The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious Writing The Spider Monkey - Issue One
The Fear of Monkeys
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Spider Monkey

The Spider Monkey is pot - bellied, spider - limbed, worried - faced and independent. They have very long legs and tails and are extremely agile. In the tropical rainforest of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, they live in communities that can break into sub-groups of 3-4 individuals. Spider monkeys live in trees up to 35 metres above the ground. Probably only gibbons exceed spider monkeys in agility in the trees. Acrobatic and swift, spider monkeys move through the trees, with one arm stride covering up to 12 metres. They have a prehensile tail, which acts as a fifth limb, able to grasp objects or hold their entire body weight for long periods.
They eat fruit, nuts, seeds or leaves but they will take insects or small animals if they are readily available. Maturity is reached at around four years, with females coming into season every four weeks. Gestation is 7-8 months. Newborns cling to their mothers' abdomen and then travel on her back until independence. The average life span for a Spider monkey is around 20 years. They are closely related to the other monkeys in the family cebidae, including capuchins and howler monkeys.
They have been known to shake a vine occupied by a predator to cause them to fall. They have also been seen breaking off dead branches weighing nearly 5kg and dropping them on the predator.
Reasons for their decline include hunting for food by locals, the use of infants as pets, and habitat loss due to clearing of forests for agriculture and human habitation. They are vulnerable because they have low maturation and reproduction rates. Their habitat, mature rain forests, is being lost to farming at the rate of 35,000 acres a day. Preserving the rainforest in South America will help save them from extinction.


There is Nothing that Shakes the Brain


Richard Bissell

I don't feel any sense of loss. Maybe it just doesn't seem real to me. Sitting in this warm church, stale air permeating the place, dad lying still in the box, Ma not saying anything. There aren't many mourners here. Some old guys from work, and his brother-my uncle-who we didn't have much to do with. Is this all there is? I can hear an airplane crossing overhead, and its steady drone is a comfort somehow. I try to remember him in my mind, as he was. Try to catch some glimpse of him, but all I see is shadow. Do we forget so soon? Maybe it's some defence mechanism; some trick that doctor books name?

The minister's statements interrupt my thoughts, "He was a talker, a salesman, a man of words." Yes, I do remember that, he was a talker.

My father always said there is nothing that shakes the brain quite like seeing a bloodied and mucus covered head come sliding out of your wife's vagina. I would usually cover my ears as he spoke, trying not to marry a picture of my dear mother with the words he was speaking. I did the old trick of humming very loudly while attempting to drive my ears into my skull using only my cupped hands. This worked well for a while, but my father was a patient man and he would wait until I pulled my hands away from my head and then he would yell out a word at me. A word like vagina, or blood, and sometimes he might even get a whole phrase out, like "snot filled cunt," before I would be able to get my hands back up to my ears. He did this mostly in the car, with Ma in the front seat beside him, shaking her head and making that disapproving sound that I knew all too well.

"tsssssk, tsssk , tssk," went my Mother.

"Snot, Vagina, Bloody cunt," went my Father.

These trips were awkward for me, and I suppose my Mother wasn't all that fond of them either. But my Father loved them. He thrived on them, actually, and seemed to gain strength from the reactions of the occupants of his vehicle. You see, my father was a traveling salesman. And this car was his domain. He never so much as said boo to Ma or me at the house. He never excused himself when he burped or apologized for farting. He never asked me to pass the potatoes or inquired about my latest math test. He never said hello when he returned from five or six days on the road and he never said goodbye when he would leave again the next morning. But once he was behind the wheel of his Delta 88 Oldsmobile-oh how he would come to life.

I had seen her before at my school. She wasn't in my class so I didn't really know her. Today she was hitchhiking and it was hot, with the sky as blue as it was meant to be. Suddenly and without warning my father pulls the car over to pick her up. She is wearing blue shorts and carrying a backpack. Her hair is long and it flies all around her face as she runs to get into the car.

"tsssk, tsssk, tsssk," says my Mother.

"Need a ride?" my father asks as she puts the knapsack on the back seat, right next to me.

"Yeah, thanks for stopping," she replies as she gets in and buckles her seatbelt. "I'm trying to make it to Newport before dark," she continues hopefully, pushing some of the unruly hair off of her face.

