Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1190804-The-Perfect-Crime
by Gaea
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Crime/Gangster · #1190804
A small group of prominent people get together and mete justice when the system fails
Note: This is a shortened bit of a novel I've been working on off and on for awhile. There's more drama in the larger version, as one part between Jack and Pam alludes to. Let me know what you think about it. (formatting may change on here, as I can't seem to get the hang of pasting here.)

              Derek Thompson and his fellow commandos stalked through the dense woods hunting their prey, a small group of girls (enemy spies) having a picnic near the river. Goldie, Derek’s Golden Retriever suddenly broke formation and set a flock of blackbirds screeching into flight with her loud barks. “Goldie no!” Derek tried to call the usually well-behaved dog (the commandos scout) quietly back, without alerting the spies.
            Goldie looked back once, whined, and then ran off towards a ravine north of the woods. Derek gave chase and he heard her frantic barking. The eleven-year-old thought she had found a raccoon or some other animal, the way she was carrying on.
         Derek called to her, but she just kept her head down, snarling. He called to his friends as he ran down the slope into the ravine and tried to see the black and grey thing that had his dog all worked up. “Goldie, what is it girl? Come on we gotta…Oh, God! Oh my god, oh shit, oh shit, shit, shit!” He tried to stop, but too late, he slid the last few feet down the slope…right into the mess.

          The stench hit him full blast and his stomach erupted. Eventually he got himself under control as the other boys came and found the grisly remains. Derek finally pulled Goldie away from the small dark haired girl, and ran to get help.

          A few weeks later, John Dock, a janitor at the elementary school was arrested and charged with her murder. In the house he shared with his brother James, detectives found the missing girls clothes in a closet along with rope and an array of tools. Investigators found pliers, electrical tape, a ball peen hammer, soldering iron, a Zippo lighter and even a camera. All contained her blood and or hair. When the film from the camera and eight other rolls of film were developed, detectives saw in grisly detail how the tools were used. In full Kodak color, the bruises, welts, cuts and burns told the story of a little girl living with unimaginable pain. She should have been home playing with her kitten, and worrying about her spelling test, but instead lived in terror, praying to die.
        They found boxes of books and magazines with a sadomasochistic bent. Dock’s prints were all over the tools and camera, his hair on her clothing. They had him cold.
        Dock became a suspect after a witness remembered seeing him near the ravine dumping garbage a week before the girl was found. The police found a rusted metal drum in his shed from which they to retrieved fibers and hair from the girl. It looked like a halfhearted attempt had been made to wash it out, before being filled again with garbage.

        Sickened and incredulous that something like this could happen in their sleepy town, the residents watched the trial unfold, knowing that the bastard would probably get the death penalty. Every eye in the smoky bar turned to the television set high on the wall. The volume at its highest level as the patrons watched the end of the trial that had rocked the town of Newburg for months.
        Dock’s attorney had tried to create doubt in the minds of the jury by accusing James Dock, John’s older brother. He explained that the evidence could not conclusively prove to have belonged to his client, as the brothers shared the property. There was no associative evidence. There was nothing to directly link the accused to the victim. The girl’s body had nothing to prove that John Dock had any direct contact with her. The attorney admitted that yes, the accused did regularly dump garbage there, and while it was illegal…surely did not prove murder.

        James was a truck driver, and currently away. This helped put doubt in the jurist’s minds…why would someone leave town for weeks while his brother sat trial for murder?
        The jury deliberated for 2 days and news came that they had reached a verdict. Those unable to be in the courthouse, watched televisions for the verdict they knew would come…Guilty.
        Not a sound broke the silence in the tense courtroom, as attorneys and anxious citizens awaited the verdict. The foreman passed a folded paper to a deputy, who in turn passed it to the judge. Judge Riddick’s impassive face never changed as he asked the jury if the verdict was unanimous. He stared a moment at the jury, looking each in the face for a moment. Some could not meet the Judges gaze.
        Judge Riddick read the charges once more and with obvious sadness, spoke the words that had taken days to reach. John Allen Dock, this court has found you Not Guilty on all charges.

