The mist sheened his vision and he changed...
The young man sitting beside me incessantly shook his leg. It bounced with the fury of pent up rage and distracted me from the book I was trying to lose myself in.
I glanced his way. I saw a long mop of greasy hair tucked under a cap. Earbuds were stuck in his ears, blaring out an enormous cacophony of noise and chaos. It hurt my head to listen to it. He fidgeted with dirty fingers, rubbing his hands together, pulling at his nails.
The bouncing leg continued to go, occasionally joined by the other. I wondered if it was supposed to be in time with the noise he was listening to. I found that it grated on my nerves. My last nerves actually. I'd had a long day at work; I was tired and irritable and just wanted some peace.
"Excuse me," I tried keeping my voice low. I didn't want to disturb the other commuters.
I got no reply. The blare of his music continued, and he would occasionally bop his head.
"Excuse me," I waved in front of his face. That got his attention.
He pulled one plug out courteously and looked at me, "What?"
"Would you mind trying to be a bit more quiet?" I asked him.
"F*ck off old man," he swore at me, his voice drawling with the boredom of youth. I would say I was shocked, but I wasn't. I hadn't expected anything else.
He didn't turn the din down. With a sigh of frustration I tried again, tapping him gently on the shoulder with my index finger.
He yanked out his bud again, whirling to face me. Anger shone in his eyes and his lips pouted in an ugly grimace.
"Look son, I've had a-"
"Don't call me your son!" he spat at me. "Buzz off!"
The headphone went back in.
Third time lucky, I thought. I tapped again, a little harder, my finger drumming a pattern on his jacket. He swatted my hand away. My arm whipped sideways. I heard myself grunt in pain.
The red mist began to cover my eyes. I felt it rolling in, slowly and steadily, unable to stop it. It soon covered my vision in a red haze. I knew at that point things were going to get bad.
I felt myself standing up from the seat, pushing my weight up as if it was nothing. My hand reached out and clawed the boy around the neck, grasping him firmly and dragging him to his feet. Through the haze, I saw him cower before me, tears in his eyes. But it was too late.
I cocked my arm back and let it spring, pummeling him with unbated ferocity. I felt my fist colliding with his face. The first broke his nose, blood gushing instantly. It felt warm as it dripped on my hands. The second caught him on the head. The third was a corker; my screwed up hand connecting with his chin. I heard something crack, his eyes rolled back in his head until all I could see was the white and then he went limp. I held him in the grasp of my left hand for a moment before releasing my fingers and letting him fall.
But I wasn't finished. As he lay helpless on the floor I kicked him, belting him with my steel toe capped boots. I heard something crack each time I kicked. Probably his ribs.
I felt a sense of satisfaction as several pairs of arms grabbed my own, dragging me backwards.
The smile on my face widened as the red mist began to dissipate.
I'd done good.