REASONS FOR REVENGE
Published 2016 by Beating Windward Press LLC
For contact information, please visit:
Text Copyright © Luis Vasquez, 2016
All Rights Reserved
Book & Cover Design: Copyright © KP Creative, 2016
Cover & Interior Illustrations by KP Creative
Author Photo by Tracy Reinhard
First Shakespir Edition
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. thank you for respected the hard work of this author.
Table of Contents
“Where is it?”
“It, Sir?” the prison guard asked.
“The creature,” I said refusing to acknowledge the common term used by others.
“Oh, yes, follow me,” he said before leading me to the underground chamber.
The stairs brought us down, further below the surface than I expected. The lights grew smaller in number, therefore dimmer in guidance. I was no longer surprised as to why this creature was the only prisoner left alone in this secure, underground chamber. Some, if not most, prisoners deserve a light at the end of their dark tunnel for redemption. Though, few do not deserve an ounce of light at the end of their tunnels for the crimes they have committed. This creature deserved this dark, isolated confinement because of what he craved for.
About five minutes after we left the guard’s initial post, we finally reached the visible chamber. Only two lights led us to it. One by the beginning of the hallway, and the other placed just ahead of the front wall. The front wall was see-through, but durable enough for this type of glass to withstand more than just bullets. There were no small holes in the wall for a clear conversation between a man and the beast. Maybe the guards were afraid the creature was going to spread some form of an airborne disease through the gaps; something they probably feared would cause them to become a creature of the same nature.
“How am I supposed to speak to this creature?” I asked the prison guard.
He pointed up to the left of the ceiling before replying with, “The speakers up there on the left will let you hear the zom…, I mean the creature, speak. The um, the m-microphone is up on the right corner.”
Ignoring his nervousness I asked, “Has this been tested? Can you hear it speak?”
“The Warden has tried many times to speak but the z… c-cr-creature has, uh, he hasn’t talked back yet.”
I analyzed the creature. It was staring at the prison guard. While I had no ounce of pity for such a being I did notice a famished appearance on its face. The cheeks looked as if they were being vacuumed down the throat. You could notice, through the pale blue skin, the outline of the upper and bottom jaws. A few teeth were missing on the left side of the upper jaw.
“You don’t feed it do you?” I asked the prison guard.
“Hell no, Sir,” he replied. “He tried to eat one of the guards the last time we tried to feed him.”
“When was this?”
The guard faced the creature before answering my question. “About a month ago.”
After seeing the creature’s face remain in zone with its targeted prey I turned to the prison guard. I could tell from the change in his tone that he no longer had a fear of the creature. No remorse either, only hatred because of a stored nightmare.
It was time for me to take charge of the mission at hand. I asked the prison guard to leave me alone with the creature. He concurred, then walked to the other light and remained on standby.
I faced the creature and finally witnessed it blink its eyes. Its eyes then glared upon me. The creature was strapped across its arms and legs. Other than its eyes, the creature remained motionless. The only sound I could hear from within its confinement was the groaning of its stomach, similar to that of us humans, in other words, of its former self.
“Can you hear me?”
No response. I assumed that maybe it forgot how to speak English after being reborn through his own mutation.
“If you cannot speak that is fine, for now. However, I need you to answer a few questions and this is how we’re going to do this. I will ask you a question. If you want to answer ‘yes,’ then nod your head up and down once. If you want to say ‘no,” then shake your head left to right once. There are no ‘maybe’s,’ or ‘I don’t know’s.’ Got it?”
The creature did not respond. I moved closer to the wall.
“Do you understand?” I asked it in a softer, but darker tone.
The creature nodded once.
“My name is Doctor Lincoln Thomas. I am here to retrieve some answers from you. You give me the answers I need and I’ll give you food.”
I heard its stomach growl. It struggled to manage a smile seconds later.
“So, do we have an agreement?”
“Give me him,” the creature said in a heavily raspy voice as if it was an elderly man with throat cancer.
I studied its eyes and realized it wasn’t staring at me. It returned its eyes towards its previous target. I could hear the guard in the back respond to the creature’s words with hateful words.
“Stop,” I shouted to the guard in order to keep him by the other light. I then faced the creature again and said to it, “Now that we know you can speak you’d better give me some Goddamn answers right away.”
“But it’s too late,” it responded.
“It’s not too late for you,” I replied.
“Not for me… for you. And for him.”
“Don’t play games you mother fucker. Tell me-”
“Tell you what? What did I create and use to immerse my cravings for human flesh from an unnatural lust to a natural task?”
“Oh stop it! The few dozen you infected on the East Coast are all dead. If you’re not going to give me any answers,” I said as I shook my head in shame, “then I’m just going to leave you here to die.”
