Vengeance Come My Way

Fog and motion, like being dragged underwater by rough hands. I am consistently overwhelmed by dark dreams of pounding invasion. Occasionally, I break the surface and gasp for air only to find a stranger straining mere inches above me. The lone mercy comes when the blackness takes me again.

The pattern continues for eternities. Veins invaded. Mind, body, soul violated. Night’s evil is all I know. Sometimes a slap rips me back for brief, horrific experiences of pain and humiliation. I learn to yearn for the peace of chemical obscurity.

And then a thousand ice-cold needles assault me. I discover I am naked in a shower, a much smaller girl standing before me. With surprising strength she forces me to remain under the freezing water until she sees what she wants and kills the frigid deluge.

“Can you walk?”

I stagger a step or two before finding my balance, then nod. 

She tosses me a huge hoodie and a pair of high top Cons that squish my toes a bit. “We’re getting out of here,” she says like it’s actually possible. I realize this tiny thing is insane. She will end up drugged and on the bed next to me getting violated by an endless line of pervs—

I pause at the hall entrance, astounded.

“Watch your step,” says the pixie. 

That line of pervs I just mentioned? They fill the hallway, massacred, two and three deep in places. Stabbed, throats cut, two skewered on a lance of some kind. One had been maced, as in head caved in with an actual mace. Another was hanged using what looked like a bullwhip. Yet another lay with his jugular spraying blood where a throwing star had plunged deep, flooding the floor with crimson.

I recognize each of these bastards, their images burned into my soul from inches above despite all my dope-addled struggles. This hallway was the most inspiring sight of my horrid life.

“Your captor fancied himself a collector of weapons. Made the job so much easier.”

“And him? Them?”

“Clever bunch. They surrounded their office with motion sensors. Found that out after three nights of surveillance. But I know a guy who knows a guy who had what I needed. Perfect for the boss and his love of old weapons.”

“What gets past motion sensors?”

“Homemade, modernized mustard gas.”

“Can I see the bastard? Kick his teeth out maybe?”

“One, not in my Cons you can’t, and two, he’s wouldn’t feel a thing. Sorry, but they had to go first for this to work.”

“The other girls?”

“Got all thirty-four. They sent me back for you. My buddy Alafar is taking us all to his facility for medical treatment. No records. No bills. Relocation to safe havens are being arranged now.”

We reached the back door of the big suburban house. I could see a school bus waiting for us. But I couldn’t leave. Not yet.

The little avenger made a face at me. “Time’s wasting.”

“This place…”

“What more could you want?”

“Revenge.”

She smiled. “I’ve got what we need. It was going to be plan B.”

That girl and I poured gas in the halls, across each exit, and all around the outside. She even let me light the match. We stood by the bus until that house of horrors was engulfed in the hellish flames it deserved.

I thought I would feel good, or free, or safe. Instead, I broke down before we got to the highway. Everyone on the bus did. Except that girl.

“It is going to take you a long time to get past this, but I have people who will help,” she said in the first soothing voice I had heard since I was seven.

I could see now how petite she actually was. It didn’t make sense in terms of the wholesale slaughter we had just walked through. What name does Death go by?

“Thanks, um…”

“Call me Penelope.”

That fit the petite girl before me, not the specter of vengeance I knew her to be.

And I would never tell a soul what she truly was.


Penelope on the Job

It was the denim thigh high boots that made him stop.

Rising from stiletto heels, skin tight and showing off shapely calves, ending   just above the knees, drawing the eye to gorgeously muscular thighs, and an outrageously micro mini skirt.

A huge purse on a long strap led his eyes to her tube top, which was struggling with its responsibilities.

Dark curls cascaded over her shoulders, framing slightly parted lips, high cheekbones and, finally, ice-cold eyes flashing under long bangs.

“Get in.”

Kennon, who was about twice her age, paunchy, and gray at the temples, meant to sound commanding, but when she leaned those bombers down toward the window, his voice cracked.

She did, flashing the barest of G-strings. Didn’t say a word. That made Kennon nervous.

“If this is a set up, it’s entrapment.”

Her laugh was laced with utter dismissal as she reached for the door.

“Wait,” he pleaded.

She leveled those mesmerizing North Pole eyes at him and cocked an eyebrow, nodding toward the street.

Kennon lurched the car forward, got his driving under control, tried for a casual tone. “So, what do I call you?”

“Penelope.”

“I can work with that.” Kennon nodded his coolest nod, steering with his left hand, dropping his right onto her knee like a vulture onto road kill. “So, Penny—”

“Penelope.”

“We’ll go to the Winst—”

“The Bilson. Next right.”

He gave her thigh a squeeze to show he was the boss. “Look, hotness, I’m paying—”

“I was warned you’d be like this.”

“What?”

Lighting fast, she pulled his hand off her thigh, yanking him toward her as she drove her left elbow into his Adam’s apple.

Penelope took the wheel as Kennon clutched his throat. Easily kicking his foot off the gas, she eased down on the brake, made a right into an alley, coasted to a stop.  

Kennon sucked air, confused eyes bulging at her.

“Gotta know how business is done,” Penelope said, looking though her huge purse. She pulled out a little baggy containing an inhaler. “This is what you need.”

Penelope opened the bag. Kennon snatched the inhaler from it, wrapped his lips around it, inhaling deeply as he pressed down on the pump with his thumb.

The screech he emitted was barely human. Kennon’s breathing became desperate yawks and wheezes, arms flailing, legs pumping, seatbelt keeping him in place.

“Now your wife? That babe knows how to conduct business,” Penelope continued, removing colored contacts to reveal big brown eyes. She dropped the fakes in her large bag. “Made contact through a safe agent, showed pictures of you cheating on her repeatedly. She even filled your spare inhaler with chemicals you are so fatally allergic to.”

Penelope wiped off the make-up that created the high cheekbones.

“She knows you so well; the denim fetish, the thing for thigh highs and mini skirts, your obsession with big breasts — clear your search history, dude,” Penelope said, pulling large falsies out of her tube top and dropping them in that bag of hers, followed by the wig. “She even knew where you liked to pick up pros.”

Penelope was actually a petite brunette.

Kennon, throat swollen, suffocating now, could only look at Penelope with burning eyes.

“Smart woman, your wife,” she smiled. “Chemical engineer, right? Pretty cool. And she’ll win her impending lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company that, evidence will suggest, produced your fatally bad batch of medicine. Your wrongful death will make her millions.”

Kennon lunged for her throat. Penelope easily slapped his weakening arms away.

“No time for foreplay,” she laughed, tossing the boots in the bag, pulling on loose-laced purple Cons, “I gotta get out of this alley before my friend turns the Bilson’s security cameras back on.”

She climbed out of the passenger side, pulled an oversized hoodie from her bag. It came down to her knees, covering everything, including the bag. Now she looked like a tiny college freshman. “Your wife says, “Die, you predatory bastard,” Penelope said, and then bopped on back to the street as Kennon’s death rattle escaped unheard.