Thursday, January 2, 2014

Protector (Trask) by Jochem Vandersteen

 PROTECTOR  a piece of flash fiction by Jochem Vandersteen

I’d done what I’d been doing for a few years now. I became the kid’s friend, got him his patch, rode around with him on my bike. I was there next to him during the court case. I made sure everyone knew he was under my protection. It’s what I do with a big group of bikers around the world.

Joshua was a good kid, eleven years old and heavily into baseball. I got a referral from the local cops, telling me he’d been abused by his baseball coach. The sonofabitch sodomized him on three separate occasions. He’d told the boy to keep quiet, or else he would kill his mother. The boy loved his mother more than anyone in the world, already having lost a father to that dreaded decease called cancer. When the kid started to shit blood he became worried enough to tell his mom and together they went to a doctor where the whole story came out.

Joshua was in bad need of a father figure and a protector, and I became just that. I ached to be more for him. I ached to be an avenger for him, to kick the shit out of that evil bastard that raped him. To send him right to the hell where he belonged. But that wasn’t the way of my group. We were protectors, not avengers.

The phone call came in the middle of the night. I’d fallen asleep behind my laptop, writing a story about the best way to maintain your bike. I’d been making my money as a freelance writer for as long as I’d been riding a bike.

Joshua’s voice was shaking, the fear clearly audible. “He’s here, Trask. The coach is here. You gotta help me.”

“Wait, what do you mean? He’s in your house?” I asked.

“Yes, he…” That’s when the line went dead.

I was as wide awake as anyone can be, adrenaline giving me an energy boost no Monster or Red Bull could ever hope to give. I didn’t even really think about calling the cops. Joshua lived very close to me and on my Harley I’d be there before any cop could. I left my trailer and jumped on my hog.

The devil himself couldn’t have ridden faster than me. I was like a missile, targeted for the kid’s home. In my hurry I almost fell off my bike when I arrived.

The door was open, the lock broken. Splinters of wood covered the floor. I ran inside.

Joshua’s mom was on the floor. On her knees, bleeding from her nose and mouth. She tried to talk to me, but the fear or the blood in her mouth prevented her from it. She just pointed to the stairs.

I understood and ran up them. I prayed the kid was okay. I felt the anger course through my veins at the thought of what that evil bastard might do to him.

The kid’s bedroom. Joshua was sitting on the floor, the coach standing in front of him, dressed in sweats. Big, fat and bald. His fist was frozen beside his temple, ready to strike.

“Asshole,” I said.

The coach turned to face me. He didn’t look happy to see me. I wouldn’t be happy to see a six foot tall guy full of tattoos in biker gear either when I was just beating up a little kid. “What the fuck?”

“Yeah. That’s right. What the fuck. What the fuck are you doing here.”

“I need to teach this little shit a lesson for telling on me. Fucking pretending he didn’t like it.”

Two steps and I was in front of him. One punch and he was on his ass.

I stood over him like he’d been standing over the kid. “You’re the one who’s going to be taught a lesson.”

“Fuck you! You hot for the kid, is that it?” I could hear from the odd way his voice sounded I’d probably broken his nose.

I time traveled like that fucking British ponce does in that TV show. Instead of in a phone booth I traveled back in time with my mind. The man who was supposed to protect, care and love me was on top of me as I was lying on my chest, bent over a chair. I could hear him breathe as clearly as if I was really there.

The coach become that man then. I was so full of hate I boiled over. My right boot connected with his nose so damned fucking hard I thought I’d kick his head from his neck.

It took two cops to peel me off him. When I was done it was clear he’d be a vegetable for the rest of his life.

I’d done what I’d sworn to do. I’d protected the kid, just more permanently then I’d at first set out to do.




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