Short story about a man planning to commit murder. Set in Vermont during the 1700's.... Done for a class. The story had to be based on a saying. Mine was 'revenge is sweet.' I also tried to write i...
In the past, the Stammkrieg had consisted of members of the opposing families murdering each other as often, and viciously, as possible. It was not until twenty years ago, when five bystanders were almost killed in a gunfight between Vance Vondrite and Victor's father, Vernon, that the brutal feud was brought to a standstill. The Mayor decreed that any Vondrite found guilty of murdering a Voudean, or vice-versa, would be thrown out of the city and all of his possessions would be given to the rival family. This threat brought peace to Vaudenville for a whole two days until a Voudean's house was found vandalized, then a whole new breed of warfare began that has reigned ever since. Instead of resorting to physical harm, the Voudeans and the Vondrites loved nothing better than to torment each other emotionally, economically, and socially.
Presently, our would-be attorney, Victor, was trudging through the muddy streets of Vaudenville reflecting on horrible day he was having. First, he had arrived, late, to a dentist appointment, only to be informed that his appointment had been changed to the following week. The best they could do for his aching tooth was to numb it, which caused him to loose all feeling in his lower jaw and tongue. Next, a steady, dreary, rain began as he hurried to an interview with a local law firm. The senior partners were hardly impressed with the sodden, mumbling, young man, and quickly sent him on his way, claiming to have 'already filled the position.' To top it all off, upon returning home, Victor was greeted with a note from his young wife, Violet, claiming that she was tired of the poor life he had provided for her. She had run off with the prosperous Mr. Vincent Vondrite to 'make a better life for herself.' "Just perfect," Victor thought crossly.
In the days that followed, Victor's mood went from bad to utterly foul. With no job, or wife, to occupy his time, Victor spent his days deep in thought. By the end of the week, he had thoroughly convinced himself that the Vondrites were the source of all that had befallen him, and that revenge was in order. He desperately wanted get back at Vincent, most of all, for stealing Violet away. The days of simple mind games were over. Victor wanted Vincent to share in his misery. He wanted Vincent dead. But how was he to accomplish it? Victor could not take the risk of anyone finding out. If he was banished from Vaudenville, he would have nowhere to go and no money to support himself. Suddenly, an idea came to him. Victor could not be caught with a Vondrite's blood on his hands, but that did not mean that Vincent couldn't 'mysteriously disappear,' be the victim of some 'unfortunate accident,' or even die at the hands of another...
That night, no one in the slumbering town of Vaudenville noticed a mysterious cloaked figure slipping quietly through the streets. It was a dark night. The moon was obscured by ominous low hanging clouds, a thick fog had rolled in from the neighboring fields just before sunset, and most reputable establishments were already closed up and dark. The figure soon moved from the main streets and took to the alleys leading to a more dubious side of town, and toward it's destination, the 'Vicious Vulture Inn.' Inside the tavern, no one in the boisterous crowd seemed to notice, or care, as the shrouded individual took a seat in a booth in the far corner.
Victor surveyed the motley crowd around him. Several large, bearded, men played a game of dice near the hearth. There was a group, of what appeared to be sailors, harassing the serving wenches as they attempted to take orders. Three men in riding clothes were conversing with the innkeeper, presumably securing rooms for the night, and several haggard looking men sat at the bar drinking from cracked mugs. At a table in the opposite corner a figure, wearing a large cloak much like his own, sat sipping at a battered goblet. Discreetly catching the figure's attention, Victor beckoned it over with a slight nod of his head, then sat back and watched as the figure came across the room and seated itself opposite him.
"What do you want?" it hissed from beneath it's cowl.
"A favor." Victor replied.
"Favors are expensive."
Victor took the hint and reluctantly placed a small, yet heavy, pouch onto the table between them. A pale hand with unclipped fingernails darted out of the folds of it's robe and snatched up the pouch. The figure glanced at the gold inside, and seemed to be satisfied. Slowly, the hand reached up and drew back its hood revealing the long, rounded, face of a woman with the tied back black hair of a man.
"The name's Valentine. What can I do for you?"
"Have you heard of the Stammkrieg?" Victor said, unfazed. Valentine nodded. "I have an... annoyance... in the form of a Vondrite, but I cannot dispose of it because of my particular surname. Do you understand my predicament?" Again, the woman nodded, a slow, sinister, smile appearing on her face. "I want it to appear as if he suffered a horrible accident. I can't have any ties to this. No one can even think to suspect me, or I'm dead. I would also like..."
The two conspirators talked long into the night. Victor expounded on every detail of Vincent's life that he could think of. At long last, vengeance was at hand. This was no longer about a missed dentist appointment, a disastrous interview, or even an unfaithful wife. Instead, in Victor's mind, this was the final act, the confrontation that would end six decades of torment and hardship for his family. Victor was the last of the Vondrite line. If he were killed now, it would be all over and the Voudeans would be /Victor/ious.
Two weeks had passed since that fateful meeting in the 'Vicious Vulture,' and all was quiet in the town of Vaudenville. On the outside, Victor went about his daily routine as always, but on the inside, he was a nervous wreck. He had begun to wonder if Valentine would ever act, or if she had taken his money and run, when, suddenly, there was a knock at his door. Upon answering it, Victor was surprised to be greeted by two uniformed members of Vaudenville's distinguished police force.
For a moment, his heart stopped. What happened? What went wrong? Had Valentine failed him? Had she turned him in? These thoughts raced through his head as he numbly shook hands with both officers.
"Mr. Voudean?" The older, more heavyset, one began. "I am Officer Virgil, and this is my partner, Officer Vaschel. We have some bad news about your wife, Mrs. Violet Voudean. Let's take a walk." Victor followed them out into the street and they began to stroll around the block.
"What...what happened, Officers?" Victor finally managed to stutter out.
"Yesterday, around three o'clock, Violet was found with one, Mr. Vincent Vondrite. Quite unusual, wouldn't you say, for the wife of a Voudean to be found with a Vondrite?" The Officer asked casually.
"Unusual, yes, but hardly a matter of police concern. What is going on?" Victor finally managed to ask. He could barely control the shaking in his voice. It was over. They knew! They must know!
"Well, Mr. Voudean, the fact is, I'm sorry, they were both found murdered on the road leading out of town." Victor's face drained of color.
"We believe it was done by a gang of highwaymen," Virgil continued. "All valuables were lifted from their persons and from inside the carriage. There have been robberies in the past, but... We're sorry for your loss." The officers offered their condolences and promised to do their best to apprehend the 'fiends' that had committed this ghastly murder, then dropped Victor back off at his doorstep.
Victor went inside and sat down at his kitchen table. It was over. It was finally over. Violet was dead, but so was the last of the Vondrite line, and that was all that mattered. Suddenly, a small, brown, package next to the door caught his eye. Opening it carefully, Victor found a variety of coins, expensive jewelry, and Violet's wedding ring, along with a note reading.
"Proof that the deed is done. I kept some coins for myself as a bonus. Regards, Valentine."
Victor smiled to himself. Revenge truly was sweet.