early summer, before Gavin had even moved here. I turned away from the board as tears began to well in my eyes and as I did I nearly choked – there, sitting on the couch was Jake, Cal’s stuffed alligator.
The room started spinning; had he been in my house? Did he go into Cal’s room? What would have happened if I hadn’t of found this? Cal is my life, he’s my world and everything I do is for him. I would do anything for him. What would the police do with this? It isn’t enough but I know what it is, what it means…it’s the sick twisted pedophile across the street who wants to rape and murder my son.
Flames flicked from my every pore as the fire within me raged wild and untamed. I could taste the bitter sting of bile on the back of my tongue and the iron-like taste of blood filled my mouth as my whole body quaked with anger.
My little boy.
Pascal’s Wager; better to be safe than sorry. I couldn’t care less if I spend eternity in Hell but I’m not putting Calvin through that.
It was at that moment that I heard Gavin come home.
Slowly I pulled the knife from my jacket pocket, switched off the light above my head and waited at the bottom of the stairs for him in the darkness.
Dust fell from the ceiling like brown bits of snow as each floor board above creaked and groaned under Gavin’s weight. I could hear him in the kitchen above and after a pause he turned to the stairs and began walking down the cold cement steps to the basement. I rose silently in the shadows and waited until he was right before me. With each step the cold click of his heel matched the beat of my heart and finally, as if acting on muscle memory alone, he reached for the light just as I turned it on.
There, inches from my face was Gavin, with tears welling in his eyes.
A stream of questions ripped through my mind in an instant; Why are you crying? Are you crying because you didn’t get to rape and murder my son? Are you crying because I’m here to find you out? You fuck. You fucking sicko. Are you thinking about the lives of all those you’ve taken? How many was it? How many little children have you raped and murdered? You fucking foul cunt, you are filth, you deserve to rot like a pig…
Gavin simply stood there, frozen in the moment as tears ran down his cheeks. The thoughts raced through my mind as I glanced back and forth between Gavin’s eyes and after a beat he simply looked down at the knife in my hand with a puzzled and pained look. Through his spit filled mouth he managed to sputter out a single word before I pierced his stomach with the blade, “Why?”
As I drove the knife repeatedly into his abdomen the pained look of confusion that painted his face slowly twisted into a horrific scream. With my free hand I grabbed his lower jaw with such force that I could feel his lower teeth, brittle and warm, bend beneath my palm.
I’m not going to describe what I did. Suffice it to say that I was eventually only stabbing a pulpy mess of sinew and guts. By the time I was done the tip of the knife had been driven with such force that it was embedded into the cement stairs. With speckles of blood on my face and shoes, I sat back wiping the tears from my eyes. As I sat slumped at the bottom of the stairs with the lifeless corpse of this monster beside me, I could feel myself starting to breathe again as I filled my lungs with the deep iron filled air. After a moment I reached out, grabbing a wet piece of his shirt and wiped down the hilt of the knife before driving it one last time into his head, leaving the blade protruding from his cheek. The way a sick fucking pedophile should be left.
Eventually I caught my breath and stood up; walking over to Jake on the couch and with a smile I went to pick him up…stopping when I realized that it wasn’t Jake.
In fact it wasn’t even a stuffed animal; it was a green t-shirt that was thrown carelessly on the couch with the other clothes from the laundry.
In the dark of the basement I let out a weak laugh and shook my head softly. I turned away from the couch and walked up the cold stone steps to the main floor, stepping over Gavin’s lifeless body. I left through the back door taking one last look at the putrid cesspool of a life this man had lived, and went home. In the shower I kept thinking over what had transpired; it was like a dream, something that didn’t happen. I kept replaying the moment over and over in my mind, the feeling of give while holding the knife the second it pierced his flesh, the bits of skin and muscle that loosened with each stab, the look on his face as I took his life.
It felt good.
It felt good to do something right; to stand in the way of Evil men.
I have totally lost track of time and it’s been nearly an hour since Cal has finished school but luckily Mrs. Henley was at the door a little while ago with Cal. When I saw him my heart nearly burst and when he ran into my arms I couldn’t help but giggle like a kid, he’s the kind of child that brings it out of me. I thanked Mrs. Henley profusely and invited her in for a cup of tea, which she reluctantly accepted. We talked for a while (you know she is quite beautiful) but I couldn’t help but notice that she had a sadness behind her eyes today.
Normally I wouldn’t push but as Cal played in the other room I coaxed it out of her. She told me that an older man had come to her school today claiming to be her father, this man who spent the last ten years of his life in prison for breaking and entering, a man who could never be the kind of father I am to Cal – her words not mine. She even said “I’m the Perfect Father,” which I have to admit made my heart flutter a tad.
Anyway, before she left she reminded Cal not to leave his toys at school again and handed Jake back to Cal and you know what? He said, “Thank You.” I didn’t have to prompt him or remind him or anything; he looked right at her and said “Thank You.”
I have never been so proud of him; my Cal. My Calvin.
I’ve always loved the name Calvin.
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