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The International Writers Magazine: Revenge is Cold in the morning

Donny's Day Out
Bryan Riek
 Donny woke up to his six-thirty alarm as he had done many times before. Dragging his feet to the bathroom on pure instinct alone, pissing in the dark with an unusual accuracy. No time to brush his teeth so he threw on a pair of dirty jeans and a dirty work shirt already covered in dried food. Chugged a glass of water and out the door he went.


The walk to work was the only thing Donny truly liked and looked forward to these days. It was the only time he felt he could empty his mind and be by himself, twenty minutes of bliss in a shit existence. He had made it to the tracks, he was halfway there.

 His mind wandered to a time when he was younger living in his first apartment. Beer cans line the place, along with random passed-out bodies of acquaintances met the night prior. A shit flop-house in a poor run-down part of town that was falling apart. Closed down store fronts and groups of undesirables lined the street.

 It was a magical apartment of booze, drugs, music, and a revolving cast of characters each night with a few recurring regulars.

 Once they had been up all night fuelled by cocaine. It had been a celebration of someone’s birthday, or some other reason to abuse them for an evening.  Donny and his roommate were the last two standing at 5:42 in the morning.

 “What’s wrong with us I feel like doing more how can we maintain this? SHIT I have to work in a few hours is there more beer left in the fridge?" Donny blurted out in succession.
“No way of telling just have to maintain for now we lose all control with long term planning."
 “Found some whiskey; let's drink to this second and another for the next."
 ”We will be alright, I can feel it."

 Two week later he was dead and Donny fled to his brother’s house in the west to recuperate.

 After work Donny found himself in an all night diner. The place served shitty comfort food and cheap beer. Most customers at this time were cooks drinking the nightmare away.

He folded up the papers he was studying and his food was dropped in front of him, a tuna melt with potato salad. He sipped his lukewarm beer pushed the plate to the side and slid his hand inside his coat and molested the .45 magnum resting in the pocket. It was his grandfathers and he inherited it after he passed away from prostate cancer. His grandfather was a strict marine, the opposite of Donny but they both had a love for the shooting range and were their only bond in life.

His mind went to his teenage years. He was at church mouthing along to a hymn, something about god being great. He had long stopped singing along as his questions about absolute faith and his conflicts within were merely deflected with generic phrases like, god works in mysterious ways, but his mind was even more mysterious and it took the time to have actual conversations.

God would have been more useful as a shortcut home or a winning lottery ticket.  God was really the ass end of a cig, a metaphor for our burnt out lives.

This was his last attempt to feel what the others apparently felt around him. No light was showered upon his face with a voice easing his fears. Just his mind telling him this was a waste of precious time.

 He never went back, never felt different.

The water by the river was calm and slow; light ripples caressed the surface when a slight breeze drifted by. Some unknown force always drove Donny to the water; it gave him a safe feeling. Nothing was wrong down here; it all seemed to move away with the flowing water. He drained his flask and chucked it into the river; he pulled the papers out of his pocket, court papers and a letter. The court papers went in the drink and then the letter after a pause.

Who it was for was unimportant now, since it would never be sent. No minds would be swayed by sentences he had formed. Letters written but never sent.

In high school Donny an ex and his best friend went to Jersey for three days. Time spent drinking by the beach until night came and they crawled under a pier to pass out. A way to end the summer leading into another year of school. He remembered lying under the wood planks looking up through the cracks seeing a hazy sky spinning at an unusual rate thinking how could it get any better than this? Wishing he could go back and tell his younger self it didn't and to relish it more than he had.

The friend had both been out of his life for years and years. They had just drifted apart became different people and lost contact.

The ex had fallen out of love with him and in with another. He couldn't blame her for how her heart worked in the end. They had become stale and communication had fallen apart. Her passion turned into that for a distant sibling rather than a lover. Can there be too much comfort between two people that it could make you sick and hate that which you once needed and loved? He did not think so but knew many who did. Comfort scares people away.

Donny took a deep breath of garbage scented air and smiled.

1648 Miranda drive was the address he had memorized and was now standing in front of. The house was on a dead-end street safely tucked away in the hillside, away from any undesirables from town.  It was white with baby blue trim around the windows and doorways. Garage doors were closed housing some sort of overpriced vehicles.
No turning back now. No memories to hold onto. All he was feeling was hatred and a twisted sense of karma.

Donny did a slow and deliberate march to the front door, blood rushing though his body heart pumping it at an ever increasing rate.

The fucking animal deserves this.

He played that mantra over and over in his mind like a scratched CD left to its own devices.

His hand knocked on the front door before any more debate could enter his head. His other hand gripped the gun in his pocket.

The door eventually swung open after what seemed like a few minutes revealing a middle- aged man with Gray streaking the sides of his hair. He was wearing a robe and looked annoyed with his visitor. Within second his expression turned to terror as a gun was shoved into his chest.

 " P…please no my daughter is home." was all he could choke out as he looked in the strangers distant eyes.

 ”You don't recognize me do you." Donny asked " I was just another person in line wasn't I Mr. Roberts, I should say Judge Roberts.  Let’s go inside."

They slowly made their way into the living room, the front door left wide-open. The judge's daughter was sitting on the couch; her eyes went from the cartoons to the gun in the intruder’s hand.
" Daddy wha--"
“Tell her to shut up." Donny cut in.
“Be quiet honey, it's alright, just a game Daddy's playing."

 Rage shot across Donny face as he tensed his grip on the gun. “This is just a game for you isn't it? You decide people’s fate, their entire lives with a paragraph of information and no perspective line of scum to get through in your eyes. Guilty until proven guilty."

 “I put you away?  Son it's my job to do the best I can with the information presented to me, it may seem a little callous but it's the only way to get things done in that climate. I, of course don't remember you or the exact case, but she's not a part of this."  The judge glanced over to his daughter.

 Donny had served five years in jail for a crime he was later acquitted of.  His life was no longer there when he got out and killing this man had consumed his thoughts. Now he realized killing him would do nothing, but he needed to destroy him. His kind wanted to go to someplace else a better day of good memory but he would not let it go.

“For the rest of your life you will remember me and what she could have been."

Jenny awoke to what sounded like two large firecrackers going off in the distance. She took a sleepy stride to the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee. She glanced out the window and saw the Roberts door was wide open. Weird she thought as she grabbed a crossword.  Mr. Roberts was capable of taking care of his own front door she thought and sat down for her morning routine.

© Bryan Reik May 2011
Olympia WA

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