Public Service - By Mizeta Moon

When she was still on the force, stakeouts involved stale coffee, donuts, and 7/11 burritos, but the results of her pre-retirement physical changed her lifestyle for good. The doctor was worried that her heart couldn’t survive the constant overload of cholesterol, caffeine, sodium, and sugar, exacerbated by job stress. These days, her surveillance meals included gluten free strawberry scones, Tibetan herbal tea, and superfood salad with fat free dressing. She’d lost weight and ran at least a mile every day along with regular trips to the gym. She needed to be sharp now that she was waging a private war against the dregs of society.

As a cop she’d watched the broken justice system spit unpunished and unreformed criminals back onto the streets to continue preying on hard working citizens. There were times when she arrested the same person three times in a year only to see them on the sidewalk two days later. At the time, all she could do was follow orders and do her job. Now, even though she could go to prison for it, she was doing her best to eliminate the most corrosive elements from the equation. Junkies, thieves, and low-level dealers got left for the cops to deal with. Her targets were sex traffickers, serial rapists, high-volume opiate dealers, etc. Those whose disregard for human life made them unrepentant in their wanton destruction of social dignity. She didn’t consider herself a moralist, simply a pest control agent protecting children and innocents. Though it was like fighting the tide with a teaspoon, she was determined to do something rather than helplessly watch the chaos escalate.

This night, she was parked across the street from a motel where kidnapped teenaged girls were being forced to service local businessmen in order to satisfy their induced addictions to heroin and other drugs. Her targets were a man known as Oracle and his girlfriend/recruiter Big Bev. Big Bev would lure them to parties and Oracle would take care of the rest. Grieving parents could cry for help all they wanted but few returned home. Even when freed, many of them were so far gone that they went back to the life voluntarily. Her informant, who worked at a strip club had called earlier and said that Oracle and Big Bev were planning to meet the head of a biker gang at the motel that evening and sell him a dozen girls for use at their club house. Taking the biker out at the same time would be a bonus.

She watched quietly as the targets arrived, shook hands after surveying the area for possible threats, then went to a room on the motel’s lower tier. According to her informant they always ordered Chinese food to be delivered while negotiating deals. Tucking her pistol into her belt, she slid out of her Jeep, then crept into the shadows of an overhang to await the delivery driver. When they arrived, she made her presence known before they could exit the car. Tapping on the window, she held out two one hundred dollar bills and took possession of the bag. She knew every move from that point on had to be perfect or she’d be the one to die.

Big Bev’s eyes registered surprise as the first silenced round pierced her heart when she opened the door. Oracle and the biker were in the process of snorting lines at the coffee table and were slow to react since no one had ever dared to brace them on their home turf. Stepping over Bev’s body, she shot the biker first since Oracle never carried. She thought about extending and relishing the moment as his hate-filled eyes glared at her but realized delayed gratification would prevent accidental intervention. She did, however, empty the clip into him. Each squeeze of the trigger became payback for hundreds of tortured women. After retrieving her brass and scooping up the bag of cash that might have become misdirected evidence, she pulled the door closed behind her, then calmly walked to her Jeep. What she didn’t need for gas and ammo she’d mail to women’s shelters anonymously. Hopefully, the Chinese food would be tasty. Killing maggots made her hungry.    

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