The First Attempt

"It's all over now," Simon said, leveling the gun at Dr. Proctor. He had cornered her in her study while she was perusing an old collection of Victorian-age poems. Standing in the doorway, he blocked the only exit path the old doctor had - save for the window, but he trusted she wouldn't be so naive as to really think a woman her age would survive a fall from the third story balcony. And so the old doctor's spindly, veiny hands were outstretched in front of her - as if they could block a bullet anyway - and an expression of raw, true fear was cast across her face. Staring with as much hatred as he could muster into the woman's eyes for the first time, he announced, "It's finally time for me to finish what you started."

The old woman cried out, "Why are you doing this to me!?"

"Because," the firearm's safety clicked off, "I have to."

"I have a son! Adam - his name's Adam!"

Simon felt his steady grip on the gun weaken. Dammit. Now wasn't the time to back down. He wasn't lying earlier - he really, really had to do this. For them. He swallowed what little saliva he had left in his mouth (when had his mouth become so dry?) and bit out, "Yeah, I know. Smart guy. Top of his class."

"He's too young to lose his mother! If you don't care about me, at least care about him! I'm all he has!"

This was going to be it. This was going to make him lose his resolve.

Because -

Because -

Because wasn't that what this was all about?

But holding onto the steel grey handle of the pistol, feeling the chill of its steel, he was surprised to realize he didn't have a shred of pity for the woman or her son. Sure, he'd be taking away from her son what she had taken from him all those years before, but it wasn't as if he had a memory of his mother anyway. Or his father.

Thanks to her.

"I'm going to kill you," Simon said, approaching the woman. She stepped backwards clumsily, frightened footfalls muffled by her study's plush carpet, then found herself pressed against the cool bricks of the fireplace. There was nowhere left to run, and even if there was - Simon knew he would be quicker than some old woman.

She closed her eyes, whimpering, waiting for the end.

Simon focused the gun on her forehead. His hand was shaking. His fingers felt numb and stiff. He could do this. He grabbed hold of the handle with his other hand, trying to steady himself. He willed himself to press the trigger - to just move his finger an inch, a single twitch, and have his revenge complete. He willed it, so strongly.


Dr. Proctor opened her eyes to find the room empty. The door was now closed - slammed shut - and the noise still reverberated in the air around her. No sign remained of her assailant save for her pounding heart. She collapsed in her reading chair, pale as a ghost, a voice in her head repeating only:

"He will come again."