Perry thought it would be harder than it was, this business of killing a man.  Even knowing what sort of things this monster, this pedophile had done, he’d thought it would be harder.
When he found out that there was someone like 
that, someone who preyed on little kids, in his own apartment building, the knowledge had refused to leave him.  Perry saw the pedophile in the halls, on the way to and from whatever place he spent his day.  It made Perry shake just to look at him, walking around so casually.
Did anyone else in the building know?  How could they?  They were all so 
polite to him.  And there were children in that building.
Perry didn’t feel like he had any option.  He had taken the first opportunity to sneak up the fire escape to the pedophile’s apartment.  The window was open to let in the early fall cool.  The pedophile was in the kitchen, the radio was on low.
Perry was quiet.  He snuck up behind the pedophile with a length of wire, and pulled it tight around his neck.  It took nearly no time at all.
Perry felt no guilt for what he was doing.  Someone sick like that, he never should have been let out of prison.
A set of keys was jingling in the hallway, bring Perry out of his musing.  Pedophile or not, he thought that it would not do well to be found hovering over a dead man.  He started to slink  back towards the window.
Then he heard shouting from the apartment next door.
“Dennis, I told you to stay away!” a woman screamed.  That was Hannah Lewis.  Dennis was the boyfriend she’d kicked out, loudly, almost a month ago.
Perry heard a crash.  Hannah was screaming, “Help!  Mr. Johnson!”
Perry ran to the door, nearly tripping on a baseball bat set next to it.  Hannah’s door was still open.  He ran into her apartment.
Dennis had thrown Hannah through the coffee table.  She was laying in the broken wood and porcelain from the brick a brack.  Dennis stood over her, holding a crowbar.
“Hey!” Perry yelled, “Get out or I’ll call the cops!”
Dennis fled.  Apparently he wasn’t up to much past beating on girls.
Perry helped Hannah from the remains of the table.  “Thank you,” she said, tears welling in her eyes.  “I really thought he was going to kill me this time.”
“Do you want me to call an ambulance or something?” Perry asked.  ” Is there anyone who can come stay with you?”
“No, thank you,” Hannah said.  “I’m sure Mr. Johnson will be here in a minute, and he’ll stay with me.”

     “Who’s Mr. Johnson?” Perry asked.

     “The man who lives next door.  He’s been helping me with this situation with Dennis.”

     Perry helped her to the couch, and thought back to the baseball bat he’d tripped over.  “Are you going to call the police?” he asked.

     “No.  Dennis is always gone by the time they get here.  They’re no help.”

     “I don’t know that you can really trust Mr. Johnson,” Perry said.  “I’ve heard some things about him.”

     Hannah laughed out loud.  “You heard about him being on that website for sex offenders?  Yeah, he told me about that.  Even showed me the arrest report.  He didn’t do anything wrong.  He was dating a girl who was younger than him in high school.  They got caught messing around one night, and he got arrested.  I wish people would leave him alone about that.”

     She stood up.  “I’m make some tea.  Do you have time for a cup?”

If you liked this story, please share it! And don’t forget to check out my short story collection, Days and Other Stories.



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