Lately, concerned about the future where we ALL have to spend the rest of our lives, I’ve assumed the persona of a preteen girl online using the picture of one of my granddaughters. Devastated by her father’s lust, Alana committed suicide years ago, but I had other offspring. No child need be molested! Laws didn’t stop the men and, too often, there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them. It was a heavy burden to bear yet someone had to step forward.
Vermin swarmed! They came in droves—young, old, rich, poor, from every walk of life—daring to steal the innocence of a child.
Mission accomplished, I returned to an empty abode and the pulsating light of my computer monitor to notice still more never-ending messages … 150! I’d only been gone an hour at the most. I clicked on the newest entry.
“Can we meet?”
I slumped into the chair to type back. “When and where? I’m so anxious to learn what it is to be loved.”
The typist--probably like me pretending to be young—responded: “How does tonight sound? Can you get away?”
“Meet me downtown by the bowling alley at midnight, Hon. We’ll have a night to remember!”
“IBT!” I typed the shorthand for ‘I’ll be there!’
I made no attempt to dress differently or look younger. Was I avenging Alana’s suicide? Did it matter? My intentions were good—to rid my corner of the world of child molesters. Was that evil? Was “I” evil? My victims were too numerous to stop now. I was on a rampage!
The equipment, still in the trunk of my worn, old, blue truck, was seldom removed. I voluntarily did landscaping for others--a community service—and was held in high esteem. My life was God, family and church.
My newer vehicle, a car, for grocery shopping, medical appointments and other mundane stuff was in the garage by the house.
Backing the old, blue truck out of the driveway a little before midnight, few people out and about, I parked a block from the bowling alley. I walked the rest of the way hoping to waylay the old coot. Thin, gnarly, untrimmed bushes would provide cover for his body until I drove the truck over to pick up his remains.
Yet, I was startled from my reverie when a familiar voice rose. “Nanny, what on earth are YOU doing out at this time of night?”
It was my former son-in-law, Orin! He’d aged considerably while in prison, lost a few pounds and gone bald but there was no mistaking that voice! I had no idea the creep got paroled but Alana wasn’t his only victim. Why hadn’t the man recognized his daughter? I used a fictitious name but, to snare Orin made my heart nearly burst. How long had they sentenced him? Fifteen years. Time had flown!
“I couldn’t sleep,” I murmured softly. “I thought some of my old friends might be down at the alley and I could recruit them to help me spruce this place up.”
Though it was spring, there wasn’t a flower in sight. The place was unkempt, rundown, dumpy.
“It definitely needs sprucing to brighten the place up,” Orin dryly intoned. He nervously peered around … waiting. It HAD to be HIM!
“No one told me you were out,” Nanny threw a curve ball. “I would’ve protested just like I did every other time you were up for parole.”
His laughter limp, Orin nodded. “Everyone thought you were too old to still be alive!”
They eyed one another, neither backing down, “I’d best go in and see to my project.” Nanny turned to wiggle a finger in Orin’s face. “YOU’D best crawl back in the gutter before I call the police. THIS,” she motioned toward the bowling alley, “is a violation of your parole. GIT before I change my mind. I’ve got a cell and I know how to use it!”
Orin smirked but silently backed off. “See you in hell, Nanny!”
Nanny went in the bowling alley but didn’t venture far. She stood in the dark doorway watching Orin in the shadows. Her shovel was hidden to the rear of the alley. All she needed to do was exit the other side, mosey up behind him and hit him over the head with it once.
Everything went exactly as Nanny planned … smooth! Orin lay hidden alongside the shovel.
Nanny hastened to her truck, pulled noiselessly alongside the bushes and, in moments, both were loaded. Mewed softly, tuned to be quiet, the blue truck clawed the gravel before moving out onto the pavement.
Sheriff Johns, binoculars in hands, peered at the scene without alarm. “Another pervert has met the Maker. It’s a good thing Nanny’s doing, you know.”
His deputy, squatted beside him, whispered meekly. “You set this up? I knew you recognized Alana right off.” Youthful ignorance gnawed at his conscious. “Shouldn’t we arrest her?”
White-haired, aging, Sheriff Johns, the whites of his eyes bulging, snarled. “Why on earth would anyone want that poor woman to suffer? She’s a saint! If I could, I’d deputize her and give her a key to the city!”
Clueless, the deputy would eventually learn that Patricia Johns, the Sheriff’s only daughter, another of Orin’s victims, resided in an asylum for the insane.
Sandra S. Corona is an illustrator, poet, short story writer who lives in Central Oregon. Published while still in high school, she's listed in "Who's Who of American Women, Special 25th Anniversary Edition, 2006."