Write a Review

Die Vergeltung - How far would you go for vengeance?

All Rights Reserved ©


"The scene unfolding in front of him as he reached the back of the shed made Ehsan remember all the nightmares he had ever had and how they, even if combined, did not compare to what he was seeing now. Despair reached every corner of his brain, every muscle in his body."

Thriller / Action
Vivian Fernandes
Age Rating:

01 / 1944

The strong, bitter smell of freshly brewed coffee seemed to seep into every space of the new house, between the freshly painted cream walls of some rooms and the striped wallpaper of others, past every tiny crack hidden by the latest renovation and making its way across the floor, finally arriving at where Ehsan was standing. A small smile took over the man’s lips as he walked down the stairs, fixing his lead-colored tie, looking at the framed pictures that decorated the wall with landscapes of beautiful places, beautiful enough that he had sworn to know them one day, and walking calmly towards the room where the smell was even stronger.

Standing in the doorway to the kitchen, Ehsan patiently observed the dark green painted walls, the only requirement his wife made during the entire renovation of the house, “my kitchen should be my favorite color,” she said. The wooden utensils hung just below the cabinets that were crammed with food - something that made him a little too proud. The refrigerator with some magnets attached to the side made its usual noise, something so common that if he wasn’t really paying attention he wouldn’t even hear it anymore. The small table in the Middle of the kitchen had only two chairs, for him and Cassandra those two chairs were much more intimate than the room ever was. Those two chairs were where they exchanged conversations and secrets, from the good to the bad, where they had made decisions about the present and the future. The counter was next to the sink and there was a large window just above it with a great view of the trees in the backyard.

He could see her on her back walking back and forth in front of the counter, her arms stretching out sporadically to reach for the sugar and the glass cups, completely oblivious to the presence of the man just behind her. At moments like these, with the sunlight streaming in through the window, Ehsan felt in his soul that it was as if some god was watching over the earth one fine day and decided, without question, to deliver a divine gift to someone who might not even be worthy of a prayer from the mouth of a man of faith.

With lazy steps he walked to the center of the kitchen and sat at the table, watching her, still on her back, finish preparing the “energy source”, as she used to call coffee. The fabric of the navy blue dress that dressed her so well, enhancing her pale skin with the dark fabric, moved at the same pace as the woman who wore it, indicating each movement. He had always liked that dress and, even if without talking about it, he noticed that his wife started wearing it more often after he complimented her on it one day. Sometimes he caught himself thinking about how the dress and its contrast with Cassandra’s skin tone was an almost poetic representation of his life: his darkness, the navy blue, and the light that the love of that woman brought into his life, the pale skin.

She turned around placing two cups served with coffee on the table, which was already adorned with fruit, butter and bread, and with a sigh, she sat down. Ehsan noticed how her brown hair reached almost halfway down her back and kept getting knotted (which she complained about every day before bed) and how it also highlighted the blue of her eyes. He had never seen a blue like that before he met her, it was the perfect mixture of the clear sky on a hot summer day and the ominous ocean in the middle of a storm. There was a small scar on her forehead, near her right eyebrow, caused by an accident playing with a cat when she was a child. Cassandra hated that scar, but he was sure that that small detail was nothing more than that, a detail. Her lips stretched into a warm smile, and every time she smiled, he could have sworn that some damaged part of his heart was healing.

Ehsan never knew how a woman like Cassandra could choose him, of all people, to spend the rest of her life by his side. She was curious and intelligent, always reading some book he had never heard of and probably wouldn’t understand either. At the height of her twenty-two years, she could have pointed at any man, and the lucky bastard would have dropped everything to have her by his side, and yet she had chosen him. He, just under six feet tall, brown eyes too tired for someone only twenty-six years old and with no steady job, nothing that could give her the stability she deserved. Even before Carmoa, the money, and the new house, she had been by his side, on good days and bad, or in conversations sitting in the two chairs in the kitchen. In the nights planning dreams or cleaning blood from injured hands. She had chosen him and he would be eternally grateful.