"Yeah, you'll make it," was Dad's answer, as he hits the directional signal and pulls onto the highway.

"So, you in college?" he asks, as he adjusts the rear-view mirror to get a better look at her.

"No way," she replies, and the smile in her voice tells me that she is tickled to be thought of as a college girl. "I'll be in ninth next year."

"Ninth grade, imagine that Gina," my father takes his eyes off the road for a moment and glances over at my mother, "Ninth grade, and I thought she was in college, imagine that."

The girl in the back seat smiles and looks at the back of my Mother's head as if expecting Ma to turn around and laugh at their joke. It surprises me that the girl would expect that Ma would talk to her. Ma wouldn't say shit if her mouth were filled with it, and she certainly wouldn't speak to a girl in our car.

So, you got a boyfriend?" My father asks casually. The girl in the blue shorts doesn't notice Ma tense up-and why would she-Ma was always tense.

"No, no way," the girl laughs, and then, "well, not really."

"Do you know what happens when girls get married?" As my Father asks this he steals a glance at her in the mirror. Ma sits stiffly in the seat next to him, her scowl firmly in place.

"Well, yeah," blue shorts says, as she makes a little snorting noise. She giggles to herself now and my Father giggles with her.

"They get a husband, that's what," my father blurts out. "Then that husband becomes an expert in the ways of husbandry. The ways of taking care of docile animals, a herder, and you know what that makes the wife?"

"Tsssk, tsssk, tsssk," says my mother.

The girl laughs a little and looks over at me, searching for the missing joke in my face.

"This young seemingly bright and quite able bodied girl becomes a docile cow, that the husband in his husbandry duties must feed, house, and milk." My father looks directly at her in the mirror at her and sees that she is not laughing. "We had a new guy start at work," my father says, seemingly changing the subject. "The first day he asked me if he should wear his black suit that was fairly new, or should he wear his grey suit which was a little rough around the edges. I took him into the men's room, the same men's room that I had been using for an office for the past twenty years and I told him a story about this young woman who was concerned about what she should wear on her wedding night. Her mother was adamant that she wear a long flannel nightgown that covered her head to toe without even her neck showing, while her friends were pushing her to wear this flimsy little number that they had bought her for the honeymoon. So they're sitting at the table and arguing, the mother holding the long flannel job and the friends tittering over the sexy piece. All the while the Grandmother is sitting in the corner rocking chair knitting, not saying a word."

Blueshorts keeps her face down as my father tells the story. I notice that her hand is shaking a bit and that she is zipping and unzipping the knapsack, lost in the task. I study her as she plays with the zipper. Her hair is uncombed and hangs down to her knees, covering her entire face, like one of those weird dogs that guarded the sheep that Wyle E. Coyote wanted to steal on that Looney Toons cartoon. He never got the sheep. Those dogs were smart and could see everything that went on in spite of all that hair. I wondered if Blueshorts can see. My eyes are drawn to her hand as it worries the zipper and I notice a little tag attached to the front of her pack. The tag has her name on it, Amy Whit, and an address. I wonder what she would think if I were to touch her arm gently and say, "don't worry Amy, he's a harmless old fart." Would she be startled and ask how I knew her name? Like the person who leaves a convention to go to the mall and is shocked when some stranger says "hi Andrew," and then he notices that he is still wearing the convention tag that says, "Hi, my name is Andrew". Chuckling to himself, Andrew removes the tag and tries to hide his embarrassment, while he mentally runs through the many people who may have seen him since he left the convention floor.

My father continues his story. "Nobody even thinks the old bag is paying them any mind, finally the mother gets exasperated and grabs both nightgowns in her hands and brings them over to Granny. 'Well, what would do you think Ma,' the women asks, hoping to get the old woman on her side. The granny stops what she is doing and studies the two garments, looking from the flannel thing to the lacy undergarment. 'What I think,' the old lady says pointedly, 'is that no matter which one she wears, by this time tomorrow night, she's going to be fucked'".

"Tsssk, tsssk, tssk," says my mother.

"Haa, haa, haa," chortles my father.

