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Revenge, Inc. Part 23: A Short Story
Hello everyone and welcome back. I know that many of you have been anticipating this installment and want to find out who this "new girl" is. As I've said before, I've been anticipating these next few and final installments for a long time now for the past five months. Rest assured, the the work here is fresh and was just recently completed only a few hours after I hit "save" for the very first time. I actually wanted to make it a bit longer, but the proceeding parts will have to wait until next week or so. As always, I hope you enjoy it. Fans and Followers of mine will notice a similarity with this new girl's namesake and it's no coincidence as I'm dedicating this work to her. Her dialogue became that much easier for me to write as I'm familiar with the way she talks.
I'd like to give a special thanks to my good friend Kiera7 who is an avid reader like many of you here at HubPages, who got her husband hooked on reading this as well. She apologized to me earlier for making mention of reading this installment in her opinion, prematurely. Well, my friends, I by no means was going to cheat you out of NOT writing a new installment this week or any other week for that matter and I wasn't planning to take a week off! Both Christmas and New Year's fell on a Friday and I still was able to crank out an installment. I wouldn't have it any other way. So thanks, Keira7! It's friends like you that keep me motivated to deliver every single week!
I'd like to also thank Cris A for supplying another great pic for this week's installment. I smell a great book cover if you ask me!
Now, if you are just stopping in to see what all the Hub Bub is all about, I thank you but would also like to urge you to read this series from its beginning, from Part One. Please click on the corresponding link below and thank you for reading me!
A Chance Meeting
From the face of this woman who I couldn’t place, I looked to my father who wasn’t at all surprised by her being there. Truth be told, I was the only one that was surprised in the entire church. A part of me felt that I should know her, but I didn’t. Another part of me was angered by the fact that he deliberately let this woman inside St. Augustine's to meet me. At a time he and I agreed that there would be no outsiders and yet here she stood before me. What was he up to? He did the favor of introducing me to her before I could even ask.
“This is Rayna, Marak. For the past year she’s been visiting me and confiding in me all of her confessions—most of which concerns her occupation in which she must keep secret so as to not betray the trust of those she cares for. Surely, you can understand that, can’t you? The other part…”
“What do you do?” I asked her.
“I work as a counselor for battered women,” she said and continued smiling at me.
“Mary of Grace? On Park side and Washington?”
“That’s the one.”
“…As I was saying,” my father interrupted. “The other part involves you.” I turned and looked at him and so in the process had broken eye contact with Rayna.
“How so? And how is it she knew where to find me?” I asked, more curious than ever. My father then looked at Rayna and gave her a slight bow.
“That’s not for me to tell you, Marak. Perhaps you should ask her yourself. So with that said, I will leave the two of you alone.” He then turned around and walked away. Rayna’s eyes were downcast for a time as the sound of my father’s footsteps faded away in the distance. She looked up at me.
“To answer one of your questions, I didn’t know where to find you. Until I began meeting with your father, I was taking my work home with me, so to speak, carrying the burden of other battered women with me after leaving Mary of Grace. I just didn’t know who else to turn to. That was when I met your father while walking down Clancy Street. As soon as he saw me, he just knew that something was wrong. He then asked if I’d like to walk with him, which of course led me here.”
“Wait a minute, you said other battered women...”
“Yes, I too was a victim once. My life completely changed as a result of it. I wanted to help other women like myself who had been abused years ago in every sense of the word.” She paused and looked into my eyes, searching me. It was almost too much for me to bear. I could’ve looked at her all night and yet could have not looked at her at all. “You don’t remember me, do you Marak?” I shook my head.
“No, I don’t.”
“Please, think back to a four-story building, 141 Division Avenue, four years ago. What did you do that night?” It was vague, it was history. I couldn’t remember. Or maybe I didn’t want to remember. Each day, there were more things I’d much rather forget. It was better that way.
“I haven’t a clue what your talking about.” Rayna then reached into her purse and bought out a four-inch piece of razor sharp steel and showed it to me. I knew what it was immediately, as the owner of a weapon only could. Rayna held it tight as it were a knife.
“Do you remember this? You gave it to me that night. You told me, ‘This will keep you safe so keep it near you at all times’ and that’s exactly what I did. That was also the last time I saw you.” The memories were indeed flooding back, but I was fighting to not let the images in...Rayna was screaming. “Look at me! Remember? Four years ago! Imagine me four years younger…What do you see?”
Father of Mine
Her voice haunts me still. Over the past four years, I did well to forget her cries, to forget her sounds. If I carried on every sight and sound this city has revealed to me, I would need to be locked up just like the rest of them, because I would be losing my mind. The sounds of her pleas are inescapable and painful to hear, like long sharp nails slowly scraping a chalkboard. It sends shivers down my spine. There’s a strong odor of malt liquor—the cheap shit you get at the corner store for two bucks. What I couldn’t understand was how in the surrounding area of 141 Division Street not come to aid this girl, this terrified little girl? Has everyone turned a deaf ear to every atrocity around them? And then of course there’s the unspeakable question, the question no one, no even the perpetrator is able to answer—with the judge to his right and the District Attorney in his face and the twelve member jury looking on—why he was doing what he’s doing and all he could do in response is swing his head over to one side and begin sobbing, as if anyone is going to take pity on this bastard, this low-life scumbag who calls himself her father. My hand is on my katana and is at the ready, but I’m too late to undo what’s already been done...
“NO DADDY! PLEASE STOP! YOU’RE HURTING ME!”
