Bill volunteered at a local orphanage. He spent hours playing board games with the kids and telling them funny stories. The kids really loved Bill, at times he was the only person who came to visit.
The staff at Care Lots Orphanage also enjoyed Bill’s visits. He could sit and talk for hours, reminiscing about his years in the Marines, and the many adventures he experienced.
The one thing Bill never spoke of was his childhood. Orphaned as a child, Bill bounced from one foster home to the next, suffering abuse in one form or another from parents who wanted to do the ‘right thing’, and who never really understood the pain the little boy experienced.
Bill’s home life was also very sad. Two failed marriages and several kids who may or may not have been his left him battered and heart broken. He managed to find odd jobs so he could send a bit to his kids, but most of the time, the mothers kept the money for themselves.
A huge man, Bill towered over the entire staff of the orphanage. A plaque was donated to the orphanage honoring the many years of volunteer work Bill had done. “A big man with a big heart” was inscribed on the plaque, along with a picture of Bill and the kids.
Today, the new manager of the orphanage asked to talk to Bill.
“We were looking at your files here, Mr. Hillman. We don’t see your code of conduct anywhere. We need you to fill out this form, which includes a criminal record check. It’s not like we don’t trust you, it is just a legality.” said the man.
Bill’s head fell. “I don’t, I mean, I can’t get you one. I have a criminal record. It happened years ago, after I left the marines. I have since straightened myself out. I am waiting for the governor to issue a pardon. I have paperwork from the government and from the military”
“We are sorry, Mr. Hillman, that isn’t good enough. We certainly can’t have you working with our children if you can’t be trusted.”
Bill was astonished. Beaten, he stood up and attempted to leave. One of the kids came running. “Bill Hill, where you going? Me and Tommy wants to play a game!”
Bill worked hard to hold back the tears. “I am only going for a little while, things will be okay, I promise” he said. He knew different, but couldn’t bring himself to tell the truth.
“It’s not fair!” he thought, as he walked home. “Those poor kids, they have nobody!”
When he arrived at the apartment, he pushed the door in and fell across the couch. Quite the sad thing really, such a large man crying his eyes out, but who could blame him? The only peace Bill has found has been working with the kids; kids nobody wanted.
Drowning his sorrows with a bottle of cheap whiskey, Bill reminisced to when he was a small boy. His father never stuck around, so it was up to his mother to raise him, to love him. She did neither. She didn’t like sleeping alone, so she quickly found someone to share her bed, and that someone didn’t want a stupid kid ruining their fun. Sharon Hillman began pushing Bill away, often locking him outside the house to fend for himself.
When Child services showed up at her doorstep, she wanted nothing to do with the boy. Drunkenly, she hollered and screamed at the social workers, ordering them to take the boy away. That’s what they did.
Bill was eight years old when he was first set up in the Kindle’s home. Roy and Helen had just lost their boy to Cancer, so Bill was to be his replacement. The Kindle boy was so smart in school, but unfortunately, Bill struggled. The boy was a hero in the school sports program, Bill was not. Bill wasn’t any of the things their boy was, and because of this, Bill suffered.
Helen tried to beat some sense in the boy. “I will make a man out of you yet!” Helen screamed, all the while beating Bill with her belt. At night, the terror increased, as Bill was ‘visited’ by Roy, who promised to make everything alright, as long as Bill didn’t tell Helen what Roy was doing to him.
When the gym teacher noticed bruises on the boy, he called Child Services. Bill was taken away from the Kindles, but the abuse continued. Every home was worst than the one before.
By the time Bill was sixteen, he had enough. He tried to end it all. He couldn’t even do this right, and after several visits to the Emergency Department of the local hospital, the police got involved.
One officer, who had a soft spot for the boy, suggested he join the Armed forces. Bill agreed; the best move Bill ever made. He loved the organized schedule, and for once, he found something he was good at.
Three tours in the Middle East, and Bill was finished. No longer could he take the violence, the hate, and the killing. He wasn’t meant to do this, and wanted out. His Commanding officer rejected his requests, so he just walked away.
Bill drifted from city to city, from state to state. Alcohol became his only friend, and one night, while sleeping off his latest drinking binge, some lady walked up to him and kicked him in the stomach. “Worthless bum, go out and get a job!”
