Bob by Chris Espenshade

Bob liked to imagine he was a sane person.  To Bob, proof of his sanity could be found in his struggle with the contradictions inherent in his actions.  That inner turmoil made it difficult to steady his aim as the celebrity rapist settled into the patio chaise. 

Bob had watched as woman after woman came forward, sometimes three or four in a single day.  Bob had listened when a civil suit deposition suggested that the rapist saw no problem with drugging woman to hinder their desire or their ability to deny consent.  Bob had seen the rapist brand the many, many accusers as liars and willing participants.  Each step brought Bob closer to full draw, his entire being becoming as taut as a bowstring.

Yet, Bob recognized the many contradictions to be sorted before releasing the arrow.  Bob sought to punish a serial rapist who had successfully played the justice system.  However, Bob hoped to escape unpunished himself.

Bob argued that the grotesque arrogance of the serial rapist strengthened the need for the punishment.  Then again, Bob knew that many would see him as arrogant for feeling that he alone needed to be the tool of justice.

Bob decried gun violence and loathed the NRA.  Nonetheless, Bob knew that the broad-head arrow would tear flesh the same as a bullet.

Bob hoped this act would be his legacy.  Strangely though, Bob hoped nobody ever found out it was he.

Bob convinced himself that this was a one-time response to an extraordinary case.  Yet, Bob recently found himself similarly outraged with the behavior of a certain mega-pastor.  Bob felt his anger growing again, like the tension of a bow drawn once more.

Bob did not realize he had made any conscious decision.  One moment the 20-yard sight pin had settled on the rapist’s chest, and the next moment Bob lowered the bow and the still-notched arrow.  Bob’s outrage remained, but the need for violent action, like the kinetic energy of the drawn bow, slowly dissipated.

Bob’s legacy would be that he did not take the shot.