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Divine Justice

Sometimes crime doesn't pay!

Arthur lived on his own, in the same council flat he had brought his bride home to 51 years ago. Where they had raised three kids and seen them fly from the nest out into the world. It was also where he had held his Irene as she breathed her last breath in their bed. The last seven years had been difficult and lonely. Life was quiet, too quiet. But that was going to change on a cold October morning.

His stick in one twisted hand and coffee in the other Arthur concentrated on every step down the dim hall from the kitchen, heading to the living room where the morning news was warbling from the radio perched on the oak sideboard next to the statue of The Virgin. At 72 even taking his morning cuppa to the lounge required determination and strength, it felt further every morning.

He paused at the sideboard looking at the silver framed picture and smiled at Irene,

"Aye lass it's kinda sair this morning," he said, "Ah still miss ye lass."

He shuffled to face his armchair by the window. Darkness was slowly receding and daylight seeped through the tilted blinds.

"Maybe Ah'll see you soon lass." 

Just then the room was shaken by an explosion of sound. The front door bounced off the wood panelling in the hall. 

The coffee hit the floor as he turned towards the sound of feet hurrying to meet him. The masked man crossed the room in two strides and grabbed Arthur by the throat,

"Right grandad, where's yer money kept?" he growled pulling the old man away from the window.

"Git aff ye hooligan!" Arthur swung his stick,

snatching it with his free hand the man threw it across the room. It clattered on the sideboard smashing the wedding photo off the wall.

"No!" Arthur tried to swing a fist but it was slow.

He was thrown to the floor with ease. The dark figure towering over him laughed, bent down and grabbed a fistful of housecoat.

"Last chance, where's yer feckin' money old man," he spat through yellow teeth.

Arthur was trembling, his hip felt like it was on fire with pain. He glared back at his attacker,

"NO! Ah hiv nothin' tae gie ye."

"Is that right, we'll see aboot that," he drew back his hand about to strike, but stopped.

Something held his wrist.

Suddenly the room was bathed in light, both men gazed in the direction it came from. The statue of Mary still on the sideboard shone with a pulsating white light.

"What the..." the robber covered his eyes, the pain in his head was frying his brain. "Stop! Stop it!" He stumbled back and ran up the hall and out the house.

The light faded leaving only growing daylight and the sound of chirping birds.

Arthur was thankful, even though he wasn't sure of what had just happened. Dragging himself across the floor he reached his phone to call the police.

He ran as fast as his legs could carry him down the garden path and onto the quiet street. The pain had gone from his head, but he was still confused by what had occurred.

"What wis that back there?" 

He tucked the mask into his jacket pocket and headed for the Kingsway city bypass at a jog. As he turned up Timex Brae he heard the first wails of distant sirens, they were getting louder.

He knew it wouldn't take the cops long, but he had to drop to a fast walk to look less suspicious. Coming off Harrison Road he looked up and down Rosemount when he saw the patrol car parked up the road on his left. Putting his head down he turned right and headed home to Downfield,

"Keep the heid man," he whispered to himself. 

The two coppers clocked the early power walker at the early hour on a Sunday morning. The radio chatter and approaching sirens helped them decide on action - they got out their car,

"Hoy!" one of the officers called as he marched towards them.

It was enough to make him explode into a sprint,

"Shit," he cursed.

the officers were gaining on him,

"Stop!" one called.

Crossing Gullane Avenue he glanced over his shoulder at the police - he never saw the car reversing out of drive. The Ford juddered to a halt. One officer checked over the unconscious suspect while the other comforted the driver,

"I never saw him coming officer," the gentleman leaned against his car,

"It's okay sir, it wasn't your fault," the officer said,

"He's alive and gonna spend sometime in hospital, so don't worry," he reassured the driver.

"It's just a formality," he said taking out his notebook,

"What's your name sir?"

"Of course, no problem - it's Father Bernard Murphy of St. Marys' Chapel."

Arthur smiled to himself as he read the story in the local paper later that week. Putting the paper down he looked over at the newly framed photo,

"Aye lass, noo that's what ah call divine justice," he chuckled.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © A genuine A.C. Kearns story.

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