"Can you pull over please, I would like to get out?" says Amy.

"Get out, get out where?" my father replies, lifting one hand off of the wheel and putting his palm in the air. "There's nothing here but highway. We can take you all the way to Newport, its one of my runs you know, I go through there all the time, in fact, I eat at a little place called Gulliver's and . . ."

"Please, I really think I'm ganna be sick," Amy interrupts in a small voice. She has her head in her knees and she does look awful pale.

"No-there's no stopping this train till we get to Newport." He's trying get a glimpse of her in the mirror, but she is low in the seat and out of his range of vision.

"Please." Her voice is muffled and I can hear the tears coming before they began to flow.

My father drives on and I watch as Amy becomes smaller and smaller as she attempts to sink into the floor. I hear her cough and then seemingly choke and watch her rock back and forth as a stream of vomit lands on her knapsack, then hits her shoes, and then finally falls onto the floor. It is at this moment that I want to reach out and touch her back, to comfort her somehow, but I am afraid that she will reject my help or somehow be afraid of me.

"You'll be ok, my father advises her. "Why once in Bangor I got the runs awful bad and then I got the grip, I didn't know whether to sit on the pot or kneel before the throne; it was coming out both ends by that time."

"Tsssk, tsssk, tssk," says my mother, as she opens up and pulls out some Kleenex, handing them back to Amy without turning her head.

I think I hear Amy say "please" again before she starts coughing again and then lets loose another spray of puke. Her face is pasty white and wet with tears and sweat. Everyone is quiet for a moment and my father opens up a window, letting the stale air out of the car and some fresh stuff in. I breath deeply of that cool air and I think it makes Amy feel a bit better too because she kind of curls up on her end of the seat, and still holding the Kleenex sets her head on the armrest. She curls up like a ball, making sure none of her body touches mine.

I lived in fear for a long time after that day. I knew that if I had caught a glimpse of her at school I would turn and hide my head, as if I was the one who should be ashamed. Once I graduated I figured I would never see her again, and certainly not at the funeral of my father.

But here she is, sitting in the back, her hair cut short, her eyes taking in everything. I follow the coffin down the carpeted aisle now, holding onto my mother's arm, followed by the "mourners." I wait outside for her, and grab her arm as she tries to hurry past.

"Amy?" she looks up at me startled.

"How did you know my name?"

"I saw it on your pack when we-"

"I remember," she says, cutting me off. "I'm surprised you remembered it." She puts her arms over her chest as if she was cold, although it is one of the hotter days of the year.

"How have you been?" I ask, searching for something more meaningful to say, something that will draw her into conversation.

"I should be going," she says as she turns away, "you should get on with your funeral."

I follow her downstairs and out onto the sidewalk, falling into step with her, thinking of what to say that would make the moment continue.

"I . . . I'm glad you came, I've thought of you often . . . I've thought about that day often, a lot." This stops her.

"You have?" She replies, searching my eyes for truth.

"Yes, yes I really have . . . I remembered your name, I couldn't forget it."

"Why?" She's walking again, but I feel like we are at last walking together now.

"I don't know . . . I felt bad that day . . . I wished we had never picked you up. But I wanted to meet you . . . you seemed nice."

"Your father's an asshole!" Her whole body shakes as she says this and suddenly she crosses herself, maybe imaging that God will strike her down for speaking ill of the dead.

"Yea," I respond noncommittally. We continue walking for a while, the both of us seemingly lost in thought.

"I thought I would never see you again, never talk to you anyway. I did see you a couple of times, getting on the eastbound bus, I-"

"I never hitchhiked after that day, never would," she says, cutting me off.

We walk a little further and are getting closer to the bus terminal and closer to maybe me never seeing her again. "Can we get something to eat? Can I buy it, I mean?"

She smiles at my discomfort. "You're so different from him."

"Yea." Everybody says that.

"Why was he such an asshole?"

I am a little taken aback at how easily she attacks him. "Well, he could be a jerk, but he wasn't always as bad as you saw him."

"You're defending him?" She stops walking now and searches my face, looking me hard in the eyes.

