Frontier Justice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short story I wrote for University, about a serial killer named Arlington Wallace who finds himself placed in a Big Brother type house called The Jailhouse.

Submitted: June 02, 2016

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Submitted: June 02, 2016

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Frontier Justice

 

“Lorraine, please will ya come to the diary room?” Gosh, the Geordie accent is disgraceful is it not? I quite despise that man, I despise most people in general. He sounds so…uncivilised. Actually, ungentlemanly is the word. It’s quite tedious being in here, if I am honest. I’m surrounded by invalids and tarts, the type who can hardly string a sentence together, without resorting to sex, drugs and foul language. As I said, uncivilised.

Thankfully, I do plan to kill them all. They don’t know that obviously, they think they’re quite safe, what with the electrical implant in my neck and the tag on my ankle. One of them even decided to goad me yesterday, haha. Hmm I think I’ll kill him first. Anyway, I presume you must be quite lost at this point, so how about I fill you in on how I got here?

Well, my name is Arlington Wallace, and for the past few years, I have been living in Wandsworth Prison, the very same place that once housed that nice Charles Bronson. You see, life gets a little mundane sometimes, and in the end, you can either conform to this monotony or you can choose to spice things up a little. I chose the latter.

Having evaded the police for several months, I decided that I would indulge myself one last time before I gave in, and let the judicial system have its way with me. Thus, on one particularly muggy day fifteen years ago, I walked into Harrods and went on a bit of a spree that resulted in me gutting the security guard with a pocket knife, and proceeding to wear his insides as a scarf. I thought it was quite hysterical at the time, but the police didn’t. Neither did the victim’s family, who called me a monster and other choice words. Well, we can’t all have the same sense of humour can we? Anyway, I got whisked off to Wandsworth on a thirty year sentence, and presumed I wouldn’t see the light of day for quite some time.

However, several weeks ago, it was decided that I was no longer a threat to society, and now it was time for me to get back out there and show them I was a changed man. Of course, that is utter rubbish. Just the other week, I poisoned a man simply because he took Moby Dick out of the library, which was highly distressing, as I did call dibs after all. But, the most peculiar thing happened upon my release. You see, the good folks at Channel 6 decided I would be the perfect candidate to enter ‘The Jailhouse’, their previously number one show, where contestants are packed together under one roof, and forced to live in an altered reality. Having just exited prison myself, I do have problems with calling it ‘The Jailhouse’. At no point while I’ve been here have I worried about getting shivved or finished in the shower and realised Big Terry’s been watching me like some kind of perverted hawk. However, I digress.

From what I was told, the ratings had dipped, and so, they needed something to bring the viewership back. In years past, they would have introduced a celebrity into the mix or some exotic theme, but even that had grown stale now. So instead, they turned to the person The Times once referred to as ‘the most sadistic man since Fred West’, which was nice of them to say. I will admit, the process was a tad arduous, but we got there in the end. I even got the seal of approval from David Cameron. He said it was a chance at redemption! I’ll be honest, I do find it worrying that we accept the advice of a man who gets aroused when he walks into a butcher’s shop, but that’s the state our country is in unfortunately.

I must say, the whole process of entering the house was rather surreal, made all the more so by the flamboyant man who came to greet me. He was dressed head to toe in salmon for heaven’s sake - such a dreadful colour. I would have much preferred to see him in a nice bit of burgundy or royal blue. Put his hands all over me as well like a damned rapscallion, and although I am many things, I am not one for hugs.

“Hello Arlington. You look a little startled, dy’know who I am? Why I’m Diarmuid Bradán, I host this wonderful show here. Soooo, you’re a free mon now? How’dsit feel?”

“Well, I must say, it does feel rather odd, but it is an opportunity I shall relish whole heartedly”

“Now, I have te ask you, you’re quite famous aroond these parts for bein’ quite the naugh’y boy”

“Well, I murdered twenty people, but if that’s what you consider ‘naughty’, then so be it”.

“Yes, weyll, do ye feel like yuv changed at all?”

What I wanted to say was “no, not at all, I’ve been standing here thinking that your oily skin would make a rather fetching coat”. However, I don’t think it would have been received all that well, so I said what any sane person would in that situation; “Yes, of course, I am not the same man I once was, and to those I have harmed, let me say how truly, deeply sorry I am”.

The little Irish man was practically weeping, he ate it up like Vanessa Feltz at an all you can eat buffet. I will admit, that chirpy little voice of his did soothe me somewhat, but anyway, that’s enough about him.

