A man haunted by the death of his partner, now harnesses an evil that drives him to seek retribution on anyone who he thinks worthy, in the rugged outback of Australia.

Finally, I would get to experience my rush. The feeling that I craved, like an alcoholic craved that next drink. The rich colour of life's essence, as it escaped its vessel, and ran freely over my coarse skin.

The sun was beginning to set over the horizon, casting irregular shadows across the barren land of the outback. Some animals went into hiding, others came out to explore and feed. This animal was out to kill, of that I could be sure. I took a swig of my whiskey, then rose from my chair, crossing the small space I called my 'living room'. The slight perspiration under my arms irritated me somewhat. I eyed with contempt, my dysfunctional air conditioning, hanging uselessly from the wall. Looking at the row of tools arranged on my dining table, I lovingingly ran my fingertips over the razor sharp blades. After a moment, I bundled them up, and placed them carefully in my well-warn briefcase, resting my empty glass on the table.  Peering out the window at the end of my small shack, I saw the sun had sunk further into the line of the horizon. The thrill of the coming events, trickled through me, the adrenaline started to flow into my bloodstream. With my briefcase in hand, I grabbed the keys to my truck, and made my way out, slamming the door shut behind me. The heat outside matched the heat in the house, it was repressive. Climbing into my truck, I carefully placed my briefcase on the seat beside me. Running my fingers gently over its rough leather briefly, I took a deep breath, and started up the truck, reaching for the air conditioner.

It was January, one of the hottest months in the outback of Australia, and also one of the most popular times for tourists and holiday makers. Families drove the highways to camping grounds, couples drove to retreats and bed and breakfasts, and tourists back packed and hitchhiked their way around the outback, taking in its beautiful landscape. One of my favourite times to be out, and about. Red rocks, acacias partially bereft of foliage, a scattering of trees dot and overshadow the parched landscape, deftly still lizards, dangerous snakes skulk through the fine, dark red sand. Fine red plumes of dust billow from the back of my truck, as I made my way out to the main road. Living approximately 10 minutes away from the only main road, had its advantages for me, no doubt.  I lazily swung out onto the main road, which was now relatively busy.

While travelling the long, straight road into town, my mind started to wander. Thoughts of Jennifer came through my mind. She was the only girl I ever really loved. More importantly, she was the only person who really understood me, and accepted me for who I really was. But, none of that matters now. She was taken from me, and life would never be the same again. My train of thought breaks as the towns horizon comes into view.

As I pulled into the main shops, my anticipation stayed with me, pulsating away like a second heartbeat in my chest. My darkness lay deep within me, always tempting fate, pushing to escape. Sometimes it took all my energy to contain it. Tonight however, I feared that energy would be wasted; that it would take over and guide me into deeds unspeakable to most people. Taking a deep breath, I climbed out into the hot sun again, and made my way towards the front door of the old local store. Gerry smiled and waved at me from behind the counter as I entered. I smiled back and called out hello. I didn't slow down to initiate a conversation though, not today. Instead I walked straight to the back of the store, to the fridge and picked out a cold coke. I then ambled up isle with the hardware, and picked out some duct tape, and a bright yellow tow rope.

Making my way to the counter, I allowed a polite smile, which Gerry returned graciously. There weren't a lot of regular customers out here, so the few locals that existed were all friendly with Gerry, as he was their main and sometimes only source of food and farming supplies. I placed my coke, tape and towing rope on the counter, and retrieved my wallet from my back pocket to pay.

"You need a tow there Jim?", Gerry asked genuinely. I smiled briefly, looking Gerry up and down. He was an older man, who looks like he has lived out here all his life. His skin was jaded, dark. His eyes deep set, and grey. His moustache covered most of his mouth, and he always wore the same type of flannel shirt, just with varying patterns and colours. Today, he looked particularly tired.

"Nah mate, it's ok. The rope is for hunting, if I get lucky, I want to be able to tie the buggar to the truck".  I offered up another friendly smile to Gerry, then grabbed my goods, and headed out the door. The sun had mostly disappeared, a red glow hung on the horizon, casting a long shadow over everything. I cracked the top of my coke can, my mouth was like sandpaper. Taking a large swig, I felt the cold liquid run down my throat, cooling and lubricating on the way. I paused for a moment, watching the people around me, coming and going from the small block of shops, carrying bags to their cars, curtailing small children who were roaming further than they should.

About to get back into my truck, I heard a woman raise her voice. Turning around, I saw a large, dishevelled man, yelling abuse at her from his car window. Unable to quite make out exactly whats being said, I moved a little closer. It's then I realised she was shielding a small child behind her legs while the man continued to verbally abuse her.

Without warning, he threw his door open, and got out of his car. Before she could say anything, his long arm swung backwards, and the sound of his hand hitting her face sent a chill down my spine. Immediately, she burst into tears, and quickly got into her car with her child, locking the doors as she did so. Meanwhile, the large man with the short temper, and now a smug grin on his face, climbed back into his car, and started to back out of the car park.

I shook my head briefly and smiled to myself, and I climbed back into my truck. As he neared the exit of the car park, I pulled out behind him.

Looking to my left, I eyed my worn briefcase. Closing my eyes, I was picturing the glistening tools contained inside, and smiled.

The End

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