Tag Archives: revenge

Goddess of Old, Part VI

Continued from Part V.

For hundreds of years, the inhabitants of the kingdom had led a fortunate existence. Through cunning and work and the luck of history, they understood the principles of the world before any other people. They observed the natural world, and they plotted to exploit its rules for their own gain. Through trial and error and relentless determination they found out how to burn coal, how boil water, how to harness steam. They worked metal into blades, and killed their neighbours to take their land. They found saltpeter, and then they made guns, and then they realised how truly powerful they could be.

They spread. Over lands they walked, guns forward, claiming all they encountered. They delighted in the spoils of war, they took prisoners and put them to work in mines and in fields and on the machines. The king’s men took what they wanted, urged on by their women, and their priests spun stories to explain how all was blessed by providence.

The kingdom stretched far and wide, from one sea to another. Still it was not enough. Steamships were built and sent upon those seas, so that all land could belong to the king.

But from those seas, a dark speck approached. As it drew near, it took on the shape of a buxom huntress. A head of flaming hair scorched the clouds. Many arms, each holding a blade, whirled with hunger. A screech stretched across the waters to fill the final moments of every pair of ears.

The End

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…And Reflect

Continued from “Pause…”

“He’s gorgeous,” purred Isabelle to her father, the duke, who stood by her side. She tucked her golden hair behind her ear and drank in the prince, who alone occupied the centre of the dancing floor and the attention of all present. She shivered with excitement.

The prince stood dressed in black and gold, adored by every swooning young woman. He flicked a wrist towards his musicians, and they struck a lively piece. The prince, with graceful sweeps of his ring-laden hands, began to move in concert with the rhythms. He swirled, swayed, spiralled and swished in the traditional dance of the monarch-to-be.

“He’s so handsome,” Isabelle whispered to her father.

“He is a tyrant and a murderer,” whispered the duke in return.

“He understands power, father,” Isabelle hissed, glaring under furrowed brow. “He achieves glories that your restraint denies you.”

As the music ended there was applause, not just in deference but with appreciation of the prince’s art, practised to exquisite perfection. Then the prince walked into the crowd, a snaking path around each appreciative beauty, soaking up the adoration, seeking a partner. Isabelle stepped forward, eagerly… but her advance was checked by the grip of the duke upon her elbow.

Then prince had chosen, kissing the hand of an apparition of fantasy with raven-black hair and a fiery red dress. Isabelle choked with bitter frustration, wrenching her arm free, oblivious to the tears in her father’s eyes as they watched the couple begin the prince’s last dance.

The End

Bitter Resort

In the public shower room of the beach, the Failure stared into the mirror and saw misery glaring back. The morning’s humiliation still ran hot through his arteries. Unwanted reminders bubbled up: failing the test, the bullying instructor, the derision of his fellow candidates. The lifeguard certificate that still sat, unsigned, in someone’s drawer. Months of building himself up, slaughtered by a few mistakes and grossly unfair assessment. He zipped up his dark grey wetsuit, picked up his bag and headed to the beach.

Ignoring the sun baking his scalp, he walked along the sand. He weaved through crowds of obnoxious ball players, screaming spoilt brats, harassed bickerers and slumbering lumps of fat scorched too red. Beyond, at the edge of the beach, the sand petered out. Instead slabs of wet rock greeted the incoming surf. He clambered over them, away from the courting couples giggling annoyingly and the odd loners keeping their own company. He climbed further from the crowds, around ever-larger boulders, until only the seagulls could see him.

There he set the bag down. Still seething with intrusive thoughts, he pulled the wetsuit cap upon his head and clipped on the tools of his petty revenge. Flippers, snorkel. To his back he tied a large plastic shark fin.

Leaving his bag and grating conscience on the rocks, he waded into the sea. The slimy embrace accepted his cantankerous advance, and with snorkel between seething jaws he swam back towards the oblivious throng.