As I descended the stairs, I first set my eyes upon a ghastly woman named Lorraine. As you may have already gathered, I believe myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur when it comes to the finer things in life. Well, let me tell you, Lorraine went against everything I stood for. Unusually large hooped earrings, a terribly garish tattoo of a python slithering towards her chest, and wearing what the folks at the country club used to refer to as a greyhound skirt. All in all, she is a frightfully horrid woman and I would not be shocked if I discovered that she urinated standing up.

“Hiya gorgeous. What’s your name?”

 “Ar-Arlington”

“Well, Arlington, you up for having fun?”

Us Wallace chaps have always had a strong stomach, but I swear to you, I nearly threw up right there and then. The smell exuding from her was horrendous, a mix of cheap champagne, sweat and sausage rolls. I could almost taste it.

“Umm, no. I’m fine”

“Well, suit yourself love. Oi, Michael, come giyus a kiss”

Unfortunately, there is more to come from her. I’ll be honest, nothing really happened for the next few days and I don’t really see any point in wasting time on the mundanities of life. Also, now that I have finished detailing my coming to be here, I shall take this opportunity to speed things up a bit. If I recall, Day Seven was a particular highlight.

 

“Daaay Seven in The Jailhoose, and Arlington, Claire, Michael and Lorraine are on the sofer, listening to Kaaate talk aboot her childhood”.

“I had my first child when I was in my teens. It was a really harrowing time for me, but with the help of my friends and family, I managed to pull through, and it made me a better person for experiencing it”.

Michael put his hand on Kate’s shoulder and told her, “You’re so brave”

This, in turn, caused Claire to announce, “Yeah, I don’t know how you did it. I can hardly look after myself, let alone a baby”,

Kate obviously saw this as an opportunity to further the conversation. “Well, you are very kind. Umm Arlington, have you got any kids?”

“No, I’m afraid not”

“Oh, how come?”

“Well being incarcerated for the past fifteen years may have something to do with it. Mainly however, I feel it would be unwise to help bring a child into the world given my circumstance. No child should have to grow up with a notorious murderer as a father. You see, children are tricky little buggers aren’t they? One little misdemeanour and their whole lives are ruined.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, to me, children fall into two categories. A child will be troublesome at some point in their lives, but at which stage this occurs, will ultimately decide which category they fall into. This in turn depends on their upbringing. Now, a child learns from its parents, and so, if the parents are horrid people, then this trait will likely be imprinted upon the child. Thus, from a very early age, the child is troublesome and will continue to be so well into adulthood, and in turn, become an utterly intolerant member of society. However, if such behaviour occurs later in their childhood, as a result of life’s cruel torment, otherwise known as puberty, then unless in very drastic circumstances, it is very likely that a child will grow out of this behaviour”.

I noticed at this point that Michael was staring at me intently, hooked on every word I uttered.

“Now, I feel that in my case, a third category is created. No matter how well I raise that child, they will always be judged according to my wrongdoings. He could be a model student, a well valued member of society, but my past would always be called into question. Thus, the child would suffer either way. They would either feel inherently wronged from an early age and act out, or the constant hassle and abuse received from others would send them on a downward spiral from which he or she may never recover. So… as much as I would love to be a father, I am afraid that it may be too problematic. I have ruined so many lives already. I do not need to ruin another one”

The room lay silent for a moment. Lorraine looked oblivious to the entire conversation, staring blankly towards the fridge, as if she could telepathically transport the contents over to the sofa, and devour them like Vanessa Feltz at… I’ve already used that one, haven’t I? Hmm, anyway, Michael was the first to react.

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that”

“Thank you, Michael. I-“

“I’m not” exclaimed Lorraine, slowly directing her gaze towards me

 “You’re not what, Lorraine?”

“I’m not sorry. You brought it on yourself. You are an awful human being and your lonely existence outside of this house will always be a reminder of that”.

“Well, what’s brought this on? Was it something I said? I assure you, my dear, I don’t intend you any harm, I will simply see out my time here, and spend the rest of my life, wallowing in self-pity. While you, on the other hand, will partake in your 15 minutes of fame, and eventually disgrace yourself by using the last of your money as a means of snorting cocaine or releasing a frankly unflattering sex-tape. Does that sound alright to you?”

“You’re pathetic. I have never met a man as morally disgusting as you. Whatever you decide to do with your pitiful life, remember that it will always mean nothing. You are scum!”

“Duly noted. Will that be all?”

The best thing to do with squalor such as her is to never stoop to their level. Always maintain the moral high ground, that is how you gain respect in this life.

The producer jumped up from his chair.

“Oh, what is he doing?! You, switch to camera three, find something more interesting”

“What’s the matter, Jeff?”

