Vengeance is kind of like a drug.
Or I assume it is. I’ve never taken drugs. I haven’t even been drunk. But I am finding myself addicted to getting even.
If you had met me three weeks ago, you probably wouldn’t even remember me. Most people haven’t, for most of my life. That’s why I have been shoved around, talked down to, had my piece of cake stolen from right in front of me, and had all kinds of movies spoilered even though I begged for people to stop before they revealed a crucial plot point. I’ve been given the wrong change, on purpose, people have talked about me like I’m not there, and my mother has always given my brother his meals first. None of that stuff happens now.
Nineteen days ago, I woke up at 3:03AM to the sound of breathing.
I live alone.
To say I was terrified doesn’t begin to describe my emotion. I blasted past terror before my eyes were all the way open. I couldn’t even see terror in the rear-view mirror as I reached out toward the sound of the breathing and touched…you know I don’t know what I touched, but it felt like my hand was sunburned. The pain threw me so far off that I forgot to be scared and I shouted ‘What the hell?’
The breathing turned into laughter – a deep rattling laugh that would cause a doctor to break out her stethoscope.
‘Hell, indeed, dear girl.’
The heat in front of me began to glow, like the embers at the end of the bonefire, and I could make out the shape of what could only be Lucifer himself standing in my bedroom.
What do you say when the devil drops in on you in the middle of the night? I went with the every eloquent ‘I. I. Um.’
He laughed again.
‘I’ll save you the strain, dear girl. Don’t even try to figure out. Your number has come up! Your wish for vengeance against the parking cop drew my attention, and here I am. For the next 21 days, you don’t have to wish you could take revenge, you’ll just be inclined to do it. Whatever you think of, you’ll be able to do. Without conscience, without any ‘I don’t think I can.’, without any concern at all.’
As soon as he finished speaking, he just kind of winked out, like he had been doused. The room felt a lot colder with him gone, but I was so infused with the heat of righteous anger that I bolted out of bed and got right to work. I sent some emails that got people fired, I made some phone calls that put marriages on the rocks, I walked down the street shoving at people, and I punched a friend right in the face for ruining a movie.
And here I am, slashing the tires of my high school principal who said I would never amount to much. It’s been 10 years since high school, but you just never forget that stuff. The best part? I still have two whole days left to find the playground bullies from elementary school!