This article is in NO WAY a work based on fact or even semi-fact. It is fiction and a political commentary, and I ask you to see the symbolism of it before you start assuming I actually acted out these events. Read all the way to the bottom, and see if you get where I’m going with this.
J B Cougar
Last year I did a funny thing; I acted on impulse, made a decision on the fly, and changed my life -- and the way people perceive my life -- forever.
This all started when I heard loud, rather disturbing sounds of what could only have been our neighbor, Chuck, abusing his wife of 10 years, Sophie. Loud crashes, yelling and crying could be heard easily in my family room through the open windows.
It was common knowledge that Chuck was, hands down, a bad man – he had been arrested early in the marriage for abusing Sandra, but did not admit or deny this during the subsequent hearings and trial, and Sophie refused to testify. Her blackened face at the time could not lie, however, and now I feared that the behavior had resurfaced, this time on a much larger scale.
After the ordeal there were even allegations that the abuse had percolated down to the couple’s two children, Susan and Ryan. This last part incensed me, and for several years after the arrest (during which Sophie moved back in with Chuck), I was a very fearful young man.
Questions always were dancing about in my mind: Did Chuck have the potential to one day kill Sophie? His children? Someone else in the neighborhood?
He was an avid hunter, after all, and it was fairly well known that he had accumulated quite an impressive collection of rifles, pistols and even the occasional compound bow over the past 10 years, although I had never actually seen any of them myself.
When the sounds of abuse resurfaced, I felt the rage I had bottled up following the first incident rise right along with it. This time I was determined to act, for I was sure I could save Sophie and her children by simply removing Chuck from the equation, permanently. The neighborhood would hail me as a vigilante hero for stopping the big bad bully, and the authorities would surely see it was a matter of self defense.
So, one night, I acted. I knew Chuck got good and drunk as COPS aired on FX Saturday nights, and that the loud noises usually followed – sure signs of abuse. I decided to preempt the abuse before it could happen this time, and I burst into their TV room with a flurry of gunfire and primal screams. Chuck was dead before he even knew what happened.
I was quickly upon the rest of the home, searching for Sophie and the children so I could whisk them away to the protection of the local authorities, but they were no where to be found. All the rooms, save a makeshift bedroom with a single cot, were empty – Sophie and the kids had moved out again, and it appeared as though it happened quite some time before I had murdered Chuck.
During the trial my lawyer successfully argued that the neighborhood, while momentarily put into chaos by my actions, was overall a better place without Chuck. He was a drunk, he had owned some guns (apparently some receipts proved he had had to sell them to pay bills), and he had abused his wife and maybe his children 10 years ago. The noises that I had heard turned out to be a loud television and Chuck yelling along with it in a drunken stupor, but my lawyer argued that it was not my fault that I confused the sounds of COPS with a real assault. A receipt from a moving van company proved Sophie had left an undetermined amount of time before my attack, and I had simply missed it. In fact, medical records and an examination of the children proved that they were never touched by Chuck, and it was quite possible he had not raised a hand against his wife since the arrest.
I was allowed to go home, scot-free, because I had convinced a jury I was the savior of my neighborhood. I was a religious, well-mannered white man who had eliminated a less-desirable human being from the face of the earth. While evil and a drunk, Chuck had not hit his wife in the time leading up to my attack, but this was deemed unimportant by a jury of my peers, and I was a free man.
I’m not entirely certain, but I heard that Roy, our mailman, peeks into my mail on occasion, so I think he’s going to go next.