The story so far:
My mind calls out to Vera. I need to know she’s alive. I need her to know that I’m coming. I watch the beaming full moon in the blue black sky, and I project her eyes out into the night. It’s same moon as the one we first met under. The horrific winds that shook the earth on the night of our first kiss, are the same winds that are raging now. I don’t want this to be the end, but I do wonder if this is what the end is like. I wonder if it will all come in a full circle. If I will find myself occupying the same space as I did when I began. If before the curtain comes down I will see something from the beginning that gives meaning to all the chaos that has occurred between then and now.
Or if it’s all random.
The guy from the internet is dead. I pulled into his driveway half an hour ago, and he came running out of his garage brandishing a chainsaw. He took out my bumper bar and one of the headlights before I managed to back the car up, and then accelerated forward. His death will not weigh on my conscience. Not that I really wanted to think of myself as a pedophile hunter, or someone out with a vendetta against the subhuman slime … but I guess I’ve become one through the making of their actions against my family.
“In order to get inside The Green Moon, you’re going to have to look like them,” Freddy tells me on the phone. “There’s a special uniform they all wear.
“They call it the Death Suit.”
In the pedophile’s bedroom closet I find the contents of what Freddy’s talking about. I remove my jeans and jacket, and slip my arms into the purple robe. It feels incredibly soft against my skin, almost as if it’s made of silk. I remove my shoes and tuck my feet into the small pointy boots. On the dresser drawer I uncover a set of dark purple gloves, and I put them on.
“There should also be a mask,” Freddy guides me. “You’ll want to make sure you’re wearing that.”
It takes a moment to uncover this item from underneath the guy’s pillow.
“Whoa, that’s **** up,” I exclaim.
“Neat isn’t it?” Freddy says.
“Gees I’m sorry,” Freddy gushes. “I wasn’t trying to say that I –”
“Well, just **** don’t,” I shout into the phone. “Do you have any idea how messed up this is? How Goddamn insane?”
Freddy hesitates. “All I did was watch.”
“Well you’re lucky I didn’t see you watching,” I snapped and hung up the phone. I took a moment trying to steady myself, trying to control the anger. When this was all over I would make a visit to the police about my ex-friend, but until then I had bigger fish to hunt.
Bigger fish to kill.
In the pedophile’s mobile phone I find Leedfish’s contact number. I scroll through the guy’s forwarded messages to see his relationship with the online moderator, and get the gist they aren’t close. I can’t find anything about the Green Moon in here, so I send the fish a message to see if he can help me out. Five minutes later Leedfish replies:
<7729 Murdock Highway, Blackwood. Best behavior my friend.>
Which brings us back to where we are now. 1.45 in the morning, and I’m taking a drive out to the bad place. The worst place in the world. A place where they sell children for sex and post the horrors on the internet, for people all around the world to see. Maybe they think they’re possessed. Maybe they think they’re carrying out Satan’s service. Maybe they’re a bunch of fat fifty year old men who can’t stop masturbating and watching stuff like Dexter.
Whoever these people think they are, they will always be people to me. Nothing more, nothing less. They will not frighten me.
I get to the Moon a little after two. It’s out in the middle of nowhere with no houses or factories for a good ten K in the direction I’ve come from. I get out the car and slam the door shut, my feet sinking into the moist dirt below. To either side of the road we are surrounded by a deep and ominous forest. I hear the live sounds of several creatures lurking within it; and they don’t sound friendly. Up ahead there is a little light. A few cars are parked up there and people are talking quietly. As I get closer they quiet down, and one of them faces my direction.
My first instinct is to wave at them, but I firmly keep my hand low. I have to remember who and what these people are. I have to behave like them. Think like them.
Be like them.
Standing to my left is a dark slope that leads towards the house. I can make out several more cars are parked down there, including three or four limousines. Pain in my gut. This is too big for me. There’s going to be so many of them here. How will I not be overpowered…?
“Daddy, what’s a pedophile?” my daughter Daphne once asked.
“What?” I muttered looking up over my coffee. “Where did you hear that?”
“It was just on the T.V.”
“It’s not a nice word,” I responded. “And nothing for you to be worried about. Eat your toast.”
I couldn’t even give her a straight answer. I didn’t care enough to touch that point. That had always been Vera who had warned Daphne not to talk to strangers, not to accept candy, not to get into cars where you didn’t know the driver. For me, I was never worried. I told Vera off for putting such sick ideas in her head.
“When I was eight I never saw any pedophiles,” I said to her in private. “I never had any stranger coming up to me and trying to get me to go away with them.”
“You were lucky,” Vera replied.
Was it luck? I wonder. Until today I’d never really given them much thought. They seemed almost like fictional characters to me. Like ghosts or aliens.
Not like people you meet everyday in the street.
The door of the house opens and I am near dazzled at the state of fluorescent green light. “Hello…?”
“Welcome to the Moon.”
My eyes drop to the floor where a short grey figure is standing in front of the light.
“Have you been here before, sir?”
I enter the chamber and the green light darkens. A disco ball starts spinning across the ceiling, and the walls come alive.
“Will you be having sex tonight?”
I shift uncomfortably at the question, as my eyes begin to adjust. The creature is barely as high as my knee, and he is dressed in a purple tux. His skin is what’s grey. He has a bald scalp. He must be a dwarf of some kind, and the grey must be some kind of paint. I’m not completely sure.
“Sir, will you be having sex tonight?”
“No I don’t think so,” I say carefully.
“Well why the **** not eh? Have you seen our selection? Boys, girls, pick your age, skin color, hair color, weight – even personality. We got scared ones, catatonic ones, ones that like it – hell we’ve even got a few that role play.”
“I heard there was going to be a show tonight.”
“Right, right, right,” the dwarf grumbles. “Up the stairs and third door to your left. Relax, get yourself something to drink, talk with the other guests. Mr. Frinkle should be out at two thirty. You just made it!”
I turn toward the staircase and start making my way up … when suddenly a foreboding organ begins to drone.
“Hurry!” the dwarf shouts. “It sounds like he’s already starting!”
The music gets louder as I climb the stairs and reach the shadowy landing.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” a woman says. “It is my greatest honor to announce the return of one our most loyal members…”
To the left of the landing a little boy moans
“…One of our most feared and respected advocates…”
To the right a little girl cries
“…The loathsome, the artistic…”
To the centre blood drips from underneath the door
All around the world children begin to scream