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The following story is fiction about extrajudicial punishment of two young men.  The story contains a scene of flogging.  If this subject is offensive, uninteresting or if you are a minor (i.e., child) please leave now.

In New York bicycles are considered vehicles and must when ridden by a nonjuvenile follow the traffic code just like automobiles must.  Riding on pedestrian paths and sidewalks is strictly forbidden except for juveniles.

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Flogged and Imprisoned


It was a glorious spring day and Mrs. Muellerweiss was more than thrilled.  The cold winter with its dangerous ice was past.  With the sun shining brightly in a clear azure sky she was more than anxious to have a pleasant stroll in the park to savor life in one of the few ways left to an eighty-three-year-old widow.  She called her friend and neighbor, Mrs. Taroni and together they left their apartment house and headed for the park at noon sharp.

It was an exhilarating experience as they walked a bit and then sat a bit savoring nature doing its wonderful spring renaissance.  They both wished that they, too, would regenerate like that but that is, alas, only for flora not fauna.

Then as they were walking along the path two cyclists, peddling furiously in competition sped thoroughly heedless of the rights and safety others and of the law.  Mrs. Taroni was the fortunate one for when she was hit she was able to grab a lamppost rather than fall.  Mrs. Muellerweiss was not so fortunate for she was knocked to the ground fracturing her hip.  Others in the park quickly came to their aid and called both for an ambulance and the police.  One had even gotten some pictures of the evil perpetrators.

The incident made the news.  All were sympathetic but the world quickly moved on.  The police worried about other crimes and other criminals.  Mrs. Muellerweiss missed the spring as her old bones slowly healed.  She learned to use a wheelchair and then a walker.  Maybe in a year or two she might manage with just a cane said the doctors hopefully.

Her quality of life was severely impacted by two criminals who apparently were getting off scot-free.© YLeeCoyote

There was a secret group that was interested in Mrs. Muellerweiss' situation.  So secret that even its name is unknown.  It had been working on hard on the case.  Eventually they found the two perps.  It is said that criminals always return to the scene of the crime.  It turned out in this case, after several months they returned to racing across the park on the very same path thinking that the heat was off.

The group made plans.  One morning as the two criminals did their usual, several well-motivated men were there with detailed plans.  The three who were walking to face the speeding cycles had canes which they deafly stuck into the spokes of the front wheels.  When the canes met the forks holding the wheels the rotation abruptly stopped.  Momentum cannot be denied, however.  The cyclists went head over heals and crashed.  Quickly, the two were Maced.  While temperately blinded and in pain the two were dragged to the nearby lamp post and secured with their hands raised up high using plastic handcuffs and heavy wire ties.

As a proclamation was read detailing their crimes, their jackets and shirts were cut away leaving them barebacked for punishment.  Finally, the sentence was read – two dozen lashes well laid on.  The two quickly learnt how much more painful that was than just the burning of the mace as the flogging commenced.  They each howled when they felt the first strokes.  Then the counter coldly intoned: "One of twenty-four."

After a few more cuts, they were begging for mercy and were whimpering.  Now they were not the aggressive and arrogant men that forced others to yield.  Now they were mere criminals being punished in the ancient way by other citizens.

"Nine of twenty-four." went the count with renewed vigor for the floggers had changed.  Stroke after stroke was applied.  Soon their backs were swollen and tender, wet and red.

Eventually, the counter intoned: "Twenty-four of twenty-four.  Stop."  Each got the cold salty water from a bucket thrown at them.

The pair was left alone in pain, tied to the lamppost and confused.  After a few hours the police and an ambulance appeared.  The officials were confused for there was a packet of the original photos of the injured old ladies.  The two protested their arrest and claimed that they were the victims of a terrible crime.

The DA could not avoid prosecuting them for injuring the two old ladies and violating the traffic code for riding on the pathways as the public demanded once the story had hit the newspapers.  Mrs. Muellerweiss sued and won damages far exceeding the criminals' limited resources leaving them as paupers as they languished in prison.  These events improved her mood immensely as did the video of the flogging posted on the internet.

The criminals' demands that the vigilantes be found and prosecuted was brushed off as the DA knew he never could get a jury to convict.

The End

© Copyright A.I.L. October 25, 2017

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Last updated:  September 15, 2023