Saturday, 1 December 2018

Farewell


© Denis Fitzpatrick, 2016

‘“Those who are reckless for themselves are generally ten times more so for their friends.’” Charlotte Bronte, The Professor

Cassidy was for the first time in his life thoroughly disgusted with himself. He had just finished off a bottle of Jamison’s whiskey and he was still unwittingly sober. He was also angry. Very angry, maybe being so angry that it absorbed the alcohol. He was angry because he had been humiliatingly sacked from the local Jewell supermarket, Newtown, inner city Sydney, that day, an otherwise ordinary, but an unusually cold, early spring day, 2016. Mind you he deserved to be sacked, having turned up over an hour late for the past tenth straight day, the result of getting into the phase of partying harder than usual. But he did not deserve to be verballed by the assistant manager, in front of the customers, and summarily sacked. It really was no wonder that he couldn’t help going over and over such trauma. But what was the worst thing was that his work colleagues, his ‘friends’, just stood by and watched, not even looking like they wanted to intervene to stop the brutal scene. Typical. They deserved to be taught a lesson for that. Yes, indeed, they richly deserved to be taught a lesson. One or two of them could have easily stepped in to say the manager was out of order. Especially in front of the customers.
     The planning started instantly, Cassidy staring at the blank television screen, imagining how he could greatly hurt his so-called friends. And since all of his imaginings involved all the Jewell mates gathered together somehow under his dominion he soon decided to invite them all over for a party, a ‘Farewell Party.’ The irony was delicious when he saw how he would make them bid adieu to their their self-respect.
    Having bought another whiskey, it was starting to have a small part of its intended effect around midnight, making Cassidy feel that his vengeance was more assured. After turning on the television and flicking across the pointless channels, he decided it was probably best to get into his pyjamas and go to sleep. When he did quickly fall asleep it was to the sound of derisive laughter from an approaching dream, laughing over the pictured horrible fate of his fickle friends. Yes, indeed, they so much deserved the humiliation.

*

Cassidy’s ‘Farewell Party’ was reasonably well attended by six people and his plan for their shaming was proving easy of fruition. He had bought a few bottles of cheap whiskey for the celebration, lacing two of the bottles with crushed Rohipnol tablets, a strong sedative, well before his guests arrived. He had no problems getting the prescription drug. The party continued in full swing while they all gradually passed out. He continued drinking from the unspiked bottle, gleefully imagining the next step in the plan. He was going to undress them all and drop them off naked in the local park, Camperdown Park, Newtown. He’d probably have to do the job in two runs but the bastards were worth the price of their deserved humiliation. Let’s see how they liked being cowed now. The cold spring was a bit of a conundrum, not wanting to cause hypothermia in his victims. So he chose a forecasted warm night and hoped for the best. Naturally they would all know it was him who had victimised them but they’d all awake sooner or later and eventually get their clothes back. And what could they do when they did find out? He wasn’t pummelling them after all or making an attempt on their lives. If they did decide to involve the police those officers would probably think it was just a practical joke. No harm done. Case closed. Hopefully.
     It came time to test this hypothesis when he saw a police car slowly driving past the park whilst he was offloading the second load of bodies. Could they see him discarding his vile, spineless colleagues? It was quite possible, the area being well lit. But there were trees obstructing the police’s view. He could only trust to that.
     Yes, they must have seen him. The police car stopped. Cassidy watched them. Two officers stepped out.
     Thinking quickly Cassidy took two of the remaining three Rohipnol tablets he had on him (in case he had to knock out any of his bastard friends that came to early) and then partially undressed, laying down and waiting for the drugs to take effect. He hoped that the police would think they had disturbed the real culprit, who had run off before being able to fully undress Cassidy. The fact that all of the others clothes were nowhere near available was a bit of a problem but Cassidy would find some way around that.
     The two officers approached with one of them requesting three ambulances. Cassidy found it easy to drift away while the two police discussed why he was the only one dressed. They felt his pulse and Cassidy successfully managed to convince each of them that he was passed out like the rest. He eventually really did pass out on the Rohipnol and alcohol when the ambulances carted them all away to hospital. He felt safe.

