The Filth Below

It doesn’t matter how long he stands before the window staring down at the streets below. They always show the filth and decadence this city is noted for. This is a place of evil, yet no different from any other city on this disgusting, spinning rock. Humanity exists, if one wishes to call this totality of debauchery by such a term, at a base level. No more; no less.

Selchor twirls his cane on the carpet under his feet, moving it back and forth between both hands. “Guess I should stop my pessimism from destroying my hope for those who do manage to overcome the odds,” he thinks. “After all, I had enough expectations for some people that I chose to return and give a little help to those needing it.

“Of course, there are the others.”

A smile crosses his lips now. Why should he lighten up over what is to happen? He doesn’t even know where his travels will take him tonight. He never knows. The evil acts as a conduit, drawing him to it – not for glory, but to achieve his mission. “Search and destroy. That’s me. I feel like a comic book hero.”

The sun drops down over the city, the deep tunnels carved between the high buildings sucking the light away, much as those prone to wielding their hatred take the light away from the good. Selchor likes the Darkness. His many lifetimes have given him visual acuity that mortals can only long for. Nothing escapes him. All his senses are on high alert. The stench, the sounds, and tastes, join in, as does the evil pulling at his soul, the touch telling him what must be done.

He chooses to walk down the stairwell, rather than use the elevator. Six floors are mere child’s play for him. Many times in the past he has had to handle situations on the stairs that needed to be addressed, as only he could do it. No place in this city is safe. Not even the stairs of his own building.

The tell-tale tapping of his cane along the sidewalks makes some in his path go down side streets in quick retreat. Though Selchor has not lived here for long, he has become a legend of sorts. He is more effective than the old cop on the beat, the guy who knew everyone and who people felt safe around. Nowadays, safety and trust are arbitrary. There are no absolutes.

Valentine’s Day is a day set aside for love, but it’s not being felt in one multi-dwelling brownstone close to the financial center. The conduit tells the truth to Selchor. He knows something is wrong. Big business and politics have joined forces again. Even from this distance, the cries reach him: particularly those of the children.

A wrecking ball already sits off to the side of the building when Selchor arrives. These bastards are in a hurry. A few police cars are there, and the cops are talking to several residents, telling them that they have to go.

“But we never received any notification that we had to leave,” a distressed women tells one of them.

“That’s not what I’ve been told,” a police sergeant hollers back. “Everyone was notified in writing a few months ago, and I have a signed go ahead order to vacate from Judge Patterson.”

“Judge Patterson is an on-the-take, bottom-feeding piece of shit,” Selchor says, as he sits down on the stoop of the dwelling.

The sergeant stares at him, taken aback for a moment. “We don’t need you interfering. Go on, get the hell out of here.”

“I’ll go wherever I wish. This is a free country.”

“I’m in charge. You’ll do as I say.”

Selchor laughs. “Good luck with that. It’s been tried before, with bad results.”

“Is that a threat?”

“Take it however you please.”

The sergeant charges Selchor, only to find he has moved by the time he gets to where he was. The thorn in the cop’s ass is now sitting on the other side of the stoop. “I told you,” Selchor says.

Fuming, the cop charges him once more, but Selchor trips him with his cane, and he gets a mouth full of debris for his efforts. While still on the ground, he unholsters his weapon, cocks the trigger, and fires a round. It misses its target and strikes the woman who was pleading her case just moments before, hitting her in the chest. Selchor rushes to her and catches her before she falls to the concrete.

Her husband rushes to her side and Selchor hands her to him. “Keep your hand over the wound to stop the blood from pouring out.

“You,” he shouts to another tenant, “call 911 and get an ambulance here.

“Everyone else get inside and stay down.”

“You’re not in charge!” the sergeant shouts. “We’ll handle this.”

“I think not. Look what you’ve done already. I want to make certain this woman gets to the hospital. You can’t be trusted.”

A stand-off ensues until the ambulance arrives and takes her away. His revolver still drawn, the sergeant will not back-down. There are no longer any witnesses, they’re all inside. For the moment, that is.

“We’ll deal with you now,” the sergeant says.

“You won’t get any farther than you did before. Besides, the people inside will know what happened even if you are successful. Do you plan to get rid of them, too?”

Silence. The answer evident on the cop’s face.

“That’s what I thought.”

Selchor hits the button on the top of his cane and a twelve inch knife flies out the bottom. The cops stare at him in disbelief, but what’s one knife against six cops with six revolvers? Nothing. Bullets begin to fly everywhere, but none hit their target. The sergeant is the first one to feel the cold steel as Selchor neatly cuts his heart out and hands it to him as the life drains from his body. One by one, the others receive the same fate as their leader. Six dead bodies lie on the ground, blood pouring from their carcasses into the storm drains.

Spirits rise from the bodies and stare at what was once their physicality, now merely pieces sliced and diced pulp.

“I warned you guys, but you wouldn’t listen to me,” Selchor says. “It is now time for you to decide your fates. Do you go to Heaven or to Hell? The choice is yours. Decide well.”

They stare at Selchor and then each other. The answer has to be obvious enough. Or is it? The longer they think, the more of the evil they have committed over the course of their lives attacks their souls and they are torn with despair. One by one, they are taken to Hell, one of their own making. Not a one goes to Heaven. There  is none for them.