        Outraged citizens broke the shocked silence in the courtroom and living rooms all over town. In the little bar, people were screaming and throwing beer bottles at the television, and didn’t hear anything else the Judge had to say. Many threatened to "kill the twisted bastard," themselves. One man sitting in the back, only gritted his teeth and walked out the door unnoticed.
      Jack Bridger, the lone dark haired stranger in the bar, was as outraged by the verdict as everyone else in the dimly lit bar, but with one difference. He saw it coming. Jack had seen it all before. The muscular raven haired ex-cop opened the door of his blue 2001 Dodge Dakota as he dialed a number from memory on his cell phone, and only spoke two words. “John Dock”.

          John Dock sat in a diner six hundred miles away from his hometown of Newburg watching children file out from the school across the street. A veritable smorgasbord awaited him. No one knew him or his past here. He learned a lot from his past mistakes and knew he wouldn’t make them again. Dock knew the double jeopardy law, and was now a free and smarter man.
          Across the street, a small brunette caught his attention. She looked to be about six and wore all pink. Her lightweight jacket had a cartoon character on the back and matched her pink and white jeans. Laughing and yelling goodbye to her friends she hopped into a maroon minivan waiting half a block away.
          As Dock left the diner, a blue Ford Taurus followed at a discreet distance. The hunter had now become the prey.

          Two weeks later, Dock made his move. He watched the small girl leave the school. Giggling with a friend, she never noticed the man sitting on a park bench reading a paper as she passed.
          Dock stood up, stretched and walked to his van parked around the block. He pulled over a few blocks ahead of her; he had to time the take just right. If he didn’t grab her as soon as she crossed the small alley, he’d have to wait. That was the only place with any concealment on her route home. He knew her routines, he’d watched her and her family long enough to know that Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays her mother picked her up. Today was Tuesday, his lucky day. He backed his beat up van into the ally, opened the side door about two feet, and raised the hood.
          Mary Carter said goodbye to her friend, promising to ask if she could have a sleepover that weekend and walked slowly home, enjoying the bright spring sun. She knew there was no hurry because her mom worked late on Tuesdays and her dad had to take her sister to dance practice. She thought about sneaking a few cookies and watching TV before her dad came home. He didn’t like some of her favorite shows, so she snuck them in when she could.
          Mary remembered the cake her mother baked yesterday and started to skip with the anticipation when something jerked her backward and covered her mouth.

            A voice whispered close to her ear, “Make a sound and your mother will die. She’s in my van, and any noise from you will make my friend slice her throat.”
            Too many emotions hit Mary at once, and a small whimper escaped but she refused to scream. She’d do anything to protect her mom, and maybe if the men kept them together, her mom could find a way to save them.

            She let him pull her into the van, but immediately she knew she’d made a mistake…she didn’t smell her mother’s strong, flowery perfume.
            Dock tightened the spiked collar around the girl’s small creamy neck with the spikes inside, to prevent her from trying to run, the leash held loosely in his fist. He’d anchor her to a steel bolt, then go to the abandoned barn he’d found. Licking his lips and sweating, his attention on the fun awaiting him, he didn’t see the blonde woman until just before she yanked the door open. He started to lunge for the door when the woman pulled the girl out and a very large man dove through it, tackling him.

              The Hulk atop him grunted, “Go.” The woman slammed the door shut as someone else climbed into the driver’s seat and started the engine.
Everything happened so fast, Dock didn’t even register being cuffed and slammed to the floor until he felt the warmth spreading beneath him. The strong odor of urine filled the van as Dock tried to move.
              “Well Johnny, I’d say your luck just ran out,” said a voice from the front.

