Vigilante Vince - part one

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An advertising consultant steps into defend an innocent young woman after she is assaulted in the street, but gets little reward for his courage.

Submitted: June 27, 2016

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Submitted: June 27, 2016

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It was shorty after Vincent's morning coffee break, whilst gazing momentarily out of the window, that he noticed the developing situation that would ultimately change his life forever.

Vincent worked in the capacity of a consultant for a prestigious city advertising firm, a role he had been undertaking for several months. The office he worked in was located on the 6th floor of a 12 storey building. The large window panel which sat very near his desk offered an amazing view of the city, despite only being halfway up the potential viewpoint which was 'Victor House'. Vincent often found himself looking out of the window at the world passing-by beneath him. Everyday people coming and going about their daily business. You had the no nonsense"suits" with their dark briefcases marching toward their place of work. There were the brightly coloured tourists who seemed to only be able to view the world through their camera lense. Then there were the slow moving, usually untidy looking students complete with coffee cup and trendy looking bags. Many other denominations of people would come and go across the large, busy square during the 9 or so hours Vincent graced his office desk.

It was this morning however, whilst looking out of the window, that Vincent saw something he categorized as out of the ordinary. It was a situation which caused to him to pause from his keyboard for a good few minutes and loose track of whatever report he was analysing. On the paved square beneath him, he had noticed a man who should not be doing what he was doing.

"Come on mate! you earn double what most people do and probably don't even have to try!" the street busker blurted at a be-suited gentlemen trying to pass by undetected.

"Gimme some money you dickhead!" he followed in a raised voice as the man turned his back and carried on walking down his planned path.

The 'busker', who was not atall known to the area or its inhabitants, had started his business early that morning just as sunlight crept into the day. He had set-up his spot with blanket, guitar case and a small rather tattered looking bag, the contents of which is better left to the imagination. The busker had started with some common songs and played heartily on his guitar throughout 'Wonderwall' 'Come as you are' and afew other like-able renditions of famous songs. That idea had not sat too well though as after only 30 minutes of playing the man stopped and played no more. It appeared that he had not made anything like as much money as he hoped.

It was at this point the so-called busker thought that a more effective way of increasing his financial gain would be to out-right demand money from passers-by as if they owed him a living. His approach to this new-found technique was rather upfront and little thought was given to the verbal foreplay that a legitimate salesman might utilize. The man instead began confronting random people in an unsmiling, rather unsettling fashion and immediately tried to 'convince' them that their money belonged in his pocket and not theirs. The few people that did begrudgingly hand over small amounts of money  to the busker always made quick exists to avoid the "is that all?" monologue and therefore further embarrassment. No-one actually received such a verbal tirade as the busker tended to show his disappointment in the amount of coin thrown into his hand with heavy puffs, rolls of the eyes, shrugs and angry frowns. No amount was good enough for him, regardless of the fact that he did nothing to earn it.

Vincent watched now with added concern as this odd man become more aggressive in his demeanor and overall behaviour. He was by now waving his arms around wildly, shouting, following people for far too long if they didn't pay up. Members of the public were visibly reacting to this aggressive display, but only as far as avoiding him or watching from a distance as if watching a movie scene they wanted no part in. Vincent stood from his desk, almost automatically at first.

"Steve? Have you seen that guy outside acting up?" Vincent asked with concern

"Oh him? Dunno what his problem is....alot of wierdos in this city" Steve answered with a shake of the head and downbeat tone.

"Well, someone should do something. People are just allowing him to continue. It looks like...."

Vincent did not wait around to finish his sentence, as outside in the square, the busker had just struck a woman infront of her young child.

Vincent was at the top of the stairs already before he could compute what he had just saw. He drew quick breaths as he descended the stairs three at a time. He passed several co-workers on the stairwell, unintentionally ignoring all of them as he raced toward his destination. As he reached the ground floor and neared the large glass double-doors he saw that a small crowd had gathered around the location of the incident; the man was still screaming and waving his arms around whilst a small group of slack-jawed onlookers did amazing impressions of wet lemons. Only one person had stopped to comfort the crying woman and her hysterical child.

"Has anyone called the Police?!" Vincent asked very assertively as soon as he reached the crowd

"Nah mate...they probably wouldn't do anything" one of the onlookers said in an almost shockingly passive manner.

Vincent turned his gaze toward the busker, who was still screaming about how wronged he was. Still totally unapologetic for what he had done.

"How could you hit her? she's a woman half your size with a small child!"

"She wouldn't gimme any bloody money, you fool!" The busker roared with spit flying from his mouth. The veins on his head stood out and he was almost dripping with sweat. His teeth were a grimy yellow and he wore a scruffy 4-day beard. Vincent turned toward the victim of the assault, who by now had stopped crying so violently and was merely sobbing, pale faced and shaken. She was clutching her child tightly. Both had red tear streaks marking their faces. Vincent looked back at the busker and gave a forthright response.