So lost in thought, Ehsan barely heard his wife’s voice when she spoke, and what little he heard was not enough for him to understand anything but a muffled sound.

- What? I didn’t understand what you said.

Cassandra smiled again.

- I will wait for you.

He woke up. For a moment Ehsan was confused and frightened by the voices mingling around him, unknown and altered voices, shouts and curses that brought back unpleasant memories, but nothing that he did not expect when he chose to change his destiny and enter that ship. Sleeping amidst strangers was not exactly ideal, amidst men who left their lives without any shame and walked towards their death, who might try to rob or kill him right there, while he slept, for any stupid reason and without any honor. Who was he to speak of honor? He wasn’t thinking about sleeping while most of them were awake, at least, but his body was screaming for a few minutes of rest, some time so that his tired muscles could relax and his mind could escape from reality and fall into the arms of his wife once again.

He had been there for weeks. The trip was supposed to last a little more than a month, and tempers grew more exalted every day, anxiety seemed to ooze from the pores of the skin of each one of the soldiers who went to war in the name of their country, to protect the world from an almost biblical evil, a plague created by men but idolized as a religion, which left a trail of bodies and hatred in any land it reached. For the last two years, after the declaration of war in 1942, Brazilians from all parts of the country trained, following the American pattern and rules, to learn how to use the various types of weapons - albeit outdated - that they would wield to try to protect their own lives, while taking the lives of enemy soldiers who were doing nothing more than the same role, only on the other side.

Looking around, the ship looked smaller from the inside than it did from the outside. From the outside it was big and seemed to fit as many men as needed, but inside, with all those people pressing against each other, the ship looked nothing but tiny and claustrophobic. The lining of the ship was a sad shade of gray, stained by time and the constant smoke of cigarettes, a vice the soldiers refused to give up, the air inside was hard to breathe, stuffy and hot and the smell was the worst part of it all, it was unpleasant and reminiscent of an unfortunate mixture of sulfur and musty wood. The light could barely reach the interior walls, struggling to get through the tiny gaps a few feet above the passengers’ heads, leaving everything too dark, too dirty, and too irrelevant, unlike the sunny house with cream-colored walls, new wooden stairs, and the smell of strained coffee he was dreaming of so vividly minutes ago.

As he looks around, instead of Cassandra’s calm and cheerful expression, he sees a few frowns of anger and hopelessness stamped on the faces of some of the men piled on top of each other inside the ship. Others are shouting, drinking bottles of alcohol that supposedly should not have been shipped, some are singing and others are cowering in their spaces, silently contemplating what will come next, the role they would play in the second great war that would go down in history.

Ehsan could feel death walking through the ship as if it were one of the passengers, so present in the environment that it was almost visible, so familiar that it was as if it were at home, analyzing it’s next victims. He knew that others there felt the same way, not the quiet and shrinking ones, but the ones who were drinking, screaming or singing trying to occupy their heads with anything other than the path they were following or the weight of death that was mixed with the stifling air they were breathing.

Straightening his body, Ehsan reaches out his arm for his backpack and places it on his lap, the faux brown fabric old and so thin it could tear at any moment. That backpack was one of the few things from before he joined Carmoa that he hadn’t thrown away when he started making money with the gang, a reminder of the life of cheap, second-hand stuff he had before and that he had worked so hard to change. After that night in 1942, Ehsan spent hours that seemed endless staring at the old backpack and thinking that he would do anything to go back in time.

There wasn’t much inside of it. A few clothes, some crumpled sheets of paper, a picture of him smiling beside Cassandra in front of the new house, and he didn’t even have to look hard to find a leather-bound notebook and a pencil that were hidden deep in his backpack. Ehsan stared at the piece of paper for a few minutes, his heart racing with each breath, anger taking the place of indifference in his veins once again to the point that he needed to close his eyes and take a deep breath to concentrate, his head hanging back until it brushed against the dirty wall, the memories flowing in the same rhythm as the ship rocked his body.

