A man remembers his past
Her eyes were wide, rolled back in her head. Her lips were slightly open. Drool moistened the corners of her mouth and glinted on her perfect chin. Jack tried to piece together what had happened. The girl had entered her apartment, unaware of her attacker hiding behind the front door, his axe held high. . . waiting. He moved quickly, the axe coming down on her head, spilling brains and ruined bone, revealing unguessed aspects of horror, then dropping the weapon and exiting the way he had come in, through the window to the fire escape. Jack looked out the window, remembering his childhood as the wind escorted the rain to another part of the world, exactly where he wished he was right now.
Jack Harper was raised in the slums of Detroit by his alcoholic mother. He never knew his father and was told his mother didn't either. It's not like she was a whore or anything, but she wanted a man, any man. What she got was a squalling baby boy, something else to complicate her life. Jack was a regular kid, the fat kid with his face pressed to the candy store window. Academically, he didn't do well in school, but was exceptional at recess, where he learned the language of adult slang and bullying anyone who bothered him.
When he was fourteen, he decided to shop-lift at the neighborhood convenience store. Mr. Aadi knew all the kids, and Jack got caught with his pockets full of candy bars. The cops were called and Officer Ryan, the area beat-cop for this precinct, arrived ten minutes later.
Ryan knew Jack too. It wasn't the first time he'd been caught stealing.
"Come along Jackie-boy, we're off to jail."
"Aw, man. Please Officer Ryan, just gimme a break."
"Duya know how often I hear that in a day, Jackie-me-boy? Maybe I should take you down to the lock-up and let you see all the fellers that started out just like you: robbing, stealing, and then graduating to killing."
"I'm not like that Officer Ryan," Jack whined. "My mom works hard but she ain't got no extra cash for candy."
"Sure, sure. I bet she don't have time for your foolishness either."
"But I won't do it again, I promise!"
"No, I don't think so. You've gotta learn to pay for your mistakes, Jackie-boy. It's how the world works."
"I bet you did stuff like this when you were a kid."
"True enough. But I overcame my bad habits, and decided to help rather than hurt my neighbors."
"I can do that, if you gimme a chance."
Officer Ryan let him go, and Jack became a policeman, and then a detective in the same neighborhood he grew up in. In the end he decided to help. Now he had to figure out who killed this innocent girl. Maybe if he'd met this guy sooner, he could have helped him. But not now. Now it was too late.