Edge of Sanity – Intro

How far would you go to avenge your family? In a drug corrupted city of Wilmington, a young man’s desire for vengeance becomes tested when he learns of all those that may have contributed to his family’s time of murder. As more & more people & even those he cares about become a victim to violence, it furthermore pushes him to the edge of his sanity & finds himself stopping at nothing to make sure everyone responsible for the loss of his family suffers whether it be quick & easy, or a slow, gruesome, & brutal death. Yet, like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, the killer within only reveals at night whereas during the day, he attempts to maintain hold of his decreasing sanity with what he has left in his life.

The story unfolds through his eyes….

It was over. The nightmares, the pain, the suffering, would all come to a finale. I thought my lust for vengeance would end after all I’ve done to get it. But my vengeance wouldn’t be completed, not while I was on the other end allowing it to slip away.

Me on the ground bleeding from my leg, him pointing the gun at me ready to finish the job. Someone who I believed could be trusted in a circle so thin & small. Forgive me, for I have sinned greatly just to avenge the people I loved.

I closed my eyes. And then it all flashed back….

*Blam*Blam* The shots went off…..

All of the sins that I committed comes from the pain that would forever taint my soul five years ago. The exact day I fell into a dark abyss. It will all make sense then….

I was only thirteen years old back then. Middle school seventh grader who made honor roll every marking period since the first grade. First son out of three of two hardworking parents. Too bad we weren’t rich yet. Or else we would’ve been long gone away from this hellish city of Wilmington. Yet, we still lived as if we were part of royalty.

It was a cloudy & chilly day mid Fall. Looked as if it would rain at any minute, was glad I wore a jacket or else I’d been soaked.

My mother & father been around all my life. I was the oldest child out of three boys. We lived in a decent house but in a bad environment. The city of Wilmington has always been a bad environment. Criminal activity on a daily, cop sirens scream every day & night, children being victims to gun violence by other children, the treachery was never-ending.

I would always be so thankful for having parents & a family that cared about our well-being. They refused to allow us to become that menace to a society that portrays the average male African American to become such a thing. The temptation to become that menace is everywhere everyday, but the mind within you decides should you be part of that or be part of something bigger & greater.

My father played a big important role in my life for as I’ve had many friends that have had deadbeats for a father, or don’t even know which person is their father. My father could’ve easily became that type of person & left my mom with 3 times a handful. But it was never in his nature to ever become that typical black man. Having a father to support & guide me through everything was like a dream come true.

But dreams have a terrible habit of turning upside down on your blindside…..

When school was over, I was walking down the street which is usually what I’d normally do to get to the bus stop & head home. But I noticed my father pulling up beside me.

“Aye son get in. Let’s go for a ride.” He says

Of course, I was non hesitant to spend time with my father. I jumped in & off we went. “Where we going dad?”

“Just to the store, gotta pick up some groceries for the house. And you know your mother likes ice cream so remind me to get that.”

Mom always liked the mint chocolate chip ice cream.

With daylight savings out of the way, dusk would approach in the blink of an eye. It was already reaching sundown when I was leaving school.

When we stopped at a red light, my father’s phone began ringing. He pulled it out, but his face suddenly became serious when he saw who was calling.

He answered, but lowered his voice in an attempt to not allow me to hear. “I’m busy right now wassup?”

I didn’t hear what the person he was talking to was saying, but judging by my father’s face, it was nothing good at all.

My father looked at me & then turned his head back forward. Then he gave a depressing sigh. “I’m on my way.” He said as he hung up the phone.

“Who was that?” I asked although I shouldn’t have.

He looked at me again, & then turned his head back forward. The light turned green so he began to drive. “There’s something I have to take care of. When I get to this place, I need you to stay in the car & keep your head down.” He replied

“Dad whats going on?” The way he said that had me paranoid.

“Son, just do as I say, please.”

I didn’t say anything after that. I didn’t know where we’d be going or why I was needed to stay low in the car. All I could do was just listen & obey my father.

It wasn’t long until we pulled up to a big warehouse surrounded by trees & bushes. It looked pretty abandoned. The outer walls were metal & rusted as well as the rooftops. Looked as if the place was ready to fall apart at any minute. Also would’ve thought this would be a perfect place for one of those horror movies. Little did I know, there was horror on the way.

My father parked on the far side of the front of the warehouse. “Get down now.” He said

I did as told by taking off my seatbelt & crouching below the seat under the glove compartment. “Dad whats going on?” I asked again shaking.

“Just stay low, do not move until I get back.” He said as he got out of his car & walked off.

I didn’t like the way this horror movie began. They set me up for the best seat in the theater. Front row center. I would’ve much rather sat way in the back just like other I see other black folk do so almost all the time when I ride the bus.

I don’t know how much time passed, but a sudden urge to get out of my hiding spot & look around hit me. I didn’t see anyone. I slowly crept open the car door & got out. A foolish mistake it would soon be. I was worried about my father, so I crept over to the warehouse to find him.

