THE PHANTOM OF VEGAS
Saul motions for me to follow and leads me into a private VIP area with a double set of glass doors facing the street. A stiff gust pushes against me when Saul opens the doors. At this height on floor twenty two of a certain casino hotel tower, you must be careful not to get taken by the wind.
A man is tied to the balcony, forced by ropes to look down at the pedestrians and traffic of Las Vegas Boulevard. Joining him, I watch the blur of lights and listen to the horns and screams of the city. There is an envelope taped to his back, but I leave it for a moment. He can't move to acknowledge me, but his eye twitches and I know he is aware of my presence.
"Did you bring a signed confession?" I ask.
The man nods and I rip the envelope free from the tape. Removing the paper, I read an account of this man's crime and tale of punishment. Seems he is out on parole. Violent rape and other charges.
"Do you admit guilt?" I ask, waving my hand towards Saul. Music beings to play, though it's difficult to hear over the wind.
He nods affirmative and I say no more. I hum along with the music and watch the man for reaction.
"...the phantom of the opera is dead..." I sing.
He faces the city and waits. I watch a vein in his neck twitch and I unzip my purse. Gripping the knife I take a position behind him.
"What happened to the woman you raped?" I ask.
I hear wind and music, but no words from the convicted rapist in front of me. Waving again at Saul, the music stops. Pushing myself closer, I ask my question again.
Letting out a low whistle, I snap open the blade and lift it towards the back of his neck. "And yet, here you are out on parole. Sounds like a good deal to me. For you anyway."
I wait for a response, but there is nothing. No words. No answer from this man out of jail for rape and murder. I place the blade against his neck.
"Any final words before I pass judgment?"
"I did my time." He attempts to turn his face to meet mine, but the restraints prevent it. I wait, but he says nothing more. I laugh and push myself against his body.
"Allow me to respond," I say, pressing my lips against his ear. "Your parole has been revoked. You have a choice. Violate parole and return to jail or...I think you can figure out the other option."
"It's this simple. You leave the city limits. I place an anonymous call to police. You will be taken into custody and returned to jail. Or, you can face my justice. What is your choice?
"I want to live."
"So did the woman you murdered."
I slide the blade across his throat. Blood sprays over the balcony and falls in slow motion towards the street. Grabbing the paper confession, I stuff it into a pocket before cutting him free from the duct tape. I laugh as he falls to the cement. Saul rushes to my side and lifts the man, hurling his body over the edge. With a hand on the railing, I watch the man fall and crash onto the sidewalk below.
I hear the faint echo of screams on the wind and watch pedestrians run away from the body. Saul places a hand on my upper arm and pulls me away from the balcony and into the room.
"We need to go." He leads me to a private elevator for employees and whisks me through hidden hallways to a side entrance. With a smile, I walk toward the limo waiting at the curb. George holds the door open and I hear music coming from inside.
Phantom of the Opera.
I put one leg into the limo, but stop and lock eyes with George. "Bring me all the men paroled for rape in Vegas. Every single fucking last one of them."