Civil War: Chapter 3

Roger, David, and Natalie, drove home from the hospital in relative silence. It was already dark at six-thirty. Traffic was still snarled as drivers got used to the end of daylight savings.

When they arrived home, David went to his bedroom and Natalie followed. The post-concussion protocol called for lots of rest, no electronics, and soft lighting. David went straight to bed.

Roger walked into his home office with a glass of whiskey. He sat in his desk chair, leaned back, and took a sip of the booze. After a minute, he slid his phone from his pocket and dialed Jack Murphy.

“Hey, man, what’s up?” Jack said.

“Serious shit,” said Roger.


“David got beat up at school for saying Trump isn’t such a bad guy. The principal let the other boys beat him. He has a concussion.”

“Holy shit! God almighty, Rog. What the fuck?”

“What can I do?” Roger asked.

“Sue! Sue their asses,” yelled Jack.

“Not sure the police reports are accurate. A police sergeant told me the cops who responded wrote one thing in their reports and told him something else.”

“Are you serious? How can that be?”

Roger shook his head. Jack’s the lawyer. Why wasn’t he telling Roger how that can be?

“Look, I need your help. Start the clock. I want that bitch fired and charged.”

“You got it. But if the cops won’t cooperate, it’ll be pretty tough. Teachers have a high level of credibility.”

“I know. Cops do, too.”

“Yeah,” Jack said. “Roger.”


“Don’t do anything stupid.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean. Let me handle this. I know you want to do something, but schools and cops need to be dealt with in court.”

Roger knew what Jack was talking about. The idea of vengeance crossed his mind a hundred times since he took that call at work. He’d imagined himself visiting those punks who beat his son, one by one. He saw himself ringing their doorbells. He saw their doors swing open. The culprit opens the door.

“Yeah,” the kid says.

“You want to step outside?” The kid steps outside closing the door behind him.

Roger looks at the kid. The kid seems half Roger’s size, but the kid sees himself as Roger’s equal. Maybe Roger’s superior.“You m with David. I’m fucking with you.”

“You messed with David. I’m messing with you.”

The kid’s eyes grow wide.

Roger imagines himself driving his open palm into the kid’s cheek in a violent, sideways swoop the brat never sees coming. He feels the kid’s weight accelerate to his left. He imagines the kid crumpling down, folding up like a cheap suit. Roger, in his fantasy, turns and walks away.

That’s his fantasy. One by one they all go down. They all crumple under Roger’s mighty right hand.

Jack’s right, he thought. They’re little kids. Get a hold of yourself, Thompson!

“Send me the cop’s info,” said Jack. “I’ll call him and see what kind of case we’ve got.”

“Okay. I’ll take a picture of his card and send it to you.”

“Perfect,” Jack said. “Roger, this will work out. Be patient.”

“I trust you, Jack. Thanks.”

to be continued

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.