Revenge, Inc. Part 26: A Short Story
Hello everyone and welcome back. As you know, I've been gone for a long time and this is my first hub in about a month. It really does feel good to be writing and hubbing again after all of this time. And in case you didn't know the reason for my absence, I've been transitioning into a new place and working a new job and so haven't had the spare time like I did my first ten months at HubPages. I'm now back to the place I'd like to call home and if you've read my Autumn in New Paltz hub, you'll understand why I'm now happier than I've been in years.
I've really missed all of my friends here on HubPages and really do appreciate all of the correspondence I've received via email and through comments on my hubs about how I'm doing. It really does mean a lot that this bright and vibrant community genuinely cares for one another. I know better than most just how addicting "hubbing" can be and know just how interacting with others whom we've never before met in person can be! Although I haven't been around on HubPages as of late, my thoughts were always on you, my friends and readers. You are exactly why I'm here to begin with. I thank you as always for taking the time out of your busy lives to come over here and read me. I thank you for your patience with this story and thank you for supporting my work. I truly am blessed.
In case you haven't yet, I urge you to please read this work beginning with Part 1. I hope you like what you find. Please click on the corresponding link below to do so.
Thank you again, Cris A for supplying the great pic and potential book cover. You are the man!
Without further ado, I give you Part 26 of Revenge, Inc. As always, your comments are welcome. Thank you for reading!
The Light of Saint Augustine
“Are you sure?” the Father asks. The twenty year-old woman nods her head and wipes away a tear from her eye…She had been crying for some time.
“He’s the only man I’ve been with—since my father. You know how I feel about him.” The Father places a hand on his thinning head and sits down on the front pew. He had no choice in the matter; there was a weight on both his mind and heart. After a moment, the woman sits down next to him. “I’m sorry, Father Frank. I didn’t mean for this to happen.” He places his hand on her shoulder.
“Sometimes, things like this are beyond our control. In the eyes of some, it’s very much of a problem. But in the eyes of others, it truly is a blessing as they believe it was ordained by Him.” He smiles. “That is, if you believe in that sort of thing.”
“You know I do.”
“Yes, but I don’t think he does, at least not any more. But whether he does or doesn’t has no bearing on the fact that He does exist or the fact that you are expecting…My son may not believe in Him, but He certainly believes in my son. Are you saddened by all of this?”
“I’m happy that this happened, but I’m sorry that it happened this way. I mean, look who’s the first person I’m breaking the news to! In different circles, I’d be look at very differently—Cody would be looked at differently…”
“Yes, and so would I, which makes three of us. As you know, I can’t consent to the situation leading up to this as a rule. In spite of this, I cannot control the urges and natural impulses of others and neither can He. I can understand loving someone and being loved. Those are emotions that I won’t ever forget. Something can be said about two people who love and care for one another, married or not.”
“I’m not sure if he loves me.”
“In your heart, you know he does. He just has a funny way of showing it.” She smiles.
“I didn’t ask for any of this to happen, Father Frank.”
“There’s no reason to apologize.”
“When he does find out, he might…I’m not sure what he’ll do or say.”
“Rayna, it takes two people to conceive a child. After all of this time, something certainly is driving him to do what he does.”
A Familiar Face - Part 1
“How’d you find me?”
“With a calendar. It’s Haley’s Birthday and besides, I have a good memory. I knew I’d see you here if it really was that you were alive. You see, there’s this fish on the Lake that’s quite different from any other. At the right depth and time, you can catch him. It takes a great deal of time to, but if you’re patient enough, a fella just might get a crack at him.”
“The Stinger Bass.”
“Yep, that’s it. I know more about you than most.”
“But unlike your fish, I’m supposed to be dead.”
“Right, and I’m supposed to be dumb. Four years ago and at the very height of record-breaking crime in Valhalla, a rumor begins to spread about a vigilante that is rarely ever seen and has never been caught on camera. The rumors then turned to legend and pretty soon, the story began pouring in, about how this unknown figure has superhuman strength and quickness like a comic book hero come alive…But I knew better. I know more than I let on and knew exactly what happened six years ago, Cody. Just as soon as I heard that this person was taking the law in his own hands, I became interested and rightly so, because he was really making a mockery of my police force by doing a better job than we were, and for free no less—all the while making us look incompetent and useless, like tits on a bull. But despite all of this, I didn’t dislike you, Marak. I envied you and envied your methods without any due process and without any fear, epitomizing everything every cop on the beat wishes he could do but can’t for many reasons besides breaking the law which he or she swore to protect and uphold.