I snuck inside through a wide open doorway. The further I snuck in, the more darker it grew. Surprisingly, there were gray ceiling lights that flickered on occasion as if they were struggling to stay on. Rusted pipes, machinery, boxes left open, it was as if the place hasn’t been used in hundreds of years. Thought it would be the perfect place for criminal activity to take place. I heard voices that I assumed would be my father & the person he spoke to on the phone. I didn’t want them to discover me, so I hid in a tight corner surrounded by rusted pipes & an old machine. With it being so dark I doubted anyone would be able to detect my presence.

I overheard the voice of my father. “You sure they on their way?”

“Yeah man, I just got off the phone with em. We set up the deal right here.” That voice must have been the person on the phone. It was a man for sure.

There was a small opening in between the pipes where I could visually see what was in front of me. With it being a dark spot, nobody could see me behind the pipes. I saw my father & the guy walk passed it & out further in front of it under a ceiling light.

We all heard cars pulling up outside of the warehouse.

“That must be them.” My father said as he walked in front of the man

“Hold on, I’ll let them know where we’re at.” The man said as he began pulling something out of his pocket

My father wasn’t on alert from what I seen. He was gazing off, looking around the warehouse while the guy was pulling whatever it was out. As I feared, it sure enough wasn’t a phone.

I almost screamed from my hiding spot to alert my father that the man had a gun ready to shoot him in the back. But my father’s senses picked up quickly just as any trained cop should. He heard the clicking it made when he pulled it out. The moment the man tried to fire a shot, my father ducked & rolled behind a broken machine beside him. It was a set up.

The man rushed behind the machine to get my father & then I heard multiple gunshots. Out came my father from behind it carrying the man’s gun.

I heard a door get kicked down not too far from me. Whoever pulled up to the warehouse was coming in & would also be as trigger happy as that man.

I was scared for my life. I witnessed my father nearly die as well as someone else dying by his hand. But more people were coming to get him, & there was nothing I could do. I should’ve stayed in the car, but who knows if whoever was outside of the warehouse would’ve peeked in or tried sabotaging it with me in it.

A barrage of gunfire went off towards my father from a distance. My father hid behind cover, & I hid in my cover praying I don’t get found & that my father doesn’t die in front of me. There were 3 people closing in on his position. But one by one my father picked them off dodging bullets & moving from cover to cover. It felt like I was watching some “shoot em’ up” movie with a single man taking on a group of armed thugs.

It was bad enough that my father didn’t know of my whereabouts being inside the warehouse during the shootout. It would be even worse if he was to escape to find me not in the car hiding like he told me. But worser things were to come. A ticking sound began to go off. Almost how a bomb would sound before its detonation. Which was exactly that.

“DAD!” I screamed from my hiding spot & crawled out to rush to him.

My father looked & spotted me. It dropped his guard. He was almost prepared to shoot me had he not realize it was me. Before he could even react to my presence, off went a gunshot from a different area. The bullet struck my father in the shoulder & then off went another shot to the chest.

I kept running to him, screaming, scared out of my mind & crying all at once witnessing my father dying to bullets. He was falling over until I got to him & grabbed him to stop him from falling. I spotted the person on the far side with the gun who was shooting him who made eye contact with me & then suddenly ran off.

With the last bit of energy & strength my father had, he shouted “GET DOWN!” Pushed me to the ground shielding my body with his because he realized the ticking noise had stopped which meant there would be fireworks. Wherever the explosive were rigged at in the warehouse, they went off. I fainted as the sound of exploding bombs ruptured my ears….

All I remembered was waking up in the hospital with a brief memory loss to what happened. My family being my grandmother, grandfather, a few aunts, one of them being a rookie police officer, & uncles, were there, a few of my friends from school, & the police. Amongst everyone there, I did not spot my mother or father. My aunt & the police asked everyone to leave the room, as they had to break the terrible news to me.

When the warehouse exploded, my father shielded me as he bled out from the gunshot wounds. But thats not all of what happened that day. There was a police report on gunshots that had been heard inside of my home. Police had found my mother & my two brothers murdered in cold blood. When I heard it all, I was in immediate denial. I screamed, shouted, cried, fought them trying to get out of the hospital bed to get away. It was news that no thirteen year old boy should ever hear in their life.

My life was in a deep & dark despair. I had witnessed the murder of my father & discovered the rest of my family were murdered as well. All on the same day. What had I done to deserved some shit like that? Why didn’t the explosion take me to I could be with my family? Why did that man run instead of finish us both off right then & there?

Rather than put me in an orphanage, my aunt, Heleena, who recently joined the police force took me in along with her fiance, Aaron. They lived in the suburbs not too far from the hellish city I grew up in. It was a peaceful neighborhood, though nowhere for me was peaceful.

The murder of my family was all over the news. My father was a known Police Lieutenant on the verge of being promoted to captain. As far as I had know he had been in the force for over 10 years. He was an inspiration to my aunt joining the police department herself. My mother worked at a bank. Capital One I believe it was. They were hardworking parents trying to provide for us three growing men. But what I never could understand was why were we still living in a disgraceful city like this?

