Something triggered inside me, like an internal alarm clock, I didn’t know it had been set, but I knew as soon as it went off. I recognised instantly what it meant, I had to go back. It started as a nagging feeling, a vague restlessness that was at odds with my usual precise logic, it grew into a compulsion which soon outweighed my desire to stay. I had been in a self-imposed exile for over a year, I had enjoyed it, not that I was happy, but I was at least unrestricted, free. I could do as I wished and be as miserable as I had to. I contemplated the injustice of the world, allowed self-pity to consume me, I let grief sit like a boulder blocking every path. I could have stayed away, I could have lived the rest of my days as a recluse and the better part of me longed to do it. My rehabilitation though, I was certain, depended upon me returning to some kind of civilisation. That was about the only thing I was sure of.
I guessed that the days ahead would be very similar to those that filled my recent memory; regret, anguish, despair. Dark brooding days followed by worse nights, fitfully sleeping between vivid nightmares of noiseless screams, tracer fire and the smell of cordite filling my nostrils. Unfortunately it was a pattern that had repeated itself all too often of late.
I found myself wandering the streets again, jolted back to consciousness by the cold night air, I had no idea where I was or how I had got there but my bearings returned after a few seconds as they had always done, it was a trait I was grateful for, particularly given my recent propensity for forgetting in the first place.
It was around 01:45 and the streets of Soho were filled with the last leavings of the nights festivities, media-execs talking even faster than usual, a cocaine breakfast already crusting in their nostrils, haggard looking models wearing a lot less than the bitter autumn weather advocated, most with the seductive sales pitch of “you want a massage baby” not far from their lips and scores of beggars, all looking to make enough cider money to wash away their self-loathing for yet another night.
Revellers leaving bars, clubs and late-night restaurants, all with the dull gleam of alcohol smudging their eyeballs, I pitied them all. I envied them all. Mine was a world where celebrations did not come easy, the usual medicine for the masses no longer cured my disease. Continue reading
My name is Frederick James Wolfe and I am a vigilante.
This hasn’t always been the case, but the world at large has forced this upon me.