              Mary lay curled in the stranger’s arms, crying and trembling as the van drove away.
              “Come on honey, let’s get you home,” said a kind voice. Mary tried to pull the blindfold off, but the lady stilled her hands saying, “No sweetie, leave it on for a few minutes. We aren’t going to hurt you, but it’s better for now.”


              Sitting in her living room on her mother’s lap, Mary and her family watched the news. The big story that night was about the abduction attempt and Mary’s saviors who were still unidentified. The would-be abductor was still at large. Mary remembered the woman’s reassuring voice as she softly spoke to her. They took her to a Catholic church, the woman leading Mary by the hand to a rear exit.   
            The woman told her to walk inside, count to 30 then take off the blindfold. Mary followed the instructions, and finding found Father Joe in an office. He was on the phone to the police before she even finished her tale.

              Cathy Carter read a bedtime story to her daughters as her husband fielded calls from the media and police. Tonight they’ve said all they would; tomorrow was another day for press and police. She tucked the girls in and gave them each a kiss and tight hug, thanking God again for her safe family. She shut the light off and saw her husband Darren standing in the doorway looking pale. “Honey what’s wrong?”
              “Let’s go outside and sit on the porch.” He said turning away.
Outside in the cool night air, she asked him again. “I just got off the phone with the detectives. They found the bastard that tried to take Mary. At least the believe it’s the guy.” He answered.
              “That’s great!”
              “He’s dead.”
              Stunned, Cathy sat hard on the porch swing. “How? And are they sure it’s him?”
              “Well, they have the van, or what’s left of it anyway; they found it near an old barn burned to the ground with a body inside. In the barn, they found Mary’s backpack. The body was that bastard that murdered that little girl in Newburg awhile back and got off.”
              “Oh my God. Darren…those people that saved Mary had to have done it.”
              “Yeah, so the detectives want to talk to Mary again tomorrow and see if she remembers anything that can help ID them.”
                “I almost hope they don’t find them. That sick freak…I hope he suffered.” Cathy said trembling with anger.
                “Cath—” Darren started.
                “No Darren, I know how horrible it sounds, but I’m happy he’s dead. If the system can’t protect us from these freaks…I’m glad someone took him off our streets.”
                  “I know honey, I just…I don’t know…Let’s just try to move past all this, and help Mary. To be honest, I wish I could have been the one to kill that slimy bastard.” Darren said balling his fists.

                    Jack Bridger looked around the large table at his companions as a waiter brought their food. “I’m famished,” Said the petite blond woman across from him. “You’re always famished; I don’t see how you can stay so small.” Replied the redhead to Jacks right. “I burn off all these calories at work.” The blonde said with a wink.
                  “Ok boys and girls, what have we got?” The redhead asked.
                  “We’re clean, no prints, hairs or anything to identify the team. The boys downtown are scratching their heads over it but aren’t putting too much work into it considering who the guy was.” Jack replied.
                “And the post?” the blonde asked.
                “It’s ok, Sally believes the knife was a double bladed six incher. Nice touch.”

                A cell phone rang, playing the song Danger Zone; Jack sighed and answered it with his usual etiquette as the rest of the table waited tensely.
                “Yeah…uh huh…spell that…got it.” Shaking his head he said, “It never stops, let’s roll.” He pulled enough money from his wallet to cover the bill and a decent tip and stalked to the door, the rest following.
                  “Well, that was almost a nice reunion. Maybe next time we can actually finish a meal?” Asked the red head.
                  “Come on, there’s work to do…who needs food?”
                  “I’m spending the first week of June with my kids at the lake…don’t call me unless it’s an emergency ok? I need some down time and the kids miss their mom.” The red head announced as they started to split up in the parking lot.
Jack said, stepping closer to her. “Pam, we need to talk later.”
                  “What’s wrong?”
                  “Nothing yet. I just want to make sure everything is ok…if the job is getting to be too much for you…I’d rather you backed off before it becomes a problem.”
                  “No, I’m ok. It’s just that I need some time with my family. Don’t worry I’m not headed for a breakdown or anything; if I can’t do it anymore I’ll be the first to say so. I won’t risk the projects or anyone involved.”
Jack looked at her hard for a moment, sizing her up. He didn’t want any mistakes from someone burned out on the job, but he also worried about the people involved. What they did was important, but worried about the effects the job can have on a person after awhile. He knew better then anyone. “Ok, get to work then.”

