James S. Hoch


Revenge, that’s all I want.  Revenge.  I know how to do it.  I’ll go to whatever ends to have it, and I will take whatever means to accomplish it, she thought to herself as the hatred grew inside her.   I have somethin’ for you that will make you hurt real bad.  I’m comin’ for you and I’m packin’!

She plotted her revenge as carefully as any five star general going into battle.  Dressed all in black as if she were ready for secret military covert night ops, she gave one last look at her dead children, and her destroyed home.  What monster can do this despicable thing?

It was easy to pick up the trail of the man who destroyed her life.  I can smell your foul odor; I see your every move.  For days, she made her way closer to the monster.  Just when she thought she had him, he moved on.  At times, her frustration grew to a maddening point.  She would lash out at just about anything that crossed her path – just scaring them – never using her lethal weapon.

Finally, her relentless pursuit and patience paid off.  She found the beast that was responsible for her misery.  It was dark.  Only the occasional flash of a passing motorist’s headlights illuminated the room.  Slowly, she inched her way towards the man’s outstretched body.  She relished the moment, taking in his defenseless form.

The anger and hatred seethed to a boiling point; it was ready to erupt as though it were a violent volcano. You will feel my vengeance.  You will suffer as my children suffered.  I have you now.  After a soft caress to his cheek, she reared back and struck a deadly blow.

* * *

“Glad to help, officer,” the apartment manager said walking down the hall.  “It has been odd that I haven’t seen John in about a week.  He always says hello when I’m out picking up the paper.”

“Yes, ma’am.  His employer is concerned.  He hasn’t been to work in over a week.”

One of the curlers fell out of the manager’s hair.  The officer bent down and picked it up.  “Oh, sorry.  Thank you.”  She stood in front of the apartment door, took out a master key, and unlocked it.

“Oh, dear God what is that smell?”

The officer knew exactly what it was—a decaying body.

They walked into the bedroom.  The apartment manager screamed.  “Mother of God!”

The officer went over to the bed.  John’s head was covered in spider silk.  An enormous black widow spider sat defiantly on his forehead, perched above a festering welt on his cheek.  The spider reared up revealing the telltale red hourglass.  Vengeance is mine!




Brought up on Thriller, Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, James has kept all his dark friends chained up inside his imagination only to let them out little by little in his novels and short stories. For 38 years, he enjoyed a productive career as a music educator. Retirement gave way to a new creative outlet-writing. SynegEbooks is the publisher of his Crimson Pursuit vampire series and his supernatural post-apocalyptic thriller, HECKEL CASEY, is published by Imajin Books. His sci-fi/technothriller, TATS, is available from Amazon. Hoch’s short stories have appeared in Horror Zine, SNM Horror magazine, Pill Hill Press, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, Sanitarium, SNM Books of Blood V, Dark Eclipse, and Dark Oak Press.

website: www.jameshoch.com

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