The Consequence

Trembling. My whole body was trembling. I covered my mouth. Don’t scream, don’t scream … I mustn’t scream. Tucked away rigidly beneath the desk, I peeked at the petrifying scene before me. 

My father lay dead on the floor in a pool of blood, his head blown to pieces. Cold and lifeless. Standing there by his body was the killer. Tall and dressed in black, he examined the scene, gun in hand. Devoid of emotion. A scar covered his right eye. His calculative ice-blue eyes held a chilling beauty. He turned—looking straight at me.

My mind screamed, RUN!

AHHHHH!” I screamed as I wrenched my eyes open. Disoriented, I checked my surroundings. Oh God, that smell—It was coming from the alleyway where I woke up. This drinking will be the death of me. I stood and dusted off my clothes as best as I could, checking if my gun and wallet were in place. The headache wouldn’t go away anytime soon—but I didn’t really care. Not anymore. I’d already found him, my father’s murderer. At last, I’ve finally found him! All those horrible years, living on the streets doing whatever I could to survive, all because of that man. Dad, I miss you. Sometimes I wonder if I’m even alive, or if I died too that night. With you. Sometimes it feels like time stopped moving when you were taken from me, and the nightmares began. Watching your bloody face keeps me up at night. No amount of drinking or therapy could fix it. I tried everything. But that doesn’t matter, anymore, does it?

Today, I will make him suffer.

My informant told me he was last seen in this region, halfway around the world—So I had been checking out shops and asking around for him since my arrival here. No clues yet. Feeling thirsty, I noticed a small store on the outskirts of the town—oddly enough, it was open this early in the morning. I strolled in. A small, gentle-looking old man was working away at the shelves, organising. He moved with practised, graceful ease that could only be from years of experience. He smiled at me when he noticed me enter and asked if I needed anything. I froze—then answered simply, “Water.”

Just as he turned, I pulled my gun out and aimed it at his head, cocking the pin. From his stiffened posture, I know that he’d heard it. He turned around slowly.

Calmly, he said, “Take all my money! It’s all there in the cash register! Just take it!”

I laughed in his face. “Have you forgotten already? You killed my dad. Today’s your lucky day! You get to find out just how he felt when you put a bullet in his head.”

I coolly watched his blue eyes widen with fear as he stuttered, “It—it was just a job—I have a family—please let—”

Before he could finish, I shoved the gun down his mouth. My rage was boiling my nerves, “Do I look like I care?! You took everything from me, and now I will give you what you deserve!” I tightened my finger on the trigger.

He began to cry like a man who had reached the deepest depths of desperation, with no way out. His knees gave away, and he grabbed at my feet, begging for mercy. Fat tears rolled down his cheeks, and I wondered where the striking, unforgiving chill in his now-reddened eyes was, whether the years could strip that away from a cold-blooded assassin—If indeed, that was what he truly had been.

All at once, pity gave way to a flood of doubt. I slowly lifted the gun away from him. Relief dawned in his striking blue eyes, and an image of my father lying dead on the floor flashed across my memory with nearly blinding detail. Deep, dark red, metallic. Cold. Just lying there. He was taken from me! All that happiness and warmth of his smile—lost forever. Nothing left, except a body. A thing.

I aimed the gun at the man and shot him cleanly in the head.

BANG! Blood splattered everywhere; soft tissue—chunks of his brain—dripped down the cream-coloured walls. Blood gushed out in a familiar pool. He didn’t move anymore. I crouched down to check his face. Devoid of life. The scar was faded and nearly indistinguishable from the rest of his skin, explaining why it took me this many years to find the man.

But it was him; that, I was certain of. I could never forget that face. 

Finally, it was done. I thought I would be relieved; at least that’s what I’d hoped for. But I felt nothing. Just emptiness. Oh well. As I prepared to head out, I heard a rustle coming from the storage room at the back of the store.

Like lightning, I whipped my head around, my gun already raised. With slow, careful treads, I stepped around the body and shoved the door open.

To my horror, I found a little girl—ten years old at the most. Her eyes were glassy with fear as she looked back at me. She was sobbing without a single sound.

Slowly, the realisation of what I had done dawned on me. A small chuckle escaped my lips as I noticed a framed photograph of the man and this girl—probably his daughter or granddaughter—on the counter, smiling at each other happily.

Still laughing in manic disbelief, I brought the gun to my head and closed my eyes. I truly lived a worthless life, ain’t that right, dad? I guess I will see you up there.

BANG! 

Fin.

Photography by Shuvro Mojumder

Contributors

  • Rafi Ethimad Ashraf is a literary student who loves to procrastinate, play video games, read mangas, watch k-dramas, tv shows or any regarding films. He occasionally writes poetry and mostly likes to see beyond the presented story.

  • Shuvro Mojumder, a photographer and storyteller based in Khulna. Get to know him on Instagram @shuvrosettledown.jpg.

Rafi Ethimad Ashraf

Rafi Ethimad Ashraf is a literary student who loves to procrastinate, play video games, read mangas, watch k-dramas, tv shows or any regarding films. He occasionally writes poetry and mostly likes to see beyond the presented story.

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