A Serial in Eight Parts
retribution: deserved punishment for evil done.
Previous Retribution Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Retribution Episode 8
I spent the rest of my vacation deep in the mountains where I could be alone and not have to see people.
I understood how Levi felt and could not find fault with his actions to achieve justice for his family. But I also understood the difficulties faced by society to mete out the justice that victims crave. Justice is a harsh mistress, which is why we cannot seem to bring ourselves to satisfy her. We could never be strong enough to mete out the punishment Allens had earned. I only hoped that Levi would be strong enough to bear the weight of society’s shirked responsibility, which he had taken upon his own shoulders.
When my vacation time was ended, I returned to my teaching and gigs, but everything seemed to be smaller somehow. In my mind’s eye I saw that head turning endlessly from side to side, and I had to remember Jan and Ryan to balance it. Jan the pretty, cheerful girl that I had known in college. Ryan the bright little kid to whom his father taught fractions while his kindergarten class were just learning numbers.
I spent much of my time thinking of what I had seen but could find no answers to the problem posed. Levi had done what he had to do and I could not fault him. Neither did I want to turn over justice to just anyone, someone who might have a perverted view of the relative value of a wrong and exact a disproportionate price. I turned the problem repeatedly this way and that, but found no solution.
I wanted and needed a world of black and white, and damned God for his world of gray.
Lester L Weil 1997