You know that saying about an eye for an eye leaves both people blind? Well, Warren Fredericks had never heard it before, and even if he had heard it, he would have dismissed it as some urban myth. Still, one must admire the ferocious tenacity he exhibited in carrying out his plans.
He watched Hillbilly Bob from the shadows of the wood line. Bob knelt in the middle of the road, bleeding from the accident he’d just had. He had one hand on his head, with his free hand he patted himself down checking himself for further injuries.
Warren started toward Bob. The shadows hid his movement making his approach unseen by the wounded man. Bob grunted and shoved his free hand in his pocket. He pulled out his cellphone at the same time Warren made his move.
Bob turned to look at his vehicle. The straight right Warren had unleashed landed squarely in Bob’s thick chin. He grunted and crashed back into the earth. Warren went nuts. He sent a flurry of punches into Bob’s face, neck, and ribs. Bob tried to block the more serious of the blows, but at some point, he gave up and succumbed to the darkness brought on by various sources of pain.
“Thank God,” Warren muttered when he noticed that Bob was unconscious.
He tied Bob’s hands and feet, then went off to get his truck. The county road was lightly traveled, but Warren kicked Bob into a ditch to keep any joyriders from ‘rescuing’ him.
A few moments later, Warren pulled up to where the unconscious man lay. Bob was not a small man, and Warren, still exhausted from his assault on the man, had to get him into his truck.
Warren muttered under his breath and walked down the side of the ditch. He leaned Bob against a tall pine and went to pick him up using the Fireman’s Carry. Bob’s eyes snapped open, and he began to yell for help. Warren sent a beefy right hook into his jaw, closing his eyes once more.
“Screw this,” Warren said.
He gripped Bob under his arms and half-dragged him up the side of the ditch. With much effort, he managed to get Bob into the backseat of his mega-cab truck.
Then, he drove Bob to his newly purchased acreage.
Swamps in Mississippi range from small bodies of stagnant water that brim with mosquitoes, to large bodies of stagnant water that is filled with fish, alligators, snakes, and mosquitoes. Some, if not all, have cypress knees which jut out of the black water. Warren handcuffed Bob to one and waited for him to awaken.
Bob came to and struggled against his restraints. The long shadows of early morning halted Bob’s illumination until Warren stepped out. Bob glared at him.
“Howdy,” Warren said in a not unfriendly manner. “Quite a pickle you’ve got yourself into.”
“I’m going to kill you, hoss. I’m gonna kill you slow.” Warren smiled.
“Oh. Well, guess I got that to look forward to. Check this out, while you figure out your escape plan. You were in a serious car accident. Don’t worry. I treated your wounds; I would hate for you bleed out before you get the chance to tell me everything I want to know.”
“I’m not telling you anything…”
“Bob…Bob…Bob…you’re not listening. You’re tied to a cypress knot, knee, whatever. You’re not going anywhere. Did you know that in World War II, the enemies would tie soldiers they captured on the beach and bury them to their necks in the low tide? Then, they jammed sharp pointed sticks under their chins and cut their eyelids off. They were buried facing the east, so they could stare at the sun until they went blind.”
“I didn’t have time to bury you up to your neck, but I did bring something to cut your eyelids off if you don’t tell me what I want to know.”
Warren brandished the K-Bar fighting knife. The color drained from Bob’s face. Again, he struggled against his restraints and swore when he could not get loose.
“Help….help…” Bob shouted. Warren let him shout. Bob yelled and cussed until he was hoarse.
“Bobby. Check it out. I have a thousand acres out here, and no neighbors. Nobody can hear you.”
“Who are you,” Bob rasped dejectedly.
“Your goons killed my friend and raped his wife and daughter. Then, they killed them.”
“You’re Jacob’s friend, Warren. We heard about you.”
“Jacob was my brother.”
“Yeah. You were both military. So was I. Are you my brother?”
“I was yeah, as long as you toed the line. But you didn’t. You crossed it by working for that piece of crap Smiley Jack. You erased the line by having my brother killed.”
Bob laughed and shrugged. Warren punched him in the face. Bob laughed.
“That wasn’t me, brother. Smiley Jack set that in motion. I had no bad intentions against your brother or his family. If I had my way, no one would have gotten hurt.”
“Yeah, but that ain’t how it went down is it?”
“Who else was involved in the ruination of Jacob’s family?” Bob shook his head no.
“I’m done talking high speed. I know I ain’t leaving here. So, let’s get on with it.”
Warren pulled out a jar of honey and unscrewed the lid. He poured the contents onto Bob.
“Did you know that there are loads of black bears here? They love honey.”
The K-Bar flashed as Warren cut Bob’s face. Bob flinched and cussed. Then, Warren drove the blade into the right side of Bob’s torso. He grunted. Warren twisted the blade and yanked it out. Bob cried out in pain.
“You’re not tied to the tree Bob. You’re handcuffed to it. That’s why you can’t break free. Bears are attracted to honey, so maybe they’ll find you first. Snakes, gators, and other predators live in these woods as well. Big cats for example are attracted to the scent of blood. Either way, I won’t see you again.”
“They’re going to kill you!”
“They’re gonna try. I’m going to kill ‘em back.”
Warren turned and walked back to his truck. The last thing he saw was Bob struggling against his restraints, as a fourteen foot gator slipped into the water with him.