Monday, 22 November 2010

MURDER, OR REVENGE? by Carol J. Rhodes

TKnC welcomes Carol...


Bleeding from the brutal injuries the perpetrators inflicted, the victim dragged himself off the dim lit street and down an alleyway behind some rundown apartments, tipped over a garbage can and crawled inside.

Within minutes, the victim heard shouts and heavy footsteps. "Where are you, you son of a bitch," were the words which rang out, over and over.

Blood trickled out of his hiding place, ran down the pavement and pooled in the bright glow at the base of a light pole. There was nothing he could do but hope they
thought he made it as far as the bayou and gone on to search for him there.

When he was sure the perps weren't coming back, he left his hiding place and began inching his way toward the nearest apartment. He was afraid to call out, afraid they might hear him and return to finish the job. He lay down flat behind the wheel of a parked car when a car pulled into a parking space two rows over.

* * *

That's all he remembered until he woke up five days later in the intensive care unit of a hospital. His head was bandaged, leaving only small holes for his nose and mouth. One arm and both legs were in traction; he was connected by IVs and tubing to multiple life-sustaining machines. Beside his bed, a young doctor studied his chart.

* * *

"So, you've decided to join us, Mr. King. We've been afraid you weren't going to make it. You've got some pretty serious injuries I need to talk to you about because it looks like you're going to be laid up for awhile.

You took quite a beating, must've been with a pipe or a crowbar on your legs and face as best we can tell. Something sharp, probably a blade, penetrated your liver but fortunately we were able to stem the bleeding there. But we weren't so lucky with some of your other organs. We had to remove one of your kidneys and a portion of your left lung. Tried our best to save your eyes, but too much time had passed before they got you here. You're in good hands now, though, and we're going to do all we can to help you get well, so don't you worry. Oh, the police are going to want to talk with you as soon as you feel up to it, but for now, you try and get some rest. By the way, what kind of work do you do? Anybody we should call?"

"I'm... a... a... environment investi... investigator," he managed to say.

"You're an environmental investigator? What's to investigate in Blue Gap? Not much here to cause a problem, unless it's . . . well, I'll be checking on you again later."

* * *

"Did you know the men who did this to you?" asked the man standing beside his bed.

"I... don't... it was dark and they... they... just came out of nowhere."

"Do you know anyone who would have it in for you?"

"I... can't... can't think of... anybody. I just got here... last week... I might... recognize their voices if I heard them again, though."

"Well, that's just too bad," the man said, as he placed the silencer next to the victim's ear and pulled the trigger.

Carol's work, including short stories, essays, poetry, non-fiction, and plays, has appeared in such publications as newspapers Houston Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, Stroud (England) News & Journal, The Houston Press; magazines Country Home, Good Old Boat, and Texas; as well as numerous journals and anthologies.
She has also been fortunate to win several literary awards for both poetry and prose. One of her plays, "Comin' Home to Burnstown," was showcased in a summer play festival of an off-Broadway theatre several years ago.
In addition to creative writing, Carol presents business writing seminars for two universities and several corporate clients.


  1. Hi Carol,
    Liked the way you started with the aftermath. Cool twist ending.

  2. I love the ending, a nice twist.

  3. That was some beating, and a nice way to handle the hit at the end.