Monday, April 8, 2013

The Moral Code

I remember when I was a child and I killed my first deer. I was hunting with my father, Harry, just doing what I had seen him do many times in the past, a normal recreational activity, that sometimes even brought food to our table. But something was different about shooting that deer. I wasn’t viewing it as food or fun, but as something fascinating and enticing. I liked to see the deer suffer and watch it die, a long, slow death. I knew this wasn’t normal, so I never told Harry my morbid feelings about killing that deer.

Fast-forward a few years later, Harry approached me asking whether I had been killing. He showed me his knives, including one that was covered in dried blood. He knew. There was no getting out of it this time. I forgot to cover my tracks, so I had to tell him. I had lost control and couldn’t fight my urge to kill again. This time, however, I killed the neighbor’s dog, but not just out of enticement or thrill. The dog was constantly barking and disrupting my mother’s sleep every night. She was sick and couldn’t afford to lose any rest. I feared that she would only get worse and die if I didn’t kill that dog first. I viewed the dog as a threat and knew that it was time to kill again. So, I took Harry’s knife and did what I felt needed to be done. I killed the dog and took him out to the woods to be discarded by nature. I didn’t feel bad until my father approached me that one day and told me that I can’t kill like that. I needed to follow the code.

So, he began training me under the code: use killing for good. “There are people out in the world who do bad things,” he said. Go after the ones who think they have gotten away. “It’s not about vengeance, it’s about retaliation”. Harry taught me that death is not the end; it’s the beginning of a chain reaction that will catch you if you’re not careful. He taught me that none of us are what we appear to be on the outside, but we must maintain appearances to survive. I must cover my tracks and not let anyone find out who I am.

Alas, here I am today, fulfilling Harry’s code and making sure that those who do bad deeds, do their time…under my knife.

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