It coughed out blood before saying, “Go. Just know this… those you haven’t found will continue my legacy. They will be hungry. And they will spread farther than any of you can control.”
“All right, Lurch, you’re up next,” said my Senior Drill Instructor (SDI).
I stared at the rope and wished it was possible to be given the opportunity to move on to the next obstacle without having to even put a finger on that damn rope.
“Get your ass up there,” shouted my junior drill instructor, also known as the Kill Hat. He was the drill instructor whose assignment was a means of mental anguish, to all of his recruits.
He moved towards me. “I said,” he whispered to me with his cover pressed up against the side of my head, “get your lazy, bitch ass up this rope.”
“Aye, Sir,” I muttered as I reached for the rope.
“What did you just say to me?”
“Good,” said SDI, “now you’ve got two minutes to make it up this here rope.”
I stared at my SDI with a startled expression. “Two minutes, Sir?” I asked.
“Yes two minutes dumbass,” shouted the Kill Hat. “Now get your ass up there.”
So it began, the countdown to my demise. I was so terrified that I actually bear hugged the rope as if I had forgotten how in the hell to climb it.
“Stop humping the damn rope and get your ass up there!”
“Aye, Sir,” I replied to the Kill Hat.
I managed to regain focus and pull myself up. The rope was weary though. I didn’t see how in the hell I was supposed to survive a climb with this worn material.
“30 seconds come and gone, Lurch,” said my SDI in his calm, but disappointed tone. “Hurry on up.”
I was still shaking as I “wormed” my way up the rope. I heard some of the other drill instructors nearby laughing and talking about me. What worried me wasn’t their laughter. What worried me was that their voices were fading the higher I reached.
As I looked on the time of my watch, I was almost a minute done. Yet, I still hadn’t made it up to the top of the rope. I felt my chest growing heavier and warmer. Maybe 25 feet was the goal. Maybe so, but I didn’t want to open my eyes because I hate heights more than anything. It’s my greatest phobia… other than boot camp, of course.
“You’re almost there, Lurch,” my SDI.
I could barely hear those motivational words because they were overpowered by the taunting sounds of the Kill Hat.
“Tick, tock… tick, tock,” he repeated slower each time. Even though I couldn’t see him, I knew he was circling my finish line from the feel of those taunting sounds.
“One minute come and gone,” said my SDI.
“Shit,” I shouted as I opened my eyes finally.
“Better hurry up or your ass is toast on the quarterdeck,” said the Kill Hat.
I looked at the wooden palate, the symbol of the highest mark. I pulled harder to get closer. During those last few pulls to the top I felt the rope was thinner than the lower portion. That concept made things worse for me even after I tagged the palate.
“35 seconds left,” shouted the Kill Hat. “Hurry your ass up, or else.”
Or else? Yeah, I know what’s gonna happen next.
I waited on the top of the rope for a few seconds to quickly resolve this plan to get back down.
“Get your ass down here now, Lurch,” my SDI shouted.
Hearing him shout at me was the cue to regain focus. However, my boots lost grip when coming down just a few feet from the palate.
Gasps were all I heard from the recruits. No sounds were heard from the drill instructors this time. I wondered if I was allowed to cry as I struggled to maintain a grip on the rope. I looked up and watched the rope stretching apart. Then, I looked down.
“Five seconds, Lurch,” said my Senior Drill Instructor.
Then, so be it.
“Aye, Sir,” I said as I untightened my grip on the rope.
I turned from the ground to the sky and closed my eyes. My hands were burning as the fall continued. Finally, I landed.
I woke up sometime shortly after apparently. I saw my SDI kneeled down, by my side. We were still by the rope climbs.
“One second left,” he said with a proud smile. “Now get your ass up, Lurch.”
With the sun at its highest point, the breeze feeling calm and cool, Manuel walked to the wishing fountain. After he stopped by the edge of the fountain’s knee-high wall, Manuel, dressed in all black, pulled a quarter out of the front-right, pants pocket.
“Hmm… I never thought I’d actually do something like this,” he said to himself before looking up at the statue of the female angel posing for a prayer. “But, I guess I have no other choice now that they’re gone.”
Manuel looked at the quarter again. He caressed the quarter with his thumb. Then, he closed his eyes before speaking to himself reclusively from the large crowd within his surroundings.
“I know this may not be possible for a man who never believed in making wishes. But, I am here to pray for my first wish to come true. Despite it being a wish that comes from a lonesome, cold heart, I hope that my wish is granted for the silenced, warm hearts I never meant to say goodbye to, today.
“The wish that I ask for is this… please bring them back by pulling them from the heavens. And if doing so will cost me something in return, then I will not hesitate to honor thy request.”
