The Clearing: A Revenge Justified (A Short Story Series 5/9)

Short Story, The Clearing / Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

The Carpenter planed the boards down, getting them as close to 90° that his unpowered tools could. For thousands of years humankind built things with only their eyesight to guide. He was flattening the edges to glue boards together. Creating one of the six doors needed for the cabin.

The flatter he got them, the closer they could be drawn together. Stroke after stroke a little closer, it took all his mental strength. The silence of mind allowed him to recover. The memory of Eric polluted his brain, his evil deeds forever remembered. 

There was pain not only in the images but also how They pushed them to his mind. The death of the man and his complicity in the cover up weighed heavy on him.  His judging the man to be evil questioned whether that made his murderer innocent?

The stillness of the doors already completed, waiting to be hung reminded him of bodies. Of the deaths that he experienced but couldn’t stop. Perhaps he didn’t want to stop them. He was to judge humanity and in doing so allowed darkness to thrive. For he felt above normal right and wrong, seeing the story in full.

Is it not true that he allowed things to happen against what his humanity knew to be right? That he allowed things to happen that he should have intervened in. Was it an excuse that he let them happen because he was only there to judge, an impartial observer.

It was true that he wanted Eric to die, in the deep of his soul. Even before the images pummelled him, he wanted for his death. The images reinforce that this man was bad, he wanted him dead. That said something about the Carpenter more than the ones he judged.

It said something about him that the death of another person could be justified. He knew the look on Ava’s face as she walked past him. They gave him the memories and he processed them.

Looking back he couldn’t be sure of the series of events. The Carpenter couldn’t be sure that he didn’t know what Ava would do. In Their advancements they could have been showing him the future before he experienced it.

The Carpenter couldn’t be sure of the timeline but knew even if he had forewarning he would not have changed a thing. He wouldn’t have taken away revenge from Ava.

Under the stars he thought of her, of what she endured. Her story was hijacked by a monster but it would not be taken from her. Ava’s story was the counterbalance to Eric’s, as he put his tools down The Carpenter got a glimpse of Ava as a young girl. They pushed the thoughts into his mind but these ones he enjoyed, even knowing her pain.

Ava was a girl born to a family that seemed destined to struggle. The type of people who had tragedy constantly befall them yet marched on valiantly. The family’s patriarch was injured in a work site accident. Ted was a father of little words but great love.

Ava never found out what really happened to his arm, he was coy about it. Joking that it had up and left him because of his stupidity. He thought it too graphic to talk of the horror, the feeling of machinery severing it.

The mother Jan took up a career in her mid 30s to feed the family. As a person of tremendous personality she took quickly to a life of work. Selling the same machinery that took her husband’s arm. Her perseverance was a trait that Ava admired.

Paul was the younger brother that Ava adored, a doll to dress up and play with. His life was cut short wandering onto the road, usually quiet but that day there was the roar of a monster. Ava remembered seeing the gate swings open and her mother scream.

The family battled through, they had a belief in a higher power and with that belief they were able to come together and help each get through. A family like that is what we all hope to have. Even through the darkness the family was able to see the light in each other.

The one thing that Ava’s mother wanted for her was an education. She worked hard to bring in enough money to put her in the best schools, and afford the best tutors. Her Mother and Father struggled in life, they knew it was their fate. They didn’t want that for her and worked to change their future.

Mother and Daughter in sun

The day Ava was accepted into university the family celebrated. It was the realisation of a better life, that Ava would be recognised for the person she could be.

Ava studied chemistry for the change it could do in the world. Her interest in organic chemistry was to help the world do better. To make the human race a less of a destructive force. Her excitement and determination was a clear guidance.

Ava was 6 weeks into her first semester when she met Eric Montgomery. He was smart and handsome, not seeking the attention of anyone but receiving it anyway. She saw in him pain that she didn’t quite understand.

Eric approached her on campus, in the hallways. He was warm and polite, even a little nervous when he asked her on a date. She was taken with him, and accepted. It wasn’t long till her sleuthing found him on Facebook, amazed at his wealth. It was not the thing she was attracted to but was intrigued by his world. She had never met someone with money like that.

As the perfect gentleman would he greeted her at the door with flowers. It was old-fashioned but she thought it showed good manners. His shaking hands, the nerves endeared him to her.

Ava enjoyed the conversation they had. She enjoyed anytime that she had the opportunity to speak with someone so thoughtful. After dinner, she invited him up to her room. Then the gentleman disappeared, the monster took his place.

The screams that he muffled played over in her head after he left. The fear was deep and corroded her core. It was a violation of something profound and she could only lay there crying.

When she moved she saw the money, the insult consumed her. She threw it at the first homeless person she passed. With her money she bought wine, needing to quiet what was so loud in her mind.

After a bottle she called him, angry and wanting justice. His response was cold and calculated. She had a sense that she was not his first and would not be his last. “It is nothing for me to have you disappear” rang in her ears. Human life was disposable to him.

Ava returned to the family home and did not move from her childhood room for weeks. It eclipsed her life mission for a time. Took away a drive, she was hurt and all her strength dealt with that.

It took months for her to become herself again, her mother and father supporting her through the pain. One day as she laid on her bed she looked up at the stars on the ceiling. She remembered that quest, the strength of understanding.

Ava felt her determination grow in her. She walked to her parents and said that she wanted to go back to school. Her identity was hers to own and she took it back.

