Author : Ken McGrath

I’m taking my time, figuring it’s best to be patient. By letting him feel secure and safe he’ll never suspect what’s happening. Never realise that I’ve been slowly bleeding him dry all this time, running him to bodily ruin.

I read something once about the Matador’s of old Earth, something they used to do when bullfighting. During the show, when the bull was running by them through that coloured cape, they’d slice their blade along its back. Scouring it deep. Each bleeding furrow on its own wouldn’t do too much damage, but over the course of the bout they all added up. The bull never realised how much blood it was losing, slowing it down, weakening it and eventually leading to its death.

So like a Matador I fight against him playing the long game. I smile at him in the streets when we walk by each other. I lean over our common fence and between lung splitting coughs he talks to me about the strange weather we have on this still unfamiliar world. Not once does he realise that I’m continuously cutting long, deep slices in him.

And all the time he’ll never really know who I am. He thinks I’m just some old guy who made my fortune using family money to fund the wars back home, the wars which finally tore our old Mother Earth apart, driving us off planet to this new Terra we now call home. But it will never really be home to me because I have nothing here.

It was those wars that took my family, wiping them out quickly and ultimately. Gone in one final, fatal moment. But of course he’s going to die a lot slower than that. I’m planning on taking my time with him.

His company manufactured the bombs that obliterated a whole team of Safe Earth Aid Workers. All they were trying to do was help victims and without warning they were reduced to almost nothing. Little more than radiation dust blowing in the wind. Not even a handful was left of them for me to bury.

I got off planet as soon as I could after that. Cashing in my bonds and life policies, looking for a new place to run and hide, to be alone with my grief. I assumed a new identity and buried that pain inside, lashing out at myself in anger but never brave enough to end it all. I wanted no-one to know what I carried in my heart, didn’t want them talking in hushed whispers anytime this widower walked near by, this one time great chemist now reduced to nothing. I told them I was from old money and they accepted my almost cloistered existence, putting it down to snobbery.

So imagine my surprise when I found out he’d purchased the plot next to mine. Imagine how difficult it was for me to not lash out immediately, instead calming myself and formulating a plan.

So now, with a steady supply of homegrown germs, I’m bringing him slowly into a world filled of pestilence, where his defences are slowing over time, causing his organs to fail one by one. It’s not a quick process by any means but I’m a patient man. He’ll rot slowly while still alive, his body becoming a mausoleum with what’s left of his blackened soul trapped screaming inside and none of their medical advances will be able to rescue him. I’ll see to that.

This is my revenge.

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