Vengeance. It is a funny thing. Nine simple letters, V-E-N-G-E-A-N-C-E. It means “punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.” I want to be clear, I have been both injured and wronged. I have been injured many times before, often by my own stupid hand, but this time is different. This time…is where I take my stand.
Before I exact what may possibly be the most justified act of vengeance in the history of mankind, I feel it prudent to explain my history, so that whatever happens, there is a record of the transgressions that have befallen me, and the hypocrisy of the system that has given rise to a demon that must now be exorcised. That demon is officer Todd Storm.
It started simple enough — I was floating down the river with several friends, freshly graduated out of high school, and looking to rage. In anticipation of the river float with my buddies, we had done the only logical thing we could think of, which was to start drinking at five in the morning, and arrive completely fucked up to the river four hours later. As we hopped off the bus, we saw a bird — not just any bird, mind you, a crane. A fucking crane. How dare that fucking crane steal the name of the construction vehicle that builds skyscrapers? WHERE DOES THAT BIRD GET OFF WITH RANDOM THEFT OF A VEHICLE’S NAME?? Obviously, we wouldn’t stand to have a name thief take part in the joy of our float, so we chased it off.
Later on, my buddy Travis’ girlfriend was trying to bum a cigarette by doing the only thing she knew how to do: flash her boobs at random strangers. She had a decent rack, but several hours of floating had left her with a nasty tan line. One man was rather curt to her and called her a hooker. Travis wasn’t about to have a random guy call his girl a hooker, but he understood that the root of the problem needed to be fixed and yelled at his girlfriend to put her top back on. Immediately after that was the first time I met The Storm.
He rolled up to the scene with another officer, who tried to use his jacket to cover up Travis’ girlfriend. She was rather upset about being called a hooker, and was in no mood to wear a cop’s sweaty jacket. Then, this fucker comes and punches her square in the boob. Travis charged the guy who pulls a fucking shotgun on us, which he fires right at another floater with a bag of Franzia and made the guy shit his pants. After that, he shoots a kid in the face and kills him. We made the executive decision to get the fuck out of the river, and away from that lunatic. Eight weeks of counseling helped me deal with damage The Storm caused, and I thought I would never again be subject to his legacy of perverse justice and death.
I was wrong.
I was entering my second semester of college, a newly initiated member of one of the higher tier houses. Not bad for a kid who’s mother was some Swiss lady who ran what she called an “orphanage,” but was actually a child mill run by four women who were trying to cultivate professional athletes. She died a week after I was born. She threw herself from the third story window, attempting to evade capture from the police who had raided the complex.
I was bounced around foster homes for a while, and finally found a decent match with a family in Dubuque, Iowa. My foster father was a preacher who had married a woman from Jacksonville, Florida, who was a reformed meth-addict who’s autobiography, Walking Through the Eye of the Storm, had recently become a best seller.
I digress. It was February, the snow had come down pretty hard the night prior, and the school officially called the first snow day of the year. Obviously, my brothers and I were pretty pumped. We were on our way out to the bar around 9:30ish as we walked by the statue of the school’s founder. It was tradition to rub the dome of the statue’s head during snow days. I wasn’t sure why — the guy was pretty racist — but if rubbing his head would fill our campus with more white stuff, I was all for it. We saw the campus security guard take a pull from his canteen, which, given the skill for booze-sniffing I had picked up, I reckoned was filled with Johnnie Walker Red, by far the foulest of the whiskeys I had to ingest during pledgeship. The drunk security guard told us to keep on walking and we told him to “fuck a doberman.” We laughed and made plans to come back after the bar and rub the statue’s dome.
As we were walking back from the bar past the statue, four of my buddies started climbing the statue. Suddenly, there was burst of light and a huge explosion that knocked three of the climbers off of the statue. Then, my worst nightmare became a reality. A drunken Todd Storm rushes out of the bushes and began firing beanbag rounds at all of us. I took off like a fucking rocket. I was almost out of range of his gun, but the fucker got me in the back of the knee. The doctor said that the beanbag fired out of Storm’s gun wasn’t the standard-issue beanbag used for riot-suppression. Storm had created a beanbag made out of linked pieces of razor-wire and filled it, not with #9 lead shot, but with #4 lead shot, which is four times heavier than #9. The impact of the round popped my MCL, ACL, and caused a partial tear in my meniscus. After all of the surgeries I can finally walk again, but I have a serious limp and have to use a cane. Storm turned me into fucking Doctor House. The town then had the nerve to offer Storm a job as a campus police officer.
Even after killing a kid in front of me, throwing explosives at me during a snow day, and taking away my ability to walk like a normal person, Storm, the specter that haunted my every nightmare, the fiend that caused me to need treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, TWICE, had to one-up everything he had ever done to me. It was eight in the morning, and I had just come back from breakfast. I was sitting, watching TV in the lounge and I hear several loud bangs followed by the sound of glass hitting the ground. I covered my eyes, hoping against hope that it wasn’t one of Storm’s flash grenades. They went off one at a time, and then I heard the back door get kicked in. It was here that I recognized my only opportunity for survival. Still covering my eyes, I hobbled my way to the back door. As the second team got hit by the homemade grenade, which lit my shirt on fire, I sidestepped the rear entrance team, which was now laying on the ground, screaming that they were blinded. I almost felt sorry for them.
I hid in the bushes behind the house and watched Storm and his cronies lead my brothers away from the house. I wish I could have done something, but I was unarmed, and even at my drunkest I could only take four or five campus police officers. I knew that the time for action would come later. It was right then and there that I decided to enact my revenge on Todd Storm. He would pay for what he did to me. He would pay for what he did to my brothers. I would be the reckoning force that would bring the demon Storm to his knees. My old life was over. This fucker is going to burn. The flame of my vengeance will engulf everything Storm loves, and then, when he has nothing left, I will end his psychotic tyranny. Todd Storm is going down. HE WILL BURN AT THE HANDS OF PAT FLAME.
To be continued…