Chapter 22

A Clockwork Orange fanfic

by Technomad

Tonight, I had an experience I never want to repeat again.

Tonight, I met a ghost from my past…a ghost from the past I thought safely buried.

My wife, Georgina, and I, we'd stopped out for the evening before the main event. We'd popped into the old snack shop down the street from where we live, for a bit of a snack, when who should pipe up from the corner but my old droog Alex.

Not much changed from the old days, was Alex. Unlike me, he was still dressed in the height of nadsat fashion. Unusually, he was alone. I felt the years roll back as I stared at him, until I was sixteen again and following him around on our rounds of the night, with the old ultra-violence always around the next corner.

"Well, well, well, droogie, what gives? Very long time no viddy!" he called out. I was relieved that he was clearly in a friendly mood. He could easily have been nursing a grudge from George and Dim's betrayals, and decided to take it out on me. I could have handled him, but had reasons not to show all that I could do in that place. I had done much to wash the stink of the old days and old ways off me, and had no desire to go back to them.

We talked for a while, in friendly wise, catching up on what had happened in our lives. I had known about Georgie's death, having been there, but the news that Dim, of all people, was now a policeman was a surprise. I made a mental note to be careful of any police I saw; Dim, for all his outward stupidity, didn't forget much. I should have to be very cautious if I ran into him.

I introduced Georgina, and she was charmed by Alex. Alex could be very pleasant when he wanted to be…I remembered that all too well. It was how he'd roped me into his band of droogies; after the last stint in youth corrections I'd had, I was none too keen on going back inside. Even so, after a few evenings with Alex, I was back in the old ways with a vengeance.

After Georgie and Dim betrayed Alex into the hands of the police, the old group lost a lot of its savour for me. I wasn't sorry when Georgie-boy's ambitions led him to a sticky end; I had feared that he'd tire of me the way he had Alex. I couldn't just up and leave, because Georgie had more than enough on me to send me straight to where Alex was, but after Georgie was gone, Dim and I just drifted apart. We parted on friendly terms, or at least non-hostile, which was all that I wanted.

Once I was out of things, I went to work on a plan I'd had for some time. I reformed…or, at least, stopped going out all night with people like my now ex-droogs. I applied myself in school, getting good grades, and appeared to leave all thoughts of crime behind me. I left school with a good certificate, and met Georgina, who opened a whole new world to me.

In particular, she introduced me to Greg. Greg turned my life around, took me in tow, and got me a good job. With the money from that, I was able to propose to Georgina, and we'd set up housekeeping in a nice little flat. Of course, you can be very sure that I took precautions to keep people like my former self and my ex-droogs well out of there. Bolts and locks on the doors and windows, and a silent alarm connected to the local police station, so that any invasion would be promptly responded to.

We talked for a while; Alex looked slightly repulsed when I told him we were going to be playing word games over at Greg's. That was Alex all over; he was always one for instant action. Georgie and Dim had been that way inclined as well, which was what had led Georgie to his doom. A little advance planning would have got Georgie out of that situation with a valise-ful of fence-able valuables.

Aye, well…the world is what it is, is it not? Alex and I finally parted, with mutual good will, and Georgina and I went off to Greg's place. But not to play word games. I just said that to kill any interest my old droog might have had in tagging along.

Alex was by no means suited for what I was planning to get up to that evening. Greg, Georgina and I had plans for the night, that did not involve word games.

Greg's the leader of one of the biggest and most successful firms of villains in London, and Georgina's his sister. I haven't forgotten what Georgie said, long ago, about "mansize crasts;" it just so happened that his eyes were bigger than his talent.

Greg's got some of the top talent in London on his string, and he pulls off most of the really big crimes in this city. The millicents know about him…how could they not?…but he's got enough eyes-and-ears in their ranks that he's always one jump ahead of them, at least. He's also got some of the sharpest legal talent in the country at his beck-and-call.

These days, I've left the days of running the streets and random ultra-violence far far behind. These days, I make a very good living off my little doings of the night…as Georgie saw we could, and as Alex apparently never has.

That night, we were planning a little expedition against some ill-guarded shipments of jewelry coming into the country at the aerodrome. The guards had been well-subsidized, and were expecting us; they also knew that the consequences of betrayal, were they so foolish as to commit it, would be unthinkable. Just because Greg's not as mindlessly ultra-violent as my old associates doesn't mean that he can't extract some terrible vengeance from betrayers.

That evening, Georgina and I planned to make more in a few hours' work than my old droogies and I had pulled in for a whole year's worth of risking our freedom on the streets. While my old droog Alex continued in the way he'd gone, I was making enough money that in a few years I'd be able to retire. Unlike many of our colleagues, Georgina and I didn't gamble or throw money around wildly. We saved every penny we could in nice safe offshore accounts.

Alex was going to get lovetted again…sure as fate. He may have been momentarily discontented, but he hadn't changed enough. I saw all that stuff in the gazettas about how he'd been 'cured,' and then apparently 'un-cured' when the Lodovico Treatment worked in ways they hadn't anticipated. Even without the 'un-cure,' he was too much the street hooligan to ever reform, not really. Sooner or later, he'd be back in the hands of the millicents. If I were lucky, it might even be old Dim.

I fully planned to open the gazetta one day and see his face, above a caption 'Sentenced to Life Without Parole.' And while I enjoyed my freedom and my lifestyle, I would raise a cup of chai and toast the health of my ex-droog.

Without him, and people like him, the millicents might just be able to get on my trail, which would never, ever do.