• Sharon M. Thompson

SNEAK PEEK VENGEFUL

I’m a killer twice over? I scrolled through the dictionary on my phone and punched in the word killer. The definition of a killer—a person or thing that kills.

I glanced up from my mobile and observed the rise and fall of Dad’s chest. After the car accident, I’d been a wreck, constantly watching him breathe, my eyes aching from the strain. Now, if there weren’t too many visitors pacing the halls and the volume of the medical machines was turned down, I could hear him and understood, sometimes it took a while for him to take a breath. I didn’t miss the fear that had gripped my stomach and sent my heart pounding in my chest when his breathing had seemed non-existent in the beginning. Today was a quiet day and I could focus on other things.

I glanced back at my phone. Maybe I should call myself a murderer? I tapped a few words into the Google search engine and looked up murderer. Much the same—a person who commits murder. How’s murder defined? I typed murder into the dictionary search button and up popped the definition—the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. I took a long deep breath in. I’m a murderer. But what sounds less... you know wrong. I tested both phrases to see if either affected me more.

I’m a killer.

Nothing.

I’m a murderer.

I cringed.

The real question I should be asking—is killing the man who murdered my mum and put my dad in a coma wrong? I tested the question out. Nothing. What if there’s more than one person involved? What’s the limit to killing when seeking revenge?

Who was I kidding? Killing anyone was wrong but that wasn’t going to stop me until all of them were nothing but bug and worm food deep in the ground.

Dad’s bed seemed wider today, his thin frame swallowed by the mattress. I’d spent what seemed like a lifetime waiting for a miracle to happen, pleading with him to fight through the fog and kick the coma aside and speak to me. Or at least do something so I knew he was still there inside.

I squeezed Dad’s hand tight hoping he’d flinch and react. “You need to wake up and come back. You’ve slept long enough.” And like the other million times he didn’t respond. I sat forward, kissed his hand, and lingered longer so I could breathe in his soapy scent. I breathed in slow and deep. “The business isn’t doing so well and if I don’t do something to get Steve off my back, we’ll lose everything. Is that what you want?” I gripped his hand harder desperate for him to give me a sign.

Come on, Dad, try harder. Nothing.

The doctor had said, ‘It’s unlikely he’ll ever wake.’ Yet I still believed anything was possible and had a gut feeling Dad was fighting hard to make his way back. Am I naïve and stupid?What would someone else do in my position, give up and walk away leaving their loved one to rot with no one supporting them?

My mobile vibrated against my leg. I glanced down at the screen—Gus. I accepted the call.

"My boys have managed to open the video. Do ya know what's in the footage?” Gus asked.

“I’ve seen a condensed version of a video but I'm hoping this is the full one.”

"I'm not sure ya want to see or hear the entire version.”

"That’s the point, Gus, I do."

“Is Preston connected to this?”

"Steve, and indirectly Preston. This is what Steve used to blackmail Dad to hand over his construction company.”

I’d given the video to Gus a few days earlier, hoping he or one of his boys could unlock the passcode and get into the video. Gus didn’t operate by the rules. Shady by most standards. But we’d formed a beneficial relationship over the past few weeks and I’d warmed to his style, as rough as he was. Mum would have said, ‘Stay away from him. He doesn’t have the same values as us.’ Except for me,Gus lived by values that made more sense and I knew where I stood with him.

Gus took a deep breath. "This isn't a pretty video."

“I know.”

“How much of the video have ya seen?"

"Nicolas, Bear, and I watched what was provided, but there’s bits in the middle missing, and the end had a section cut off.”

“I’d say this is the entire version,” said Gus.

“What’s in the video?”

"We’re better off meeting. Let's go fishing. Meet at our usual spot. Five sound good?”

Sharon M. Thompson ©


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