I wrote this piece in response to the death of a seven year old girl in ICE custody. It is painfully clear that our government is no longer interested in being the free country it espoused to be.
WARNING EXPLICIT CONTENT!
WARNING EXPLICIT CONTENT!
Kathy flew into the café as if her legs were rockets. Her greying light brown hair flailing in every direction as she fumbled with getting her scarf and coat off. Her hazel eyes hurriedly darting to the back table where a group of ladies were seated. A large brunette woman stood up from the table and used her hands to halt the lady in a leather jacket speaking at the front of the table. That was Kate, the de-facto leader of the group. A former NASA scientist and gadget gal, she was as plump as she was tall and loved it.
“Kathy, what happened? Are you okay?”
Despite her energetic entrance Kathy looked completely wiped out. She just began shaking her head and fell to receive the support of her lifelong friend. “I…………am…………..just………….lost.” Kathy sobbed on her friend’s shoulder for a few moments, wiped her face with the Kleenex from her pocket and turned to face the group all gazing at the scene with varied levels of care and concern.
“You know if it is that bad, I can always Irish up your latte.” Carol the blonde former stripper, trophy wife of a banker called to Kathy as Kate brought her to their meeting area, as she revealed a large bottle of vodka in her purse.
“Carol, that’s inappropriate and not an answer.” Judy an older lady with a tall black wig and vintage cat eye style frames with jeweled accents at the corner gawked at Carol over them as she winked at her friend to show she was teasing her and lighten some of the tension that had filled the room since Kathy had arrived.
“Sometimes in life you just gotta take a swig cause it is that baaad.” Betty, the groups only octogenarian, smiling as she grabbed Carol’s bottle out of her hand, opened it, took a swig and passed it down.
Lynn, Betty’s oldest daughter and high-power business attorney, took her mother up on her unorthodox offer “I concur.” She said as she wiped the alcohol from her lips on the sleeve of her suit jacket. The bottle made its way around the table in the back of the trendy little café. “C’mon Kathy, you’re amongst friends. No judgement zone.”
“They acquitted him!” Kathy howled as she took her fourth swig of vodka.
“Told ya ladies it was baaad!” Betty reached for the bottle from Kathy. “We are going to need clear heads for what comes next.” The frail old woman moved slowly towards the head of the table, inviting the ladies to all move in as close as they could. “We all know what Tommy did. We all know the who, what, where and why of all this. Kathy and her family have suffered enough. We must be very careful and watch what we all say and do. This man, strike that, downgrade, fucking pedo, deserves nothing more or less than a bullet to the brain. Your grandson will suffer all of his life for what that fucker did. We have an obligation to society to see that there are no more victims.” Her bony hand shook wildly as she spoke.
“I am not comfortable with violence.” Cami, a 28-year-old single mom of three children.
“I’m not sure if I’m comfortable or not.” Rainn, the thirty-something stay-at-home mom of the group, tugged at her soft mahogany brown braids as she quietly agreed with her friend Cami. Cami introduced her to the group just a few months ago and she had fast become a regular attendee.
“I don’t see how violence would be necessary.” Lynn leaned in to the table even further. “We have such a vast network. We can get rid of this creep and no one will ever suspect a thing. Besides, since when have we ever needed to be violent?”
Kate stepped back from the table and dropped a glass on the café’s brick floor. It’s crashing to the floor, stopped the ladies in their conversations. The desired effect. “Ladies! Ladies! Ladies! Time and place! Time and place!” For most it would appear that she was reminding her friends that this was not the time or place to talk about these things but for a member to this club it was a call to their motto. “For things to go right, you must create the right time and the right place for them to happen.” The ladies used this phrase as a call to action. A call for all members to participate in the facilitation of a sister’s needs or goals. They used it almost as their exclusive battle cry.
Instantly, laptops and smart phones came out. The serious work was about to begin along with the ending of the pedophiles existence.
The next few weeks were very busy for the ladies’ club. They made all the arrangements and had scheduled Tommy’s procedure for this evening.
“No, Tommy, you know your money’s no good here.” A large Italian woman took a small cannoli from the case behind the counter and handed it to the middle-aged man in front of her.
“Ah, thanks, Louisa. I’ve always loved this place. You and your family have always been a safe haven for me since all that mess my sister created.”
