Forgive Me, Alex
by Lane Diamond
The mere sight of him pushes me to the dark edge of my mind, where sanity hangs like... like... like a balloon in a tornado!
I stand in shadow across the street, one amongst many in the crowd of curiosity-hounds gathered to watch a monster's release. As my face blazes, fists clench and teeth grind, I can easily imagine the onset of a stroke, an aneurism, a pulmonary embolism, a raging scream—
'Control yourself, Tony!'
I long to charge across the street to destroy him—no remorse—as if stepping on a cockroach. Only sheer force of will prevents my doing so.
For seventeen years, I assumed this day would never come. How could they even consider releasing this vile creature, this very personification of evil?
In 1978, Norton murdered innocent kids who'd barely tasted of life. He tortured two of them beyond the limits of rational imagination, for to imagine such deeds was to summon a devilry that we dared not face. Yet the jury held him not responsible, a victim himself to the ravages of an illness that drove him to insanity beyond our reckoning.
He thus resides forever in the darkest pit of my psyche, chained to me in perpetuity. Now only two choices remain: I must cast off those chains, or yank them tight around his neck. Yes, I must obtain satisfaction. The idiotic jury seventeen years ago, and today's flawed court system, has left little recourse. No one else seems willing to deliver him to justice.
I am willing. After all, this is what I do. It's who I am. Indeed, the devil himself made me into this hunter of monsters. What a sweet twist of fate this is, that I may still, finally, administer justice.