Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paragons, Part One

Warning:  This story contains mature elements.

He slowly walked behind the couple, the earbuds he wore serenading him with peaceful classical music. He had spotted them at the theater, and they looked to be quite the romantic couple, very much in love, very much in lust. The man couldn't keep his hands off of her, holding her tight to him, his arm around her waist, achingly close the the swell of her magnificent buttocks, which were only enhanced by the slinky evening dress she wore. James couldn't blame the man—this woman, whom he had heard referred to as 'Miss Wilson'—was quite the beauty. She walked with an elegance and grace that seemed almost out of place on a woman so young—James estimated the two to be somewhere in their early to mid twenties—and it was obvious that she had come from a life of privilege.

She had called the man Bruce at one point, so it seemed that, most likely, that was his name. It would be an odd nickname, at any rate. Bruce stood a few inches taller than Miss Wilson, and seemed to be in very good shape. He had a strong jaw, and his teeth flashed with an almost blinding whiteness when he had laughed earlier, before leaving the theater. His build suggested at least previous athletics experience, and James guessed that he played football in high school, maybe college. Definitely quarterback. There was no way this guy played support—no, he was the star.

The two were walking slower, now, and James adjusted his step to match their pace as he reached up and loosened his tie, pulling it over his head and stuffing it in his pocket. The tie was silk, and Italian—he preferred to not soil it with blood, if it could be avoided. He unbuttoned the neck of his shirt—also silk, but that would have to stay on—as well as the next one down.

The two had stopped ahead, staring into each others' eyes with all of the hope and promise that love can bring. They were happy, high on this elusive chemical in their brain that they provided each other the means to create. They were each a drug for the other person.

James hated drugs.

He reached into the top of his shirt with both hands, pulling his 'mask' out. It was part of the shirt he wore underneath, one that extended to cover the bottom half of his face, hiding everything under his eyes.

She saw him first, as he continued to advance, and her eyes narrowed in confusion before widening in fear a moment later. After all, what kind of a man wears a mask as he walks the street of the city so long after dark?

Before she could cry out, alert her companion to the danger, James's hand reached inside his suit jacket and came in contact with the cold, smooth, steel cylinder. He brought it out as the sound began to escape her mouth, and with a flick of his wrist, the asp extended as she screamed, “Bruce!”

Her boyfriend, fiance, husband, whatever, began to turn, but before he completed, the steel asp slammed into the side of his face, spinning him on his feet to face nearly completely away from Miss Wilson before he fell to the ground. James thought—he wasn't sure—that he had felt a bit of give during that contact, and he wondered if he had dislocated or perhaps broken Bruce's jaw.

Still...that was a question for later. Not much later, but later, nonetheless. Now, the question of the moment was, how many targets did he have? His head turned slightly as his eyes flicked to Miss Wilson, frozen in fear, her breathing quick, her panicked eyes shifting crazily between Bruce laying on the ground and the strange man wearing a mask standing before her, a steel rod in his hand. James had just began to decide that he had two targets this merry night when she turned, running clumsily in her high heels.

Well,” James said, his voice calculated and precise, containing just the slightest hint of an English accent—he had spent two years at Oxford, bettering himself—as he crouched down before the man prone on the ground. “That was rather rude, wasn't it? The lady didn't even have the common decency to utter an apology before she fled like you were absolutely worthless.”

James didn't stop Bruce as the man's hands pushed against the ground. They stood together, a few feet apart, the asp dangling casually from the attacker's hand, and James noted that it appeared he had indeed broken poor Bruce's jaw, if the large dent in the side of his face was any indication. Blood poured slowly and steadily out of his mouth, which he seemed incapable of fully closing. He tried to talk, but got nothing out but jumbled syllables that strung together to absolute nonsense.

You'll have a bit of trouble talking, old chap,” James said, his brow ever-so-slightly furrowed, as if in sympathy. “Your jaw appears to be quite broken.”

The man ignored him, trying to communicate again, this time with nonsensical syllables that were shouted, as opposed to merely spoken, and his arms thrown out to his side, emphasizing the point that he was trying and failing to make. James flinched as a spatter of blood flew out of Bruce's mouth, hitting him perhaps an inch away from his left eye. He frowned under his mask, and brought his free thumb up, wiping away the drop of scarlet life, before looking down to see that his white shirt had indeed been fairly soiled, with drops of blood sprinkled merrily over it. He couldn't see for sure in this light, but he knew that his jacket was going to be just as bad.

That's just not going to come out,” he said, shaking his head and sighing. His eyes rose to Bruce. “That was just unnecessary, Bruce. Don't you have any appreciation for a good suit?”

For the first time, anger finally overcame the pain evident in Bruce's eyes, and James could see, clear as day, the thought that went through Bruce's head in a split-second. He can't talk to me like that! Bruce was thinking. I'm Bruce Something-or-Other! I'm going to kick his ass!

Sure enough, Bruce's fist shot out in a fairly impressive right hook, and James realized that Bruce had quite possibly been quite the bully once upon a time—the man had been in a few fights. Still, his fist met nothing but air, as James quite casually stepped back, just out of the range of the blow. Bruce snarled unintelligibly, and his left fist shot forward, in a straight punch. James turned as he reached his left hand across his body, grabbing the fist and pulling Bruce forward, off-balance. His right hand snaked back, and the asp crashed with devastating force against Bruce's elbow. A satisfying snap rang out, and Bruce's arm was quite suddenly bent the entirely wrong way. Still, James pulled, before finally releasing him and spinning around, crouching in mid-spin and swinging the asp once more, increasing ten-fold the force of the weapon as it smashed into Bruce's left knee through his well-tailored suit pants.

Bruce screamed in pain, and once again he fell towards the street, only his right arm heeding his command to break his fall. He screamed again as he landed and echoes of pain reverberated through his body.

James tilted his head, staring at the prone man. Was he finished yet?

He took a step forward and raised his leg, stomping on the back of Bruce's injured knee with his expensive alligator-skin shoes.

Now he was finished.

He smiled underneath his mask and began to walk away, slamming the tip of the asp against a light pole as he passed, condensing the weapon once more before he returned it to his inner pocket. He pulled down his mask a block or two later, and then buttoned his suit jacket, hiding the blood before hailing a cab. He gave the driver directions to his building, and paid him with a hundred-dollar bill before taking the elevator to his penthouse.

It had been a very relaxing night.



©2011 Cerebral Vomit DESIGNED BY JAY DAVIS