The Persistence of Loss – Part Three: Vengeance

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It had taken Anaveya just four short months to formulate a plan that was as close as it could be to perfect in which she would carry out her revenge on those men who had murdered her brother. And no, not just her brother, but her family too. Her mother and her father. Val had never been terribly forthcoming with the details on exactly what had happened to their family, claiming both that he didn’t know enough himself or that she was too young, and he would tell her when she was old enough to hear it. He had lied, at least about the former. She’d managed to piece it all together following his death through a combination of things. Vague stories he’d told her, personal journals and family records.

It had all suddenly pieced itself together in her mind at once as if she had been putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The recurring dream she’d had for many years almost nightly made sense even.

Come on Ana, we’re going to go for a little run!” And he’d scooped her up and run faster than he ever had before and she’d giggled, like it was all just a game.

Looking at her freshly dyed black hair in the mirror, she closed her eyes for a moment and remembered. The way he smelled, the stench of sweat and smoke and the overwhelming fear and confusion that had overcome her, for even at such a young age, no matter how he’d tried to shield her all from it, she knew now. Those three men had come into the house while she obliviously sat on her bedroom floor playing with her dolls and cut first her mothers throat, and then her fathers, and then they’d set the house on fire.

And she’d been ignorant to all of it until that dreadful night four months earlier when she’d watched her brother murdered brutally on the deck of that merchant ship.

“’Goren, why’d you do it, man? You killed our brother.”

He killed my family.”

An eye for an eye.”

She carried all of this fresh information with her now, and used it to fuel her plans for revenge. She could have just walked away from it all and made a new life, or tried to make a new life for herself somewhere. After all, tragic and terrible things happened and had happened to others, she wasn’t unique in that way, but something inside her just couldn’t do that. They had taken her entire family. All of them. She was the last surviving Blackcrest, and they would pay for it, even if she died trying in the process.

What surprised her, even though it shouldn’t have perhaps, was that the remaining two men remained in the Tanaris area after they’d murdered Valgoren Blackcrest, regularly travelling in and out on business, and she watched the both of them for two months solid, barely even eating or sleeping. It had become an obsession. As misfortune would have it, a month before she’d been set to carry out her plan to end the first of them, he’d disappeared. Well, not disappeared technically, he’d merely left the port as he usually did and had not returned. Still, one remained and she couldn’t let him disappear as well. She’d move her plans forward a little to ensure that didn’t happen.

She dressed herself carefully that night to look as inconspicuous as possible. When she walked into the inn, she wasn’t looked at as out of place, or out of the ordinary. She merely looked like just another cheap whore that frequented the place, and because of this, gaining access to the rented inn rooms was effortless.

The candle on the nightstand flickered so violently that it threatened to blow out completely. The wind was rising outside. There was a storm coming, and it wouldn’t be long before the residents would be stuck inside for a matter of hours or even days. Desert storms were nothing to laugh about. The environment was unpredictable.

The overweight, snoring man woke easily enough when she moved close to him and murmured in his ear, “Wake up sleepyhead.”

His initial surprise was replaced with excitement and anticipation when she explained that “A friend of yours has sent me. Their currency was generous.” Stupid fool even lay there and let her bind his wrists to the bedhead, thinking he was in for some fun. Before she had drawn the dagger across his throat, she had paused long enough to request that he study her face for just long enough to acquire the recognition that she desired. The last look on his face of disbelief she would now take with her to her own grave, and it was almost enough. Almost.

She found a pendant inside of the drawer of the bedside table and retrieved it, curling her fingers around it tightly. She turned to face the man, struggling for his last few breaths before she turned on her heel to leave as swiftly as she had come. “The only thing I regret about killing you now, is that I had not the leisure to make it last longer.”

And then one remained. She wasn’t sure what she’d do after the last man met his end eventually, when she tracked him down; she’d honestly not thought that far ahead, but for now, it would at least give her a reason for continuing on, a purpose, and for now, it would just have to suffice.


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