He had it coming to him. That’s what those pompous arrogant fools said. They beat me. On Halloween, they stripped me of my clothes and forced me in the hallways where everyone could scream and laugh.
He had it coming to him. Why did I have it coming? I was the interloper. The scholarship kid in their fancy private school. The one who didn’t have the “social standing” to be included in their old boys club.
My parents called the dean of the prep school every time those entitled twats did something. What happened to them? Nothing!
He had it coming to him, they would screech, not bothering to even attempt looking innocent or remorseful. They would make up some outrageous lie about some offense I was supposed to have perpetrated and threaten legal action. Then they would “generously” agree to drop the matter if my parents did.
My parents did every single time. They didn’t have the money to fight back. My father told me, “Son, just survive this and get your revenge by being successful.”
He never specified what I should succeed in.
The first one happened near Halloween the year after graduation. I was at a farm looking at the various gourds, all orange, green, and white. I happened to notice him over by an offering of pumpkins in front of an old wooden-spoke wagon wheel. One of the five that tormented me all through school.
I noticed him, but he didn’t notice me.
My homicidal ideation, so carefully nurtured in school, became an overwhelming urge. I bought a pumpkin and carving knife from the farmer and headed back to my car to wait.
I watched as he talked to the farmer. The old man looked more and more upset as the conversation went on, until he seemed on the verge of tears.
My urge became resolve. I pulled on gloves I kept for the more crisp fall days.
He pulled out in his brand-new Beemer and I followed. We were in the country and there wasn’t too much traffic on the dusty roads. I waited until there were no cars in sight and sped up, slamming into his car. He slammed on his brakes and jumped out swearing at me.
I held the carving knife in my right hand and rolled down my window. Dwayne came up and jerked open the door, still screaming at me. I allowed him to drag me out and my right hand flashed.
It was so deliciously easy. It slid right in his stomach. I’ll never forget the feeling of satisfaction as he realized who just killed him. I dipped my hand in his blood and wrote my message on his car. I drove away without a second thought.
The old me died that day as well.
The Halloween Reaper took his place.
That’s the name the press gave me as I struck again and again and again. Always around Halloween. Always some rich well-to-do scumbag. Sometimes his family, for the sins of the father are visited on the son. Always the same message.
I varied my targets, but always with the goal of tracking down the five. I promised myself I would stop when justice had finally been meted against my tormentors. Dwayne, Tad, Billy, Joey, all fell to my blade. After 10 years, I finally caught the last one, Franklin. The ringleader.
I took my time with him. I carved my message on his chest as he lay screaming and begging for forgiveness.
Is that what you wanted to hear, Detective?
“I need one more thing. We never released the message to the public. Assuming you are the killer, what was the message?”
He had it coming to him.