“Will you help me?”

Marcus did not expect Lucas coming over. Tony’s death automatically severed their infrequent encounters.

From the spot he usually sat begging, he had the luxury to sit all day and watched daily events unfolded. There was nothing more he could do than persuade the young not to follow his footsteps into a trouble life. They should not endure the suffering he now lived by, ill-treated by an indifferent society against the likes of him.

“If it’s for a good cause, you don’t have to say another word.”

“Help me surrender,” Lucas said. “I am ready to face the consequences of my crimes.”

Marcus looked at the teenager with understanding, seeing the stress and strain severely affecting him.

“I envy them,” Lucas pointed to a group, referring to a quartet of college girls sitting on a bench under a large Acacia tree nearby. They were enjoying themselves, practicing a classic song, singing a cappella.

“It’s not yet too late,” Marcus said sympathetically. “When you finally get out after paying your debts to society, you’ll meet new people, friends who will lead you to a new life.”

“I hope you are right,” Lucas could not yet imagine if that would happen to him.

“I had been wrong before. I paid my dues. I am still trying to make things right,” the old man closed his eyes, painfully wishing he could embrace the teen.

Lucas stared at the bowed beggar. For the first time, he was willing to forget the past, whatever wrongs the man inflicted on him before. If forgiving Marcus unconditionally would free him of his deep-seated anger, then so be it.

“I wish that all the mistakes I’ve done through the years could be erased with a single heroic deed,” the old man confessed.

– 0 –

A city away from the two, Lefty accidentally dug up his own records. Inside a cardboard box hidden under an unused table, his search for ropes led him to memories he had intentionally forgotten long ago.

He had friends, loyal associates who supported him during his early years in the force. His infectious idealism attracted them to his cause. They were of similar minds and hearts.

Then, he became pariah, the untouchable no one wanted to be linked to. The rogue policeman, who used methods unsanctioned by the politically-correct administration, had deleted him from the rolls, his sterling accomplishments downplayed and denied further recognition.

“Who needs them?” He kicked the box so hard the contents were thrown out of it and scattered on the cement floor.

Don Ramon’s decision, coursed through the shady lawyer, did not make sense. Because of the revocation of the order, he wanted them forced to accept his terms. Failing that, he was more than ever determined to see the end of the what he deemed a spectacular show, whether they like it or not.

“You’ll regret it,” he swore, visualizing in his head the lawyer’s towering figure.

If he hated thieves that much, he hated some wealthy people more because of their wishy-washy decisions. When they felt their so-called reputation was in danger of being dragged to a controversy, they immediately backed down and sought the safest retreat. He hated weakness in all forms.

“Worthless!” Lefty threw the compact disks to the wall. “I an’t like them!”

His mood swung. The sinister avenger was brought to life, his scheming revived.

He packed his armaments in a tennis bag; grenades, several loaded short automatic weapons, magazines, and his personal favorite, the short-handled ax.

The plan was always simple: kill targets without being killed.

If he had to attack the slums all by his lonesome to remove the banes of society, he would gladly do it. Nothing could be more satisfying to him than instilling fear on criminals’ minds.

He was ready to go to war.

(to be continued)



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