Manuel flipped the quarter into the wishing fountain. He spent a minute standing by the fountain watching the quarter sink past the minor ripples. When it reached the bottom he looked around the area and saw nothing different. To him, it had all been a lie. Manuel turned around in shame, of both the loss of his friends and the attempt at making a wish.
Suddenly, he began to feel lightheaded the further he walked from the wishing fountain. His eyelids continued to open and shut, but slowly. His vision blurred. Seconds later Manuel was pulled to the ground. But, before he could feel the contact of the concrete surface he heard an alarm tone. His eyes reopened, without blur, to make him aware that he was in his bedroom.
Frightened by the sudden alarm Manuel reached for the digital clock and dismissed the tone. Manuel looked at his clothing and noticed that it was the same shirt and pants he wore over a week prior to the day of the wish. The day he spent with his girlfriend, Emma, at her house, along with their friends. He then heard the reminder tone for Emma’s missed calls on his phone. After picking up the phone Manuel realized he was sent back in time; the evening before the day the people he loved were murdered.
Manuel sat up. “What am I supposed to do now?”
To his right, on the desk, there was Emma’s birthday gift kept hidden in a box. To his left, within the closet, was a backpack full of items; including weapons he used while a member of a gang that he willingly parted ways with months prior to that night.
He looked up. “Thank you for giving me this chance. A chance to redeem myself for what I allowed to happen to Emma, and to our best friends.” He stood up, walked to the closet then opened the door. To the bottom of the closet was the red striped backpack he parted ways from the gang with. “Yet, I know what this all really means for me.”
After he lifted the backpack and placed it onto his back, Manuel walked towards the desk and reached for the brown gift box with a blue bowtie on top. “I may not get to relive the rest of my time with Emma, but I will give her a chance to relive the rest of her time with me.”
Half an hour after Manuel left his empty home he reached Emma’s house. From the outside, by the streets, he could hear music and lots of laughter. It was aware to him that Emma was not alone. Guilt was no longer necessary.
Manuel walked to the door. When he reached the doorsteps, he crouched to be hidden from the window view. In front of the door, on the center of the pink carpet, was where he placed Emma’s birthday gift. Manuel smiled before Emma said, “Where is that sleepyhead?” Her voice sounded as if she was close to the door. Manuel realized he had no other choice but to run away as fast as possible. Where Manuel was headed was something only he knew. But it was something Emma asked for while she stood by the doorway watching, in dismay, as her true love ran away.
An hour after the only escape he’ll never forgive himself for, Manuel reaches the home to his former group. A home to your typical troublesome group of over a dozen, young men whose laughs are granted by the cries of others.
“I never believed in the truth of being careful for what we wished for,” Manuel said to himself from the lot in front of the isolated, and dim facility, “until now.”
Minutes later, Manuel reached the third floor’s dining area. By the table covered in money, weapons and photos, were a dozen young men. All of who stared at him with disgust.
“What the hell are you doing here, Deserter?” asked, Travis, the leader.
Manuel replied, “I’m here to return this backpack.”
Travis nodded his head. “Take it off then.”
Manuel removed the backpack then reached for something inside the main pocket.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Deserter?” Travis shouted before standing up and pointing a gun at Manuel. “I only told you to take it off.”
“I understand that, but…”
“I came here to keep my word. To honor my wish at the water fountain.”
“What wish was that?”
Manuel pulled the clip off of a grenade from within the pocket. “I guess you can call it a death wish.” Seconds later the grenade exploded.
The wish at the water fountain was fulfilled.
About the Author
Luis Vasquez was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After bringing an honorable end to his military journey in 2014, Mr. Vasquez attended Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Post his graduation in 2017, he returned to New York City to fulfill his dream of becoming an author and a screenwriter. Since then, Luis Vasquez has published several novels and is currently working on his first screenplay for the upcoming film adaptation of his first novel, The Revenge of the Five Outcasts.
Reasons for Revenge, is a collection of several stories. The first story titled, A World With Them - The Birth, is the prequel tale to a horror saga with the same primary title. It tells the story of the birth of the zombies in the United States and how the population of zombies spread throughout the rest of the world. The second story, The Rope Climb, is a military short story concerning the adventures of a recruit in the middle of his military training to earn the emblem and title upon graduation. This short story is not part of a larger saga but is a sample for a military saga currently in progress. The Rope Climb will give you a brief view and understanding of one of few dramatic moments that can leave military recruits wondering if they made a mistake raising their right hands and swearing an oath to protect this nation. The final story, The Wishing Fountain, is a fantasy-drama tale about a young man who loses his friends and girlfriend to a gang but after tossing a coin into a wishing fountain his wish is granted for a second chance to prevent their deaths. He must battle his selfishness to believe he is strong enough to defend himself against the former gang of his that stalks him and those he loves on a daily basis. The question is... can he still prevent death from happening? And if so, whose lives can he save?