I couldn’t tell who he was, but he certainly wasn’t the mailman I was expecting at my door.
“You know what the problem with people is don’t you? They never change. Sure, you can point to the extremes and say person ‘A’ is very different than person ‘B’, or how person ‘C’ made this miraculous transformation overnight, but that’s just looking at the pigments, not the canvas underneath or the tools that put them there.”, He said, adjusting his overcoat.
I looked around slowly, expecting a hidden camera crew to reveal itself.
“In this case, its the human psyche. We’re all wired to be random, and for the most part these random interactions tend to gravitate to the darker side in the absence of any kind of social moral code, or perceived danger from legal prosecution and enforcement.”, He lit a cigarette, smoke trailing upwards in a lazy contrail.
“Don’t believe me? Lets take a walk down the street, shall we?”, He grabbed my arm strongly, and I followed, out of curiosity and the strange feeling that we had met before.
“See that guy?”, he stopped and pointed, “Sure, he looks like an average homeowner, trimming his shrubs with the dedicated precision of a bean-counter, but that hides some rather awful history. You see, I know what he was in prior lives. One particularly nasty past was his life as a child slaver, he’d get them young and chain them up – keeping the really pretty ones for himself of course, while selling off the ‘trash’ as he called it for a tidy profit.”
He drew up suddenly, “One moment, I have to attend to this.”, He strode quickly to the fence where the man was trimming the tops of the hedges.
A quick snick of a blade and a four foot telescoping razor thin shiv penetrated the shrub trimmer’s abdomen, protruding out his back. Uttering a short squeak, the man fell behind the bushes, legs twitching.
Walking back to me slowly, folding his blade, “Where were we? Ah yes, the slaver. Well, that wasn’t the only thing, but you get the idea. I can’t allow any of those people to keep on living, having a chance at a normal happy life. For what? They ruined so many others. Its time to even the score.”, He smiled grimly, re-holstering his now compacted weapon.
He then turned suddenly and stared deep into my eyes.
“Good. So far so good. You better keep your nose clean, or we might have a little talk.”, he then strode away, angling towards a woman walking alone in the park.