                  Jack drove to the airport thinking about Pam. She was one of the original group members, and one of the hardest to rattle. He worried about her, but he needed her. Her talent and contacts were hard to match, but maybe she needed a break.
                  In the air, he booted up his laptop and started learning about his target. By the time he landed in Nevada, he knew everything about the woman, down to her clothing sizes and favorite foods. Sometimes he hated the job, but he hated the need for it more.
                Jack checked into a hotel near the airport, ordered room service and turned his thoughts to his group. He held a worn picture of smiling twin boys and remembered why he devoted his life to this task. The picture was taken the year before their world collapsed, before Jack and Jake’s mother remarried.

                The system had failed the boys. Jake now lived in a hospital as he had for the last twelve years, his body and mind irreparably broken. Jack lived for the group. It originally began almost ten years ago with a group of five. Now it numbered in the hundreds. The core group remained small with only ten key people organizing everything, but nationwide hundreds had small parts to play.

                They had no name, no formal affiliation. Most had never met each other, or had any contact besides a quick phone call. They were made up of people from all walks of life, young, old, rich, poor. They were Atheists, Christians, agnostics. Lawyers, cops, social workers, judges, and doctors worked alongside drug dealers, and hookers for a common goal. To rid the country of the slime that permeated our streets that the “system” let escape. The system can be good, but when it fails, there’s The Group to right the wrongs.
                  He hoped in vain for the day pedophiles and other slime couldn’t slip through the cracks. He wished that fear alone could stop them, and he could disband. However, he knew his hopes were little more then pipe dreams. Hollow. The sicknesses that rotted the brains of these people would not be cured by fear. No, there was only one way to stop them.
                  He shook off his ruminations and started his work; the end for a sleazy mother that sells her children to men, sometimes for as little as the cost of a bottle of vodka.

                  Darlene Mansfield lived in a cramped, rusted old trailer just outside of Henderson, Nevada. No stranger to social services was Darlene; her oldest two children had been taken away three years earlier, and her youngest three, ages three, five, and eight, were in the custody of a relative. Apparently that was only on paper though, as the youngest boy recently died from a head trauma while in his mom’s care.
                  According to court transcripts, Darlene had no idea what had happened to the young boy, as she was napping during the alleged accident. Jack read through the testimonies and evidence once more, most of it boring and useless. It all boiled down to one important thing to him; she skated.
                  This poor excuse for a human being managed to get off with probation, rehab, and her kids removed. An aunt and uncle in another state were awarded custody, but Darlene was given supervised visitation even though her eight year old son testified against her saying, “My mommy drinks and makes us do bad things. Sometimes I get scared that she’s really gonna kill us if we don’t mind.”

                  Jack’s stomach twisted as he thought over the children’s lives thus far. They were given to men for sex routinely, been subjected to…well, god alone knew what sort of degradation and depravations for their mother’s addictions.
                What worried Jack was that Darlene had twice gone through rehab and AA, and gotten her kids back…after allegedly rehabilitating herself. This time a child had died, he couldn’t let another.
                Jack dug through his small overnight bag, finding a notepad with a number on it and dialed as he chugged the antacid liquid from the bottle he seemed to live on these days. A husky voice answered after several rings. “Harley’s Pig Farm.”

                Pam sat on her deck listening to the crickets sing and thinking about her family and her job. She’d missed Allison’s recital and Tommy’s little league game again. Once again, Rick was pissed at her. She knew the job was important, but sometimes she missed the relatively easy days when she was only an assistant prosecutor. All day, every day she tried to lock the scumbags up …but too many got away. She understood most of the reasons, but it still twisted her stomach to watch pedophiles walk away with little more then a slap on the wrist.

