#18 Johanna Knight – Soul-searcher

| November 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

At the end of the night, all I can really do is sit and ask myself “did I make the world a better place today?”

Some days I can say, “Yes. One more piece of scum is off the streets and one more honest citizen is sleeping safely at home tonight.”

But then there are the other days. The days I wasn’t quick enough. The days I wasn’t strong enough. The days I wasn’t strong enough. Those are the days that end in body counts. Those days, I have to answer my question, “No. I haven’t changed a damn thing. The world’s still ugly and violent, and the good die while the bad prosper.”

Kyle made me promise that I wouldn’t focus on the ones I couldn’t save. “Look to the living. That’s why we do this.” He said that every night. It was his mantra. It was also the last thing he ever said to me, right before he went into the building for the children.

We’d been tracking a sick messed up man named Lock ’n Key. His schtick was kidnapping the children of parents he felt were too lenient. Something about how his mother wasn’t strict enough on him as a kid. If the parents resisted too much during the kidnapping, then they were expendable lessons to teach the child a lesson.

By the time we caught him, he already grabbed his next kid. We got to the house just minutes too late. The bodies of the parents were still cooling.

But in his haste to escape us, he hadn’t taken the usual precautions. We were able to find his hideout, and I’m not going to deny that I enjoyed beating the ever-lovin’ crap out of him to force him to tell us where the kid was.

When Kyle went in, it wasn’t until I saw the sick grin on Lock ’n Key’s face that I knew it was a trap. I tried to radio Kyle, tell him to get out, but the moment he answered, the charges blew and the walls collapsed on to him.

I stared at the rubble. There was no way that he had survived. I turned to the psycho. My hands were clenched. I was going to beat this man to death with my bare hands. I would have too, but there was a sound over the mike. A cough. A single cough.

It was a hope, just a glimmer of hope. And that was all I needed. I dropped the little shit and attacked rubble with everything I had. The coughs became fainter, and I threw everything I had into moving the rocks.

Then the cough came louder. Not from the radio, but actually from one of the piles surrounding me. I shifted a rock and found a little pocket where a support beam had fallen. And there she was. It was almost a miracle to see him lying there. But he didn’t move when I shook him. I checked his pulse, but his body was already cooling. And then there was another cough, coming from underneath Kyle.

The girl. It was the girl. Kyle had found her. He must have been carrying her out when the blast started, shoved her into the alcove and covered her.

When the police arrived, Lock ‘n Key was handcuffed to a light post. I didn’t kill him, because Kyle wouldn’t have wanted that, but he won’t be using his arms or legs for awhile.

That night was the first night I didn’t ask myself anything when I got home. The answer was right there in the empty chair beside me.

Category: 2011, Superhero

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