A teenage girl is on her back against a bare floor, her jeans are down around her ankles and her panties are torn away hastily. A naked man three times her age and twice her weight is on top of her, wanting her, and forcing himself inside of her despite her struggles to break free. He has a hold of both her wrists, pressed firmly against the wooden floor of the apartment. Her legs are everywhere, squirming and kicking to no avail. She was simply no match for this drunken gorilla. A stream of blood had formed.
“It’s for your own good, baby…Who better but me, huh? You’re going to lose it one way or the other.”
I wanted to throw up when hearing this, but that of course would’ve slowed me down. That’s the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to move as fast as could and drive the point home…A squeak on the floorboard was initially the only sound I made, but that was all.
I kicked him so hard that his head actually hit the floor board and bounced back up. Just as soon as I made impact, he was off the girl and rolling over in agony. I looked over and this girl was wiping away her tears and was doing her best to dress herself. I found a blanket nearby and wrapped her in it. “Keep yourself warm, okay?” She responded by giving me a nod. I then walked back to her father.
I was just getting started.
He was well over two hundred and twenty five pounds, but to me, he could’ve been half that. I flung him around like a rag doll—across the room and into the kitchen—where I began remodeling it with his face. I shoved his head through every cabinet door. When he was close enough to reach for a knife, he did and thought it would help him. What an asshole. I simply slapped it away and then slapped him repeatedly for even trying to fight back. When he didn’t ‘get it’ the first attempt, he tried again by swinging at me. That was when I threw him head-first inside the refrigerator and destroyed just about everything in there in the process. I then punched him in the face which caused him to fall to the floor. I then picked him up and while looking at his blood-stained face, I thought to castrate him but instead, I kneed him in his problem area. He was cradling himself in pain.
As he laid motionless, the girl looked on and didn’t look away. She was still curled up in a blanket where I left her. By then her tears had dried but her healing had yet to begin. I reached into my scabbard and pulled out my katana. Having lifted him up by the roots of his hair, I placed the blade against the nape of his neck.
“NO!” She screamed. “Don’t kill him!” Of course her father at this point was begging and pleading for me to stop and was urging for his daughter to talk some sense into me. But to me, he was already a dead man. Whether it be my hand or someone else’s n Valhalla Prison, it didn’t matter. He was a dead man regardless. They don’t take kindly to pedophiles. I didn’t give him a year to survive in such a place and even if he did make it through his first year, he’s going to wish he was dead. I placed my katana back and began binding his arms and legs together, hogtying him.
“I’m sorry,” the bastard said to me. He actually began to cry.
“Why are apologizing to me, you sick fuck? Apologize to her! If she wasn’t in plain view, you’d be a red puddle on the sidewalk by now.” I looked at the girl. “Where’s your phone?” She pointed and I made a phone call.
“Captain Lenore? Yeah, Felix. Pedophile. Downtown., 141 Division Street, fourth floor. She's scared and needs shelter.” I placed the phone in the cradle and found her looking at me.
“Are you a cop?” I shook my head.and walked towards her.
“No, I’m not.” I reached the fold of my sleeve and brought out a shuriken. “Listen, this is for you. This will keep you safe at all times so keep it near you.” She took the shuriken and did her best to smile.
I came out the way I went in. As I leaped from one rooftop to the next I played the entire event over and over again in my mind. When I got back to apartment, I sat down and saw that my hands were shaking. It was at this moment that I realized I'd been crying for some time.
Everything Happens For a Reason
“So you do remember me?” Rayna said. I nodded my head.
“I didn't forget about you..” I paused and looked at her. “So how did you find me? My father?”
“Well, no...Not exactly. You see I saw you that night for only a moment before you turn to leave me before the cops came. My father was on the floor and I was in the corner, doing my best to hold on. From the moonlight outside the window, I saw your face. And just like you tonight, I didn’t at the time recognize you but I remembered you from somewhere. I just didn’t know where.”
“No one ever sees my face.”
“In time, it came back to me, your face…I remembered where I saw it. It was in the newspaper, in an article about a man who killed himself over the loss of his daughter—a girl I went to school with. But how could that be? You were supposed to be dead!”
“So what happened to you afterwards?”
“I was sent to foster care for a couple of years and then went off to college when I was no longer a minor. It took time for my scars to finally heal. Life happened, Marak.”
“And your father?”
“He died in prison two years afterwards. I never went to see him and burned every letter he wrote me….And don’t change the subject, okay?” I smiled.
“So now my dreams took over and they were all of you. I went to the library to look up the archives of you and your story, about Haley’s disappearance and of course of your suicide. The facts were in front of me, yet I still refused to believe. I knew what I saw that night and knew that you were alive, somehow. I confided all of this, my dreams of you, my work with the women at the shelter, my father raping me…All of it, to your father. It felt good to talk, to say all the things I couldn't say to others. I also told him how a stranger came to my rescue one night when I was sixteen and in turn, your father did his best to hide his knowledge of you But over time, a bond of trust developed between the two of us. You could say I bribed him with baked goods and in turn, he steered abused women to me, for shelter and for empathy. After so many years he admitted to me that he knew you and that was when he made the decision for us to finally meet again.”
“So you’re saying I was set-up?” She laughed.
“If you really want to call it that, then yes. That just sounds so…I don’t know, negative.”
“Okay, I don’t’ understand. Why did you want to see me?” Again, her sweet laughter.
“Haven't you been paying attention? I mean, isn’t it obvious? I had to know. I had to be sure. Seeing you that night four years ago and seeing you now...It all makes perfect sense to me.”
“What makes perfect sense?” Rayna walks over and takes both my hands in her’s.
“That I’m in love with you, Cody.”
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