I came to the conclusion many years ago that life sucks. I even managed to figure out the main reason this was an undeniable fact. Most people are ignorant, uncaring assholes whose only concern is themselves. If I sound bitter, it's because I am.
I suppose I should back my revelation up with some research for the non-believers. My name is Sam Robinson, and I'm forty-three at the time I'm writing this. I grew up in a typical middle class home and had what most would consider to be a great childhood. Hell, I did myself. I had great parents, for starters. They supported me in everything I did, and there was a lot of genuine love in our house. It was outside that was the problem.
I think my real education on the way things were began in high school. I was always a big kid. For some reason, the others my age thought that meant I was some kind of bully. That one was hard to figure out since I never caused any trouble. I only had two fights before I got to the ninth grade, and those were ones I hadn't started. My classmates kind of steered clear of me after that. It seemed that the only ones who wanted to be my friends were after something. It made life a little lonely, but I learned to deal with it.
Teachers even stereotyped me, especially when I started playing football. It seems being large also equated to stupid in their minds. I was a lot of things, but dumb was not one of them. My mom reamed out a few of them severely when they automatically assumed my grades were a result of cheating. Most of them quickly learned to keep their thoughts to themselves. My mom could get really vicious when it came to me being unjustly accused. Now if I really did cheat, that would've been an entirely different story! There's no way in hell I would even think of pissing my folks off like that. Disappointing them was unthinkable. Personal responsibility and doing what is right were the backbone of their philosophy of life.
I don't mean for it to sound like their weren't some exceptions. After all, exceptions prove the rule, right? My team mates included some of those. They were sorted into the same pigeonhole I was. Some deserved the distinction less than I did. There was the occasional teacher who understood, too. My metal shop teacher was the most influential, though there were a couple of others.
Mister Garner was also a big guy. In fact, he was huge. He could also work magic with almost any metal, and I found that I had the knack myself. He encouraged my ability constantly, and I did things I had trouble believing myself. I credit him for my chosen vocation later in life, but I'll get to that when the time comes.
As a football player I was good, but not great. I played the line both ways, and made all conference twice. It wouldn't be good enough for any kind of meaningful scholarship though. My grades were the same. I had a solid 3.5 G.P.A., but so did tons of other scholarship applicants. Since I refused to make my parents go into debt to fund my further education, I saw only one way to eventually get there. I joined the Navy.
My education on the facts of life continued. I signed up for the Seabees, but that wasn't where I landed. I don't recall volunteering for the SeALs, but that's where I ended up. It was a closely held secret to me. As far as the parents knew I was building and maintaining barracks and facilities in Afghanistan. That worried them enough. If I'd told them what I was really doing they'd have had a heart attack.
I did my time and then some before getting out of the service. Re-enlisting had been an easy decision to make at the time. I actually believed we were making a difference then. That was until the new administration came in and we were suddenly cast as the bad guys by our own government. I got out, got my degree, and set up shop as a sculptor and blacksmith in a small southern town.
At first, my blacksmith skills paid the rent. Even the replica weapons I made and the gunsmith work I did brought in more than the sculpture for a few years. Eventually, they started to sell. I was doing quite well when everything went to hell.
I knew the possibilities were good that I would be killed or wounded while I was in the service, but I thought my parents were safe. That wasn't the case. Some American cities can be more hazardous than the battlefield, and Chicago was one of them. I was called there from my sleepy southern retreat to bury the only two people I had ever loved.
It was a typical home invasion in the beginning, but dad never was one to cower in the corner. One of the things taken was his old .45, but there were three spent shell casings next to his chair in the living room. One of the thugs didn't walk away, and another was wounded. Unfortunately, there were five of them. Four did walk away, but one needed help doing it. They only had time for a quick "snatch and grab". My mom's jewelry box, dad's 1911, and mom's purse were the only things missing. Unless you counted their medicine. The police suspected drugs were the objective, since both of my parents were frequent customers at the drugstore. They weren't in the best of health, and were taking several medications.
When I got there for the funeral, something I considered even worse began. They caught the guys, and what I thought should be a simple trial began. It was anything but. The defense claimed that the murderer's confessions were tortured out of them, and they had enough on the officers in question to make the jury listen. It seems they had found others who claimed the same thing had happened to them. The officers denied it, but it didn't seem to matter. It didn't even matter that the asswipes who killed my parents were obviously guilty. I still can't understand how they were able to walk, but they did. I decided in that instant that they wouldn't be walking for long.
It would take some time, but I would see justice done. That's when I began to plan. I was the lone beneficiary and as soon as the will was probated, I sold their house. With that, my savings, and the proceeds from their life insurance, I began to look for a suitable place to move my business.
My occupation wasn't tied to any location, and the move wasn't hard to make. I hated leaving the home I'd made for myself and returning to the town I disliked so much, but it was necessary. Finding the perfect spot to locate my studio wasn't easy. There was some strict criteria involved, and few places matched it.
I found it after much research. There weren't many suitable places, and even less that were up for sale or lease. The warehouse I ended up with was structurally sound, but in serious need of renovation. It had a loft apartment, and a huge area to work in. That part was easy to find. It was my main objective that had been difficult. I wanted access to the old Chicago Tunnel Company's paths.
They had been abandoned long ago, but I had a use for them. What I had planned required more than a little secrecy, and easy access to these tunnels was imperative. The rest of the scheme involved a lot of work. Getting the forge installed and the necessary permits was tough. I didn't have enough money left for the required bribes to speed things up, and you couldn't take a shit in the city unless a union rep was there to flush for you. At least the lease was cheap.
I'd been busy with some reconnaissance while all of this was going on. I knew where my targets lived, their acquaintances, and their routines. Hell, I even bugged their houses and cars for fun. I had to take a short "business trip" before I opened my place. While the often mentioned "gun show loophole" was largely a figment of the gun grabber's imagination, there were ways to get unregistered weapons at these shows. It didn't involve paying admission, however. If you wanted to avoid a background check and residency requirements, you bought from individuals entering the show to sell their weapons. In many states, face to face transactions were perfectly legal. Three states later, I had all I thought I would need.
The costume shops were harder to locate, but every decent sized city had a few. I got the rest of my things there, except for the ones I picked up at Goodwill and K-Mart.
It took the better part of a year, but I was finally ready.
The first target was Terrance "T-Bone" McCall. According to the confession, he was the one who shot my defenseless mother as she tried to shield dad from further harm after he had already been hit. This one was special, and I decided to give it a personal touch.
The first thing I made in my forge was a ten inch Bowie knife. As soon as I was satisfied with the results, I destroyed the mold. All of my other weapons were hidden in the tunnels, except for one. I had a compact .40 caliber pistol in a holster behind my back, just in case. After dressing like a typical panhandler, I set out on my first mission.
It was almost too easy, even navigating the tunnels. The maps weren't too hard to find, and I'd copied mine at the main library. These guys acted like they owned the neighborhood, and maybe it was true. People were scared of them, and with good reason. The gangs practically ran the area they controlled.
I knew where my target would be walking when the time was right. The arm across his throat to keep him from yelling worked just fine as I dragged him into the alley. I was disturbed at how much I enjoyed the look of fear in his eyes just before I cut his throat when I said "This is for my mother, punk. You've been found guilty of murder, and the sentence is death."
.... There is more of this story ...