Selchor surveys the scene and watches as his cleanup crew arrives to spiff the area up. Musn’t leave a mess. He looks at the court order from the judge. It appears a high-rise is supposed to be built on this site, one for the big shots working in the financial district are to live.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if the sidewalks were to have been paved with gold.” Selchor’s voice oozes with disdain and sarcasm.

It’s time to pay a visit to Judge Patterson . . .

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2016 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved

The Wrong Guy

Jon stubbed out his cigarette and took a mint out of his pocket.  The mint might have seemed odd, given the circumstance, but it was for his enjoyment rather than consideration of the man in the chair.  He rolled the mint around his tongue for a minute before he pulled it out and placed it next to his cigarette.

It was time to get started.  The leather of his imported loafers made a gentle scuff-tap sound on the aged concrete as he walked.  Jon’s cultured voiced bounced across the large room.  ”Greg.  You’ve had enough time to think about what happened yesterday.”

The man in the chair breathed unevenly through his nose.  Jon knew Greg was exhausted. Certain steps needed to be taken before things could be corrected, but Jon was ready to be free of this problem.  “I need you to think about what happened four days ago, and I don’t want you to respond until I’m ready for your input.  Do you understand?”

Greg nodded his head.  He was broken and compliant.

“Good.  Four days ago you were driving down the turnpike shortly after 8:25.  You were in a Jeep.  You cut in front of somebody in a vintage Jaguar.”

Greg’s breathing sped up.

“The individual in the Jaguar briefly flashed his lights at you.  Do you remember what you did next?”

A drop of moisture fell from Greg’s nose as a quiet whimper sounded in his throat.  Jon felt a sudden spike of heat in his chest and head.  “Answer me,” Jon screamed.

Greg sobbed through his nose and shook his head dejectedly.  Jon backed up and cleared his throat.  “I apologize.  A refined man doesn’t need to raise his voice.  Besides, I should have remembered that you are not allowed to speak yet.”  Jon straightened his shirt and toyed with the cuffs until he was calm and collected.  He opened a box of latex gloves and began to put them on.

“Back to four days ago, Greg.  You slowed down, dangerously, and then pulled behind the Jaguar.  Then you proceeded to follow the Jaguar, flashing your lights, driving erratically, and endangering other people on the toll way.”

Jon’s voice lost its refined tone and picked up an angry edge he could no longer hold back.  His heart beat heavily as adrenaline started to flow through his system.  “You followed the Jaguar into the city, stopped in front of him at a light, jumped out of your Jeep and began to scream obscenities.  I want you to tell me the last thing you said to the driver of the Jaguar before you left.”

Cold silence filled the room.

“Don’t forget what happened yesterday when we did this,” Jon warned.  “I only want to hear one thing from you.”

He turned on the industrial lights, filling the large room with their intense glow.  There was a table covered with an array of dirty surgical instruments.  The wood of Greg’s chair was sprayed with stains, old and new, in a horrific mix of colors and odors.  Greg’s right foot sat in a dark pool of coagulated blood and gore.  His left foot, ankle, and half of his lower leg had been carelessly removed.  The frightful stump was still raw and stinking from being cauterized yesterday.  Greg’s arms were secured tightly to the chair’s arms, his thighs tied down to the seat, and thick bands kept his shoulders pulled flush against the chair’s back.

Jon’s manicured hands deftly pulled a knife out of his pocket, slipped the curved blade under the dirty material tied savagely around Greg’s head, and slashed through the gag.  Much of the material had been tied in a large knot and shoved into Greg’s mouth.  Jon yanked the material and pulled the foul-smelling knot out with a dry flop. A soft mewling tumbled incoherently out of Greg’s mouth.

“Now, Greg, tell me the last thing you said to the driver of the Jaguar.  If you don’t, I will cut both of your hands off at the wrist.  It will hurt much more than what I did yesterday.”

Greg moaned pathetically.  His words passed over his dry tongue like sand over boulders.  “I told him to watch who he flashed his lights at.  I told him that one day he was going to fuck with the wrong guy.”

There it was.  Greg had admitted it.  Jon felt the fury swell, but he did nothing to hold it back.  He no longer needed to.  The way was clear.  Greg had admitted his impropriety, had exposed himself for the ignorant wretch he was, and now it was time to excise this cancerous growth.

Jon slipped the knife behind the dirty blind fold and cut it off.  The rag fell from Greg’s head.  His eyes, hidden from light for the last three days, opened and shut sporadically as he tried to see where he was.  He finally stopped squinting and looked at his captor.  It was the guy from the Jaguar.

“Please no,” Greg wailed.

Jon smiled as he felt his anger move beyond the point of no return.  He only had a few more minutes of self-control before he lost all composure.  Jon hated people like Greg, and he had known more than a few.  He viewed this as a social service he offered to educated and polite people who had to share their oxygen with human waste like this.  His vision started to grow dark around the edges.  His time for coherency was coming to an end, so Jon decided that he had better start now while he could still remember some of the cutting.  It was his favorite part.

He picked up the medical bone saw, something he was very familiar with, and turned towards Greg.

“It was you that fucked with the wrong guy.”

~ Zack Kullis

© Copyright 2014 Zack Kullis. All Rights Reserved