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J for Justice


 


 


 


The man before him was nothing.


Jarod cracked his knuckles and took a step forward.


The man before him was nothing.


He repeated the words to himself as many times as necessary, until he could accept them as being undeniably true. Closing in on his prey, he began to put away his humanity, allowing room for the anger he felt to run free.


The man before him was nothing.


Even Lyle had some sense of dignity; perverted, but dignity nonetheless. Lyle would kill, rape, steal, extort, eat, but even he would draw a line somewhere. There was a line, yes. A line between what was acceptable from what was not.


The man before him was nothing.


More than a murderer. Less than a man. Less than an animal.


The man before him was nothing.


Animals would kill to survive, men would kill for fun, sometimes for sports. Death, to some extent, could also be viewed as a final reward. A bliss. This man had done far more worse than killing. IF he had killed, maybe Jarod’s anger and resentment toward him wouldn’t be so great.


The man before him was nothing.


Matthew Soromon was a respected District Attorney, a man above suspicion, single father of two, after his wife sudden disappearance. He had a hidden side – a dark side – like most men did; unlike most men, however, he didn’t try to ignore it, his only concern was keeping it out of other people’s knowledge.


He was a man who enjoyed, embraced, needed power; he needed to feel superior to those around him. And his children were the closest to him. They depended on him. They counted on him.


The man before him was nothing.


Far from any possible forgiveness, mercy or redemption, Matthew Soromon would exact his fury on his children; the oldest being six and the youngest only nine months of age. Their young ages didn’t bring him any pity, it only excelled his anger.


Unfortunately for him, his daughter had confessed to her school teacher that ‘her daddy did bad things to her’. It took a while for her pleas to be heard – daddy was a powerful man, after all – but eventually Social Services and the Police were knocking at his front door.


Soromon had started to hit his baby son on a daily basis a few days earlier. It wasn’t punishment, it wasn’t reward; it was simply something he had to do. He felt that everyone had his obligations – to themselves and to the world. Matthew Soromon’s obligations were to teach his children the meaning of pain. Like his parents had done for him.


When the police came, he barricaded himself and took his children hostage. A team of negotiators was called to the scene. After using all options, they decided to move in.


Jarod was the team leader, barely keeping his men under control. He cringed as he saw the recently beaten-up baby lying on the crib at the room at the end of the hallway; he shuddered as he discovered the missing wife, supposed to have abandoned her family a few months earlier, inside a refrigerator in various plastic bags. He almost let himself go both times.


He didn't know how he was able to resist.


The man before him was nothing.


His dark side almost took over but, somehow, Jarod managed to keep his wits and focus on what was truly important at the time: saving the baby's life.


He would deal with the father afterward.


A few hours later, at the ICU, Jarod sat by and watched for the baby’s welfare. His superiors had advised him against creating attachments to the victims; he had often said so himself to his team members.


Discipline, no matter how strong it is, cannot resist the power of humanity. There are limits beyond which man mustn’t go.


Matthew Soromon had, consciously, crossed those limits.


The man before him was nothing.


He had beaten his son, not with anger, but with an almost disgusting calm and peace of mind; he had done it deliberately, like a scheduled event; hitting enough to give pain, stopping short only moments before the comfort of death could appear.


It had been a conscious effort, a calculated step for some unseen, inconceivable purpose only Matthew Soromon would know of.


The man before him was nothing.


Jarod could not – would not – forgive him for this; he would happily make sure Matthew Soromon felt exactly like his children did.


The man before him was nothing.


He knew there would be no sentence passed by the justice system who could do the victims justice. It was even possible he would find a loophole in the law and walk away clean. Being a district attorney, he probably had enough leverage for that. No, he couldn't trust the legal system. Not this time. So he helped him escape prison and took him to an abandoned warehouse.


Matthew Soromon didn’t know the true meaning of the word pain. He thought he did, but his parents had been kind ones, compared to the caretakers Jarod had at The Centre. He would learn that lesson soon enough. Three days hanging by his arms, with nothing but absolute darkness, silence and starvation was the first step to break him.


The man before him was nothing.


Jarod walked closer to the man, his hatred toward him growing non-stop. His wrists were injured for having to sustain his slightly overweight body for too long. Matthew Soromon would remember that pain as pleasant, compared to what he would endure later.


Matthew Soromon looked into Jarod’s eyes and saw hate and resentment mixed with a strange sense of justice; he saw himself for the first time in someone else’s eyes and felt the anticipation of pain. He knew then, almost instantly, it would overwhelm the physical pain itself.


The man before him was nothing.


Jarod embraced such thoughts – allowed them to grow free – and hit Matthew Soromon with a crowbar. He had thought about bringing a cattle prod, like the one used one time with Lyle; except this time he WOULD use it.


Soromon tried to dodge the blow, but he didn't have anywhere to go and trying to escape the punishment only made Jarod’s hatred grow.


The man before him was nothing.


Jarod hit him again. And again. And again.


He knew exactly where to hit. He knew where it would hurt the most. Years of beatings and torture at The Centre had made him an expert.


Matthew Soremon was an amateur. And a pathetic one. His desperate attempts to avoid being hit at certain parts were so ridiculous, Jarod felt obligated to kick him vigorously on the ribs. Any attempt to resist, even to ease the pain, would be regarded by Jarod as something inexcusable, one more reason to increase the level of punishment.


The man before him was nothing.


Blow after blow, bones were broken, blood was spilled. ‘Humanity’s seed of hope’ like Damon had taunted once, had turned into a demon of vengeance. There was no room for mercy, much less for forgiveness.


The man before him was nothing.


Jarod thought about the baby; barely kept alive by a life support system, his brain damaged beyond healing, condemned to live the rest of his life that way unless someone pulled the plug. And that final ounce of dignity had been denied from him by the man who had brought him into the world.


The man before him was nothing.


Matthew Soromon didn’t deserve to live.


The man before him was nothing.


He had crossed the path deliberately and for that he had condemned himself to eternal damnation.


The man before him was nothing.


Soon it would all be over.


The man before him was nothing.


But, just before hitting the final blow, Jarod stopped.


Killing Matthew Soromon would not bring the child back.


The man before him was nothing.


Killing Matthew Soromon would be offering him the comfort he didn’t offer his son.


The man before him was nothing.


He was weak, pathetic, worthless.


The man before him was nothing.


Jarod turned his back on him and left. He would phone the police and tell them to pick up Soromon. No one would know he had been the one responsible for beating up a murderer; no one would even bother. And, more importantly, he would keep himself from going down to his level.





Chapter End Notes:

Everyone has his breaking point. If we don't find a way to let go off our anger, sooner or later we're going to snap. Our daily life frustration, no matter how strong they seem, are no match for the kind of anger and resentment Jarod has inside him. He often takes justice in his own hands, but never to this extent. I tried to take him to the edge as much as I could and allowed him to make his choice.


Any words?








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