This story is by Crystal Johnson and was part of our 2018 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Have you ever made a decision that you wish you could take back? Well, this is not how I wanted my life to end. Betrayed, left for dead by the hands of my brother and ex-girlfriend. Not the way I planned it and definitely not how I wanted to die.
Vega’s night was not going as planned, it seems like nothing was going right for him tonight. First off he was working the bar by himself because one of the bartenders’ decided not to show for his shift.
“Man I could kill Mick for this,” Vega thought to himself, but shook it off because he figured standing here pissed off wouldn’t speed up time until he got off work.
The bar was finally closed. Vega just finished putting away all the glasses, then started counting the money for the deposit. Finally done with everything, he locked the doors and headed for his car. Putting the key in the ignition, his car wouldn’t start.
“Oh come on! Not tonight,” he said in frustration. Waiting a few minutes Vega tried to start his car again but it wouldn’t start.
“Perfect, just perfect.” Kicking at the car.
Upon walking home he was followed by three thugs trying to mug him.
“Gimme your wallet and no one gets hurt,” said one of the thugs. Vega wasn’t going down without a fight, he watched as all three men surround him and pulled out their knives. One was going for Vega’s back, he spun and dodged with a right hook to his jaw knocking him out cold. The second came from the side but Vega saw him from his periphery and caught the thug’s wrist then twisted. He dislocated his shoulder until he dropped his knife. Vega threw him toward the third thug, who dodged and charged head on towards Vega tackling him down to the ground with a knife at his throat. Vega struggled to rend the knife from the thug’s hands he bit the thug’s inner thigh to get free.
He fought all three guys walking away with some cuts and bruises. By the time he reached home, he was stumbling through the door calling his girlfriend Lula.
“Oh my god! What happened?” she asked running to Vega, she lead him into the kitchen for the first aid kit.
“Pfft, where do you want me to start?” in a sarcastic manner unsure if he wants to relive his accounts all over again.
“Start from the beginning,” she said as she started to clean his cuts.
“Well to start off, Mick didn’t show up to work and I had to cover the bar by myself, then my car won’t start. Requested an Uber to take me to the bank for the deposit. Lastly, three thugs tried to rob me at knife point,” he told Lula.
“You know you can’t go to work like this, you’ll need to rest and let the wounds heal,” Lula said to Vega while cleaning up the first aid mess.
“I’ll be fine, you worry too much,” he replied as they went to bed.
Vega felt something was off today, maybe the soreness from the fight last night, he tried to brush off the feeling before class starts, but he just knew something wasn’t right. When class ended Vega headed home, upon walking inside he found Lula in bed with his older brother, Kasi.
“What the,” Vega yelled. Kasi and Lula jumped out of their skins upon his arrival stumbling around to find their clothes.
“It’s not what it looks like Vega,” said Lula wrapping the sheet tightly.
“So, this is how you do me right? I’m busting my ass working and going to school, and you’re screwing my brother in my bed!” he said as his anger mounted.
The color from her face drained as she couldn’t move, or speak in total embarrassment tears started to form and Kasi didn’t take too kind to that.
“Vega, you didn’t have to do all that,” said Kasi.
“If the shoe was on the other foot how would you react?” he spat.
Beyond disbelief Vega looked at his brother balled his fist and punched him in the face.
“I’m tired of your shit Kasi, why do you keep snaking the girls I date?”
Moving to punch his brother again, but this time Kasi dodged and swung at Vega an upper cut so hard it made him dizzy.
“You don’t deserve the life you have, mom and dad always made it easy for you.”
“What have I done to you that was so wrong that you want to hurt me this bad?”
They fought for twenty-five minutes until Kasi pulled out a knife.
“I’m done playing games.”
Stunned and unprepared Vega was determined to finish this fight, when he drew back his fist ready to hit Kasi, he left himself open and was stabbed in the ribs. Staggering back with the knife in his ribs, Lula screamed as she rushed to his side. Before she could get to Vega, Kasi had grabbed Lula to keep her from saving Vega.
“What are you doing? You can’t leave him like that,” she screamed.
“Watch me!” Kasi said.
Hitting the floor with a thud, Vega’s vision blurred as he felt his life slipping then everything went dark then Kasi took his body and dumped it at the cemetery like he was nothing.
Vega woke up to the sound of the devil close by. He was about to sit up until he felt the wound in his ribs then remembered his fight with his brother, that asshole who slept with his girlfriend and left him for dead.
“That bastard,” he cursed at himself thinking what has he done to deserve this. The devil watched Vega at war with himself he decides to restore Vega’s life. Feeling like a new man with a new purpose equipped with heightened senses now he can set out on his revenge.
“Listen well Vega, I have restored your life because you were unjustly murdered,” said the Devil.
“So what’s in it for you? I know you didn’t just restore my life for free.”
“My reasons are my own.”
“I want revenge. They need to pay for what they did to me.”
“Revenge won’t bring you peace my friend,” said the Devil as he picked Vega up off the ground.
“So I just let them walk away scot free?” as Vega’s anger mounted, an evil smile crept upon the Devil’s face says he would use that to his advantage.
“No Vega. Real redemption takes finesse. Revenge sounds good and all, I relish in it when it calls for it, but what you went through I wouldn’t wish that on my worse enemies.”
Listening to the devil’s logic made Vega snicker a bit.
“Wow! The Lord of lies and deceit has standards,” he said sarcastically.
“Here’s what I offer, I’ve given you a chance to start over, however the moment you violate this condition by taking revenge on your brother or your ex-girlfriend I will take your soul.”
Deep in thought Vega saw an upside, but saw a downside as well.
“Do we have a deal?” asked the Devil.
“Deal,” Vega replied as they shook hands.
With his powers, the Devil sent Vega back to the land of the living equipped with new abilities he only dreamed of making him feel like a new man with a new purpose.
Since arriving back to his apartment, Vega was in a bittersweet mood laced with anger. The place was a mess blood coated the floor where he died. Surges of memories flooded his mind, catching Lula in bed, the betrayal of his brother still not understanding why Kasi would do that to him.
Searching around for clues, he came across a box in his bedroom. Upon opening the box letters spooled out falling to the floor, Vega grabbed one and read it his heart sank to his balls, they been messing around the whole time we were together.
He found pictures of himself and Kasi as kids in their costumes on Halloween. They were so close, but as they got older Kasi changed for the worse, never in his life has he seen such hatefulness, jealous of things that came natural for Vega while Kasi struggled. Their parents put so much pressure on him that, no room for errors or have some serious consequences he’ll have to face.
Just as he was about to search for more clues, Lula and Kasi walked in, their faces blanched as they saw Vega in the flesh.
“Vega?” she stuttered. Taking a step forward she tried to reach out to touch him, but with his fast reflexes Vega stepped back.
“I thought you died!” Lula breathed.
“I did die!” he smirked, but the Devil himself restored me with some upgrades.”
“You’re here to kill us right?” asked Lula.
“If I wanted revenge, you wouldn’t see me coming,” Vega said walking away.