"No, no I'm not, I was just thinking about this one time, when I was real little, and I was sick. How he brought me juice and took my temperature. He stayed away from work that day, I guess I just don't like to think of him being a total jerk, you know?" She starts walking again, not saying anything.

"Let's get some lunch," I say quickly, trying to change the subject. "There's a place near where I live, we can take the bus."

We keep walking and as we get closer to the bus station, for some reason I am afraid. I am afraid that she will get on that bus and leave, and that I will never see her again. This is important to me, more important than going to the graveyard with Ma and standing there as they put him in the ground. "I would really like you to. I would really like to talk with you."

She doesn't say yes or no, but she gets on the bus with me and it was the bus I would usually take home, so I figure maybe we're riding together.

"I really hate the bus," she tells me as we find a seat, "but I don't have a car. All the people, strangers, sometimes there are no seats and I have to sit with one of them."

"Do you have many friends?" I shift in the seat now and our elbows touch, causing her to jerk away abruptly. Then she seems embarrassed and reaches over and pats my shoulder, as if to prove to me that she does not find me totally repulsive.

"A few. Laurie's my best friend, we hang out a lot."

"What do you do?"

"Go to the Mall, or to the cinema, hang out at the park. The usual stuff."

"Do you have a boyfriend?" She doesn't answer this one and I remember that the old man had asked her the same thing and now I feel kind of awkward about it. The bus pulls into our stop and we manage to get out of the bus without saying anything else.

"I'm not going inside anywhere." I am not sure at first what she is talking about and then realize that she doesn't want inside seating.

"No, it's O.K.," I respond, trying to hide my joy. "This place has outside seats, it's nice." We walk along the sidewalk and I want to say some clever and cool things but I am nervous and my mouth is dry. "We're here," I finally manage to say and although it is not clever, it is at least true. She grabs a chair at one of the umbrella tables, out of the sun. There are not many people here at this hour and the waitress comes over to our table quickly.

"Would you like something to drink?" She asks, handing us two menus.

"Yea, I'll have a vodka and tonic," Amy says this without looking at me or picking up the menu.

"Same for me," I add, as the waitress walks away. I don't usually drink, but if she is drinking I really have no choice. Part of me is glad she is drinking and I don't know why. I do know that drinkers do not like people who don't drink. So therefore, I must drink.

"I'm not eating. Not hungry," she informs me as she pushes the menu over to my side of the table.

"Yea, I'm not either," I lie, telling my empty stomach there will be many chances to eat, but this is a one in a million chance with Amy. There is no way I can eat in front of her if she is not eating. Just as drinkers despise non-drinkers, people who are not hungry eschew those who are eating.

"You work?" She asks as she puts her purse on the back of the chair.

"Yea, yea, I do. I'm working at the C.V.S., the one on Chandler, near the school. What about you?"

She lets out a little snort. It's the nervous laugh I remember from that day in the car. "Yea, off and on, I'm in school mostly."

"Oh, yea, what are you taking?" I ask this as the waitress sets our drinks down. She waits until the waitress leaves before answering.

"Science mainly, I'm hoping to do some animal research eventually, maybe turtles or skunks. They track them you know, take their blood and put transponders on them." She is more animated now, and this makes me happy. She has an expressive face that seems to come alive only once in a while.

"Skunks. How do you take blood from a wild skunk?" I take a drink now and rather enjoy the way the vodka warms my throat.

"Yea, that's what everyone wants to know." She actually smiles as she says this. She seems to be getting more comfortable, not so guarded. "They use these traps that have a steel front and then they spray them with chloroform, drag them out and then give them an injection. Once they are completely out you can take all the blood you want." She takes a drink and I notice that her glass is almost empty. I quickly finish my drink off and order more from the bored waitress.

"Mind if I smoke," she asks. No, I tell her, and I really don't. She reaches into her purse and pulls out a pack of Virginia Slims. She lights it using a match-she isn't the fancy lighter type, I decide. Maybe one day I will buy her a lighter, but I am not sure what kind.

"Virginia Slims, eh?" I finally say to break the silence.

"Yea, I like the menthol," she replies. I like watching her hold the skinny white stick and enjoy seeing her blow out small grey clouds of smoke. The cigarette seems to relax her almost as much as the vodka. We have both had three drinks by this time and she doesn't seem ready to slow down.