“The only reason I put him in there is because I thought he’d cause some anarchy. But, look at him, he’s given us nothing the whole week he’s been there. All day long, sitting there, sipping his tea, staying out of everybody’s way. That’s not what gets us views! We’ve got to do something, Jim. But what?”

“Well, to be honest, we can’t do much sat here in the control room. Any ex-girlfriends we could throw in there?”

“No, no. That wouldn’t do… check his file, there might be something in there.”

“Okay, but I don’t know what we’ll find, he was rather secretive”

“Just find something. Anything. Check the essay we made them write. That self-evaluation thing”

“Okay, okay”

Upon handing the file to him, Jim skimmed the page until he became transfixed on one part in particular. Slamming his finger down on the paper, he motioned to Jeff.

“Well, what is it? What have you found?”

“That, Jeff! That is how we’ll break him”

“Let me see… Hahaha, that’s perfect”

So, the disconnected Geordie man had gathered us on the sofa, and you can simply imagine the panic it caused, especially as we were only on Day Nine.

“Isn’t it a bit late for a task?”

“What if it’s a new housemate?”

“Oh, I can’t take this”

As the embodiment of maturity, I felt it was my duty to reassure them that everything was going to be okay. However, the whole situation was causing Lorraine to get frightfully worked up, and let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to cause her distress. So, I chimed in with this little beauty.

“Hmmm, I don’t know what it could be. Although, I have heard rumblings that they’re taking away all our luxuries… especially Jewellery”

Well, she burst into a fit of hysterics, grabbing the slightly chipped hoops dangling from her ears. These people are extremely gullible, I’ve been locked in here with them for heaven’s sake, how am I to know why they’ve gathered us? However, it all became abundantly clear when that chipper Irish voice came over the tannoy.

“Ahem. Housemates, you er liive on Channel Six, please refreen frum usin’ bad language.

It was rather distressing to hear him speak again, as it caused the memory of that salmon monstrosity to come flooding back.

Ternight, for two of you, your time in the Jailhouse is over”

“What?! Aren’t they supposed to tell us w-”

For the past couple of daays, the publec have beyn votin’ and thee’ve decided that the housemates with the lowest votes and leaving the Jailhouse ternight are… Lorraine and Arlington!”

I can’t say I was particularly happy about the verdict, I was quite enjoying my time in there. ‘Twas a shame. Regardless, I was content, but the same could not be said for Lorraine, who was knelt on the floor blubbering like a buffoon. God, she’s an abhorrent ‘woman’.

“Lorraine and Arlington. You have been evicted. Please leave the Jailhoose.”

I remember as we ascended the stairs, how Lorraine turned to me bawling incessantly, her mascara running down her cheeks making her look like a domestically abused panda, and said:

“I’m. Really. Going to… miss them aaaaaaall”

As long as I live, I will never forget the kind words of support I lent to Lorraine that night.

“Oh, get a hold of yourself woman. Honestly, you’ve only known these people little over a week, and quite frankly, they think you’re as disgraceful as I do, now smile for the public”

At that moment, the doors flung open. I still haven’t seen the footage, but I assume it looks marvellous. I can’t imagine the look on dear Lorraine’s face. As I looked down, I could see the host standing there, motioning us to come towards him.

“Come heyer, come heyer, let me have a look atchoo. Aww, don’t cry dear, it’s quite alright. Lorraine and Arlington everybody! So, how’dsit feel to be out?”

I decided I would answer first, as Lorraine was clearly in no state to talk.

“Well, to be honest, I am disappointed to leave at such an early stage. But, if it’s what the public wanted, then I can’t have any qualms about that. Nice suit, by the way”

He greeted us wearing a lovely burgundy number, which I was particularly pleased about. The crowd seemed to like me, which was pleasant, albeit a tad confusing, considering these were the same people who had just voted me out. I do remember going into my own little world for a while, thinking about what it will be like to finally be free. However, I quickly re-entered reality when the host decided to drop this little bombshell.

“Nooow, we’ve got a surprise for the two o’ you. Y’see, you think that this is the end of your journey, but oh no, your journey is only just gettin’ started. If you follow me down heyer, I will show you where you’re now gonna livin’ for the next few weeks. That’s right, you’re going into a totally different house! Get ready to meet your new housemates!”

Lorraine was clearly delighted by the news, jumping up and down like Tigger on acid. I, however, was a little hesitant. The people in the first house were lovely (well, most of them). Who knew what these new people would be like? A wave of Déjà vu swept over me as I descended the staircase, as I prepared for life with another group of Britain’s finest Jobseekers. However, the fiendish people who run this godforsaken show had other ideas.

