Social Justice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
How will a future society deal with those people who kill?

Submitted: November 12, 2013

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Submitted: November 12, 2013

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~~Social Justice

I had no idea what to expect.
 Nobody did unless you were a member of the judiciary, inner Cabinet or one of the creepily named Keepers.
I’d like to say that I didn’t deserve  my come- uppance but that would be an untruth because the jury were absolutely correct in delivering a verdict of guilty as charged to first degree murder. I tried not to let my face mimic Munch’s scream but the total finality of those words caused my mouth to head south.
Jacob had been dallying with my wife for something like two years before I found out. Poor cuckold that I was, all our friends no doubt laughing behind my back, whispering, giggling, sniggering. Everything that puts the un in unbearable.
Rage at first I grant you but then icy coolness, a refrigerated tunnel vision leading to the arctic conclusion that termination was the only acceptable answer. It’s difficult to live with a cancer of the mind, growing, calcifying until it turns your brain to stone. Something has to be done.
It has to be excised.
I kept my peace, rage and ill-gotten knowledge firmly shackled behind gritted teeth whilst I considered the situation. I pride myself on my planning ability. I have been a meticulous man all my life; I like the idea of chasing details down until they disappear, almost to the extent of obsession, if I am truthful. I planned the whole thing like a military operation; I hounded those details into a hole in the ground then bullied them into forming a cohesive whole, a master plan designed to bring down the traitorous, adulterous beasts and yet allow me to go free.
Jacob’s was old money; he hadn’t worked a day in his silver spooned life. He’d gotten everything he had wanted from the cradle straight through to my wife and no doubt thought he was entitled to it all because in his mollycoddled world money bought anything and everything.
I discovered that one of the things his money had bought was a small secluded cottage in the country, well off the beaten track and hidden behind an army of marching fir on the north side and a vast yellow plain of rapeseed on the south; ideal for a hideaway lovers tryst and for screwing my wife.
I kept close watch on her without giving away the fact that I was “in the know” and discovered that they had a very strict routine of meeting whenever I was lecturing at Oxford knowing that I would be away for the whole day. The details of how I found out need cause you no concern; suffice it to say that I confirmed the arrangement by faking a couple of lectures and following the bitch’s car. I even used my binoculars to scratch my voyeuristic itch although the raging beast in my belly threatened to burst forth and spoil all that meticulous planning.
Naturally, the plan went like clockwork.
I drove up early and waited patiently on the north side of the cottage amongst the kindly firs, their green foliage carpet muffling any sound I might have made. Sure enough they drove up and parked outside the cottage door, exited the car, kissed passionately and disappeared inside. Little did they know their sweet little love nest was about to become a Hansel and Gretel affair. I gave them time to establish the ground rules, the raging beast clawing at my guts, before creeping up to the door and slipping inside
I’ve never been a squeamish person, but I must admit having to overcome some revulsion as the blue, purple and red contents of Jacob’s ample belly slithered out onto the bed, still living snakes of intestine smelling like the man was already dead which effectively he was even if the stench was twenty or so minutes early.
I left him there to die in his own tortured time.
 The sheer terror in my wife’s eyes was an absolute joy to behold! I didn’t make her suffer too much. Mental torture really, telling her just what I could do whilst gesturing crudely with the knife. In the end I simply slit her throat. One neat slice from right to left. You’d never believe the amount of blood there is in a human body! I was drenched, the bed was drenched, Jacob was drenched…not that he minded. I wasn’t particularly bothered either as I intended to incinerate the chalet and all its contents anyway.
After the deed I strode from the cottage through the back entrance at the south end to retrieve the can of fuel I had in my vehicle. This was achieved quickly, efficiently and I fired the cottage with a song in my heart.
The law enforcement officers turned up in force just two days later.
My mistake was coming out of the cottage on the South side, the side I had not reconnoitred, erroneously assuming that nobody would be bothered to trek from the distant road to an abandoned rapeseed field for any useful purpose.
Alas, my assumption was well wide of the mark. The place must be a lovers Elysium for two of them were fornicating in the field, hidden amongst the yellow sea. Not only were they fornicating they were telecasting themselves doing it. The youth of today!
Unfortunately they caught a third person on their holovid, drowning in blood, jogging back to his car, retrieving a can and then incinerating a nice picturesque little cottage for no apparent reason.
The trial was as fair as one might expect I suppose, the judiciary computer comparing similar cases with others dating back to the mid twentieth century and then summing up concisely and thoroughly for the jury, safely ensconced in their individual capsules. The teleconferencing took under an hour and I was sentenced to life in order to repay society for my crime.
And here of course was the crux of the matter.
