Retribution. Short Story.

As promised a few notes about my trip!

So, I arrived the Wednesday before last and stayed for 6 days. The first night was probably the worst, so insanely tired. I don’t really remember much of the day, though I do remember there was a dog at the airport that had a smush face, it put me in a better mood, so wherever you are, smush faced dog, I thank you. The next day was also pretty tiring, we got the bus out to Jersey Gardens as my friends wanted to do some shopping. I mostly trailed after them from store to store. High lights of that day were mostly the person who asked us if we were from Brazil, yes, we the palest people in Jersey Gardens, are Brazilian. My theory is she wanted us to stop out of confusion/to correct her.

I saw the Hobbit in the Cinema too, it was enjoyable, plus American cinema seats are really comfortable. Like they reclined. It was awesome. We got a medium popcorn between us but it was smaller than I expected, especially as the medium drinks were giant. Also, as a side note, American coke is salty, it had a strong after taste of salt for me, as did Pepsi, it was really strange. My favourite part was the bottle boasted that it was low sodium, there is no sodium in the coke we get here. Thought there was plenty of Canada Dry Ginger Ale, so I just had that when I could.

I went to the Evolution store, which was pretty awesome, though I didn’t buy anything, I wasn’t sure what the regulations were for bringing back human/animal bones were, I assume they don’t look favourably on it. My favourite thing in the store were the “Moon” Rocks they were selling. Yes, Moon was in quote marks on the sign. There was also a penis carved from crystal, which was kinda random and unexpected.

The food was mostly delicious (though probably really unhealthy) I was confused by some of the terms on the menu though (blintz, corned beef hash, grits), which not having internet except in the hotel, meant that I couldn’t look it up on the spot. I didn’t actually look most of it up anyway. I suppose I could have asked the waiters/waitresses, but I wasn’t getting them anyway so it was easier to just avoid it.

We went to MOMA and The Natural History Museum, both were cool, though I preferred The Natural History Museum. I accidentally walked into an old guy in MOMA due to me not paying attention, which was pretty damn embarrassing and we didn’t get as much time in the Natural History Museum as I would have liked, but it was still good to see them both.

The hotel was pretty awesome too, though we were near the Scientology Centre, which wasn’t that fun. Kinda unnerving really. Beyond that where we were was pretty damn central and really close to a subway. Which was a pretty hand was of getting around I might add, only saw 1 half-passed out hobo in the entire trip. Though each of us had random people talk to us, as in separately, not in a group. It was a little strange.

Over all it was a great trip and I really enjoyed it. Today I’m starting back in college, which is cool, but I enjoyed the break when I had it. Christmas just flew by, as did New Years. So that brings everyone up to speed with everything I think. This past weekend was fairly lazy, we went out to dinner for my sister’s birthday, who was across for the weekend.

So, on with the show!



That prick. That fucking prick. How could he do this? She gripped the knife harder. She couldn’t believe she was so goddamned stupid, why hadn’t she noticed? Seen the signs? How he hid his phone, the mysterious phone calls that would end suddenly as she entered the room, the money he had spent. That was the worst of it all. All those gifts he bought for his whore. And it wasn’t his money he was spending either, oh no, it was hers. Her fucking money. She hadn’t noticed, not at first, how his monthly contribution to the joint account became less and less until it was only her paying into it. Why would she notice? They had been going out less and less. They had called it the fun account, one that was used for going to the cinema, or out for drinks or dinner. He had paid into the bills account at least. He wasn’t that fucking stupid, she would have noticed that much faster.

It wasn’t until she was picking up some take away for them that she knew something was wrong. Her card was declined. It was impossible, completely impossible. She, beyond embarrassed, had paid with a different card, then resolved to call the bank tomorrow to sort it out, obviously the card had stopped working and a new one would be sent in the mail. It was after eating dinner that she had a nagging doubt, a slight fear in her stomach. She dug through the piles of unopened letters to find it. They never really bothered opening such letters, why would they? They already knew what it would say, they kept track of their own finances, every few months they would open them all and double check they matched, they always had before. It had been a while since they had last done it and she was worried that maybe there was a bank error, maybe a shop somewhere had accidentally billed them a few times. She didn’t say it to him though, why worry him. It was silly really. She knew that either it was a mistake or the card was broken. That was all.

