Sunday, January 3, 2016

Justice for Junior?

The setting sun, swallowed by gray, low clouds on a misty July evening, turns the trailer park dark. Burning marijuana, along with frying chicken and spilled motor oil, wafts amongst the trailers. Loud televisions, louder voices and cheap aluminum doors being slammed jolts Junior. 

He's only eight months old.
Junior is hurting; a rib broken by a face he will never forget. With each breath his torso inflates, causing the break to separate.  With each exhale, the gap closes and the pain is relentless in his 30 pound body.  There is no way to escape it...he has to breathe. Gingerly, he rests on the dirt of the trailer's tiny lot. Ignored by the drug addicts inside the cramped trailer, he struggles to find comfort. 

Soft whimpers do not ease the pain, but by making the muffled sounds, at least it sounds like someone is feeling sorry for him...even if it is himself.  An infuriated mad man crashes out from the trailer. Crazed with bloodshot eyes, rotten teeth exposed by a grimacing mouth, and bad body odor, the man fitfully storms toward Junior.

Junior does not understand.

Junior was born in a cheap motel and was raised romping around the courtyard with the manager's bigger pit bull puppy.  Life wasn't too bad.  Food was provided, most of the time, and he knew how to cycle between motel rooms for handouts if he became hungry.  Prostitutes, drug addicts, "mentals," alcoholics, transients...he loved everyone and they all enjoyed having the good natured dog around. Somehow, he knew the danger of the busy road and stayed away from the passing cars.  Visitors, young and old, two legged or four-legged, were all greeted with a happy tail, perked ears and a big, wet tongue.  He loved them all. 

But, one day he went for a joyous ride and never returned.  His new home was a postage stamp trailer lot surrounded by a sagging, waist high chain link fence.  The trailer was equally tiny, hardly big enough for two people and a dog to share.  But, visitors were frequent at all hours of the day and night, so he was forced outside.  He missed playing with other dogs.  He missed the company of people.  He would try to solicit attention from visitors, but they ignored him. They were too focused to get inside the trailer and feed their addictions.

Days earlier, while trying to get some attention and becoming viewed as an irritating obstacle, the enraged man broke his rib.  It happened so fast, Junior wasn't sure but thought a knee had crashed into his side to cause the injury.  Hurting, he darted outside to hide.

A lady who noticed he wasn't himself actually took him to a couple clinics, but diagnosis required money.  Any money in hand would not be for his care, oh no... chemical addictions took priority.  So, alone in the trailer's yard, Junior tried his best to work through the pain.

When the mad man crashed out the door, Junior looked up.  Concerned that the man was approaching him, Junior cowered down and became motionless.  A hand placed at the back of his head and one under his chin, Junior wondered what was happening.  He looked up and suddenly, a swift jerking motion had his head twisted around. Taken beyond its limits, Junior heard a snapping and crunching sound.  Pain shot through his body as his head was released.  Too injured to hold his head up, his chin bounced in the dirt as the mad man repeated twisting his head again. More snapping sounds returned along with more pain.

Junior collapsed.  He whimpered some more, confused at what was happening to him. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched the crazed human reach inside the trailer's open door, grabbing a wooden baseball bat.  The monster swung the bat, crashing it into Junior's face.  Junior's world went black as the monster blasted his face a second time.

Junior's body, nearly lifeless, was sprawled out on the dirt as blood trickled into his ear canals.  Death was slow in coming--minutes went by as he lingered crossing that line.  A final whimper escaped from his mouth where a different person mercifully struck a fatal blow to the back of his head.  Death was immediate as the disgusted person left the trailer, pissed off that he was the one forced to end the dog's suffering.

Through lies, deception and some people actually telling the truth, the monster eventually plead guilty to his atrocious, demented acts against Junior.  The judge recognized the evil menace and imposed a maximum sentence. 

Eighteen months in prison.

It doesn't seem adequate to offset the sheer brutality and violence Junior endured at the end of his life.

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