Nobody, outside the few mentioned above, knew what life meant these days. In the past it meant being shut up for a period of years although if you behaved yourself the sentence became derisory.
But as we all know, following a mob fury ignited by the media after a number of high profile child killings, George Osborne’s 2026 government passed a bill declaring that convicted murdering bastards should, and indeed would, not only pay for their heinous deeds but would also be made to recompense society. Practically speaking, the government were given carte blanche to deal with the matter as they saw fit. The devilish details were hammered out behind closed doors at No. 10 and the judiciary instructed accordingly.
Convicted murderers began to vanish, disappear, become persona-non-grata, ceased to exist.
The public were assured that punishment was being meted out but as to what that punishment consisted of for such a heinous crime…better not to know.
It clears the mind magnificently when one hears the word life and is then led downstairs for a last night in the austere but familiar Court Rooms prison cells. The realisation that I was about to become one of the privileged, if vanishing few did nothing for my night’s sleep. Monsters prowled my cerebral corridors brandishing nightmarish weapons and hideous grins.
Morning crept in through the bars of my room and with it two court guards and three attendants dressed in snot green gowns. This was new, frightening and unexpected. I was politely told to dress myself and accompany them to a waiting ambulance. Once inside I was strapped to a rollerbed and one of the attendants pressed a drugpad to my neck.
I awoke in a bright sunlit room lying on my back in as comfortable a bed as I can remember. There were no bars on the window but I could see a securiguard halo around the door. I didn’t appear to be strapped down so I slid my legs over the side of the bed and made for the window. The countryside was a pleasant surprise, lush green fields, a smattering of trees but as one’s eyes roved further afield a nondescript wall reared into the sky topped with a securiguard halo…not something anybody with his wits complete would tangle with.
Meals were brought to me on a regular basis, not Michelin five star but not greasy spoon affairs either. Brain food was in short supply however, the nursing staff had clearly been security muted, prepared to discuss only the weather and what day of the week we had blundered into upon waking.
The first week I spent alone in my room pacing the chess chequered floor, endlessly counting the squares and pretending to be chess pieces mating some full bodied, voluptuous queen, wondering when the punishment would start, indeed, wondering what form it would take. Had they reintroduced the rack? Was I to be hanged by the neck until dead? Shot? Electrocuted? Spectres of horrifically botched executions danced before my eyes, haunted my nights and made sleep a distant memory.
 When the week of acclimatisation (for that’s what it was) ended I was allowed access to a common room/library containing a 3D holoscreen and shelf upon shelf of old fashion paper books. Oddly all the books were on sports or pastimes relating to physical pursuits and the holovids were the same, not a fiction book danced on those shelves, nothing to escape into for a few blessed hours.
At first, viewing the sporting holovids was quite exciting as I was of an athletic bent myself representing my District at badminton and my Canton at roundball. I had always admired the skill of other athletes and to watch some of the world’s best strutting their stuff was a real pleasure. There was also a gymnasium and I was actively encouraged to use the facilities whenever I wanted to and took great delight in honing my body to almost Olympian standards.
 I was not, however, allowed to meet any person other than my own personal nurses who, although polite and pleasant enough, hardly managed to string two sentences together. After a month I began to wonder just what was going on. I was, after all, a convicted murderer sentenced to some form of punishment in order to pay my debt to society.
After eight weeks the good life came to an abrupt end with the entrance one morning of Dr. DeWinter. He explained that he was the house surgeon and had come to examine me in preparation for my operation.
Operation?
 Alarm bells began to clatter in my head. As far as I knew I was perfectly healthy and I had been given a very thorough examination when I first arrived and before I was taken to my room to begin acclimatisation programme. That must be it I thought! They had found something wrong with me and perversely wanted to correct it so that I could enjoy whatever punishment was coming my way. I informed the good surgeon that I needed no operations as I was not sick. You may not be sick he said, but society is sick of you.  End of  conversation.
As you might imagine I spent the night pursued by green gowned devils brandishing blood drenched scalpels and carving huge holes in my belly. When I finally escaped their attentions and joined the real world there a dismal grey dawn casting its baleful glance my way through the window, mirroring my soul. With the dawn appeared two medical assistants who stripped me naked, washed and shaved my entire body before leaving me cowering on the bed in a ferment of terror.
Dr. DeWinter appeared just after lunch, sat by my quivering carcass and told me not to worry…everything would be OK, he had performed this operation many, many times mostly successfully and anyway, everybody knew that laser surgery was virtually fool proof these days.
Some joke!
He called for his two assistants who turned me over and applied a drug pad to my jelly like nether region.
