Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Vengeance is Mine Part 7 by Dellani Oakes

My boot scraped against the stone and Luigi's head came up. He turned to me slowly. I stood a few feet away, my hands in my pants pockets, waiting for him to recognize me.
Do you come to pray with me?” he asked, obviously not knowing me.
Did you know my brother?”
I did.”
Why are you here, if not to pray?”
I am here to prey,” I replied, liking my play on words. “Upon you. Just as I preyed upon your brother.”
He stood up, yelling in fear when he saw me. “William! But you're dead!”
Yes. You and your brother killed me. I am here for my revenge, but also to pay a debt that's owed.”
You owe no debt.”
No, it is owed by another. His name is Michael.”
Michael who?”
I hadn't thought to ask. “That's not important. Suffice to say that his retribution is mine. Have you prayed sufficiently? Are you at one with God?”
You can't kill me here, William. This is a house of God!” He backed away from me, trying to get away.
I shrugged, moving closer. “That matters little to a dead man. Do hold still, won't you? It will be ever so much easier to kill you if you don't run.”
Father!” he yelled. “Father! Sisters! Help me!”
No one responded, for the good padre and the sisters hadn't lingered. They were tucked safely in their beds. I cornered him by the Communion Rail, pinning his body between my own and the wooden barrier between us and the alter. It seemed fitting he should die here. My fingers closed around his throat. I had no weapon, but the grip of death is sufficient to end a life. I watched the breath leave his lungs, the life dim in his eyes. Crushing his throat, I heard bones crack and I dropped his empty husk to dangle over the railing.
Now, to exact my final vengeance. I might not be able to harm Camille, but her brother had no such protection. She had told me to kill the Bartollis, I had done so. She promised me revenge, and I was not yet finished. I remembered her brother, though it took me mulling it over all day. He had worked for me, at one point, and had turned coat to work for the Bartollis. It was his betrayal which had led to my death. If I were to have my full revenge, then he would also have to pay. I knew his favorite haunts and visited them one by one.
In very little time, I found him, collapsed in an opium den, pipe in one hand, nubile, naked woman in his embrace. I dispensed with her easily, breaking her delicate neck. I regretted having to do that, but I wanted him to suffer. Rather than kill him myself, I chose to let the law do it for me. Once I had positioned him with his hands around her throat, I stood in the open doorway and called for the watch.
Murder! Death! He's killed her!” Running away from the den, I continued to yell. I passed one policeman, then another. Yelling and pointing, I set them off in the right direction. Satisfied that I had done enough mischief, I went back to my crypt.
Early the next morning, just as the sun rose, I felt the tingling on my spine once more. Taking my time, I strolled to her apartment. I thought it quite foolish that she summon me in daylight, but she didn't seem to care if I were seen or not. Greeting the milkman and bin men, I entered her apartment.
Camille stared me down, eyes rimmed red, tears blotching her face. “What have you done?”
I've done nothing but what you told me,” I lied. I wasn't nearly this dishonest in life. Funny what death does to a man. “I killed Luigi at the church.”
And got my brother arrested for murder. He'll hang!”
It was your brother who set the wheels of my destruction in motion. Your brother who turned coat and betrayed me to men I once considered friends. I have exacted my vengeance, that which you promised me. Be thankful that he's going to die by the law and not my hand. And be thankful, madam, that I do not turn my sights on you. Don't think I haven't seen that doll of yours.”
She tried to hide it behind her back, but I knew it was there.
It might protect you now, but it won't forever. Unless you set me free, I shall do all within my power to make you suffer and pay.”
Me, suffer? How dare you!”
You have made me suffer, shall I not get revenge for that as well?”
You? How?”
You made a killer of me. You forced me to do things I would never have done in life. You robbed me of my death. For that, I seek justice. And as you promised it to me, I will not rest until I have it.” With that, I left.
The compulsion tingled at my spine, but I ignored it and I knew it could not hold me forever. I made my way back to my cozy crypt, prepared to spend eternity seeking retribution. Yes, it's cold here in October, but how much colder is the living hell in which she now must live.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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