[Media prompt] Muslim youth who have been charged with terrorism offences or targeted in recent counter-terrorism raids are merely teenagers being teenagers, a university lecturer has told an Islam conference.
The People’s Court
“This one said he’s fifteen,” one of them said, pointing with the toe of his boot.
This brought laughter from the group, four men wearing camo jackets over which they’d strapped firearms. With the cold northerly off the lake, they huddled together, rubbing their hands for warmth.
“What’d the other one say?”
“He can’t talk,” said the tallest of them. “He’s still teething.”
One of the other men grunted, saying, “He’s not going to need new ones anyway.” He shone a light into the faces on the ground, one after the other. The first one had oily pockmarked skin with holes dotting his face big enough to stick in a matchstick. Dried blood was crusted around his nostrils.
“Which one raped Andrea?”
Someone shone a light on the second one. Through his swollen lips were bloodied gaps. The tallest man hadn’t been joking about teething.
A sound like a squeaking hinge from across the water silenced them, three of them turning their heads. The man turned off his torch while they looked into the darkness.
“It’s just a grebe,” said the man who had not taken his eyes off the two bodies at their feet. His jacket stretched tight over his shoulders but hung loose over his hips. “Like a duck,” he added.
The moon was bright enough to see PEACE written on the hoodie one of them wore. The letters were mostly covered by blood or dirt, but you could make out the word, even without the torch.
“He’s the one the court let off?”
The light flashed on again, shining through the gap where the guy’s teeth had been. The tall man pulled a sidearm from its holster, waving the other three back with his free hand. He knelt down, one knee sinking into the damp earth.
“You know that fancy Jew lawyer you had?” he said. “The one that said to the judge it's okay for you to fuck kids because it’s in your culture?”
Leaves rustled in the freshening wind. Off in the distance they could see the silhouette of Mount Piercy, snow glimmering on its peak. Nobody said anything.
“Well, this isn’t going to be like that.”
Not looking up, the tall man waved the other three to take another step away. He pushed the muzzle of his Ruger into the toothless mouth and pulled the trigger. As the lake detonated into a commotion of wing slaps on water and startled cries of alarm, he shot the second one in the same way.
After burying the bodies, the four men drove back to town. The mayor could say what she liked about taking in refugees, but the days of sitting around watching while Muslims destroyed Ashbyville has officially come to a close.