Revenge

Top 10 Reasons for Getting Revenge

(from Getting Even:Revenge Stories(Amazon US)/(Amazon UK)/(Amazon Ca) edited by Mitzi Szereto)

1. You’re a ceramics designer with your own company, which operates under the aegis of your husband, Anthony. You have one child – a boy with Down’s Syndrome. Anthony takes little interest in his son or, for that matter, you, since he’s already replaced you with Olivia, a much younger version. You employ Tim, a young man who also has Down’s Syndrome. Tim loves his job as workshop assistant, though you’ll have to let him go, since your husband won’t allow this unpleasant reminder of his son to work there. Anthony soon announces that Olivia is pregnant and he wants a divorce, adding that he plans to eliminate you from the business. You give Tim his notice. Devastated, he remains behind after work, afraid to go home to tell his mother that he’s lost his job. That’s when he decides to help you in the workshop one last time…

2. When your husband commits suicide, it takes away your hopes, your dreams, your life. You can get over some grief, but not this one. That sense of blissful safety when you sleep beside him is gone. Now you realise that your bliss was an ignorant one. He has hidden things from you, kept secrets that are just starting to come out. The post begins to pile up: financial companies, banks, lenders, credit card companies… everyone is sorry for your loss, but you have thirty days to pay. You rely on the charity of friends to have a bed each night. You begin to hate – not so much your husband, but those who sucked him into debt. You make a list. Your husband had his weaknesses, but so too, do those who got him into debt…

3. What do you do when you lose the man you love? Make a pact with the devil, of course! Enter “Alf,” the Cockney devil. Desperate to get your beloved back, you sell your soul to this wisecracking, hygienically challenged master of the underworld. Although willing to help (for it’s his business to help those who summon him from Hell), as he listens to your tale of romantic woe, he wonders what you see in this selfish, self-centred, lager-drinking, fag-smoking man who’s completely incapable of maintaining a relationship. But a bargain’s a bargain, and Alf’s a devil of his word. And so one morning you awaken to find your love lying beside you. Once again all is right with the world… until the very same pattern of relationship sloth re-emerges – and with it the same outcome, except this time you’ve bargained away your soul for it…

4. It’s a girls’ night in and everyone’s chilling, drinking margaritas and relaxing from their hectic work and family schedules. The cable guy arrives…late. You’ve already waited a month for service, so you’re not about to turn him away. He swaggers into your house like the cock of the walk; he’s not the sort of man who has any respect for women. He makes a disparaging remark about your friends. None of you have had an easy time of it. One is a rape survivor, another a former battered wife; you’ve all been victimised in some way, therefore a crude comment from some sexist Romeo pushes some very wrong buttons. You leave him in the bedroom with the television so he can do his job. When you return to see what’s taking so long, you find him masturbating. One by one your friends appear, and the cable guy starts giving them a show, loving the attention. Only the arrogance and testosterone emanating from this performer fails to entertain…

5. You’re an innocent young girl who spends your days being delighted by the pet monkey given to you as a gift by the Maharajah of Raniganj. While you’re being charmed by the monkey’s antics, your patron examines the Kama Sutra in an attempt to groom you as his second wife so you can bear him the children his first cannot. Your increasing fondness for the monkey results in its death at the hands of the jealous Maharajah, who desires your attentions exclusively to himself. As a result of the monkey’s demise and the subsequent consummation of your marriage vows, you grow extremely ill. You now hate the man who’s become your husband. Unable to bear your contempt, the Maharajah sets off to see the world, trying to put you out of his mind. He eventually returns home, only to discover that you’ve borne him a son. And what should be his greatest joy will instead be his greatest horror…

6. When the man you’re in love with betrays you and breaks your heart, destroying that last flicker of hope inside you, do you kill him – or do you kill yourself? From the moment you both meet, it’s magic. Hugh’s a catch: attractive, well-educated, good family, prestigious job… what can possibly be wrong with him? To get into better shape, Hugh takes up jogging, going at night along the canal. Then one day he shows up at your place, announcing that he’s given you crabs. He hasn’t cheated on you with another woman though. Apparently his nocturnal jogging has yielded him some new friends – a group of guys who gather down at the canal. He denies being gay and, to put a better spin on things, “Down-low Hugh” informs you that you should at least be grateful he hasn’t given you his herpes…

7. Lou’s a tattoo artist. He makes you his perfect canvas, covering your entire body in his art. In return for giving your husband your life and your body, you’re beaten, abused, and driven to drink. As for Lou, he’s a gambler, a drinker, and a control freak. Because his own life is so out of control, he must control someone else’s – and he does an excellent job of controlling yours. You long to have a baby, but Lou won’t allow it. He refuses to let anything mar his masterpiece. But masterpieces are subject to the ravages of time; lines blur, colours fade, flesh wrinkles and sags. Enter Lynda, barely half Lou’s age. He abandons you, for he now has a fresh new canvas upon which to work. You end up homeless and a drunk, overdosing on drugs and landing in a psychiatric unit. Eventually you get clean and start a new life, putting Lou out of your mind – until you come across a tattooing magazine featuring a very pregnant Lynda on the front cover…

8. It’s tough to get ahead in the magazine business, especially if you’re a freelance journalist with a boss like Jennifer who belittles you and doesn’t give you the choice assignments. It’s enough to drive one to drink… or to kill. Everyone has a weakness though, and Jennifer’s weakness is her love of cake. It’s hard to resist temptation, and it gets even more so when you start bringing in divine little cakes for the weight-conscious Jennifer to consume. Your fattened calf plan appears to be working beautifully… until Jennifer gets a job at another magazine. A year of plying your boss with cakes has now come to an end. But your hatred and obsession does not. In fact, it makes you even more determined…

9. You follow the man across the city, from place to place, bar to bar, watching, waiting. You don’t exist to him; you’re not even a spec on his radar. Yet you share in his intimate moments of wine and conversation with other women. You follow him everywhere – to home, to work – the confident city man in his confident city suit, always in control of every situation. You become his shadow, the one he never sees, because you’re too irrelevant to notice. It has happened before, this negation of you, and it needs to stop. You have a special ability to make things move, and that is what you do. You want to shake him up, rattle his composure, make him finally notice you. You want him to finally remember

10. What do you do when you’re married to a fat, lazy, racist, beer-guzzling piece of trailer-park trash who’s sucked the life out of you for three decades and you just can’t take it anymore? You kill the bastard. More than anything you long to spend your twilight years in peace and tranquillity, but you’ll never experience this utopia as long as your husband Ronald is alive. You can’t outright murder him though – there might be a problem with the life insurance, not to mention a prison sentence. So you decide to give Ronald a special anniversary present: the biggest, fastest, most testosterone-fuelled motorcycle you can find – one that’s certain to re-ignite fond memories of his lost youth…

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Madeline Moore  |  September 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for including my story, but, um…I only count nine reasons.
    Maybe the 10th is – coming across a book like M. S.’s ‘Getting Even: Tales of Revenge’ and being in the right mood to buy it, thereby giving yourself many excellent hours to read and contemplate your hate.

    Reply
  • 2. Madeline Moore  |  September 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    oops, I see ten now. Grumble. Must have coffee…
    so now my reason would be #11…

    Reply

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