The spirit of revenge is born even before the ability to exact it.
Warren felt a subtle resistance each time his foot separated from the floor. Checking the bottom of his shoe, he found a wad of gum, once a sour apple electric green, now covered in lint and faded to a kind of waxy crayon color. He walked to his daughter’s room where he removed his shoe and carefully centered it sole-side down among four Disney princesses.
On arriving at the park, Warren peeled the banana. He soon found a bench with a garbage can beside it, into which he threw the edible portion. Sitting on the bench, Warren threw the banana peel into the middle of the path and, in an affected casual air, leaned into the bench. A woman in high heels was the first to step into the peel, but she did not fall.
Action followed thought so instantly that the man sprawled onto the grass before Warren had time to fully form the urge in his head. The man, younger and healthier than Warren, rose from the ground with the intent and menace of a fist. The extent of his mistake came to Warren only when he stumbled, finally, on fevered legs.
Warren returned home around seven. His wife, on seeing his freshly purpled eye, floated out of the kitchen leaving the spoon to slide into the simmering pot. Hungry, he set to the work of retrieving the spoon using a fork, a process of repeated drops and curses. He fetched the spoon but was stopped short of the sink by his daughter, her Disney Princess pillow clutched tightly in her fist.
Madison, all of four years old, looked at the bruising around her father’s eye.
“Honey,” he said, drawing her attention back to him. “You did something wrong when you threw your gum on the floor. That made me step on it. So I left my shoe on your pillow to teach you a lesson.”
Madison didn’t reply, but she quietly envied the man who tattooed his lesson on her father’s face.