I crossed countless galaxies to reach him. Seventeen of them; one after another, after another. That’s a long way in anyone’s book, and it wasn’t any shorter in my spaceship.
His fortress was impenetrable. I snuck in through a side passage and worked my way down to the stronghold within. It was the work of mere moments to prise open the shields, drill holes in the blast doors, pack them with explosives, connect a wire between them, run the master wire out a safe distance, attach the firing control, dig a small safety ditch, check the connections, and blow the door. Kaboom!
Smoke billowed down the dusty tunnel and an indescribable smell assaulted my nostrils. It was slightly tangy, with a hint of mustiness, and an overpowering scent of Sicilian lemons.
Beyond the door, in the darkness, it was just possible to make out some shapes. I could only imagine what they were, until I went closer and could see them more clearly.
“Traveller!” The voice rang out around the darkened hall. “Why have you come?”
The lights snapped on revealing an endless row of boxes stretching away from me down the hall, culminating in a raised dais. On the far-distant stage stood the man I had come to kill. The Pedant was finally within my reach.
The voice echoed again. “Why have you come?” and then, quieter, “Why have you come?”
“I am your adversary, your antagonist, your disputant, foe, and rival. I am your archenemy. I am here to destroy you.”
There was a long pause.
“Sorry, who is it?”
I ran towards him, drawing my weapon as I went. “You murdered my father with this sword,” I cried,
“and now I will use it to destroy you. Ironic, is it not?”
The voice echoed once more. “No,” it repeated, again and again and again.
“Now you die!” I screamed the words as I leapt into the air, rising above the dias to thrust my sword through his chest.
It was done. I felt the weight of my dead father literally fall from my shoulders. The Pedant lay dying at my feet. I crouched beside him.
“My father. You murdered him.” I shook The Pedant by the shoulders. “Do you know of who I speak?”
“Whom,” he croaked in reply.
“By the stars! I was only thirteen when he died - when you killed him - it cast a shadow over every minute of my life.”
The Pedant let out an almighty groan.
“I didn’t want him to challenge you in combat. I shouldn’t of let him try.”
“Have,” he whispered. “Have.”
“Yes! You’re right. What me and father had was so special. An unbreakable bond that you ripped apart.”
“I hate you.”
“Their, they’re,” I whispered, patting his hair.
“For the love of-” he exclaimed and, with a small “phwoop”, he exploded into a million pieces.
I extended my tongue and tasted the salty tang in the air.
Vengeance sure tasted good.
Saturday, 24 June 2017
'It’s My Story and I’ll Tell It How I Want To' by Jon Stubbington
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