I awoke once again in my room with sunlight pouring in through the window and I remember thinking this is not too bad at all, perhaps DeWinter was right and things will be OK. I tried to slide my legs out from the bed and found that I was strapped in. That was unusual…only my legs and lower torso by the feel of it though, my upper torso and arms were free. I reached out with my right hand to get a glass of water from the bedside cabinet and transfer it to the left whilst I found the happy pills they had thoughtfully provided for me.
The transfer of glass from right to left went without a hitch until the glass fell to the bed soaking the plasticoat cover.
 I blinked in astonishment!
It is strange how the brain cannot at first accept the unacceptable so it was several seconds before I realised that I did not have a left hand. Where the appendage normally resided now lived a white bandaged stump protruding from my sleeve like some beheaded mushroom stalk.
I screamed. Again and again and again.
There was a flurry of movement, pressure of a drug pad  and then blackness. Blessed dreamless oblivion.
Once again I awoke in that sunlit room but this time with consciousness came knowledge and I felt the scream well up again. This time however it turned into a whimper, a pathetic little bleat as the room and my mutilated limb swam into view. Dr.DeWinter sat by my side, keen eyes observing me with what appeared to be sardonic humour. At his urging a nurse bustled in and applied a drugpad to my neck and I was instantly calmed. He told me there was no need to worry as the operation had been a complete success. He went on at some length about the what and how of the procedure but my repeated why have you amputated my hand? Was there something wrong with it? Was it diseased? went unanswered. He left telling me to heal quickly so that I could be up and about again to resume my normal life.
Normal life? Minus an hand? At least it had been my left hand. I wondered stupidly if they would have amputated my right hand if I had been left handed? If this were the case there would be a problem for an ambidextrous person! Just silly idle thoughts, clearly my hand had been diseased. 
The days dragged on, nurses appeared at regular intervals to feed me or change my plastiskin and at the end of the first week I was encouraged to get up and was taken to the library in an autobuggy. Somehow the once revered athletic books and holovids had lost their appeal. I needed something to remove my mind from the mundane, a rollicking adventure or some such but the shelves were totally devoid of escapism, not a fictional yarn in sight neither on old fashion paper or brand new holovid.
After several weeks of depression and boredom they came for me again. Two Keepers forced me onto my feet and frog marched me down a floor and into another room, smaller than the last and with only a restricted view of the garden and sinister perimeter fence. Not a word was exchanged with me during this exercise which made it frightening in the extreme.
Meals were slightly less appealing here, less meat, no alcohol, less of everything in fact although still a good basic dietary range.
The library and holivid room on this floor was much different too, smaller and darker but with the same range of material taunting my now deformed body. The stump had healed well, but the desire to use a phantom hand is almost overwhelming the brain refusing to accept the evidence supplied by the eyes.
How easily fooled we are!
Dr.DeWinter’s second appearance, several months later drove me into a ferment of terror and I curled up on the bed like a piece of paper when drawn to the heat. And with good reason as he explained to me that my second operation was scheduled for early the next day but there was nothing to worry about. Oh no, nothing to worry about at all.
I lost it at that point. Thrashed ineffectually about so that the nursing staff had to slap a drug pad on my nether regions again knocking me out completely.
They obviously kept me sedated until after the second operation. Waking up in that dingy room and finding my right leg now culminated in crisp white stump nearly tipped me over the mental precipice into the abyss of madness. Madness was strictly frowned upon however and following a visit from a gruff, grumpy little man who told me he was a psychiatric surgeon (your guess is as good as mine) my incipient insanity was neatly and expertly nipped in the bud, allowing me to enjoy my deformed body without the relief of dipping into a warm bath of lunacy.
I was, of course, now completely in the hands of my jailers…as it was obvious this is what they were. It was only later that I discovered they were called The Keepers.
I won’t bore you with the gruesome and distressing details but over the subsequent two years I moved inexorably down the floors to the basement losing my remaining limbs in the process. At all times I was treated with courtesy if somewhat coldly, my physical and mental conditions constantly monitored. Oh yes! They made damned sure I stayed alive so that I could enjoy my new life. After the loss of my right arm…. my last limb… I awoke to find myself in a kind of harness, suspended from a cross beam. It was at this point that I got a visit from the Ministry man, a Mr. Drayson, who took great delight in telling me that my limbs had been sold on and undoubtedly by now would be enjoying a new freer lease of life. I was beginning to pay my debt to society and he hoped I now felt grateful for the opportunity to so do. He left on a chilling note, telling me that there was a huge demand for most organs in the human body.
I hope this sorry tale gets out into the world…at great risk to himself one of the Keepers (at enormous risk to himself) recorded it hoping to smuggle it through the stringent security arrangements…and will thus serve as a deterrent.
As for me, I wish to God they had hung me….although ironically I suppose that’s just what they have done.
Postscript: Keeper Julian Thompson disappeared three weeks after the appearance on the holonews of this item.

 


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