“I know. Sometimes family is the one that screws you over the worst.” She stepped out from behind the counter to give Tommy a hug and place a tiny transmitter in his pocket. “It’s a shame your sister cut you off like she did. So cruel and hateful.” Her large fingers struggled to slip the tiny chip into his coat pocket as Tommy pulled her into him much tighter than usual. “I know it has been hard.” She placed the chip and quickly moved her hand up his back patting to fake sympathy towards him.
Tommy made his way out the door to the busy city street to catch a cab home from his favorite eatery. He was looking forward to a quiet evening at home trolling for new children. That was not on the circle’s schedule for tonight.
A dark SUV pulled up next to Tommy, the driver gets out and opens the passenger door for Tommy. Tommy stands there on the sidewalk just staring at the driver. The cannoli wrapper with one bite of cannoli left in it just falls to the ground as Tommy begins to swoon. A woman’s voice calls from the front passenger seat. “Don’t let him pass out and hit his head. We need to be careful with him. And don’t leave anything behind for evidence.” It was Lynn. Her long red fingernails accentuated her direction to the driver. He quickly swooped Tommy up, grabbed the small piece of cannoli with its wrapper and placed both in the backseat of the SUV.
“Authorities are asking that citizens avoid the area of 86 just at the bluffs. A deadly single vehicle accident has that section of highway blocked off until after the investigation is complete. The family of Tommy Steven McCormick have confirmed that he is the single fatality being investigated at this time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McCormick family at this time.”
The room was spinning. His ears were ringing. As Tommy was becoming more aware of his surroundings he could hear the news report repeating itself over, and over again, as if it were on a loop. Was he dead? How could that be? He didn’t remember driving. He barely remembered eating at Mario’s. He began opening his eyes. He was in what appeared to be a hospital room. He was hooked up to all manner of medical equipment. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t. No matter how hard he tried to will himself to move he could not.
The sound of heels walking in the corridor startled Tommy to reality. It was Carol. She had a white lab coat on over her red polo shirt and skin-tight jeans. She loved moments like these. She was about to give Mr. Molester the truth about his behavior and exactly what it had earned him. She walked into the room with fire and light in her blue eyes. She saw all of her abusers strapped to the hospital bed before her and was going to have a good time putting this pedophile in his place.
“I see they have brought you around enough for me to explain the situation that you are in.” she walked up to the side of his bed. “Tommy, you are a perpetrator. You have been engaged in some very, very, bad stuff.” She shifted the tone of her voice from high, light and friendly, to a lower, more frightening and tense voice. “That is going to stop. We are going to do that for you. For all of the ones that aren’t capable of protecting themselves from you. I only support the death penalty under one instance and that is pedophilia. Unfortunately, we live in a world that makes it easy for your type. Well, you are in our world, now.”
“Please, no, don’t kill me!” Tommy tried to scream but all that came out were breathy huffs. This is it. He was dead. The news footage that keeps repeating on the television in front of the bed. He was a dead man. The news said so. He didn’t know the crazy bitch in front of him but he was terrified. He could feel his lungs fighting for oxygen. He felt his arms and legs strapped to boards. He felt his hands strapped to a weird apparatus.
Carol patted his dark greying chestnut brown hair. “Oh, how adorable. You must be thinking we are going to kill you. Did you know that is what your victims felt like? Did you know that you gave them a fate worse than death? I know. What could be worse than death, right? Well, we have some time before your procedure to explain it to you.” Her voice lightened up again. “When you are a child you don’t know the things that you don’t know. That is when people like you come in and set us up for a life of victimization. When you touch a child you set their course without their consent. I spent 5 years as a sex worker because of my molestation. Many of my friends never made it out alive.”
Kate came waddling into the room as Carol spoke. She began fumbling with an electronic device that Tommy could not tell what it was for. His fear was beginning to take hold of him. His teeth began to chatter involuntarily as he felt an electric current flood through his body. The smell of burning flesh filled the room.
“That was your fingerprints. We have already removed your teeth and tongue. It’s kind of a requirement for the next segment of your life. You see Tommy we have selected the best life opportunity for someone like you. The proceeds from your sale on the black-market sex industry will go to fund the lives of your victims and their families. You will be working the brothels in Southeast Asia or wherever your new owners will take you. Once you have been delivered, our hands are clean. Enjoy your new life.”
All he could see were her thick lips covered in bright red lipstick as his world faded to black.