My little brothers were only nine & ten years old. So young, so energetic, full of life. What cold hearted bastard could ever deliver a cruel , gruesome death to them? I had constant nightmares of what the terrifying moment of them them being shot & killed in cold blood was like.

The criminals responsible for their murders were never caught. Police ended up giving up on the search to apprehend possible suspects. They left no trace for them to detect or gain any leads.

After the funeral for them all, nothing would ever be the same with me. My friends & family tried to shower me with love & care to uplift my broken spirit but to no avail. I couldn’t even crack a smile nor be happy again.

Five long years I had endured of suffering….

When I moved in with my aunt & her fiance, I was forced to change schools. That meant being away from my friends & dealing with a new crowd of people. I was already done with school. I didn’t have the energy nor motivation to finish it. Losing my family drained me from keeping up with schoolwork & education.

But it wasn’t like I was a stranger to everyone. As I said, the death of my family was all on the news. It was surprising to see that even some students watch the news. Teachers & staff knew who I was & would grow sorrowful when I was present. High school was hardly any different. I was surprised I was able to push barely enough to make it to graduation. Even on that day, I didn’t even smile. My aunt & her fiance were the only ones present cheering for me. But that alone made me imagine what it would look like with the rest of my family with them. It would never happen.

It felt like there was no emotion inside of me at all. I felt nothing during graduation. I even didn’t feel anything when I received my license or even when my aunt bought me a car as a graduation gift. There was nothing that would revitalize my broken spirit.

My grandmother would try her hardest to get me into going to church & open me up to the Lord to help ease the pain. But for the path I would soon follow, I would’ve thought the Lord would not forgive me for what was to come about my life.

I one day took a stroll. Something I found myself doing since I graduated. I didn’t have a job, nor did I try finding one. I was never in the mood to be told what to do by someone, even if it meant building up a paycheck. But while I was out, my phone rang. The caller ID was “Unknown”. I have a habit of not answering calls from numbers I do not recognize. With it being an unknown caller I damn sure was not answering it. So I declined it after it rang a few times.

But after declining it, the phone rang again with the same caller ID as “Unknown”. I thought someone was playing on my phone, though I declined it once again thinking it would not call again. I was wrong. I called back almost immediately after I declined it the second time. This time I answered it. “Who is this?”

“If it is vengeance you seek, meet me at the city parking lot at 10:00 sharp.” A man had spoke in a grim & shady voice & then hung up.

“Hello? Who the hell….” That was what I said until I realized he hung up so fast.

It was only 3:46. I had more than enough hours to figure out if I even wanted to go over to meet this unknown person. But the thought of a random person calling knowing about the vengeance I’ve been longing to fulfill as if he had a plan on how I could kept bothering me & pushing the urge to go meet up. I hadn’t been back in the city in five years.

After 8:00, the urge grew stronger & stronger. Then after 9:00 I found myself getting ready to drive out there. My aunt & her now husband were out of town & had left around the time I took a stroll leaving a written message to me on the table about them returning after the weekend. She was pretty old fashioned rather than text or call though she & him had already informed me of their plans days before.

Off I had went to find this mysterious person who claimed to have a plan for my vengeance. I hadn’t been in the city since the day I moved. The ride there was nothing but bad memories.

I pulled up a vacant parking lot which I had assumed would be the one the man wanted to meet at. True to his words, he was standing under a streetlight with his arms folded dressed in a black trench coat with a black bowler hat & dark shades on. You would’ve thought he was on some L.A. Noire type shit.

I slowly placed my car in park & got out cautiously. “Are you the “unknown” caller?” I asked

“Relax boy. This isn’t a set up unlike what happened to your family.” He responded

“What set up?”

“After all these years you mean to tell me you still have not put the pieces to that puzzle?”

“Look, I don’t even want to think about it, who are you & what do you know?”

The man opened his trench coat & pulled out what seemed to be a tan folder.

“What are you a cop?” I asked

He handed it out to me. “Here.”

“What is that?”

“The key to justice & your vengeance.”

“What are you trying to get me into?”

“Your family’s death was no coincidence boy. Listen, I can help you fulfill that desire to take down those that were responsible.”

This was the first time I ever heard anyone talk as if they knew of everything that went on that led to their deaths. The police couldn’t find & capture any suspects involved, so how does one single man know more than the authorities?

I stared at the folder he had handed out to me. Whatever was inside it was to be the key to justice & my vengeance as he had said. But I trusted no one, how could I easily trust this stranger? “Why are you trying to help me?”

“We’ve been watching you…”

“We? Who is “we”?”

“Take the folder & all the answers will be revealed to you.”

It was like deciding between the red & blue pill. I could’ve ignored all of this, kept on going with my life of despair lusting for vengeance but never having the heart to take any steps to end it. But what if there were to truly be a chance to end it the way I intended to? How could this stranger possibly help me succeed? He said the answers will be revealed to be once I took the folder. It was a dangerous game I would enter once I grabbed hold of it.

I wanted to avenge my fallen family. I wanted to do whatever it takes to do so. This may have been my one & only chance to purge my soul from this hell I had been living in for all these years. So I took the folder, & thus seals my fate….


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