"They named those cigarettes Virginia Slims at a time when physicians were recommending smoking to overweight women," I tell her. "Smoking does decrease appetite and people who tend to be nervous eaters, ones who like to have something in their hands all the time, find cigarettes to be very helpful. Not that you need to worry about weight," I quickly add, as I order another round of drinks.

"What, did you study to become a doctor or something?" she teases with a smile.

"No, no," I say with an embarrassed grin, "Watching Dr. Phil. He's actually not that bad a guy." She doesn't seem to know who Dr. Phil is or understand why I feel the need to defend him. We let the moment pass while the waitress clears our drinks away and deposits fresh ones in front of us. I take a tiny sip of mine. I am feeling a bit spacey and finding it more difficult to concentrate.

"Why did your mom stay with that asshole?" She asks point blank with no apology in her eyes.

I take a long drink, partially as a way to hide my anger and partially to hide my shock at her bluntness. "I don't know," I finally answer. "Money, love, commitment. Maybe a bit of all of them. Do you think its good to dwell on him, good for you, I mean, you know?" My words are coming out a bit slurred now and I begin to realize that I might be drunk.

"No, my psychiatrist says I need to face my past. I really had wanted to confront your father, tell him how he made me feel, tell him what an asshole he was that day. But he died and so here I am." She runs her finger along the top of her glass and takes a long drag on her cigarette.

"You see a shrink?" I am surprised that anyone would see a shrink and maybe more surprised that she would admit it so readily to me.

"Doesn't everyone?" She smiles at some private joke as she stares at me.

"No, no, I don't know anyone who does, well maybe people on the talk shows, and famous people, but not regular folks." I feel hot all of the sudden and ask the waitress for a glass of cold water.

Amy is silent for a moment, content just to play with her empty glass. I can think of nothing to say and am glad when the waitress arrives with my water.

"Bring the check please," Amy tells the waitress.

I feet a bit of a panic. I don't want to go to that house alone. To be alone, without Amy, anyplace really. "Do you have to go?" I can't keep the whine out of my voice and am embarrassed by it. But the embarrassment is nothing compared to the fear I suddenly have at the thought that she will leave.

"Can't we walk or something?" The waitress arrives just then with the bill. It is much higher than I expect it to be. It had been a long time since I had gone out drinking. This must be why those good old boys are always broke, I figure. This is why they dress so strangely and why they wear those filthy old baseball caps. This is why they drive those awful trucks and why their fingernails are always dirty. They must have to work on those old trucks wearing the only pair of jeans they own. They can barely afford to wash their jeans or themselves for that matter. They can't afford to hire a mechanic so they must fix up the trucks themselves. This explains why they are so very angry all of the time and why they chew tobacco. They can't afford rolled cigarettes, they must buy unprocessed tobacco and clump it into their mouths. Just a pinch between their cheek and gum, just like the commercial says. Those poor, poor people, I think, for probably the first time. I finally understand them. What a burden they carry on their sweat-stained shoulders.

I look through my wallet trying to figure out how I can possibly pay this bill.

"I got it," Amy says as she reaches over and takes the check.

"No, no way man, I'm paying," I say a bit too blustery. I realize that I can't possibly pay for the drinks, but it is important to me that she does not know this.

"No, I got it," she says as she places some bills neatly onto the table and covers them with the check. "It's not a problem."

I follow her out onto the sidewalk and try to keep up with her quick pace. In my present condition it isn't as easy as it should be and I finally grab onto her arm. "Amy, wait up, let's talk." She turns to me then, and the look in her eyes makes me let go of her arm right quick. "I just want to talk."

"OK, I'll talk," she says as we begin walking again. "What kind of man was this father of yours?"

"Not a very good father. Is that what you want to hear? Do you want to hear how he told me that I was nothing special and that was the reason I didn't have any friends. Do you want to hear about his hatred of holidays, birthdays, Christmas, any day that other people thought of as special? These were typical days at our house. You want to hear about the other kids saying how I only got coal for Christmas and that was cause I was weird. Or how about when they said my mother was a mute retard or maybe a crazed mime because she never said anything to anyone, and she dressed like a child?" I didn't hear her response because right then I was on my knees puking. The grass seemed to swirl before my eyes and my stomach just let loose everything inside it.

