“…a man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which would otherwise heal, and do well.”
There is no shortage of revenge plots within the cannon of Western Literature. Vengeance is among the oldest and most well-worn tropes in storytelling, but it still seems to have unlimited appeal. From Euripides to Shakespeare, and on through Raymond Chandler and Ian McEwan, retribution remains fertile ground for cultivating plot.
Maybe this is because it is a universal impulse, or at least an ever-present condition of the human tragedy. In any case, the revenge-seekers of literature are often tragic victims of their own pursuits.
Carl Robinette explores these ideas in his latest work of flash fiction, “Luck & Retribution,” a story published by Mystery Tribune about a hit man who finds the man he’s been hired to kill already circling the drain.
It seems Mother Nature has first dibs on revenge in this story.
READ AN EXCERPT:
There’s a joke about how the last thing through a bug’s mind when it hits your windshield is its own ass. Or maybe you’re supposed to say “bee” and “stinger.” In any case, those bugs on your windshield are the lucky ones.
I mean, Yea. Anyway.
I rode the elevator up to the 29th floor. A tin-can voice said something in Swedish and the doors slid open onto the penthouse suite. I made my way down a plush carpeted hallway with framed paintings of sailboats and soldiers lining the walls.
I came to a bedroom.
The guy was lying there watching TV, half-awake in a medical bed like a bag of bones. A young man but sick, hollowed out. And you’ve got to wonder why the last things to die on a body are usually the parts that feel.
Life is painful. Not much of an answer but there you go.
Image of bee: courtesy Pixabay from Pexels