Punishment. Short Story.

Angela walked slowly, in front of her was her quarry, who meandered through the market stalls. Angela would occasionally stop and look at the items scattered on the tables, old electronics that were practically worthless now, though some people placed great value on the nostalgia aspect, others held hand made blankets, yet more contained trinkets and claimed antiques that were probably made the week before in some shitty factory. She picked up a watch and turned it over, the seller came by,

“that’s vintage that is, made in the twenties, you can see the mechanisms inside and all!”

Angela put it down again, ignoring the seller, she picked up another watch,

“ahh, you’ve definitely got and eye for quality, that was made in the 40’s, one of the last models made, very sturdy, keeps going no matter what, it’s waterproof and-”
Angela placed it on the table and walked away. The annoying prattle was making it difficult to concentrate. She had to pay attention, she was hunting. Of course hunting was a bit unorthodox these days, technically she should just get him in his apartment, but that wasn’t fun, it was cold, sterile. She wanted to know him first. His name was Jacob, he was twenty five and it seemed he was a serial rapist with a predilection for the younger girls. Her stomach had rolled as she read the files. He wouldn’t last long in prison, sure they’d make him hurt, but she’d make him hurt a helluva lot worse. Angela had applied for a job a month ago and it had finally come in two weeks before. She had monitored him since getting the name, had he made any move towards a woman she would have ended things immediately, but for now, she was content to watch. He picked up some old books and was rifling through them. Angela couldn’t stand the older ones, the paper just felt too weird. While Jacob looked at books, Angela looked at a tray of old coins, picking through them slowly. This merchant left her alone, but he watched her closely, just in case she tried to palm a coin or two. Jacob moved on, but Angela stayed where she was for a little longer. She haggled with the vendor and bought a small box of coins. Pocketing them, she left the stall and continued on. Someone would notice if she didn’t buy anything. As he moved through the market she followed, occasionally buying small knickknacks and in one case, a particularly nice blanket she had spotted. Sometimes these jobs could pay off in more ways than one. Once she submitted her expenses she could keep most of this stuff, some of it would have other uses of course. Like the coins. They were mostly worthless, but they’d be useful later on, she’d be able to use them in her fun.

 

They were eating in a restaurant when she decided she would move in as soon as he left. She ate her noodles while pretending to read something on her table, he was reading a book he had bought. He was eating a sandwich and acting normally, until the waitresses switched shifts. Angela saw his interest pick up as the young girl moved through the tables, offering refills. She couldn’t have been older than fourteen, Angela suspected that the girls parents owned the place. She saw how Jacob looked at the girl, how he tried to flirt with her. Angela held in her rage as he reached out and gently stroked the back of her hand. The girl reddened and moved quickly on, obviously uncomfortable. Jacob watched her walk away, staring at her. That would be his next victim. Jacob shook his head and went back to reading. He had been subtle, but not subtle enough. Angela had seen him and soon, she would make sure he couldn’t harm anyone ever again.
Angela kept a note of his food and a few minutes before he was done, she finished and paid, giving the young waitress a generous tip. Then she left and waited nearby. As she suspected Jacob left the restaurant ten minutes later, he was smiling, then as he started to walk he began to whistle to himself. The sound of it set Angela’s nerves on edge, it was tuneless but piercing. She waited until the street was mostly empty, then she attacked. It was over quickly, the syringe was in her hand and she simply charged passed him, banging her shoulder into his as hard as she could, sending him stumbling, in the moment he didn’t feel the sharp pinch of the syringe.
“Watch where the fuck you’re going bitch.”
Angela didn’t respond, she just kept walking. She could hear him, hurrying to catch up. Good, get that heart pumping. Angela counted to ten, then smiled as there was a thud behind her. She stopped and spun around. A group of people were starting to gather, someone would be calling an ambulance soon. She stepped into the crowd and took out her badge, spinning slowly.
“It’s ok, all routine, please disperse from the area.”
When she finished her spin, most of the people had already left the street. They had seen her badge and knowing what it meant they left quickly. A teen kicked Jacob in the side before scuttling off, an old woman spat on him. Angela ignored it. She would be doing much worse soon. She made a quick call and a car arrived, she bundled Jacob into the back and told the car her destination, then she relaxed. Jacob wouldn’t wake up for a long while yet, then the fun could truly begin.

 

Angela had brought Jacob back to her apartment and home office. The office was soundproofed. It was a fun little room, with drains on the floor and rows and rows of sharp implements hanging on the walls. Once she was done she’d call the clean up crew. They’d make him look decent and then release the body to the family. They would be given access to his case files, they could see what he had done. Jacob was strapped to the chair when he started to wake. Angela moved in front of him, the camera was recording, someone else would cut it down to the pertinent bits to give to the family, if there were any.
“My name is Angela Smith, Agent 237-BAH, licensed executioner. Jacob Davis you have been found guilty of,” Angela flipped open her book and read out the charges, “as such you have been sentenced to death. Do you have anything to say to your family?”
Jacob was pale, staring at her with wide eyes, of course he didn’t quite believe her yet, no one really did, they all thought they were too smart to be caught. Jacob would believe her soon enough, once she got started.
“Again, do you have anything to say?”
Jacob shook his head, then, opened his mouth. “Wait. I fucked up, I’m sorry ok, just give me another chance, I wont do it again. I swear, just let me go and we can forget about it ok?”
Angela smiled, Jacob smiled back, hopefully, “You have been found guilty. There is no appeal, there is nothing you can say. This is going to happen.” She turned from him, the video to his family would probably just show him saying he was sorry. Angela picked up a hook, then put it down, remembering the coins. They were metal, she could heat them up, make them burn. There were some places on Jacob should would thoroughly enjoy burning. Still smiling she fished the coins out of her pocket. Soon Jacob would be screaming, soon blood would be gurgling down the drain and the air would be thick with its scent, but Angela knew that she wouldn’t lose that small, satisfied smile.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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