Wednesday June 14th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the vendetta.

Another fairly uneventful day at work. That's a good thing, just to be clear.

Very excited that my sister and brother-in-law are coming for a visit this weekend from Calgary. Feels like it has been too long and I know the time will go by too quickly.


"Reports out of Alabama this evening indicate that three more school teachers have been shot and killed, this time in Tuscaloosa. This brings the total number of teachers murdered in the state in recent weeks to twenty-five."

"While police have been reluctant to blame this apparent killing spree on a single suspect - or even a group of suspects - there is growing concern that a serial killer is on the loose and targeting the educators of our children."

"Possible motivation for such a violent rampage is purely speculative at this juncture, however Channel 5 News spoke with Tyson Lawrie, a psychological professor at Auburn University, who shared his thoughts on the person - or persons - perpetrating this horrific series of crimes."

"This individual likely suffered some sort of trauma or abuse at the hands of one of his or her own teach-"

I shut the TV off and drop the remote on the couch beside me. I don't like listening to them smart folks talk about me like they know me. They ain't so smart - least not as smart as they think they is.

They don't know me.

They don't know why all them teachers have to die.


Greg said...

It sounds like you're going to have a great end to the week! I hope you're planning on making your sister and brother-in-law pick strawberries for you :)
I guess I ought to remind you about the year-long prompt since you like to be up to date with comments on it before continuing it.
Hmm, I like the news report and the matter-of-fact tone, and I definitely like both the interview with the professor and the killer's response to that. The contrast in voice between the killer and the report is great too -- the whole piece comes together very satisfactorily.

The vendetta
Glasses clinked and champagne fizzed; canapes whirled around the room at shoulder height carried on large silver platters and women reached out with long, delicate hands to snare a vol-au-vent or blini. At one end of the hall a band played entertainingly but unobtrusively, and a number of couples stepped on and off the dancefloor, smiles shimmering on beautiful and handsome faces. Not far from that was a bar with three waistcoated barmen smiling and pretending to be Tom Cruise as they tossed glasses from one hand to the other, poured drinks with flamboyant gestures, and ignited twists of orange peels and dropped them casually into brightly coloured liquids. Citrus smells caught unseen breezes and drifted across the room, competing with the perfumes and aftershaves, and the deep woody fragrance of the centrepieces of the tables. Conversation and laughter also competed, eddies of noise moving with the laziness of continental drift as groups formed and split up with social pressure.
A narrow door was hidden behind luxurious wall-hangings: modern tapestries depicting the rise and rise of a mercantile family, culminating in the construction of an office tower on an island that might have been Manhattan. The door was locked; knocking on it would have it opened to reveal a man as broad as the doorway blocking it. If you would persuade him to step aside you would find a narrow hallway; two more locked doors on either side, and an unlocked one at the far end. And beyond that door was a leather-furnished, wood-panelled study where Il Dottore was leaning against a desk you could perform an autopsy on, long legs stretched out and shiny black shoes somehow menancing. Six men and three women were stood around the walls: no drinks, no cigarettes in here. They were all tense, pale-faced, hands pushed into pockets to hide that they were clenching into anxious fists.
"Vendetta," hissed Il Dottore, his face twisting into an ugly snarl. His eyes were close-set and deep, his forehead shadowing them and making it impossible to see their colour. His hair was starting to recede and was still blonde, and there was a hint of a thin moustache on his upper lip. "They declare vendetta on me."
The silence in the room was so intense it was practically solid. For all the other people speaking would have taken such an effort they would have choked.
Il Dottore picked up a paper-knife from his desk and toyed with it. "They don't know what a vendetta is." His words were tight and furious, spat from his lips as though they were acidic and burning him. His arm moved so fast everyone else flinched: the knife span end-over-end in the air, lightning reflections hurled around the room, and buried itself in the far wall.
"I shall return the favour, and educate them," he said, and somehow the smile on his face was uglier than the snarl.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, of course they have to pick. Part of the deal :)

Thanks for the reminder (look at me trying to catch up on comments before the middle of the month!) and your kind words on my writing are always appreciated.

Love the descriptions here, and how severe the contrast is between your opening and closing scenes. I would be happy to read more of this one!