The Last One

Breaking as I step from the doctor’s office, the storm empties buckets of electricity all over the city. Clapping cold thunder all around, there is nowhere to shelter. I must get the alcohol and black tape before the all in one market closes otherwise tonight will be dead. The water steams off warm skin. People are using newspapers to run through it. Not just due to my injury, I have no reason to run. It’s nice. Once there I get one lemon, a packet of painkillers, a six pack of Peroni, a bottle of Vat 69 scotch, and the tape. On the way back I see the fruit shop using high pressure hoses to spray out it’s delivery bay of a horrible red fluid. Store owners and customers have dragged chairs outside to watch the rain. It’s been a while coming. Then I get out from under the roofs and back into the steel making slippery shower.

With a beer in hand, I iron my baggy orange white striped shirt and black Calvin Kleins. Frequently spraying more mist onto them to get the creases right, I remember what my grandmother told me before they sent her to the high security aged care unit.

Knocking em off ain’t hard, it’s getting rid of em after that that’s tricky.

She was right, off course. Most grandmas are. She was like a mother to me for so long. Once listening to an addict neighbor loudly discuss her upcoming abortion as a recreational choice, as a right choice, which I did not disagree with, I became convinced all life is not much more than breathing correctly, letting the blood flow right, and keeping the brain healthy. An organic thing. Any spiritual notions of conscience and soul didn’t add up for long. Yeah, Grandma was like a mother to me. I wish she had’ve finished it cause then I wouldn’t have to now.

Seeing as this is a revenge story shortly to end, I haven’t much to say. I will spare you any long explanations or convictions for our side’s case. Let’s just say that this feud has been going on for many years, decades forming up to almost a century. We were farmers, so were they. They stole some of out livestock. Three cows and sixty sheep to be exact. They denied it, as they would. But after a few industrial accidents on each sides, people started getting seriously maimed. Then they started disappearing. Our families broke out into war. It’s no longer on the farms now. They were all sold during the recent droughts and depressions. There’s a few left on our side, but only one left on their side, John Jenkins. A rotten bastard who has recently developed a opiate habit over the other side of the city. He’s forgotten his family code. Couldn’t give a fuck about honour, just getting high. Me, I’ve always known those who were right would win this war. It’s almost ten o’clock, and I’m done taping up the knife’s handle. The train will be rolling out soon.

Drunk but alert.  The locks on his apartment are only three pin. Bad neighbourhood here. Behind the dirty white blinds the blue light of pixilated sludge drips and flickers without changing. He’ll be pinned by now. If there are others in there with him, they will have to be dealt with. It clicks open. I twist the handle.

Soon with a wet tea towel dripping over his sweaty forehead, he wakes. His armchair stinks like rotting fast food. This place is not fit for flies, let alone humans. Black pupils continue between dilation and shrinkage as he contemplates the blade in my hands. He can’t be sure if he’s dreaming or conscious. I wet whisper first.

You’re going to die tonight.

Spit in the corners of his mouth, he wipes it with the back of his hands as he tries to remember his final speech. Looks like he he’s well prepared, and yells his piece.

So! I have nothing to live for and nothing to say, a skull for a head and crossbones for arms, I would be considered scum, but at least scum ranks somewhere in the universe’s food chain. So just go on and fuckin kill me now! I’m smacked off my fuckin dial mate! Do me the favour and end it now while I’m high. C’m-

Wah!

What was that? Who’s baby is that? Where is she? Where’s the mother?

Fuck you cunt!

You know who I am?

He focuses, and gets a better chance to eye me close.

You’re Peter Baker…

Yes, yes, your killer. The baby!

The girl, Melanie, she’s in a cot down near the window next to the bed. Her mother, she’s not here… She’s… dead.

How?

What?

How’d she die?

I killed her.

So why aren’t you in jail then, you junkie cunt?

‘Cause I buried her, out on our old farm.

Who was she?

She was your sister…

What?

We used to be together, lovers and that when we were both twenty three but then my dad found out. He cracked my eye socket real bad, and then he made me pick her up in the ute one day and…together we got rid of her.

I stumble some steps back as tears spill salty from his bloodshot eyes. He crinkles them tight shut. He has no more answers for me. He’s shut off. Death is in the room now. And this time it’s specifically staring at him. Breathing thoughts, this is the last one. He is the last one. He is the last one!

Drip. Silence sits, tap worn washer in the kitchen. Drip. The knife still shines with perfect weight in my hands, the tape has moulded to a good grip. Drip. Revenge, this will be easy. Or is it just easier to just throw the blade down and walk away? Drip. Do this for myself, not my family, all of whom lie locked up Drip or rotting in the ground after being stamped out. I owe her, Drip or myself? Drip, drip. Which side of the family is he on? Is should kill hi Drip m? Frozen midway between the door and him is where I stand, Drip, Still, Drip.

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