It was a normal, peaceful day on the bustling streets of London. Well, perhaps peaceful is the wrong word. There really is no such thing as a “peaceful” day in London, especially during the tourist seasons. Baker street was always filled with the literary obsessives dying to find Sherlock Holmes’ address or the Karl Marx cafe at the British Museum. Some of them make their way to Fleet street and find the pub where Dickens drank and there you will also find the “alternative” kids from around the world, wearing Jack Skellington beanies looking for where the real Sweeney Todd’s barbershop used to be.
It was just a few blocks down from here, on Fleet Street, where it happened.
People were having a normal “peaceful” London day. The streets packed with barristers on their way to or from offices. Tourists were clogging the streets, not catching on that they were walking at a slow and annoying pace. Couples and families in and out of shops and restaurants. Old men hanging out in front of cafes or in the pubs. It was a normal summer day on this little stretch of Fleet street.
On this little stretch of Fleet Street there was a man who worked in a small shop. A little convenience market on the corner across from the bank. The man’s name was Trevor. Trevor thought this would be a normal day of selling tourists snack foods and tall cans of beer to the local beggars and soccer junkies. He was just unlocking the door, propping it open outside with the cement block his boss stole from a construction site to use as a door stop. Just as he propped the weight and was ready to welcome the day’s customers, that was when he heard the screams of the boy.
The boy cut around the corner, faster than anything Trevor had ever seen. The boy could be no older than 15, and the tone of his screams indicated this year, let alone this day, would be his last. What Trevor saw speed by him was less of a 15 year old screaming for help, but was rather more of a dying man screaming a warning with his final breath. The boy was running with an awkward stumble, a sway from side to side as if he were drunk, but he still ran. He ran despite the depth of his wound.
What Trevor saw was a 15 year old boy who had been shot, who was now cradling his stomach trying to clench the horrifically painful wound. The screams continued as he passed Trevor and tried to carrie his warning down the busy street.
“THE VICAR!” He was shouting, “THE VICAR.”
Trevor looked at him in confusion, shock, and terror as the hobbled sprinter carried on down the street. He separated the crowds on the side walk like Moses parting the waves as people leapt to the sides in shock, some of them screaming at the sight of the blood. “THE VICAR.” He kept shouting, “THE VICAR.”
Finally in a moment of instant delirium, he collapsed, face first on the pavement. His screams were no more, but they would forever echo inside the minds of everyone who was on that street that day, and lived.
All of this happened in a matter of 5-6 seconds. What happened next was even faster, for as Trevor turned to go into the store and call for help, he was met with what the boy was screaming about.
As Trevor turned, he was met with what looked like a young vicar, no older than 25 or even 23. The pale of his skin was accentuated by the red and brown blotches on his nose and cheeks where he had picked at the skin. The pale skin and crusty blotches were only magnified as they contrasted with the pure darkness that was his cloak and collar. Thisy vicar was also holding a large automatic rifle, that blasted into Trevor’s stomach and chest, and tore into his face.
He had no time to react, no time to even process everything that had just happened. All that remained of Trevor now was the abstract portrait of blood and brains on the glass of the shop door, and the gushing slump that was once Trevor laying on the ground with it’s remains of a head propped up against the bottom of the door.
The Vicar stepped over Trevor, ignoring the screams of the neighborhood when they saw who was responsible for all of this. People scattered and fled in several directions all across the pavement, some of them getting trampled in the process or flung out into traffic in their panic and getting hit by cars.
The Vicar began pulling the trigger again, striking the backs of heads and torsos of people in the crowd, young and old alike. He fired into the road killing drivers and causing a crash that led to a four car wreck blocking the entire street.
Some of the people hit with his bullets included a little girl, a little boy, two grandmas, a secretary to a PM, another vicar, and just anyone sitting outside who wasn’t quick enough to react to all of this because of the shock.
Blood spattered on the pavement and onto strangers faces and clothes. The screams made any siren inaudible, but they were there. As the Vicar pointed the gun to the opposite side of the street, he hit a mid aged couple visiting from Fresno, and a family of four from Liverpool, the youngest of whom was 2 years old. He didn’t hear the sirens or screeching breaks, he didn’t here them screams of, “DROP YOUR WEAPON!” And he didn’t hear the bullet that landed in the back of his head that ended it all.
The investigation found that he was not a vicar at all. He was a drop out from Liverpool with a history of drug and mental health problems. How he got a gun, they still didn’t know. Why he wasn’t in the proper facilities, his family counldn’t say. All that remained to do now was to fix the damage that had been done.
All that could be done now was to fix the damage that had been done.