Ava was a person who thought of others even in the most dark times of her life. The day she started back at school she went to a support group. It helped her to heal, kept her on her destined path. She helped others, the pain came up again each time she saw it in another person. She made the choice to use it for the benefit of others.

Ava obtained her PhD in Organic Chemistry and went to work trying to solve the world’s energy crisis. She worked at the CSIRO and was on a path she started years earlier. At work she met another chemist, Vincent was man devoted to two things; science and her.

They moved together in life and love, he proposed in the lab and she said yes. Then history would come back to harm her one last time.

Ava continued working with the support organisation. Championing it and the ways that violence against women could be stopped. One day a girl, barely 19 came through the door. She spoke about a horror that was all too familiar. The flowers at the door, nervous hands taking hers. Then the brutality that came out of no where.

She asked her his name, “Eric” it was so painful to hear. He continued and would into the future because of his money. The girl pulled out a hundred-dollar bill, she knew what that was.

That night she kissed Vincent on the cheek, in a week he would be her husband. She told him that she needed to work in the lab. He smiled to her and fell asleep. In a week she would be his wife.

Eric's home

Ava watched the house from her car. She had a knife beside her, the only weapon she could muster. She saw the workman through the window, when he left she would go in. She was still unsure whether it was her intention to scare or kill him. The rational her knew that she couldn’t harm another person. The person at her core was not so sure.

The workman was finished and she walked through the gate. She smiled at the man with his tools. In her head she screamed that he had seen her, that her timing so poor. She smiled and he looked at her strangely.

It was easy to get into the house, the doors weren’t lock. If you had help you never needed them lock. She walked into the dining room, and behind the table he entered through the doorway.

“You’re not who I was expecting”, he said with an apple in hand. No recollection of her, she was angered that he thought so little of what he did.

“You don’t remember me?” He walked over and sat on the edge of the table.

“Should I?”

“You attacked me, and you don’t even remember me.” She took the knife out of her purse.  “You have attacked more since and you will continue to do it until you are stopped”.

“No I won’t, and you won’t stop me with that knife. Do you want to know why?”


Eric placed his apple on the table, “because you are weak and I am strong. It is the way of the world. I come from power you from weakness.”

Ava took a stop forward and put the knife up to his neck. He looked at her unfazed, something so dead in his soul. His belief in his own power transcending reality. “Do it.”

Ava sliced against his throat, the blood sprayed against her and onto the table. Eric turned and fell onto it. She heard a noise from behind her, the workman was back. Eric let out a word she could not understand.

Ezra stood unsure, looking at them both. What a site she must have been. “He did awful things to me” She was crying, still holding the weapon.

Ezra moved forward, “I know, please put the knife down” she placed it beside the body. “You need to leave before the maid comes back.” She looked puzzled, “I won’t allow you to be punished for what you have done. Leave here now, burn your clothes and wash yourself thoroughly.”

Ava cried and her tears diluted his blood on her face. “Leave now” she ran as fast as she could. Ezra was a stranger to her yet she felt as if he knew. Somehow he knew and made a judgement to let her leave.

She got home and showered, burning the clothes in the backyard. Vincent came out, worried by the fire. “What’s going on”.

Ava cried and told him the story, he hugged her. He would never understand the pain but he loved her. He would love her no matter what happened.

Ava feared for her freedom, that the authorities would come and find her. They never did, didn’t even think that she would be involved. The next week she donned her white gown and married the love of her life.

The memory of what happened, and what Eric did never left her. The trauma burned onto her but so did the memories that came after. Her child being born, the look on her parents face when she bought them the house next door to hers.

Ava’s life had so much happiness that the scars became over shadowed. In time she was able to look back on her life and feel that it was mostly good. Time took away the sting but the pain was always there.

Ava had tragedy and happiness. She took the direction for her life back when it looked to be hijacked by a monster. She loved her life and those in it.

Mother and Daughter

The Carpenter couldn’t help but shed a tear for her memory and pain. As often the case They pushed a memory to him. It was of Ava in present day. Her grandchildren on her lap, a boy and girls. The toddlers looked around the grand lecture hall.

They were so impressed by their grandmother even at that age. They loved her and she them. They continued to make her life better and slowly erase the pain. The Carpenter wished he could have had that experience of a family. Perhaps it would have made a difference to his life. A difference to his future judgements.

He was happy for her, proud of his decision to let her escape. It was a cruel reality but sometimes death was all that could solve a problem.

Fastening the last door, the entrance, he began to think about his decision. The look on Ava’s face as she saw him, judgement in the flesh. The pain on her was immense, was her decision a reason to keep humanity?

If death was the solution, was it true of all humanity. Did Ava deserve to die because of the evil of Eric. The Carpenter closed the door, in the end was there a point to their existence more important than their evils.

They wanted to know what They missed, what if the didn’t miss anything. What if existence was a black hole filled with pain. That his judgement didn’t matter one way or another. Evil was either the greatest threat to humanity or it was engrained in our nature.

Ava was an example of strength, the example of retribution. That evil could be stopped, but only by the evil act of killing. Could he judge evil if it led to the deaths of humanity. Evil only created more evil. A judgement of humanity was a judgement of himself.

Thanks for reading the fifth part of the 9 part series. If you want to catch up go back to Part 1: A Cabin in the Woods , Part 2: The Image of Love, Part 3: A Country to Love Posses or Part 4: A Lust for Pain. Part for is the story of Eric and where you will meet Ava for the first time.

We are at the half way mark, not long and the decision will be made.

If you think it worth please share with your friends and follow on the social sites or by email.

What should the decision be?



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