Chiaroscuro ~ Part 5
Chiaroscuro... def... indistinct, shadowy...
This is not sweet, there is violence and allusions to child abuse, be aware.
No resemblance to reality should be inferred or expected.
Copyright KLS 2010.
Part Five... Nullify... def... abate, void.
She could probably have driven there blindfolded. This house she knew well, having been there many times, although not for years. Memories washed through like a tumble washer video stream and none of those memories was pleasant. Pulling up a few blocks down the road she switched off and sat for a moment. The image of that boy on the footpath surrounded by feral lizards and she now knew he wasn't sleepy, he was drugged and had only hours to live. Older than he looked so she'd got it backwards, he wasn't on the way 'in' he was heading 'out'. Anger at herself flushed her, very closely followed by a quiet rage at those monsters hiding in plain sight.
Here she sat in a quiet Woollahra street, an upper crust suburb on the Eastern edge of the city centre and the respectable façade she knew hid horrors that would shock the neighbours. A small crooked smile crossed her face and she shook her head at what she cynically believed would be short lived outrage and the inextricably linked morbid curiosity. Gazing into the middle distance she thought of her own upbringing, unique as far as she knew in this almost surreal alternate universe, only blocks away and a stray thought as to how the old place looked now, she hadn't seen it in 6 years. Checked the mirrors, scanned the surrounds casually, patted her coat pockets and stepped out to head up the street.
Judge lived in a Southern French style villa surrounded by two metre high brick walls on a for this area, large block of land. A fair sized garden, bloody palm trees, why always palm trees and a driveway parking area for several cars in addition to the double garage behind a large sliding gate. That gate she noted on the drive past had been open as it always was when he was home, only closed late in the evening after all business or whatever had been finished for the day and the court appointed gate guard left. He was there, just outside the gate on the footpath looking bored and uncomfortable and she knew he would never, unless in some emergency, go further inside the property than the small outhouse attached to the side of the garage just inside and left of the gate. She used to wonder if they knew, but was convinced they didn't, that would keep this one alive.
There were motion sensors and lights she knew but no alarms or cameras. For some reason Judge hadn't wanted cameras around his home and especially the entrance. The ordinary lights were on up the driveway and she mentally pictured the front entrance and the side patio area. Judge would be inside the sitting room there or perhaps his upstairs study she guessed. Idly her thoughts passed on Mrs Judge, she knew there was one but had never seen her and had no idea what she looked like, separate lives she believed and wondered what she got from the deal with a mental shrug.
As she drew closer the guard turned her way and casually eyed her up and down in a typical male appraisal, no doubt rating various parts of her anatomy on some scale of desirability and as she drew level gave her a wide grin and a nod as if to say 'wouldn't say no', she would, but objectively he wasn't bad looking and at least didn't have a gut.
Her right hand blurred as it swung across her body and drilled the heel of her palm just below his solar plexus. His eyes widened in surprise and then bulged as the breath left his body with a grunt and he began to slump as she stepped into him and slammed her left elbow just under his left ear, catching his weight across her shoulder as he sagged unconscious. She hissed in effort as he dropped on her and grabbing his right arm that was draped across her back, spun sideways to manoeuvre him around the gatepost and allowed him to slide off her and slump boneless to the ground against the front wall. She winced in mild sympathy as his head bounced and he bit his tongue, took a moment to zip tie his ankles and wrists, pulled off his tie and shoved it in his mouth and waited to be sure he could breathe. With a soft nod she turned her attention back to the house and at a casual stroll crossed the driveway and headed toward the side patio area.
Carefully she stopped just on the edge of the glow from the inside lights that spilled out the French doors and scanned the room. To her advantage the lights inside made her almost invisible but allowed her to see in clearly. A wide grin split her face, well, well... three for the price of one. Seated on lounges in front of a small fire were Barrister, Judge and Surgeon. She imagined to most people looking at this scene it would seem a lovely warm inviting room. She however saw numbed children being quietly led downstairs... to the sumptuous room next to the wine cellar, their hearts thumping like a demented dance mix. But here and now the three sat, chatting, sipping from chunky glasses and looking very comfortable, pleased with life and their place in the universe.
She scowled at memories overlaying current reality and mentally shook herself.
Judge looked older, though still fit, she supposed he would be near sixty now. Surgeon was a little pudgy which fit his self indulgent manner. Barrister, was an oddity in a way. The looks of a male model, voice of a radio announcer, fit and athletic, a bit of a gym junky. Reaching out slowly she turned the handle and smiled as it moved. She pulled the pistol from her jacket pocket, tugged the door toward her and stepped through, they turned in matched surprise at the sudden movement and whirl of cold air. The sudden blur and deep growl raised hackles as she spun towards a very large and upset Rottweiler charging her from its spot to the right of the fire.
"Holy shit." she spun using a standing lamp as a pole, kicked the dog on the shoulder and used the lounge back beside Surgeon as a kick board to spin over and past. Snarling the furious animal slid on the floor runner trying to turn, she kicked its rump as she dropped knocking it off balance and out onto the patio. Just managing to pull the door shut with a loud rattle as it crunched snarling against the centre frame.
