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   Cypress Hills Brooklyn is a sprawling, vibrant neighborhood filled with working class families, and people. There are beautiful old buildings, hilly back streets, and one huge park. I decided to ride my mountain bike the few short blocks up Arlington Ave to Highland Park this sultry, summer day.  After weaving through the countless individuals crossing the streets, I arrived at the park. I quickly dismounted, and took a seat on one of the benches situated at the Jamaica Ave entrance….I just sat there contemplating life, and taking in my surroundings. As I sat there, I realized that there is nothing more beautiful, and precious in this society than the sound, and scenes of happy children…

  After several more minutes of sitting, observing, and absorbing the enlivening rays of the sun, I jumped back on my bike and pedaled off. I’ve lived in Brooklyn all my life, and have been to this park too many times to count.  Nonetheless, Highland Park is capacious in its dimensions, one filled with niches, hidden, pseudo valleys, and even remote areas that look eerily similar to swampland. On this day, I actually found a small park within this park. There was nothing amazing about this smaller park, all it contained were some swings, seesaws, and a smattering of benches along the inside of the fence that encircled us,  There were a group of kids anxiously gathered around one of those tiny park water fountains that only allow the water to come up so much. I went back in time to my childhood years, and remembered that the pressure in those fountains were so low that I almost had to put my lips on the faucet itself just to get enough water to drink. And, as quickly as the remembrance came….it was gone, and I quickly adjusted my eyes to the blazing glare of the sun, and looked around.  The line of children waiting to quench their thirst had not diminished any, in fact it was longer. A man walked into the park, and sat about twenty feet from the fountain. Out of curiosity I looked at my watch….3:30.  Had I been riding around for two and a half hours already?!  The man looked like the grandfatherly type, or at the very least avuncular. He was unassuming, and didn’t move much. He just sat there, and watched.  A little girl passed him on her way to the fountain. She gave him a disinterested, dismissive glance before she skipped off. The short, balding seemingly sun deprived old man looked intently after the girl. Thinking that the little girl must know, or be related to the man, I got up to leave. But, a vision came to me, and I quickly sat back down.  I looked at the man and into his lowered gaze unbeknownst to him. I had seen his stare before, but couldn’t place it. But, in a split second it came to me. I was watching a show about the lions of the Serengeti on the National Geographic Channel. In one scene a lioness was looking intently at one zebra out of a herd of many at a watering hole…I made the connection, and immediately became disgusted. The man sitting on the bench looking so like he belonged there indeed did. This was his watering hole to patrol, the afternoon watch of a human predator! What are the chances of sitting in a city park, and encountering one of them? Better yet, what were the odds of him apparently doing what I thought he was doing, and encountering someone like me?

  Not wanting to be presumptuous I reserved my judgments just to make sure. The man was oblivious to everything, except the children he pinned with his eyes. Then he did the unthinkable. He put his hand in his pocket, and started playing with himself. A low guttural drone rose from my chest, and entered my throat. I was humming a melody that I didn’t even know…The child finished her drink, and rather abruptly headed to the bathroom. “Chester” didn’t wait too long. He got up purposefully, and sauntered towards the bathroom as well, with me several feet behind him. When I reached the bathroom the disturbo was already groping at the young child’s clothes.  Without him ever turning around…I was behind him. “Hey” I said, never raising my voice above a whisper. When his head looked as if it would whip around I reacted.  All my years of Martial Arts training just took over and I struck him right at the Feng Fu. That would be the area behind the head where the Medulla Oblongata is located. It was a kill strike. I heard the almost inaudible sound of his skull cracking from the empty force of the blow. “Chester” went limp, and crumpled to the floor. There was no blood. I didn’t even leave a mark.  I lightly pressed two fingers to his carotid artery to see if he was dead……He was.  The little girl looked terrified, and traumatized, but she came a short distance and jumped right into my arms. She held me around the neck, and just cried. I have to admit I cried too. “Shhh” I said trying to comfort her. I carried her outside into the waning sunlight, and put her down in the midst of her other young friends. Recognizing that she was a young Latina, I asked “Donde es su mama y su padre?” I asked softly, not wanting to sound rough or pushy. “Yo no se senor“ They went out and told me to go play outside until they got back” I looked around, and saw that all the young ones there were alone, and unsupervised  “Hmm”, I said, and reached for my cell phone. “911, what’s your emergency? “There’s a man dead in the bathroom of Highland park   “How do you know he’s dead?  “I checked” I said flatly.  “And, what is your name sir? “My name isn’t important. “There’s a little girl who this man tried to molest. She’s wearing an OshKosh jumper, white Reeboks, and she has braids in her hair “She’s with her friends, she’ll explain everything to you when you arrive” “Sir, I would like to know your name”  “My name is…Justice” I said as I broke the connection. I knelt down in front of the girl, kissed her on the forehead, and said to her “When the cops come tell them what happened, okay?” “Okay” she said as a smile that only a child could muster formed around her mouth. I put my cell phone on the ground, leapt in air, and came down on it, smashing it in pieces. I could hear the sirens coming, and knew that I had to leave in a hurry. As I began to leave, the little girl ran to me. She took me by the hand, looked up at me, and said “Gracias senor tu eres mi heroe” I smiled weakly, and said “De nada jovencita, tu eres mi heroe tambien” and then walked calmly away. When the police arrived, I was a safe distance away.  I saw as the little girl made gestures and height measurements to them as if she were describing me. I gathered that they asked her which direction I went in. She pointed in the opposite direction.  I turned, and walked on until I came to Jamaica Ave.  I slowed to a steady stroll, and realized that I was humming that unfamiliar tune again. This time though, I had a name for it…TPS…. (T)he (P)edecutioner’s  (S)ong…..


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