The Transformation Story Archive The Blind Pig

Striking Back

by Jo Hunter

As he made it to the top of the bell tower a sudden twinge of conscience hit him. Is this really a good idea? He shook it off and kept on. This was it, his chance to finally strike back, and he was not going to stop just now.

He opened the trapdoor and climbed out onto the platform. The Town Bell was right there, just as large as he had supposed; he could hide himself in it if he wanted to. Needed to, in case someone came by before he was ready.

Looking around, he tried to get his bearings. Just over there... that was the bakery shop, so over there would be... that insurance company's tower... so the side I want is... there.

He moved carefully to the short wall, careful to make sure he stayed against the one nearby and crouched low so he wouldn't be spotted. He wanted to strike many, many times. At least once for each one they had hit with him.

Making it to the corner, he hunkered down, and set down the long, plastic case he had with him, then opened it.

Inside was the Rifle.

His Rifle.

A long-range deliverer of justice and vengance, with all the packages stored with it. Alongside it a few boxes containing at least sixty rounds total. More than enough.

Slowly, he picked up the rifle, closing his eyes and savoring the moment. It was finally Time. Time to take from the world as the world had taken from him. Time for justice to be done, for pain to be given back as delivered, to lash back out against that which had lashed him so many times.

Already the headlines were running through his head. Marcus Reifen, 22, strikes back at the world after being dormant for so long. He even knew what to say when they stopped him. Justice is now done. I have merely struck back. You thought you were going to be able to keep me down forever, but I showed you. Damn fucking right I showed you.

He opened his eyes, face showing resolve now. Time to move. Let justice be delayed no more.

He pulled open one of the boxes and withdrew about five rounds. A clack as the bolt slid open. The sound of metal against metal as each round was inserted. A cock of the bolt - ka-CLACK - and it was loaded. He could have gotten a semi-automatic, but he wanted to handle each shot himself. No need for the delivery system to prepare the package of Justice. This was his Justice, and he would prepare each and every one.

A small shiver of anticipation ran down his back. Finally, it was truly Time.

He moved over to the short wall along the side, and saw...


People, milling about the small town square. Doing what, he neither knew nor cared. They cared not about him; it was proven beyond doubt. An eye for an eye.

He raised the rifle to his shoulder, leaning into it, and took aim...

And then...


His conscience crashed over him with all the weight of a concrete brick dropped from a two-story building. The sheer force of it knocked him down onto his back, the rifle clattering on the platform next to him. What are you DOING? What the hell are you about to DO? What the hell has HAPPENED to you?

Marcus Reifen, 22, did not strike back at the world. Marcus Reifen, age 22, male, brown hair, gray fur, collapsed, curled up in a small graying ball, and started making sounds that resembled a tangled mix of human sob and lupine whimper.


The police had been called in by a panicked businessman who had seen someone holding a rifle at the top of the Community Bell Tower. A pair of officers were the first to arrive on the scene, and were consequently the first to enter the tower, after confirming with various others who indicated that no shots had been fired from the Community Bell Tower of North Clinton, OH.

A fairly young yet experienced officer named David Norton was the first to look through the open trap door, with his partner right behind him.

They saw a long plastic case, obviously of the type used to carry a hunter's rifle, opened, and sans weapon. Inside it still were three boxes of ammunition, a few loose rounds strewn near them, presumably for the rifle it had carried.

Two meters away there was the rifle in question; from that distance it looked like a bolt-action hunter's rifle - a good thing, since those had fallen out of favor with the local hunting population, so it might make it easier to trace. It was just lying on the floor, and appeared to be loaded, but apparently not fired, oddly enough.

Right next to the rifle, and between it and the case, were, even more oddly, a forest green T-shirt and a pair of kakhi shorts, with a pair of hunting boots near them. They were torn in several places, as though forcibly removed by some means.

And in the corner beyond the rifle was a medium-sized gray timber wolf, curled up, making very faint whimpering sounds, and visibly shaking even from this distance.

Upon seeing the last Officer Norton winced, holstered his pistol, then got on his radio.

"This is Officer Norton, car 23. Situation is under control. Another SCABS guy had a breakdown, looks like. Doesn't appear to have hurt himself, is just in a corner like usual. Any instructions?"

The reply was immediate. "Stay on the scene until a team can arrive; they'll take care of it."

"No problem." Norton returned the radio to his belt, then turned to his partner. "Head down to the front door to let our friends in; I'll keep watch on this guy."

"Sure" his partner said, glancing at the wolf and shaking his head before heading down.

Norton watched him go, then climbed up onto the platform and walked over to the wolf. It showed no signs to indicate it wanted him to stay away.

Sitting down next to it, he reached out, and patted it behind the ears, sighing to himself. "I'm sorry, pal. I don't know what happened, but I'm sorry things came to this."

The wolf just stayed curled up, whimpering a little less while Norton scratched it behind the ears, wondering as he did so what the hell the world was coming to.

Striking Back copyright 2001 by Jo Hunter.

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