by J.D. Blacque
In the eyes of the world, the slight was minor, but in my eyes, it was unforgivable. In one boorish, mean-spirited moment he dimmed the sun; soured the taste of sweet cold lemonade; made the laughter of a child grate the nerves; the smell of freshly baked bread a stench and a woman’s loving touch an abomination: I vowed to make him pay the highest price imaginable, and pay by his own hand.
It was a few days before Christmas when I went to his house, bearing the gift of a very potent and expensive liqueur; a libation I knew he couldn’t resist, (for he often inquired of me when would I purchase more so we could celebrate some obscure holiday that seemed to have importance only on his calendar); and got him very drunk.
His little girl, Melanie, a charming child of six and the spitting image of her father, pops out of her room to say good night, lifting her up, he kisses her cheek and swings her around to a cacophony of giggles.
“Sunshine, I love you so much! Now say good-night to our guest and go to bed.”
“Goodnight,” Melanie squeaks waving sweetly as she skips away.
Sometime later, after the master of the house became so intoxicated, he wouldn't notice a snake crawling across his chin. I slipped out of the study and crept into his daughter’s room, intent on setting my plan in motion.
Little Melanie was asleep in her bed, blissfully unaware of the tragedy looming over her. As I watched the sleeping child, I was so enthralled by her innocence and beauty, I considered abandoning my plan. But the thought of revenge turned the voice of outrage and shame for what I was about to do, from a loud cry to a barely audible whisper: I am committed.
Returning to the study I find the little girl’s father asleep in a large, red leather chair by the window. Now, at last, it begins: “John, John, wake up, it’s Little Melanie she is dead,” when he runs into her room and sees her little corpse, he becomes distraught and cries to me for help.
“Of course,” I say to him, “you will be blamed, accused of being unfit, uncaring and negligent; I suspect that the circumstances of her mother’s unfortunate demise might be re-investigated too: there is but one thing for you to do: to end this with swiftness and finality.”
He was fond of bragging about his facility with firearms and I knew he kept a revolver in his desk. Walking over to the desk, I retrieve the gun from a drawer and hand it to him. He takes it from my hand, looks at me pleading, “Is there another way?” I shake my head, no, and remind him of the problems he would have to face, remind him of the scrutiny that would not stop, remind him of the wagging tongues and shaking heads, and that no decent person will seek his company. He agreed it would be difficult, but not impossible.
“No, it is not impossible but is that how you want to live? Are you able to survive a life of solitude? Is it possible for you to spend the rest of your life, spurned by society, without friends, or family? Can you live as I do?”
“No, no, I can not,” he says, the hopeless look in his eyes confirming his words; placing the revolver gently against his temple, his eyes search mine for sympathy; (I did try to comply but I feared, I’d be betrayed by the excitement I knew was on display there). He lowers the revolver a little, and then thinking better of it, places it again at his temple and pulls the trigger slowly, as if he was target shooting, lining up the shot that would win the contest and did the deed. I closed the door to the study, as the little girl, Melanie, came out of her room, rubbing the sleep from her eyes, the spitting image of her late father.
BIO: J.D. Blacque is an Emmy nominated TV Editor, Fine Art Photographer and Writer. He or his alter, (who wishes to remain nameless), has been published in The Burlington County Times, 6 Sentences, The Full of Crow Quarterly, Foundling Review and At-The-Bijou|Blogspot. His story "The End of Forever" was an Honorable Mention in the October Edition of Allegory.