Eye for an Eye
Beverly Vines-Haines

Chigger Marley stalks me non-stop.† He does.† My wife thinks I am imagining things but Iím not.† It all started with that damn loan he made to me back in í04.† I honest to god forgot about it for a year or more.† Then when I remembered I just didnít want to give up all that money to pay him back.† And it wasnít so much really.† A couple thousand dollars.† Okay, okay, twenty seven hundred. That can sound like a lot, I guess.† It sure as hell is to me.† I only make $280 a week and then the bastards take out a quarter of that for the govíment.

Chigger doesnít actually need the money.† He doesnít.† Heís got him a union job and a nice house.† His wife is a school teacher.† Now you canít tell me those two are hurting. †

He only asked me about it once and that was nigh onto two years ago.† He sidles up one day at Clancyís Bar and says, ďThings looking any better for you, Hershel?Ē†

I turned a little on my stool and caught a glimpse of his eyes in the mirror.† Gave me a hell of a start.† They looked red and shiny like some demon.† ďNo,Ē I says, all nice and slow so I donít provoke him.† ďIn fact worse.† That doctor you helped me pay down a while back has started proceedings to take my trailer.† It is gonna kill my Maddie.Ē

A shadow flitted through his ugly black eyes, like he didnít believe a word I said.† And I confess it was a bald faced lie.† The doctor wrote that debt off long ago and Maddie would love for someone to take our worthless trailer away.†

I know this, itís hard to pay a man money he doesnít need when you need it so badly yourself.† And why is he so cagey?† Why doesnít he ask me again?† Hound me like those assholes at Visa and Ford Credit?

All that aside, I see him watching me.† Skulking in grocery aisles.† Hiding in bushes outside the bar.† Son of a bitch even reads my mail, I suspect, snooping to see how much Iíve got in the bank.

I long for the night.† He canít see me then.† Not at all.† I just lay in bed imagining his miserable angry face, how he smiles and tries to hide his rage.† Itís come to this, I think:† I need to kill Chigger Marley.† I really do.

First published: November, 2008
comments to the writer: doorknobsandbodypaint@gmail.com