“Over the years, I began to study you and track your activity and made it a point to find out who you really were. I began asking myself the question, Who is this guy? And asked myself, What would drive someone to become a vigilante in the first place? Needless to say, I found my guy, dead or not, because he was very good at disappearing and with that said, I exhumed your body—albeit illegally—and found instead a Cody MacLaren life-like plasticine figure that Ray Harryhausen would’ve been proud. That was when I knew for sure who this vigilante really was and that he had help from the inside. I knew he was you all this time…
“You see, it’s my job to know what goes on in my own police force—Internal Affairs aside—and I didn’t have to pay anyone to know. You and Peter and certain members of CSI may think you’re so goddamn clever, but not me, that is unless I’m right now talking to a goddamn ghost.” I let out a laugh.
“You never did find her killer did you Felix?”
“But neither did you, Cody. Or is it Marak now? Six years and not one single lead…” Suddenly, my hand began to itch—I wanted to reach for my katana.
“You really shouldn’t push me, Felix. I can’t be responsible for my actions. Should anything happen to you…”
“You might not believe this, but I’m really the only friend you got and one of the few people in this city that you can trust.”
“Are you fucking kidding me, Felix? Trust you? Do you even know how much I don’t like you?”
“No, I’m not fucking kidding you and I don’t really care if you like me or not. The fact still stands that I’m well aware of the things that you aren’t aware of. Open your eyes and take a good hard look at the world around you.”
“I do, every single night and you know that. And how in the hell would you know what I’m aware of or not aware of?”
“Because knowing you, you would’ve acted on this knowledge a very, very long time ago.”
“Yeah? And what would that be?”
“That the men you’re looking for all this time is one and the same.”
One Night in Valhalla
“Oh, hi. Are you waiting for my dad?” The man inside the black BMW smiles, revealing two rows of perfectly-straight white teeth.
“Well, no. Not exactly…I’m actually waiting for you. You see, your dad had a date tonight and so asked me if me if I could keep an eye on you so you wouldn’t be alone.” The girl turns to look at her house half-way down the block and sees that all of the lights are off.
“But wait…So why didn’t he tell me?”
“Gosh, Haley. How can I say this?” The man scratches his head while pretending to search for words. “I don’t know…Men are just weird sometimes. Your dad just didn’t want to tell you because he was afraid you’d get upset. Not to mention it’s embarrassing to tell your kid you got a hot date.”
“Why would I get upset? My dad tells me everything.”
“Well, maybe when you get older you’ll understand…It’s kind of like a grown-up thing.” The teenage girl rolls her eyes and looks back at her house.
“I think I’ll be all right by myself. I am old enough, you know…”
“You’re certainly not a kid anymore, Haley, that’s for sure. And I’m confident you can take care of yourself. But I did make a promise to your father—you don’t want me to break my promise to him, now do you?” The girl looks back at the man inside the black BMW.
“Besides, I bought a little fishing boat you gotta see. It’s got everything.” Now, Haley knew the man all too well. Nothing he owned was ever little or affordable. “C’mon, I’ll show it to you.”
“Cross my heart.”
A Familiar Face - Part 2
“I don’t believe you,” I said to him. I thought I was going to be sick. “This is bullshit.”
“Absolutley. It is bullshit, but it’s the truth, pure and uncut.”
“And why the hell should I trust you?”
“That’s easy: I have nothing to gain from this and he has everything to gain. Wanna solve a crime? Look to those who will gain the most as a direct result and you got your guy. With the mayor out of the way, he’ll rise to power as all others lack either the clout or coin to run against him. Let’s not kid ourselves—he’s been planning this for years. Okay, obviously, this isn’t what you wanted to hear. All I’m saying is to check over your sources. Are they reliable? How well can you trust them? Are you being given the facts or are you finding them on your own and on your own terms?”
“How did you know that?” Felix smiles.
“It’s my job to know. If my hunch is correct and if the sum of all fears just so happens to occur, then all of us are fucked. Don’t you see? You’re the key to all of this. You’re the missing piece—the difference maker. Only you can change the fate of this city.”
“So if all of this really is true, then why didn’t you do something about it earlier?”
“I got two very good reasons for you: One; there just isn’t enough evidence to prosecute him. He’s got his cronies to wipe all away all his fingerprints and sweep all the dirt underneath his finest Oriental rugs…The guy just simply doesn’t leave a vapor trail. Two; I can never get close to the guy. I think the President of the United States is easier to assassinate than this guy. Everywhere he goes he’s got an entourage that’s armed to the hilt, his own personal police force.” My temples were pulsating. When at last I spoke again, I was surprised by my own voice: I was yelling at Felix.
“So what are you asking me to do?” But I already knew the answer...It was the only way, yet I needed to hear it from him.
“I want you to kill Peter Billingsley.”
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