by John Eric Ellison
Table of Contents|
parts: 1, 2, 3
Colors of Conflict, by Richard Ong
The Internet lived in lines of light and sound, capturing everything it could gather pertaining to what Lilith was doing for Phil and what she was accomplishing elsewhere around the world. She had myriad influential contacts that had no idea they were working for Lilith, and yet they were minions all the same. The Internet was able to identify and count them all. It was impressed by her seamless attention to so much detail.
Philip allowed a couple of days to pass before he decided who on the list would be the first to taste his revenge. He chose one of his old bosses, who treated everyone that wasn’t above his station in life as though they were playthings and degenerates. Phil detested this man, Ted, and the fact that he had made his life at that place of employment utterly impossible to tolerate. Not reason enough to kill him, he thought. But there’s so much more.
Phil hated Ted with a fire so strong that it threatened to consume him. His memory blackened on an example of Ted’s constant harassment. As an ultimate example, Ted had spent an entire day having a photo of Phil retouched to give Phil a pair of women’s breasts and then had it inserted into the company’s yearly newsletter to the staff and friends. When Phil arrived at work that day, everyone seemed to be avoiding him.
No one would dare say anything to Ted about his lack of moral imperatives because he felt absolutely entitled to do as he pleased. Apparently, Ted had paraded this fake newsletter around all day as a sick joke. He turned Phil into a laughingstock, and all Ted could say to Phil’s face was that he wanted Phil to “be humiliated.” And he said this loudly enough to be heard by an expansive room full of Phil’s fellow workers.
What was Ted’s motivation? It was senseless harassment. Phil should have sued him; after all, Phil had all the witnesses he would have needed. But Phil wasn’t the lawsuit type of guy. Ted got away with things like that, seemingly blessed by that place of employment simply because he was arrogant and enabled. The only way to quench Phil’s hate now was to douse Ted with an act of fiery hatred so strong that Phil would be surprised if he didn’t spontaneously combust himself during the act of murder.
On the morning of the fourth day after talking with Lilith, he left his Brownstone home in London and walked up a gloomy cobbled street, through endless fog and falling fireplace flakes to where he expected Ted to walk on his way to breakfast. Phil hid between two homes and waited for Ted to pass. Phil would surprise him and club him over the head. Then pull him across the lawn only a short way before dropping him down a drainpipe he had already uncovered.
Knowing full well that the murder was going to be noisy, Phil prepared a needle-delivered sedative to plunge into Ted’s neck from behind. Amazingly, everything went off without the slightest hitch. When Ted passed, there wasn’t a soul around to see him as Phil quietly approached, stuck him, and then caught him as he fell. He pulled Ted into the space between the two brownstones and dropped him into the enormous downward-slanting hole exactly as planned.
Had adrenaline not clouded his mind, he would have wondered where all the people were at this usually busy time of day. He didn’t care if someone saw him. He knew that sooner or later he might be caught, but the pretense of too much planning just wasn’t in his nature. He was more aggressive and careless than that.
Once Ted had fallen, Philip stepped out into the street to see if anyone had been watching. To his complete surprise, the street was littered with darkly clad men and women staring at him. These had to be minions. They had cleared the streets for him.
With a smirk, Philip turned to enjoy his catch. As he crouched to enter the large drain, he stopped and shrank back from what he saw. Lilith was there, dressed in black. She had her thumbs in Ted’s eye sockets and seemed to be pulling his head apart as Ted tried to scream through a rag she’d stuffed into his mouth. His strength was considerable, but she held his head down and knocked it against the concrete, then cracked it like a coconut.
“What are you doing?” Phil demanded. “He is mine!”
She smiled at Phil through darkly painted, bloodshot eyes. “You may have him presently.” And then she yanked, and there was a sound like a hard melon being torn apart. Not a superhuman act, but she was uncommonly strong. “I am afraid I must leave this empty bag for you to play with. It was too much for me to stand idly by and watch. It won’t happen often, I assure you. I simply could not resist.”
She stood and wiped her hands on her blooded dress and then unceremoniously left Philip to deal with the body. Inside his own head he felt something new. The hate he’d had for Ted was now joined by disgust; not by Lilith’s act, but by the fact that Ted was making his life more intolerable by having to dispose of his body. This was the first time in his life he’d ever been involved in a murder. He suspected he would have to get used to it.
Unexpectedly, he was joined by Goth and three of his dark companions. Together they all pushed the body further into the drainpipe, where it fell some distance to join the running sewer below.
“Do you want to climb down to violate his body a little more, or should we leave?” Goth asked, as though merely deciding whether to wash his hands or not.
The next kill would take place on the West Coast of America. Philip flew alone but was met by a small crowd of dark minions upon his arrival in Seattle. He expected a cab, but instead was met by a limousine. This cult was well-funded.
They drove with apparent knowledge of where they were going, and Phil recognized the direction they were headed. They knew his ex-wife, Kali, was next. Someone had been studying the statements he’d made during social networking.
