Author: Guede Mazaka
Midnight in the city. The sky’s roaring black outside, all fake and purple shadowed with its punk-cool neon highlights lest anyone misses that it’s night. Witching hour. Downtown Boston’s shaking with the twirling of kids flying like kites, whirling fast and faster till the air drag on their little wings burns them up, sends them crispy into the arms of hospitals and morgues and handcuffs. In the streets below Paul’s apartment, the traffic’s been blaring full-on jam, hard as a life-timer’s erection on seeing fresh meat walk into the pen, for the last hour at least.
Not that he’d hear. No, he’s plopped down on the floor having the almost painful musical genius of the Western Hemisphere dribbled spoon by spoon, opus by opus into his ears. The tune he hums clashes horribly with it even though it’s really no more than Bach ever did as a variation on a melody. But of course the classics now are enshrouded in layers and layers of cultural reverence, muffled deep in respect and awe so all the real genuine storms they originally provoked no longer seem appropriate. Well, fuck what society calls appropriate. Fuck their little slots and their meager payouts once the handle’s yanked and the dials spin. Fuck it, because Paul has got something better.
All around him are spread files and files, their manila flaps splayed wide for the ease of his fingers. Little plastic baggies of evidence peek coyly from between the lewd coffee-stained papers, the bold brassy black-and-white crime-scene photos that beg for his touch, for his fingertips gliding so soft and sure across their glossiness to zero in on the neglected details everyone else has shamefully let pass by. One by one he gives them his attention, he wallows in the traces of the filth that spoil the earth and their heinous crimes. He lavishes care and affection on them and all the while he wears a thin smile on his face and he bobs his head to the deep dark backbeat of his sheer hatred and the crystalline tinkling of one clue after another falling into place.
Here’s a murder, there’s a murderer. Beside it’s the triple rapist and then there’s a slew of petty conmen, nickel-and-dimers in the world of crime. But they’re still in violation of the law—all the Laws—and they’ve got to be held accountable. They’ll be paid in their turn, Paul coos to them.
But not yet, not yet. The small fry can wait, their files gently eased to rest in the darkness of his briefcase. It hurts to drag his fingers from their slimy facts and his mind from their sinful perpetrators but he can take it, he can delay their conclusions because oh, God, he knows they’ll keep. They will keep until he sees fits to carefully stroke their profiles into a telling story and ever-so-gently feed it to the three. For now, he has bigger and badder files to tackle, their sides bulging whorishly with collected surveillance that eagerly starts to spill before he even picks them up.
Maybe it’s not enough evidence for the courts, but it’s enough for those who know and who are willing to go on that knowledge. A law was broken. It must be mended, and such things can only be mended through blood.
A long, long time ago Paul can remember that he thought differently, that he believed--the trills in his ear are a perfect expression of his contempt of that older self—in the system. The system, that took his years of work and turned them against him, crammed corruption down his throat and sidelined him while one by one his cases fell apart once he’d let them out of his hands. And it had hurt. It’d been an agonizing pain that had only gotten worse the longer he suppressed it, that had grown and gnawed like the serpent around the Norse world till his beliefs withered on the branches.
Then they’d come with their push that had swept away all obstacles with the greatest of ease, and they’d walked right up to him, and when their hands had reached for his trunk, Paul had felt himself tremble from deepest root to most careless tendril and he’d known. Either he could stand and break before them like everyone else, or he could let himself bent, regrafted, raised again.
Break or bend, break or bend. The music of man breaks itself against the newfound music of Paul’s faith.
He’ll send this file ahead, he decides. And he’ll keep the lowly lesser ones for himself, deal with them personally so the metal of his gun burns itself into his nerves and the blood flavors all that he does. They’re his cases. His. In his power, and now that he knows how to wield that, he won’t hesitate.
Outside the world is a whirling, crazy, merciless monster housing countless unpunished spawn. It’s bright, laughing, unrepentant. And inside Paul is smiling just as broadly, lips curling back from his teeth, as he pieces together the destruction that will purify it.