Her hand is on my back and it feels so good to have her touch me that I am happy that I puked. It is worth my father dying to have a girl, a pretty girl, a normal girl, touch me. I am crying now. Big gulping sobs that wrack my body. And she isn't moving away from me. She isn't repulsed. After a few minutes she helps me up and then she holds onto my arm as we continue down the sidewalk.

"I'm going to the grave site," she informs me suddenly. "You're welcome to come with me."

"You're not serious," is all I can manage.

"Oh yes, I am serious, I am going to take the bus and I am going to see where he is buried and that is what I am going to do. You can come with me if you want."

I stop to show my surprise but she pulls me onward.

"Are you coming?"

"Yes, O.K." Of course I am going. I will follow her to hell that night if I have to.

We sit silently together on the bus. For the most part she watches the other riders and I keep my head in my hands, trying to calm the awful headache that had erupted soon after I had puked. The ride goes by quickly and soon we are walking again. The night air feels good on my face and my stomach doesn't feel so queasy now. Even my headache has begun to ease up.

To any passer-by we must look like boyfriend and girlfriend. Two young people in love out for a stroll without a care in the world. And in some strange way I feel content.

The graveyard has a large metal fence partially around it but no gate. It is open twenty-four hours a day I would guess. My mother and I had been here a few days before to check out where his grave would be, so I know my way around pretty good. His site isn't difficult to find. It has recently been covered with dirt and has no stone.

"Here it is," I tell her. I am a bit surprised by the emotions that churn inside me as I stand here. He's dead. And he's not ever coming back. I just can't imagine him not sitting in his big green recliner, beer in one hand, chips in the other, watching the Celtics lose another game. I wonder what he would have thought if I had walked in with Amy on my arm? What might his reaction have been? He would have been surprised-shocked even. Maybe things would have changed between us. I would have looked him in the eye and could have told him how I felt, even talked about my interests. And he would have listened.

I believe if Amy were not here right now, I could talk to him at the grave. I feel closer to him right now than I ever did when he was alive. I make a silent deal to come here tomorrow and talk, really talk to him. It is then that I hear a strange sound, like water running. I look to the source of the sound and am stunned. She has her pants around her ankles, butt to the ground, and she is pissing on Dad's grave.

"What are you doing!" I scream.

She smiles up at me. "He didn't give a shit when he was alive, so I am sure he won't mind now."

I hear a scream and do not realize it is my own.

Officer Pete Wilson was five hours into a calm and quiet night when he hears a scream. It is so high pitched and full of pain he isn't quite sure it's even human. Grabbing his cell phone he quickly calls in to the dispatcher as he runs toward the graveyard. "Yea, I may need back up at the Elizabeth Street Graveyard. I'm going in to check out . . ." Wilson can't believe his eyes. He sees a man struggling with a woman on the ground. Her pants are pulled down. He's got her by the hair. "Get me backup now!" He yells to the dispatcher. "Rape in progress, rape in progress!"

Officer Wilson feels his adrenalin rising. He's been called to the aftermath of more than a few sexual assaults. He's even booked some bastards after the fact. But he's never had a chance to stop one in progress. To nail someone before they did the damage. He is so excited that he doesn't even identify himself as a police officer or yell out for the guy to stop. His nightstick is in his hand before he realizes it and he is running at top speed. It is difficult to slow down, to get a good first whack on the guy, but somehow he does. The guy must have heard his footfalls because he turned his head and looked right at Wilson with a big look of surprise on his face as the nightstick whistled through the air and hit him right between the eyes. The guy's body is forcefully flung off of the girl. Wilson can see that she is covered in mud and that she is sobbing. For some reason the sight of those naked legs, covered in mud, infuriate him.