Someone sitting in the space next to him brought Ehsan out of his thoughts, his face contorting into a disgusted expression before he opened his eyes again, he had chosen the farthest place available within the ship to stay, exactly so he wouldn’t be disturbed by anyone and could begin his biography. Well, biography wasn’t the right term, it was more like a list, but each word on this list represented parts of the last two years of his life - the years he considered important - an explanation for everything that had been done, and how could he trust the triggers of his memories to a less intimate medium than paper?

The pencil hesitated under the first sheet of the notebook, as anxious as the man who held it, waiting to put the full weight of a bloodstained soul into that small space. Sweat dripped down the back of his neck, going over and over inside of his head was the order in which he should write, and the delay drew his attention Away from it as he was interrupted by the man sitting next to him. The man offered him a cigarette while he lit one for himself, his curious gaze shifting from the paper to Ehsan’s face. Ehsan reserved for denying the gesture with his head, without bothering to tell him that he had left the nicotine days two years ago and, although he carried a pack in his pants’ pocket - out of habit, he said - he did not intend to return.

The man sat up in his seat, uneasy.

- Are you going to write a letter? - the man said.

Ehsan finally looked at his face, and was startled to realize that it was not a man sitting next to him, but a boy. A boy who looked no older than eighteen, with black hair a little darker than the color of his skin and green eyes that seemed to carry a childish and innocent hope that definitely did not fit with where they were or where they were going.

- I wrote a letter to my mother too, but I don’t know when they will let us send it. I hope it’s soon, because if I take too long to write her when I come home she’ll be saying that I forgot about her and all that and I can’t stand it.

- It’s not a letter.

Ehsan tried to turn a little and bent his body slightly to hide the notebook as much as he could, perhaps the movement would be enough to free him from the young man with problems with his mother. Silence settled in once more and he took another deep breath, focused on getting what was needed written down on that paper. Ehsan had to gather all his strength and self-control to write the first letter, letting out a sigh filled with pride of himself. He thought he would get into a rhythm and get it over with, but the annoying voice spoke again, louder, trying to attract his attention.

- If this is not a letter, what is it then? May I see it?

Ehsan turned sharply, staring at the boy in front of him through the smoke coming from the tip of his cigarette and closing the notebook.

- It doesn’t matter to you, kid. Why don’t you take your cigarette and go blow some smoke around someone who likes that crap?

He replied, the aggressiveness of the words showing clearly in the young man’s expression as he stepped back, muttering an apology and turned his face forward, he didn’t stand up or try to protest, on the contrary, he threw the cigarette on the ground and put it out with one foot. Cassandra’s voice came up in Ehsan’s mind, scolding her husband for treating a young man, probably very frightened, like that. Who was he to treat anyone as less? Had he forgotten the days when he himself was just a boy looking for someone to stand beside? He had found Giovanni Carmoa, this young man had found him.

Ehsan took a deep breath, opened his notebook once more, leaned forward resting his elbows on his knees and, knowing that this next conversation would only bring more questions, some of which he did not want to answer, he said:

- What’s your name, kid?

- George Silva. - he stretched out his hand, which Ehsan held tightly and shook

- You look too young to be going to war, especially one this size, George. How old are you?

- I turned seventeen two months ago, will you tell me what you are writing there? - the insistent curiosity made Ehsan almost smile.

- It’s a long story, George.

Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Honeypeanut: Great but less dramatic

Gladys: I really like this story.

Annelin Viste: Sad story poor T 😢

Annelin Viste: Sweet ❤️ love story

Larisa: Loved it... Great work!!!!All the love 💕💕💕💕

shakinsola: Awesome book! Can't wait to read the rest in the series.

Abigail: Me encanto 🔥😍

elsiejeanne: C'est bien le style du roman l'histoire,les personnages c'est très bien j'attends la suite avec impatience

More Recommendations

Ariane: c'était tout simplement magnifique !

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.