“Hello! Hello! Do come in, make yourself at home, haha!”

“Umm, how do you do?”

“I’m quite alright, thank you. I am Sanders Ashby, and, I know we’ve only just met, but I am required by law to tell you that I am in fact, a registered sex offender”

“Aye, so am I”

“Howey mate! How’s it goin’?! My nayme is Craig, you might know me from the hit shooow, Howeyaye 5-O”

Now, it may not have unfolded like this, with a barrage of people throwing themselves at me. Yet, as far as my memory serves, this is how it occurred. I was in my own personal hell, and I was pretty sure that they knew it. From the moment I encountered these… creatures, I knew something had to be done. You see, as hateful as Lorraine was, she did make a good point. My life from here on out lacks purpose, purpose that I had in abundance at Wandsworth. At no point while I was in the first house did I ever consider even harming those people. My earlier statement referred to the degenerates in this house, and it was one particular occasion that led me to be in the position I am currently in.

“Oh my goodness, I’d leave that five minutes if I were you”

The frankly disgraceful sentiment was offered by none other than Mr Ashby, the…’sex offender’, although we may as well call him what he is, a filthy convicted rapist. Despite this he did seem like a reasonable gentleman. That was until…

“Arlington, old Chap. Why so glum? The house is wonderful, is it not?”

“It is what it is”

“Oh, don’t be like that, I think it’s absolutely delightful. Although, this kitchen is a tad miniscule for my taste. No, you must enjoy yourself while you can. Drink, eat, you can walk around in your underwear for all I care”

Normally, I would remain calm on such an occasion, but the way he licked his lips as he finished speaking, and leered at me made me feel physically sick. I was in no mood for his disgusting perversions.

“Right, WHAT is wrong with you?!”

“Why, whatever do you mean, Arli?”

I took a moment to try and compose myself.

“You know what I mean. I am not one to hold someone’s past against them, but ever since I got here, you have been playing a very dangerous game. Watching us from afar, like a lion stalking its prey, waiting to pounce”

“Ahhh, I see what this is about. Darling, you would not be saying this if I hadn’t have told you about who I was, who I used to be”

“No, there is no used to about it. Once a rapist, always a rapist”

“And what about you, hmmm? You’re a convicted murderer, and you’re lecturing me? Oh sweetie, you’re just as bad as I am”

Well, you can imagine how that made me feel.

“No, no, NO! I am nothing like you”.

“Of course you are, Arli. Don’t deny it”

“How dare you! I, Mr Ashby, identify myself as a masochist, in that the act of killing gives me the utmost satisfaction. Yes, it is a horrid, abhorrent act, and I admit I have caused a lot of pain over the years. But, the act is quick, and although it is despicable, there are no other means through which I can indulge myself. You, on the other hand, have many legal ways in which you can quench your desires. Yet, you choose to take the one path which causes the most destruction”

The grin that spread across his face as I said this was nauseating. Others were beginning to gather near us in the kitchen.

“Howay mate. What’s garn on here then?”

“Nothing that concerns you, Craig. Run along”

“Aye Sanders mate, dinnae speak ta me like tha’ man! I’s only trying to help”

“Umm, if I may continue. Now, regardless of how many people I chose to kill, those affected were safe in the knowledge that I was rotting away in a maximum security prison, away from ‘civilised’ society. Those people, affected by the death of a loved one, then spent a substantial amount of time grieving, aware of the fact that whatever happens to me, nothing will bring them back, but they will at least have each other for support. I can renounce my ways, safe in the knowledge that I have not stooped to such a morally detestable act, that you so gladly pride yourself on. However, when you chose to indulge yourself on just one poor, vulnerable girl, then you knew. You knew that girl will forever live her life, feeling violated and afraid, but most importantly, you knew how isolated she would feel. No amount of support and love will ever change that, and the memories will forever be engraved in her mind. The families of my victims will eventually get on with their lives, but the girl, no matter how hard she tries, will never be the same again. And that is why we are not the same”

“Oh, do you feel better, do you? Keep telling yourself that Arlington and one day you might actually believe it. And don’t kid yourself, you could never change. Once a murderer, always a murderer”

He laughed whole-heartedly at his witty sentiment, and as he tilted back his head to exaggerate the bravado of his merriment, I grabbed the knife from the counter, and well, I’ll spare you the gory details. I looked straight into his wide, astonished eyes and said, “hmm, I guess you’re right”. 


© Copyright 2017 Tom Evans. All rights reserved.

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