Distracted she didn't see the movement until something slammed into her left side numbing that arm as pins and needles rushed up and down and the pistol dropped from her right hand in sympathetic reaction. Barrister had reacted and shoulder charged her and was swinging a kick that would take her legs out and leave her down and vulnerable. He obviously expected her to go for the gun as the others sat still frozen, but she spun on her right foot and stepped past and over his kick, using her still slightly numb left arm as an ineffective club. It distracted him slightly and reaching into her jacket with her right she pulled a small throwing knife with a leaf shaped blade and cord wrapped handle. Twisting she hissed and plunged it into the side of his left leg just above the knee, horizontal to the thigh bone. Felt the jar as it bit bone and he dropped with a shrill squeal as she pulled it loose. As he moaned clutching his bleeding leg the others had finally managed to stand. Shaking her left arm to restore circulation she bent and retrieved the dropped pistol with her still tingling fingers and wiped the blade a few times on the back of the lounge as she stood upright and stretched. A quick check showed it clean enough so she slipped it back into the slim pocket.
With an admittedly slightly theatrical flourish she transferred the pistol to her right hand and was pretty sure Judge had figured out who she was by the sour look on his face.
"Good evening gentlemen", scorn and insincerity evident in her voice.
"Who the fuck are you..." Surgeon blustered and then stopped as she turned and without a word shot him between the eyes.
"Shut the dog up Judge, I don't want to have to shoot him." The snarling, scratching and rattling at the door was loud and constant.
Judge paled and after two failed attempts to work his voice snapped a little hoarsely, "Simba....Hush...Sit." The dog backed up a pace and peered toward the voice of it's master. Then dropped its rear legs and the slid down on its front paws to stare inside panting and dribbling. Typical she thought, the bastard actually cares about the dog.
"What do you want?" Judge tried to assert himself and look stern and in control but did not quite succeed.
"Want? I don't want anything... just doing what I should have done years ago."
Without another word she shot him twice through the heart and as he slumped turned and shot Barrister through the right temple as he turned and with a load high pitched squeal tried to scramble away. Sudden silence and she glanced at movement as the dog stood and tilted its head trying to get instructions.
After a few deep breaths she stretched again and clenched her hand a few times to aid blood flow to the nerves. Placed another plastic wrapped package on the sideboard next to the open Armagnac bottle, looked about carefully to be sure she'd left nothing else and stepped to the doors. The dog growled softly as she opened the door a fraction....
"Come on Simba, good boy."
The big head tilted toward her in curiosity and he pushed through the door toward his master with a soft rumbling growl. Taking a deep breath she pushed the pistol into her coat pocket, slipped out and closed the door behind her. Walked slowly across the driveway and stopped to bend down to the guard, still unconscious on the ground. She reached down with a gloved forefinger and pressed the SOS button on the two way radio clipped to his belt. A small blue light began to blink as she stood and casually glancing up and down the street headed out the gate and down toward her car, there was no one around as she walked easily if slightly hunched, hands in pockets against the chill despite the adrenaline that flowed through her and kept her immune to its bite.
One more stop across the bridge to visit Clerk. Should still have a few hours at least and then watch the shit hit the fan eh girl. Be nice to take them all, but near enough will have to be good enough. She rolled her left shoulder a few times and guessed it would be sore tomorrow as she used the key to open the car door and slipped into the drivers seat. Took a few minutes to let the breath cycle with long slow ins and outs to cleanse her. Clicked the belt, twisted the key, flicked the lights and indicating pulled out and headed for the bridge.
Clerks town-house was dark and quiet, the let down of not running this one down had her on edge, irritable and tense at her own failure. She stood and looked up and down the quiet side street just off the main drag through Neutral Bay, she could wait she supposed, but..... then a figure turned out of the small lane heading her way. Clerk looking tired and carrying a takeaway bag of Chinese food was coming home late. With a sigh she grinned at the Gods sense of humour and noted he was almost to a bench seat bus stop. A few quick skip steps and she was level as he got there...
"Hey honey how was your day." She embraced him lightly and leant in as he, surprised, stumbled a pace backwards and sat on the seat, the plastic bag of food beside him. He looked shocked for a second as the almost silent shot hit him. Sitting a plastic wrapped bundle on the seat to his left she tousled his hair and skipped off up the street into the lane.....
Back across the bridge to the edge of the city she left the car on the apron of a dark workshop. As she walked away her bag slung over her right shoulder she heard the door rattle up behind her. Its replacement would appear in the garage in a few days she was sure. On the walk to the train station she dropped a few more little packages in mail boxes. It was after midnight when she let herself in with a sigh and headed for the bathroom, she needed a soak. Three days later the Current Affairs shows were bleating about Child Sex scandals and vigilante killings.
Cassie smiled and wondered if anyone would knock on her door, very unlikely, but.... Humming softly to herself she stirred the sizzling beef strips and vegetables and spun the wok, reached for the glass of red and sipped.
… a finish, of sorts. Life seldom ties up neatly, there's always messy threads left hanging.
' Where does she go from here, the path is not at all clear. Pain and loss and fear shaped her, but what will the future bring. Is emotion a curse or a blessing. She held herself apart to live. But is that what she did. To live is to feel, to be human. Perhaps now she can be who she is. '
Last bit, thanks for those that followed it. Maybe I'll write something else sometime.
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