IV

IV. NIGHT

The Conqueror stepped into the house. No lights were on and he could not see but he knew the layout. He moved without sound up a flight of stairs and turned six times and entered a room and closed the door behind him. He turned on the light to see the room and he saw bright pastel colors on the walls and a full-sized bed and in the bed another sixteen year old girl laying almost face down. She did not stir. He wondered if he should drug her or break her neck or muffle her screams without any type of sedative lethal or no.

He sat down on the bed and took off his shoes and his tie and he set them down neatly on the floor. The girl's hair was strawberry blonde and he felt it. Still she did not move. He clutched her head and shook it and she did not resist. He pulled back the covers and found she was already cut. Blood saturated the lower portion of her nightgown.

Putting his shoes back on the Conqueror looked to the window and found it was open. He retied his tie and jumped out the window and landed with ease in a stack of leaves. He saw a thin trail of blood from the house to the shed and he followed it. The shed was small and made of a heavy wood painted mauve. The Conqueror opened the shed's sole door and saw within a lawnmower and a rake and tools and a naked man cowering in the center of it all biting his own hands and shaking. The Conqueror knew him. This had happened before. But it would not happen again.

The Conqueror withdrew from his suit jacket his Russian pistol and he shot the man. Leaving the shed he saw lights had come on in the house but he paced himself leisurely as he made his way back to his own domain.

In his own house again he returned to his bedroom. He undressed and saw himself in a mirror as a creature whose form could easily persuade the most devout Baptist to atheism. He looked at her. He had not readministered the sedative tranquilizer and she was trying to speak. He sat next to her and her eyes were not open and she asked where she was. He told her that she was in heaven or hell. And she opened her eyes hazily and saw the Conqueror. She had not known him but she remembered him. He felt her face with both his hands and he drew her nearer and he whispered in her ear. She cried and he told her it was alright and he urged her to go through with it. He handed her the Russian pistol.

She stood up and she saw him on the bed. She aimed the pistol at his head and she held the pistol tightly. He looked at her and told her that he knew she would succeed where he had failed. And she pulled the pistol's trigger: he was destroyed.

She looked in a nearby closet and found a dress and sandals and she put them on. She left the house with the pistol. The conquered had become the Conqueror.