Second Draft

After a long day of work, mark enters the elevator of his building. He punches the number of his floor and attempts to breath as little as possible while riding up with the unmistakable smell of human urine. He looks to the floor and is not quite sure what the piles of brownish-grayish substance was spread all over the elevator. He tries not to move. No doubt it was the rest stop for a bum. The walls are covered in graffiti. Each name at war with the other among crazy zigzagging letters, much like the people of this city.

He reaches his floor and it comes as no surprise that the cracked walls of his thirteenth floor are covered in shadows. A group of punk teenagers and hooligans must have broken them again. Typical. It was most likely done in order to conceal a mugging. Or worse. Maybe they just did it to plain ol’ mess with the superintendent of the building.

The sounds of muffled yelling and crying from the adjacent apartments welcome him home. He thinks to himself, “what could that poor woman have done to deserve what was probably another brutal beating?”

Mark takes solace that at least he hears her crying. It is the silence that would scare him most of all.

He fumbles in his pant pockets and finds his keys. Lucky for him today, the door was not busted in. “One point for the good guys”, he mutters to himself.

Home, sweet home. Where the wall papers are creeping off the walls, where his only company are the roaches, where the flickering fluorescent light bulb sheds light on his one sofa bed and 10 inch television set. Also, it reminds him he needs to buy another light bulb. More problems.

He moves towards his sofa and turns on the television to the news channel. A very young and very attractive reporter comes on. She says, “Police are still on the lookout for Charlie Bates, a man guilty of kidnapping, raping and brutally murdering three children several days ago. Police have lost custody of the assailant and have no leads on his current whereabouts. Any and all tips would be appreciated-”.

Mark turns off the television.

He walks to the bathroom and turns on the light. He makes his way to the hand wash. As he runs the water and rinses his hands, washing away the grime of a hard day’s work, he looks at himself in the mirror.

He begins to talk to his reflection on the murky mirror, “those were just children, Charlie. Their whole lives ahead of them. Just children and you cut them short.”

Mark begins drying his hands on a cruddy towel he picked up from the bathroom rack barely attached to the wall. He then tosses the towel to the ground and begins searching the cabinet beneath his hand wash.

“Why do the scum of this city prey on the weak?” he asks. From the far end of the cabinet he pulls out a duffel bag. From the sound of it, it sounds heavy with tools. He stands up and takes a deep breath. “Can you tell me why, Charlie?”

He ten pulls the plastic curtain of his shower and reveals a man with his arms and legs bound together. His mouth was gagged and he appeared to have suffered a heavy blow to the head. There was blood stained on his clothing and there was a tear on his head still protruding blood steadily.

The man struggled to maintain focus but as he strained to concentrate his eyes on Mark, Mark was busy putting on plastic gloves. Mark crouches closer to the man lying in the tub. He looks straight into his eyes, which were now wild and blood shot, and says to him, “You, Charlie, are the evil that roams free in Metro City. You are the scum who preys on the weak and it is your wickedness that has brought pain to three innocent children and countless other lives.”

Mark pulls out a drill from his duffle bag and grads hold of a very large and rusted nail. The whirring of the drill out shouted the muffled screams of Charlie. He shut his eyes and braced for the impending pain to come. He could only imagine what death was already decided for him. Mark, with a righteous demeanor, was going to make sure he took his time. He wanted Charlie to suffer for as long as his body could take it before his last breath escaped his bloody and beaten body.

(I hope you like what was here so far. I am not sure if I want to finish the story like this exactly. Any suggestions for where to take this story?)

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5 Comments so far

  1.   margarita on November 15th, 2011

    O_O holy fuck charlie’s in mark’s bathtub?! totally didnt see that coming…well when he started talking to his own reflection I knew something was up. So mark is a vigilante? is he supposed to be a hero b/c its kind of odd for a hero (in the typical sense) to inflict pain even on a serial killer. so what exaclty is mark classified as? I like the story thus far and I definitely became eager to find out what happens next when I found out that Charlie is in Mark’s tub however I was a bit turned off from the story when mark decides to torture and kill charlie. Otherwise I wanna know more about mark, esp how he got a hold of charlie. Who is mark really?

  2.   samantha on November 15th, 2011

    Mark reminds me of Dexter but less organized and more driven by his own personal passion than by the means of justice. Does mark do this a lot? Does he look for scum on a regular basis and kill them? You don’t wan’t it to be exactly like Dexter but maybe you can give some brief history about Mark into the psychology of why he wanted to seek this man out and kill him rather than let the justice system deal with him. You spend a lot of time explaining where and how he lives. Maybe you can use that in explaining more about him.

  3.   samantha on November 15th, 2011

    Btw, I thought this story was going somewhere completely different before I read on. I thought Mark was Charlie for a second and he was talking to himself.

  4.   madycha on November 16th, 2011

    i agree with Samantha i thought Mark was Charlie for that brief moment. The description of where Mark lives really enhances the mood. What doesn’t make it boring description (for me) is that its interjected with either something Mark says or the narrator says something like “Typical. It was most likely done in order to conceal a mugging. Or worse. Maybe they just did it to plain ol’ mess with the superintendent of the building.” This sentence sort of put the narration in an awkward place ” From the sound of it, it sounds heavy with tools.” It just disrupted the flow for me. almost too reporter-like. this is pretty heavy stuff though. I don’t think the story should end here theres too much left to guess. i want to know what happens next!

  5.   jenny abeles on November 29th, 2011

    Hi Richard. You have some astute comments above, and , as Sam points out, this is a scenario highly reminiscent of _Dexter_, so you are challenged in finding ways to distinguish Mark–who he is, why he turned vigilante, why torture is part of the program, how he ended up in that gross building, and so on. In discovering more about your character, you may discover where the story is going. I also agree with Madison that your writing needs some editing in places, attention to a more elegant flow and ease of expression. Curious to see where this is going–post questions and ideas for comment if you want advice as you write…

    Keep writing!

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