MONOLOGUE: Identity Crisis

by Phil Emery

SETTING:         A bedroom

TIME:               present



I am Night.  I walk in the sodium shadows of the city when the sun has gone, and hunt my prey.  I seek out the evil, the corrupt, the filth of the streets.  All criminals fear me, for I am their nemesis and my vengeance is terrible.  I am Night. 

I stand before the full-length mirror in my bedroom.  Who would guess that within the unassuming suburban home of a mild-mannered accountant is a mysterious crusader for justice?   No, I will not tell you my name.

My identity must remain a closely guarded secret lest my enemies seek me out when I am off my guard.

In the mirror I am an imposing figure.  I almost pity the cowardly wrong-doers I will confront this night.  Surely I will strike fear into their hearts.  From head to toe I am clad in black.  When not on duty my costume is concealed in a secret compartment of my wardrobe.  My silent agility is thanks to the black-painted tennis shoes I wear.  My body is attired in a sleek skin-tight outfit.  Who in my local sub-aqua club would guess that my wet-suit serves another, far more important use?  A black balaclava hides my hair colouring.  Fastened securely about the head are wide-lensed one-way glasses that mask my eyes.  A scarf wrapped over my mouth not only hides my features but makes my voice unrecognisable.  The aunt who knitted it years ago is dead now.  There is no one to connect it with my alter-ego.  A pair of slim black leather gloves complete the basic costume.  The Night leaves no finger prints.

Not even my lovely young wife suspects.

I am indeed an imposing figure.  My correspondence bodybuilding course has turned my body into a powerful rock-hard machine.  I fear no one.

These days I am even having to hold back in my weekly tae-kwon-do lessons lest I give my away my identity by my prowess.

From my utility belt hangs a small plastic flashlight which I sometimes shine into the eyes of my foes.  Perhaps I should fix an emblem on the front to project as an unnerving forewarning of my approach?   The belt is also stocked with circular oriental throwing knives.  I buy them from the Golden Dragon Martial Arts Emporium over on the other side of the city.  I am unknown there;  the weapons cannot be traced back to an insignificant accountant.  I carry no gun.  Besides the shaken my only weapon is my knife.  When not a feared instrument of retribution it is no more than an everyday carving knife kept in an ordinary drawer in my kitchen.  Who would suspect?

I look for it now.  It is nowhere to be seen.  Has it been stolen by some master-criminal whose twisted brilliance has lead them to deduce my secret?   No.  Now I remember.  I left it in the kitchen.

I will go downstairs and into the kitchen.

My wife will still be there.

Lying on the floor.

Her blood will have dried on the laminate flooring by now.

It was incredibly bad luck that she should arrive home just as I was departing into the darkness, clad in my crusading garb.

There was no other way.

Even if she had not screamed at me, calling me insane.  Even if she had not threatened to call the police.  My secret identity, my efficiency as a crime fighter must be protected at all costs.  She was beautiful and kind and I loved her.  But what does one life mean against the wellbeing of an entire city?

I will go and gently pull the carving knife from her stomach.  In my hand it will again become no longer a carving knife but a feared instrument of justice.  Who would suspect?

I am Night.  I walk in the sodium shadows of the city when the sun has gone, and hunt my prey.  I seek out the evil, the corrupt, the filth of the streets.  All criminals fear me, for I am their nemesis and my vengeance is terrible.  I am Night.

copyright © 2010 Phil Emery.  All rights reserved.

Phil Emery’s work has been appearing in the UK, USA, Europe and Canada since the seventies.  This includes a novel, Necromantra and a radio play, Virtual Grafix.  The play Sirens was performed in 2006 at Leicester and Staffordshire universities and the short story ID is regularly broadcast on BBC radio.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s