Cursed be the name of the bastard that wronged me, for while I suffered in a contrived, man-made hell, he prospered for his crimes and held to high esteem for his misdeeds. I still remember the scent of my beloved Rose as we kissed under the bright, moonlight in the gardens, her sweet face and brown eyes glistening, and how it’s been distorted in my mind by her screaming face as the law came, beat me near to death, and threw me in the cell for an agonizing twenty years, for a crime which I did not commit. I still taste my own blood from that day, I still feel as if I’m crying and the tears of fallen innocence and hope streak down my cheeks, and I still feel the constant, boiling rage as the Traitor himself sat in front of me, a glass window between us, as he laughed and taunted at me. It’s all so clear now, even as our country is barren, as our skyscrapers have been decimated and standing broken and decayed like tombstones, the modern cities I walked in, are now ghost towns, a graveyard of our supposed great society. The atmosphere is thick with smoke, the clouds, a hazy grey, turning the color of a pale green as if a storm is brewing. There is no hope, hardly any human life in these broken streets but I no longer care. All there is the goal, the mission, the revenge.
I remember when I was in that prison. The charges were conspiracy to assassinate the president, a seemingly real plot that was true fiction. There was no evidence, no proof, no witnesses. But my friend, my brother not in blood but in loose bond, Michael, the Traitor, the Fiend, was using me as a convenient pawn. He rose in the ranks of government and needed one more step. The assassination plot was a hoax, a fabrication of a grander scheme to show that our president did not know of our threat from within, let alone, outside our borders. I remember seeing it on the television, the president did die, the true assassin did kill him and suddenly another Civil War erupted, tearing the fabric of our country to the core. Gunfire, missiles, and bombs, there was hardly anyone left when the fighting ceased. I don’t know when it happened or how, but I remember the twentieth year in my prison, the walls burst, and all but I remained in the debris of smoke and concrete. I emerged, happy to be free, but motivated to return to my old life. I searched my old home town, only to learn from news articles and local townspeople that my family died. My sisters, my brother, my parents, taken by the foolishness of war. But when I asked about my dear Rose, it shook me to the core. The bastard Michael took her as his wife, raised children with her. I learned that he lived in the only well kept manor, colonial built with modern furnishings and near a dried riverbank. It was an hour journey, but one I had waited years for.
As I walked to the manor, I felt the rage, no longer burning like before, but now ice cold in my veins. This was it, the moment had arrived, yet even the devil on my shoulder had begun to grow a conscious. Was this right? Spill blood after so much blood had been spilled, after so much chaos had erupted? The questions I left open ended, now was not the time for answers, only the deed. I stepped on the wooden stairs leading up to the front porch. My mind could no longer keep sane, there was no plan, no thought, only the deed, only the action. I kicked the door open, found the bastard lounging in a chair and his smug face barely turned to me. I screamed the words ‘Traitor’, like the rabid dog I was. He slowly got up, gave a condescending look. He talked about how he knew I was coming, and waited for my arrival. He remained calm, and condescending. He knew he did wrong, but did not care. He knew he killed, but did not care. I soon learned that what was condescending and smug was the mask of a man who lost everything as well.
He explained my dear Rose had died in the war. He tried to keep their children safe, but as they fled their home, a stray bullet struck one of the children. The other was separated from Michael, and when Michael tried to go back, he was gone, disappeared into the black, coal mist of mortar fire. Michael was haunted, devastated, and depressed. He disclosed that he was waiting for me to arrive, to put a bullet in his brain. At least, I would have something that no one else would have. Fulfillment. He then gave me the pistol, one bullet remaining. I took it, but I what was I to do? Kill myself and give him more of the living hell he wanted? Or aim for the head and fulfill my revenge.
I gripped the gun, and aimed.
Just pull the trigger. Just pull the trigger. Pull the trigger.