The idea of vigilante-ism is often an attractive one. Especially when one lives in an environment that for some seems to be free of the rule of cause and effect. But all of us feel, somewhere deep inside, that we will pay for acting outside the rule of law.

This is the thing that has made my pet psychopath Johnny so different. He HAS acted outside the law and targeted those who appear to get away with doing things that compromise others. This was his justification for being a violently aggressive maniac: it was for the greater good.

But now, now it’s catching up with him:

johnny“What can I do differently that will make up for what I have already done? I cannot change the past. Can a future as yet un-happened, make any difference to the past? No, of course it can’t. All it can do is make sure no more of what occurred in the past recurs in the future. I have already changed my behaviour. Here I sit, in the dark. Just moving further into that does not remove what was done or atone for it. It admits I was wrong and agrees not to regress but it doesn’t pay back.  I actually have to risk losing everything,” Johnny realises. “If I see someone from my past, I have to apologise and risk ruin. I can offer free labour, an apology, money, whatever, but they can still decide to press charges. They could still get me fired by making loud accusations. And if one does, others will come.” He drops his head into his hands. There is no easy way out.

From the novel “Johannesburg”
©2013 David Chislett