It felt like 90 degrees in the dark Boston brownstone, but Brad could hear the frigid wind shaking the window. It was the sound of Tito's fists banging the backseat window. It was the sound of Billy, thirty years ago, pounding the inside door of the shelter deep in the Rock Creek Park woods.
Brad opened the window, letting the icy pain punish him as it should have every day since Billy, then pumped out fifty push-ups on the hardwood floor.
The Perez case hadn't left him. It hunkered down in his gut for the winter and, like all nightmares grounded in ones own personal suppressed history, invited Billy to stay. I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil... came at number thirty-one. Maintain a constant state of suspicious alertness... - the overheard voice of the Rock Creek police lodged in the ten-year-olds head and guided everything he did from then on, through the Marines, his short-lived PI days and as a legal advocate for the troubled. You have been taught your entire lives, "Thou Shalt Not Kill". Well, fuck that shit. The voice of his C.O., still in his face, made him stop at number fifty and stalk over to his laptop like he was going to fry every circuit, slowly and with pleasure.
Instead, he flipped it open, launched his email and attempted to save a young boy from decades of torment.
From: Bradley Chase | Crane, Poole & Schmidt
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2005 3:34 AM
To: Sport (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: righteous hammer of God
It's simple situational ethics.
When the man reaches that moment, when his focus is on his own sicko perv deviancy, reach for that walking stick and run him through. Pick up Billy and never look back.
Help Billy. Save him. Don't leave him behind. Don't run out that door, leaving him to the man. Put Billy first.
Always faithful. Protect. Refuse to fail -
The lump in his throat threatened to push him where he had steadfastly refused to let his emotions ever go. He worked through it, clicked 'send', delivering his message back to the past, to his ten-year-old self. The challenge would go unheeded, returning to him.
Permanent failure. Error: Sport unknown.
That indictment joined Tito and Billy in his gut as Brad pulled on his black stocking cap and track clothes and began his run to the docks, still trying to outrun himself
[Cross posted to theatrical_muse: "Write a letter to yourself as a child"]