"You bastard!" He screams at the guy, who is now holding his head and trying to stand up. Wilson doesn't know if the guy has a weapon so he quickly maces his eyes and mouth. The rapist coughs, chokes and grabs his burning eyes. He falls to his knees and then rolls onto his stomach. He may no longer be a threat but Wilson doesn't care. This rapist has a lot of crimes to pay for. He's going to pay for Rita, who still loves Wilson but hasn't touched him since she found out about him and that little whore Kathy Ennos at the daybreak hotel last year. He's going to pay for those two un-fucking-grateful children who could go to any State College for free but being the stuck up pricks that they are, demand that they attend out-of-state, liberal, rich boy, schools. This rapist will pay for the two extra details Wilson does every week to pay for those kids to get brainwashed and come home to tell him that he's part of a police state that ensures the continued existence of an illegal and immoral government. He will pay for the passage of all these gay marriage laws that allow fags to spit on the blood of baby Jesus, and allow liberal rich judges to rewrite the constitution of the greatest nation in the world. And this rapist will pay for Jennifer Wilbanks and that look of revulsion and pity that she gave Wilson thirty years ago when he wrote her that letter telling her how he truly felt about her. And he will pay for the look Jennifer's husband gave him five years later when they finally met. The look told him that he and Jen had a good laugh on the way over, when she recounted the story of pudgy, four-eyed, pimple faced Peter and his schoolboy crush on the most beautiful girl in the neighbourhood.

Again and again the nightstick fell. The rapist's back took most of the beating, but the neck and head also got their share. Some of the parts began to feel squishy when they were hit by the stick and he tried not to hit those places again, but as any criminologist can tell you, nightstick beatings are not an exact science.

Amy watched as the officer's nightstick struck time after time. She was finally able to pull her now drenched jeans up over her hips and zipper them up while attempting to cover her ears from the sickening sound the stick made with each blow.

"Stop," she whimpered as she hugged her knees, "please stop." She eventually found the strength to pull herself to her feet and walk over to the officer. "You have to stop," she pleaded as she grabbed his arm.

The back of his arm connected with her jaw and she went down like a bag full of lard. This enraged Wilson more and he began kicking the rapist as he lay inert on ground. Wilson didn't hear the cars pull up, sirens blasting. He paid no mind to the six officers who came running over to the scene of the crime. Two of them grabbed him and pulled him off of the alleged assailant. He awoke as if from a dream and felt eerily at peace for l the first time in months. His fellow officers did not like the look in his eyes. Frankly, it scared them. They quickly relieved him of his weapons. "Stay close," they told each other in hushed voices, as they made weird faces at each other. Faces that in sign language meant-this guy has totally lost it. When an officer loses it he either eats his gun or overreacts to a situation. Trouble was, nobody had seen the signs in Wilson, this afternoon he had seemed as normal as a rainbow trout. This frightened them all. They looked at each other a little differently then. Who would be next? They all had guns. Who would draw first?

"Shit, shit, shit,' Lieutenant Bill Pearcall groaned as he looked at the battered and torn body lying in the mud. "What the fuck's the matter with you," he screamed as he grabbed Wilson by the shirt. "What happened here, what the hell happened here!" Wilson gave no response. "Get this asshole out of my face," he said to one of the officers as he walked over to check on the girl. "Get me an ambulance, get me some answers, and get me the captain on the phone," he chortled, as he tried to make sense of what had happened to ruin his evening.

The girl was awake now and three of the officers were around her trying their best to keep her calm until the paramedics arrived. Lieutenant Pearcall paced around the scene looking for clues and thinking of ways to cover his ass. What he really would like to do was take out his gun and shoot that fuckup Wilson in the head and somehow make this all go away. But he knew that was not going to happen. He watched as the officers escorted the victim to the car and got her a blanket. He could hear the sound of the ambulance as he was called over to talk to Captain Blake. He sighed loudly and closed himself up in one of the units for privacy as he tried to explain to Blake just how bad the situation really was.

Amy let the paramedics put her on the gurney and strap her in. She felt herself being lifted in the air and into the back of the ambulance. As the vehicle sped away all she could manage to think about was a horrible joke told by a terrible man many years ago. It was a story about a wedding dress and a grandmother. But for the life of her, she couldn't remember the punch line.

Richard Bissell is a part time author and full time health care practitioner who lives and works outside of Boston, Massachusetts. He has three children who are all the same age but are not triplets. For more information about his unique lifestyle please visit him at

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