Bill looked up at the stranger, but seen a much different person. He seen his mother. This time, she wasn’t drunk, and she wasn’t with a strange man. “You worthless little boy!” Bill heard. Whether it was the words of the stranger, or his PTSD, Bill reacted quickly. Clenching his hands around the woman’s neck, he proceeded to strangle her. A police car drove past, and the officer was quick to spin around.
Bill was arrested, but the lady chose not to press charges. “My husband was a Marine, a real mess when he came back. I am going to give this man another chance.”
This was the first time a woman was nice to Bill. He wanted to thank her for her kindness. Following her home, he waited until she was in the house. He planned to knock on the door and talk to her.
Bill glanced into the large front window of the lady’s home. He seen her, standing over her small boy. He watched as she slapped the child. Despite not being able to hear what was being said, he knew exactly what was happening. The child was being abused.
Bill barged into the home, and grabbed the boy. He pushed him out the door, and proceeded to take him away. The woman tore at Bill’s face, and screamed loudly. A neighbor called the police. Bill was arrested, and sentenced with attempted kidnapping.
One of the neighbors made an attempt to help Bill. She knew of the constant abuse the woman put her kids through, and wanted it to stop. Of course, the abusive woman was the wife of a Marine, a true hero, so nobody listened.
When Bill was released from prison, he disappeared from the public. He moved often, and lived from day to day. His only solace was working with kids at the various orphanages he visited.
After being barred from Care Lots, Bill’s life changed. “Someone has to pay!” he said to himself. He spent time walking through the park. This is where he met Nicole Simmons. Sitting on a park bench next to her, Bill began a conversation. “Where are you from?” he asked.
“Baltimore” She said.
“Married?” he asked.
“I was, not anymore.”
“Kids?” he inquired.
“Don’t get me started. I had two boys for two different guys. I was young back then, and couldn’t afford to keep them. Hard to make it on your own, you know how it is.” she said.
“I hear you. Hey, why don’t you join me for a drink, my treat!” he offered.
“I shouldn’t, but it’s been a long day.” she said.
Bill walked with the girl, and offered a short cut through the brush at the end of the park.
“So tell me about your kids. Are they with their dads?” Bill asked.
“Not their dads, but they are safe, with another family.” she said. That was all Bill needed to hear. “Someone has to pay, someone has to pay” Bill repeated. When the girl became nervous, she tried to run, but Bill was a large man, with large hands. His grip was too strong. Making a fist, he clobbered the tiny woman, sending her reeling across the path. Removing a .45 from his belt, he ended her life.
It was easy to carry her home. She didn’t weigh much. Bill dug a small grave behind his house, and buried her. He put a small headstone on top, and repeated. “Someone has to pay!”
Cathy Green was a haggard women. Spending way too much time in the bar, she had little time for her small kids at home. One night, while Bill was drowning his sorrows, he overheard a conversation between Cathy and some drunk at the bar. She bragged how two of her oldest had been removed, and were in better homes now.
“These people have money, I don’t. When my kids are grown, they can come back and take care of me.”
Bill waited for the club to close. It was located in a rough part of town, so there wasn’t much traffic, especially after 4 in the morning. He took her life quickly, not even giving her time to scream or fight for her life. She was buried next to Nicole.
A few more nights, a few more women. Someone had to pay, and pay they did, with their lives. Bill moved from town to town, ‘Protecting’ the kids by murdering their mothers.
Returning home, he noticed a white envelope stuck in the front door of his apartment. Ripping it open, he read it.
“To William Hillman.
This is a notice of the removal of your children from your estranged wife. If you do not respond within 30 days, the children will we sent to Child Services and adopted out to a good family.”
The letter was dated March 30, two months ago.
“That bitch lost my kids. They are gone to a foster home. Oh My God!” he thought, tears washing his face clean.
He knew where Sally lived. He had visited a few times, in an effort to see the kids. There was a car in the driveway, not hers. Bill never hesitated. “Someone has to pay” he said. He repeated the words to himself as he kicked in the door. The man who was at her house ran for his life, but Sally never made it. Bill choked the life from the woman who bore his kids, the woman who took them from Bill, and allowed his kids to be taken from her as well. Someone had to pay.
The man who fled the apartment called the police. Bill was arrested soon afterwards; after all, someone has to pay.