She was sitting at the desk, paper discarded around her, shuffling through them all, trying to believe what she was seeing. Everything was normal until about five months before. Then his contributions stopped. There was her account number, her money, going in, but there was nothing else. And there, money taken out. That wasn’t right, they hadn’t used the card as frequently as the statement claimed. She got their own records, there in both their handwriting was a list of expenditures and income, but the statement differed. And still, she didn’t get it. She felt so stupid thinking back, it was so humiliating. Going to him, expecting him to be surprised, maybe outraged, tell her the bank had screwed up, that they would sort it out in the morning, when the bank opened. But the outrage never came, nor did confusion. He just sighed. That was it. A single sigh. He looked sad, dejected. The next words out his mouth had been devastating, but now, now they were a source of rage. “I didn’t want you to find out this way.” He claimed he was in love, that he just didn’t feel it with her anymore. She didn’t even get a chance to react, a chance to fight. He was just gone. She knew where he went though, he went to his whores house. It was Janine. She still couldn’t believe that Janine would do that. She was Stephens co-worker, how stereotypical. They had been friends but she didn’t worry, she had trusted him, had trusted Janine. Even after Janine broke up with her boyfriend. He dumped her. Big shock there, after all who would want to date a raging bitch? God. They had even comforted her, brought her out, had dinner with her. She had made sure they were on extra special behaviour around Janine too, making sure they didn’t rub salt into her wounds and this was how she was repaid for her efforts? There was no justice in the world. It was cold outside, but her rage kept her warm. That and the large heavy jacket she was wearing. She almost didn’t grab it on the way out of the house, if she hadn’t, her resolve would have wavered long before now. She would have gone back home and cried, maybe invited someone over to offer her comfort, watch some bad movies. But no, she would see it through. She could see the damn car from here, she would get her revenge. He didn’t particularly love that car, he was never big into them, but she knew he couldn’t afford a new one, his salary was worse than hers, far worse, and if Janine was on the same wages as him, he would be fucked. She crept forward, looking around as she did so, the car park was in shadows, the lights weren’t working right, Janine had complained about them before and she had sympathised, it made the lot scary, though now she was pleased by the dark. She moved right up against the car and started to work.

When her frenzy finally slowed, then stopped, she surveyed her work, proud of herself. The paintwork was scratched, thousands of lines crisscrossing one another, she had slashed all four of the tires, wincing at the first one, expecting a bang, instead there was only a satisfying hiss. There was one last thing she wanted to do and then she was done. She dug it out from her pocket and with it came a paint brush. She unscrewed the cap and dumped half onto the windscreen, then using the brush she quickly spread it out evenly enough. She had picked up a few bottles of it a couple of months ago, but never got around to using it. Etching cream, it would create a mist effect on drinking glasses, she didn’t know what it would do to a windscreen. As it was the label warned to leave it no longer than twenty minutes. She used the rest of the bottle to cover the back window and passenger ones, then a healthy smear of it was placed across the lights, both front and back, she didn‘t know if it would work on the plastic, but she could hope. The other windows weren’t covered as much as the windscreen, instead she used dabs and splodges to make seeing through them difficult. With that done, she stood again, feeling better. There was more she could have done, but that was enough for now. Maybe in a few days she could return, see how the car looked, see what else could be destroyed. Besides it wasn’t really that big a deal, after all, he owed her that money, she was just taking it out in trade.

Walking through the streets, she dumped the knife in one bin, then the tub of etching cream in another and finally the paintbrush in a third. . They were to be collected in the morning, no trace. No one would be able to link it to her, not really. She had worn gloves and even if they found evidence, she could claim it was just a left over from the last time she got into his car. He would suspect her, but no one would ever know for sure. She wondered if maybe she should have done a few other cars at random, make it look like teenagers having fun, but she didn’t think she would have been able to go through with it. As she walked she decided that an alibi was in order, she’d ring one of her friends when she got home, get them to come over, put a movie on, fast forward it a bit and dump some wine down the sink, then pour herself a glass. That way who ever came over would think she was there all night and if the police came, they’d see she had company. The destroying of the car had been quite cathartic, taking some of her rage, what was left instead was sadness. She didn’t feel bad for what she had done, but she knew she would miss him. They had been together for almost six years now. She signed heavily, feeling tears stinging her eyes. No, she wouldn’t cry. She couldn’t. As she was deciding who to call, she felt a sharp pain, then the world when black.

He stood over the body, grinning, it was perfect, too perfect an opportunity to miss. Here she was, just wandering the streets by herself, he almost missed her, her dark clothes making her hard to see. He looked around quickly, ensuring they were still alone, then he picked her up and carried her to the car. He didn’t know how long it would be until she woke up, but he wasn’t too worried about that, she didn’t need to be awake for him to have his fun. Her skin looked so soft and smooth, he would enjoy this new canvas.



About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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