Clouded Judgement

Jack Jeckel

Jack Jeckel sits above a hole, an empty grave.

“There was once a cop who was tasked with protecting the streets. Whether forced into this role or taking it by choice, the fate of society was laid on his shoulders. to him, he was the epicenter of everything that was to happen in the land he called home. He had the power to save it, and the power to destroy it.”

He walks around it, eyeing it for a moment before looking to the side.

“And when the cartels, men on the outside looking in, saw this potential, they swooped in and fed him lies, injecting deceit into his veins, their false words pumping through his blood like a potent drug.”

“These men, aliens to the officer, took full control once he was intoxicated by their falsities. They spoke to him as though he were chosen to help them, masking their very identities to him until he believed beyond a reasonable doubt that by helping them, he would become something more than a guardian walking the streets, he would be a leader among their ranks.”

And to his side? Bodies, thugs, cops, and cartel members piled high.

“He did everything in his power to keep them free of scrutiny, lying for them, killing anyone who dared to oppose them.”

“And in the end, it took their betrayal for him to realize his mind was clouded by the smoke rolling off of his barrel.”

He grimaces, grabbing hold of one of the bodies and tossing it into the hole.

“You’re just like that corrupted boy in blue, Zappa. When the Valerian’s came to you under the guise of giving you a spot among the elite, you jumped at it, giving no thought to the civilians who would be hurt along the way. You were the chosen one, a hero that was destined to fight the very men trying to take your home away from you, but you ignored the call to action, letting the aliens, the cartel, trick you into being a lapdog for them, giving into the lies and drugs that they promised would make you special.”

He slowly piles up the bodies, each one landing with a sickening thud.

“You’ve been stuck in a haze, all the smoke and mirrors turning  your brain to mush, allowing them to string you along by the thread of lies you happily held onto. They saw the very man who would stand in their way, the cop, the guard, and they took you for a fool. When they cross that border and finally invade through the opening you made for them, you’ll be the first head on their list.”

He shakes his head.

“Smoking barrels, burnt out roaches, all of it clouded your sight and lead you to damnation at their hands.”

“I’m not hero, Zappa. I’m not morally right in the slightest, but I see how you are, and I know the pain a corrupted guardian like you can cause. You and I, we’re both criminals in the world that your visitors are going to destroy, and if I’m going to fall to their hands, you better believe I’m taking their lapdog with me.”

And as he looks towards the final body, a cop with a hatchet through his head.

“The world’s coming to an end, your smoke cloud is dissipating, and when we meet in the ring, I’m going to curbstomp that mush right out of your head.”

And as Jack rolls the body into the hole, blood spilling from their head, he spits on them.

“It’s nighty night time.”

And as the scene fades out, all that rings through the air is the sound of a hatchet being pulled from a corpse.