                    Her cell phone trilled and broke the quiet of the night. An involuntary shiver ran up her spine when she saw the caller’s name.
                    “Hey Jack.”
                    “Pam, listen I need to go out of town for a few days next week. I’ll be out of touch and I need you to handle things for me.”
                    “What’s up?”
                    “I just have some personal things to take care of, but I won’t be able to handle the Johnson project. Listen, come by Pete’s Place tomorrow around five and I’ll give you the keys to my apartment and office. In the top left drawer in my office is all I have on it.”
                    “Alright, I’ll take care of everything…just do what you have to do and get your ass back here.”
         “I will. Pam…I have the utmost faith in you to take care of things while I’m gone. I wouldn’t ask you if I didn’t know you could do it.
         Pam bit her tongue to hold back the words that almost tumbled off, sighed and said, “Ok, but still…be careful.

         Jack finished ordering a steak, fries and a beer for himself and a dinner salad, vegetable soup, and a gin and tonic for Pam just as she walked in the door. Pam leaned down and kissed him lightly on the cheek before sitting down as the waiter reappeared. “Hey Tony, nice to see you still here I thought you quit.”
              “Nah, Old Pete’d be lost without me.” The skinny fifty-ish waiter replied.
              “I don’t doubt that.” Pam said winking at him. Tony had been at Pete’s almost as long as Pete, and had become a favorite fixture the regular patrons loved. “I’ll have the vegetable soup…hmm dinner salad I think and a gin—“
              “…and tonic,” Tony and Jack added simultaneously.
Laughing, Pam said, “I guess I’m predictable huh?”
              “No sweetie, Jack already ordered for you…exactly what you just asked for. Tony said shaking his head as he walked away.
            “Don’t look so surprised, I know you well.” Jack said smirking.
            “By the way I heard Darlene still hasn’t surfaced. It’s assumed that she took off for parts unknown instead of face up to rehab and all that.”
            “I wouldn’t doubt it a bit.” Jack replied. “A pig like that probably went to live with her own kind.”
            “Nice touch. Creative.”
Jack leaned over the table and whispered, although there was little chance of being overheard anyway with as busy as Pete’s was that night. “It seems that one of our friends had a few pigs reaching the end of their lives.”
              “I really hope they aren’t destined for the slaughterhouse…” Pam said grimacing.
              “No, in fact these pigs will live out the rest of their natural lives quite comfortably. It may be years before they die, but when they do they won’t become pork chops or hotdogs.”
        “Well, as I said before…nice touch.”
        “Actually that wasn’t my idea, but it was decided that since a pig fed her children to pedophiles, and in turn fed off them herself…well what more fitting end?” Jack leaned back as he saw Tony approaching with their dinners.
Shaking her head, Pam was thankful not to be eating pork tonight.

          Pam slipped through the dark alley, just another shadow among hundreds. Her prey would come soon, she knew. As all night feeders do, he’ll return to his den before the civilized world awakens. Bill Johnson liked his prey young and small. This hunter preyed on the weakest, yet thought himself above the laws of nature and man, above reproach. After all, cops protected the innocent and each other, right?
         Johnson looked about him as he entered the alley where he’d left his car. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, he unlocked the car and hopped in, relieved to be home free once again. Elated and glorying in the nights triumph, he didn’t sense the motion behind him until the cloth pulled tight against his throat.
         Pam watched from the shadows as the sanitation workers loaded the trash into the truck. She didn’t know where the body was headed and didn’t want to. The area gangs would soon take care of the car. Pam slipped out of the alley, just another shadow. Briefly she wondered when the next call would come and where it would take her. In the end it didn’t really matter, as they were all the same.

© Copyright 2006 Gaea (gaea at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1190804-The-Perfect-Crime