"Its her money to give as she pleases. If she decides you don't deserve it...thats her choice"

There was a brief pause. The busker looked almost compliant for a split second and all was quiet. That was a naive deduction on the part of Vincent however, as the short pause was broken when the busker dropped his body and started to charge. Vincent stood frozen on the spot as even now he was not expecting THIS. He had just regained control of his movements when the busker slammed into him and took him straight to the ground with a huge thud. The busker was up on his knees in seconds whilst Victor lay grounded and still barely able to move. In this beat of a second, Vincent knew what that he was going to be punched in the face by a grown man directly, like in the movies, he would feel that pain and bare those wounds. The busker did throw a hard right toward Vincent's face, however Vincent's reflxes were swift and he brought his hands up to guard. The following 30 seconds or so consisted of the busker hurling both fists towards Vincent's face trying to get a good connection. Vincent guarded most shots as best he could, however some did hit his face and he could feel his jaw shake. The busker outweighed Vincent by a good 4 stone and had arms which made Vincent's look like straws. Despite this physical imbalance though, Vincent did manage to take advantage of an opportunity which repelled his attacker for long enough for Vincent to find his feet. This opportunity came in the form of the busker pausing from his assault through exhaustion, which Vincent responded to by rocking back onto his upper back and driving both feet into the face of the attacker.

The violent busker was still holding his nose as Vincent was righting himself for another bout of physical force from his self-declared opponent. Vincent realised then that another party had joined the fray. The newcomers were identified by their bold uniform, array of equiptment and authority. Vincent breathed only a slight sigh of relief as he acknowledged that official law enforcement had come to deal with the affair. This relief was cut short however when the Police made clear who their intended target was.

"We've witnessed you kick this man in the head for no good reason" a Police Officer said firmly as he swiftly secured Vincent's still trembling hands in steel cuffs.

Vincent felt like screaming at the Officer for misunderstanding the situation so bad and jumping to such conclusions, but managed to hold his tongue. He realised that the Officer was merely trying to bring resolution to the situation with as little work as possible and was deliberately going for the easy target without the need to offer any explanation for his actions.

"You're coming down to the station for a chat!"

One hour later, Vincent found himself in a small and spotlessly clean Police interview cell, opposite two stern looking officers. He had endured a very uncomfortable and humiliating journey here in the back of a marked Police car, handcuffed like some common crook. Now he sat in silence waiting for the Police to open their line of questioning. He felt nervous still and a natural discomfort given that he had never seen the inside of a Police station before and certainly never sat at a table about to be interrogated by two officers who partly had the authority to make his life unpleasant.

"Do you always kick people in the face in broad daylight? make you feel big does it?" One officer, a rather overweight balding man said in a dry sarcastic tone.

"Oh...daily, part of my morning ritual" Vincent responded. He knew he should be serious but felt like this whole ordeal was such a sham.

"Don't play games with me, Sunshine" The fat man said, leaning forward and pointing a pencil at Vincent in a condescending and unprofessional manner.

"Actually, I kicked that man in self defence as he had been mauling me like some huge drunk gorilla. Your officers would have seen it had they arrived even a little sooner!"

The Officer looked unperplexed by this comment; as if he already had some clever remark up his sleeve waiting to be played like a winning hand of cards.

"Okay then, Sir, why was he mauling you? you did something to him first."

Vincent did not know where this was a comment, a question or a rhetorical question. Neither of the three made much difference to him as it was an ignorant and underhand comment by a fool Officer who was clearly looking for a quick-cut case and a charge to look good when it came to review time.

"What did I do? I committed the heinous crime of confronting and challenging him after he viciously assaulted a woman in front of her young child. No-one else stepped up to assist so I did! There's your crime Officer!"

The Officer pondered for a moment. He looked as if he was about to give some slack and show sign of empathy, however this was not in his interest. So once again personal interest over-rid common sense. His next comment was only a further step down the irrelevant and senseless route he had been following.

"What did this woman do to him? what did she do to provoke this man? The same man you assaulted violently!"

"Wait a second Officer, is this brutal thug of a man, who is still at large and likely harassing more people, going to accept any responsibility for his own actions? or is it all somebody else's fault?" Vincent responded with some frustration.

"mmmm...sounds like you're trying to shift the blame!" The Officer replied with an annoying smug look on his face.

Vincent decided it was time to take things up a notch. His next comment pulled no punches.

"Oh? It sounds like someones shifted your BRAIN!!"

The Officer's body language made obvious that he was through with this line of questioning and could not converse with Vincent anymore. To put it simply, he was out of gas. He stood up, gave Vincent one hard look and exited the room. His colleague who had remained very quiet during this farce of an interview shuffled out behind him like a shadow.

Vincent, now alone, continued to sit in his plastic chair, pondering over what the next person who came into the room would say. He very much doubted it would be something that would please him, or anything that would work in his favour. He had been brought in as suspect and the Police had shown little sign of kindliness or understanding during his uncomfortable stay. It was only 5 minutes later when an officer of higher rank stepped into the room carrying a neat paper file. Nigel knew what was coming next, but this did not take away the shock.

"Vincent Castle, I am officially charging you with grievous bodily harm."

The Officer said no more after this stone-cold declaration. He simply stood on the spot clutching his paper file and making it clear who was who. The statement in itself was delivered in such a final manner that it was as if Vincent would never hear a human voice again. Vincent did not reply. As a man of education and experienced consultant, he knew that he was already a number in the criminal justice system.

He would have to play along and abide....for now.


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