Revenge Ritual

I kneel next to his shaking body, lean in close to his face so he can feel my breath and whisper, ‘I know I promised there’d be no sex in your precious home – but when I want you … well, you can’t resist.’

He grunts something as I undo his trousers and pull them away from his scrawny backside and down his legs. I can’t tell if he’s calling out in protest or pleasure but his eyes look more focused as I grab his hair and jerk his head back.

‘That’s right. That’s why I’m here. Did you think I just came round for dinner?’ I let his head drop back again. ‘You’d do anything to stop that daughter of yours finding out the truth, wouldn’t you? It’s pathetic. You’re such a fraud.’

I remove the rest of his clothing and search his pockets before folding each item neatly and laying them on a chair. His pockets are full of dirty handkerchiefs and I reach for my antiseptic body wipes. There’s a worn leather wallet with two twenty pound notes and a photograph. I hold the photograph in front of his face, ‘Do you love her more than me? ’He groans. ‘You’d better not or this little bitch will get hurt.’

He tries to spit at me but obviously has no saliva. ‘You … you’re the bitch.’ The effort of speech makes him slide back against the cushions – blue silk with an oriental peacock design. I could lift one up, place it over his head, press down hard … but that would be too easy.

I stand back and scan his naked body. It’s lightly tanned and his firm thighs and flat stomach could belong to a man half his age. I enjoy the feel of his skin and the tightening of his muscles under the wetness of the body wipes as I stroke them around his body. Even in his half stupor he’s responding to my caress – until I reach his groin and twist his testicles.

In my bag I’ve bought scarves to suit the occasion. Golden brown, the colour of his eyes, although they’ve darkened now to the colour of dirty coal. Cobalt blue like the ocean he’s so fond of, faded vermillion, the colour of the tasteless brocade draped all round this house – and scarlet to remind him of his betrayal.

I reposition his body checking he is still alive. Then carefully tie each wrist to the chair backs and each ankle to the ends of the chaise longue. It takes less than three minutes.

The smell of scorched feathers fills the room. The crackle of flames from the back of the house grows louder. No time for any more fun.

I kiss his forehead one last time and say, ‘She’s going to suffer but you’re going to die.’

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