A Beast’s Retribution

Three shots blasted through the silence.

A hand rose, hushing the dim murmurs which followed.
Should I leave him here or finish him off? The burly man thought, casting a glance over towards the ground.

The little boy before him crouched in fear, the ground seeming to give way underneath the youth as he sank to the floor. No sound reached his ears, nor did he will to produce any. His eyes screamed with rage as he glared at the murderer. He would never forget that face.

Perhaps there could have been easier options to rid of the boy’s parents. Murder was always such a morbid task, but a task that could not be undone – the dead would not rise again. With one lasting glance over to the boy who cradled himself over the evaporating warmth of his parents, he sighed as he beckoned his men and walked away.

* * *

A torrent of memories rushed through Jack’s head as he dashed past the remains of his childhood home. He had never looked back, but now the time had come. Ten years had passed from his parent’s death, and the scars of his childhood had not yet healed.

Since that day Jack rode the barren and unforgiving lands, taking what he pleased from those whose wealth shielded their eyes to reality, a cruel illusion which Jack had known better than to fall victim to. The newspapers labelled him as wild and daring. Jack liked that image; he was ashamed of the tenderness that continued to live within him. He missed his mother’s touch and father’s stern words. Even though he had hated that they were dead, the will to keep those memories alive within him made him feel less like the wild monster that society portrayed him as.

Blinded by hatred or grief he did not know.
But all his senses told Jack that it was time for the kill.

His assault was simple. The consequences of his brute actions meant a certain death penalty, but that dire fact seemed small to him now. After his time spent in jail, it was easy to envisage that dastardly man in a pool of blood.

He galloped through the streets as he headed towards the courthouse. In the blur of wind, the young bushranger caught glimpses of his face plastered on the timber doors of the pioneer village. The reward for his capture almost gave Jack a sense of pride.

He steered his brumby through the streets, careful to avoid the children and women who passed him, gasping at what they saw. A lone bushranger in the middle of town in broad daylight. Fearing that one wrong move would set him off, they ran back inside.

Jack burst through the half open doors of the empty court room, as he eyed his prey. Lifting his pistol he fired three shots. With a satisfied smirk a wave of irony crashed down upon him, making Jack feel as if he had come full-circle.

The next day the newspapers had reported the tragic story.

Judge McEvoy killed by the Wild Colonial Boy.

Another victim to a heartless monster.

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