Monday, May 26, 2014


written and illustrated by konrad kraus


raymond heard a knock on the door.

he knew what it was. he had been waiting for a long time.

he had been listening to the game between the giants and the dodgers and he turned off his radio and got up and opened the door.

just as he expected, two policepersons were standing outside.

"mister raymond?" one of them asked.

"yes. i know why you are here. i've been waiting for you for a long time."

"great, " the second one replied. "then come with us, please."

"may i pack a few items?" raymond asked.

"no, everything will be provided for you where you are going, " said the second.

raymond looked back into the apartment. "maybe i should turn the lights off."

"the lights will be turned off," the first one answered a little impatiently.

"let's go," the second added.

with a sigh, raymond stepped into the hall and let himself be led away.

handcuffs were not mentioned. both policepersons had small pistols in holsters on their belts and the second one had a club but they never touched them.

"what are you guys' names?" raymond asked as they went down the steps of the building.

after a slight hesitation, the first one answered, "i'm lee, and this is jerry."

"i'm pleased to meet you guys. i'm sorry it couldn't be under more salutary conditions."

neither answered. there was an unmarked car at the curb and jerry gestured raymond toward it.

lee got in behind the wheel, and jerry opened the rear door and pointed at raymond to get in. then jerry got in beside him.

they started off. raymond was a little surprised that he had not been handcuffed but decided not to say anything.

"i'd just like to say," raymond said to the back of lee's head as they headed for the intersection, "that i am really sorry for what i did. i would do anything to undo what i did."

"mister raymond," said jerry. "sorry is not recognized. only guilty is recognized."

"oh, i'm guilty," raymond answered. "guilty as charged. but i'm sorry too. sorrier than i can ever say."

"the word sorry has been dis-recognized," said lee from the front seat.

they reached the intersection. raymond expected them to head right, downtown to police headquarters, but they headed left instead, toward the outskirts of the city.

"where are we going?" raymond asked.

"you'll find out," jerry answered.

they drove in silence for a while. they left the city behind.

"you must be taking me someplace really bad," said raymond. "but i deserve it. oh, do i deserve it. but i just wish i could make you understand how sorry i am. i have never for one day not thought of what i did and its consequences."

"mister raymond," said jerry, "everything you say is being recorded. we have already explained to you that the concept of sorry - or remorse, if you will - is no longer a recognized acceptable concept. you admit to the crime - you are guilty."

"oh i know, i know, and i'm not trying to be official - but just - i just have to get out - i have to try to explain to somebody - even if it is just you guys - i'm sorry, i didn't mean that the way it sounded - "

"was that the third time?" lee turned slightly and asked jerry.

"at least. maybe the fourth or fifth."

"that's what i thought." lee slowed the car and pulled over to the side of the road.

jerry motioned for raymond to get out of the car. raymond got out and stood in the middle of the road.

there were no other cars in sight.

jerry got out of the car, pistol in hand, and put it to raymond's face and shot him between the eyes. then put two more bullets in his head to make sure he was dead.

jerry took a phone out and punched a two digit number and waited.

"darn," said lee. "now we'll probably miss terry's party."

jerry shrugged. "i don't think we would have made it anyway."

"i think we might have."

jerry laughed. "what can i say? i'm sorry."

"don't start."