After a little over an hour, the car pulled up to a rundown, poorly painted hovel he recognized as belonging to his cheating lowlife ex. This was her last known residence after she had fallen in with the bunch of bikers who had dragged her into drug addiction and worse.
There were minions up and down the street, and Philip knew they were warning any unwanted visitors away. He boldly marched up the steps, kicked open a door already slightly ajar and continued inside. There she was, tied to an old ironing board with her head down. Minions had been waterboarding her while they waited for his arrival.
Kali cried out to him for help, but his hatred ran too deep to hear anything she said. Suddenly, Goth was at his side and handing Phil a sledge hammer. He then stuffed a rag into Kali’s mouth.
Philip barely reacted to Goth’s reappearance and simply said, “Thank you, I guess. What am I to do with this?” He shrugged. “You’ve started the party without me.”
Then he noticed the presence of a man in the room that was not a minion but was quite recognizable from recent TV news reports. In a corner stood the most wanted “domestic terrorist” in America, and he was holding a photograph. He walked over to stand closer, so Phil could clearly view the photo. Phil was surprised to see Kali posing with this terrorist, both wearing smiles like longtime friends.
The terrorist spoke: “It was a forced photo. She was not happy about it.” He tossed it onto Kali’s chest before continuing. “leave it here — don’t touch it — after you’ve had your fun with as many body parts as you wish.”
Phil was going to ask about the photo but realized he already knew the answer. Her death and this picture would serve some other destructive and hateful purpose. Judging by the sounds like cracking wet lumber he knew the sledge hammer was effective. Kali’s screams were muffled by the rag. Soon, she passed out from pain.
Goth relieved Phil of the hammer and handed him a large double-edged knife. Without hesitation, Phil plunged it deep into her heart and was about to spit on her face, but the terrorist beat him to it by spitting on her himself. He explained, “Take the knife and hammer with you. The DNA here must be mine. You have satisfied your hate; we can all see it.” He smiled evilly. “Job well done.”
Goth gestured to Phil that it was time to leave. The next stop was going to be Phil’s last act of the hate-killing from his own agenda; although, he would later disown his life, dye his hair, and take part in a secret ceremony devoting himself as an act of obligation to Lilith: becoming a minion.
He was driven from Seattle to Eugene, Oregon, where the next life would be claimed. This was a man he despised as causing him tremendous emotional and sexual suffering. Phil attempted to explain the hatred he held for his stepfather, Hans, but anyone he tried to talk to while in the car simply waved off the subject and put in their ear phones to listen to the radio.
One of the minions offered to turn on the car speaker for him, but Phil chose to read in silence. As they entered Eugene, they passed through town until they arrived at an office building. Phil recognized the hated man’s name on one of the Social Worker name plates.
They entered the building. When they got to the office door, it was already open. Phil was not surprised to find minions already ushering people out of the building on one pretense or another. Hans had been stripped naked, bound, gagged, and tied suspended by a hook that had been drilled into the ceiling. He looked unconscious but otherwise unhurt.
Lilith quietly stepped into the room behind Phil, reached around him without touching him and gave him the same double-edged blade he’d used on his ex. Phil also noticed a photograph on the floor. He stepped over and, without touching it, saw that his step-father had been photographed smiling like buddies with the same notorious American terrorist he’d met in Seattle. Phil was certain it was a forced pose and smile, like the terrorist had said Kali’s had been.
Phil asked Lilith, “Why all of this setup to make them look like they appear to be targets of revenge hits?”
She explained, “Your interests alone do not spread the hate that is needed by my own organization and others I control. This act you are about to commit will send a message that will resonate with common people, as did your ex-wife’s death. If you had been listening to the news on the way down here, you might have heard about Kali.”
He had chosen not to listen to the radio. He changed the subject. “What am I to do here?”
“What do you want to do to this man?”
“Cut off his manhood and open him up with this knife.”
She smiled and lifted both of her hands in an offering gesture, telling him to begin.
Hans awoke from what was apparently a drug-induced state at the first quick and brutal cut by Phil’s knife. Hans tried to scream through the rag in his mouth. Once his entrails were scattered across the floor, his screaming stopped.
Lilith wasted no time in getting her people out of the building. So many minions drew outside attention, and soon the investigation of what had occurred would begin. This time, they all went separate ways, later to meet up in Seattle for a trip back to London.
The news Phil heard on the way to Seattle was that terrorists were very likely warring amongst themselves and that unknown domestic groups were unstable within their own ranks, making home invasions a pressing issue. Additionally, there were several reports that these killings were happening throughout the world and should serve as a notice that something bigger and more devastatingly present was on its way.
Phil asked Goth, “Your groups are doing this with others like me?”
“Of course; I did say her sites were drawing a lot of attention, did I not?”
Copyright © 2018 by John Eric Ellison