*

Cassidy tossed around a bit before he awoke, and then was instantly alert. He asked the police officer watching over him,
     ‘Where am I?’
     ‘Royal Prince Alfred Hospital,’ replied the officer. ‘You fully awake now?’
     ‘Yeah. What happened?’
     ‘You know what happened, mate. Care to make a confession?’
     ‘What do you mean?’
     ‘We found the Rowie on you, mate. It’s pretty clear you drugged and stripped your pals. Why?’
     Cassidy decided to make the best of it; obviously his ruse had not at all worked. They’d probably go easy on him if he confessed.
     ‘Those bastards aren’t my friends,’ he said. ‘I thought they were. Maybe I got carried away though.’
     ‘What do you mean?’
     ‘They all just watched me being verbally abused when I was sacked from work. It was so embarrassing. But I suppose I just got too caught up in the anger they caused me. Are they all right?’
     ‘Yeah. I’ll have to charge you, mate. Recklessly endangering life. I’d have you charged with assault too but your pals talked me out of it.’
      He was formally charged and appeared in court two days later, the day after he was discharged from the hospital. He represented himself and humbly begged the court’s pardon, freely admitting that he had completely overreacted to a trying situation. The magistrate was not to be impressed though with his remorse, saying he would like to give him a custodial sentence for Cassidy’s sheer bloody minded behaviour to his friends, irrespective of the cause. But seeing that New South Wales jails were too overcrowded presently he gave Cassidy a two year good behaviour bond. Cassidy thanked the magistrate for his leniency and thanked his lucky stars on the way home from court.
     When he was at home he headed straight to his laptop to email invitations to the friends he’d wronged, to another ‘Farewell Party’. He explained the reason for his crime and told them that he obviously overreacted to what was really not such a big deal. He was going to move to Western Aus and wanted to leave his friends on a positive note, making up in any way for his unwarranted hostility.
     Funnily enough most of them accepted the second invitation, four of them, but all declared they would have no alcohol. They were willing to attend his party and to forgive him, especially since they really should have stepped up to defend him while he was being roundly abused so publicly. Both sides had made mistakes, so they may as well get together one last time to deeply bury the sordid hatchet. Cassidy was viciously pleased.
     Cassidy had no intention of leaving his bastard friends without completing his vengeance and was even more determined to somehow ruin as much of them as he could before he fled to Western Aus. And this time he would put more thought into his revenge. The party was planned for three days’ time, a Saturday, and by the Saturday early morning he had what looked like a foolproof plan.
     The four friends arrived together and thankfully two of them brought handbags. He was easily able to drop almost a full packet of Rohipnol, missing four tablets, into one of them unobserved, and in such a way, from within his right shirt sleeve, that left none of his fingerprints on the packet. While he was making everyone a coffee he downed four Rohipnol himself, and once the coffees had been served brought out a fresh bottle of Jamison’s, not expecting the more dire results that eventually ensued. He told them he was drinking to sins forgiven and helped himself to large gulps of it while they all sat around drinking their libations, recalling the good times they’d had at Jewell. They would even be sad to see Cassidy go after all; he was always friendly to everyone and was good for any party. But maybe if he hadn’t liked partying so much he wouldn’t have kept arriving late to work, and so not started a whole vicious cycle of events. Ah well, it was just one of those things, best forgotten entirely.
     When Cassidy slumped to the floor, his guests thought he was making some sort of joke. But they promptly enough saw that he wasn’t joking and that he’d inexplicably fainted. They called an ambulance and the police, the police being called in a bit of a blind panic. Cassidy was soon taken back to Royal Prince Alfred and the police asked questions, conducting a brief search for any drugs, taking the almost full Rohipnol. Cassidy entered a coma when the ambulance arrived at the hospital and could not be revived. He died a day and a half later and the hapless Tina, into whose handbag he had dropped the fatal drugs, was eventually tried for murder. The evidence was damning against her, too damning. She received seven years imprisonment and Cassidy was buried by his family. They would ever after think of him as a needless victim, far more sinned against than sinning. He was only twenty-three years of age.
    
~~~

If you have been enjoying Fitzpatrick's stories here you may also enjoy his short story collections, and other books, available online as both Kindle books and paperbacks (go to http://amzn.to/1NfodtN). Other ebook and paperback options are available at  http://bit.ly/1UsyvKD Fitzpatrick has also had a collection of short stories, Aberrant Selected, published by Waldorf Publishing, available on Amazon.

No comments:

Post a Comment