A Serial in Five Parts
She could hear the intruder inside the den working at the gunsafe, a project she knew was futile. She had less an a minute to wait. The soft sounds of his footsteps reached her and she readied the bat. As he stepped through the doorway she swung the bat with all the power she could muster, made strong by the rage and the hatred for the animal who had intruded into her life.
The sound of bat hitting his shin was sharp, and the intruder’s cry of anguish as he collapsed onto the hallway floor was mixed with her own animal-like war cry. She moved quickly back, making sure she was out of reach. Switching on the hall light, she saw him for the first time. She looked at the unkempt figure writhing on the floor, hands to shattered bone. The foot stuck out at the wrong angle. The sounds he made were a combination of curses and wounded animal noise.
With a cocked bat, she moved toward him. He looked up at her and let loose a long string of obscenities. She ignored the filth emanating from the intruder’s mouth and cautiously approached, stopping just out of reach. He lay crosswise in the hall, his shoulder against the wall and his knee to his chest as he cradled his broken shin. She reached out with the bat and lightly tapped the bottom of his foot.
The cry of agony normally would have been repulsive to her, but normal was a long time past. Now she relished the pain and torment he was undergoing. She thought of what he had done to her and gave the foot another tap, harder this time. With another anguished cry, he fainted. She regarded the figure for a long moment. The thoughts running through her mind were alien to her. They would not have been possible in her previous life, but that existence was something left far behind.
The thought of his touching her again made her shiver. She raised the bat over her head and brought it down on the ankle of his good leg, breaking it. The intruder convulsed and then lay quiet. She regarded him briefly with intense hatred. The next two blows ruined the ankle forever.
She sat on a chair in the hallway, bat leaning against the wall. She was dressed now: heavy flannel shirt that belonged to Davy, jeans, and running shoes. The intruder still lay in the hall, but there was heavy twine securing his ruined legs to the stair newel, and more twine ran from his neck to the closet door. His hands were tied off to the railing above his head. There was enough tension on all so that the slightest movement from any relaxation brought excruciating pain. He lay whimpering, tears staining his dirty cheeks and urine staining his pants.
* * *
She could smell his sour odor as she sat waiting for the county sheriff to arrive. Before long she could hear the faint sound of approaching sirens, gave one more little tap, and relished the scream.
Leser L Weil 1998