Flash Fiction: Vengeance

Vengeance, in my opinion, is best served sweet. Preferably with vanilla icing and a side of strawberry ice cream. It is also best served at an appropriate location, appropriate being the one best suited to the particular offense for which revenge is necessary. Which is why, on this particular Sunday at 2:00 PM in the afternoon, I stand before the Regent Hotel, cake in hand, waving at my obese coworker, Greg.

Greg is having his fortieth birthday party today. He invited me only out of necessity, for if he had not invited everyone at the office, it would have been plainly obvious to everyone else, and that would have ignited office wars and vile water cooler gossip for months to come. So here I stand with a cake, a brightly colored, highly sugared cake that has Greg salivating. I can see the straining shirt buttons popping already.

Unfortunately for Greg, he seems to have forgotten the great offense for which vengeance upon him is necessary. Personally, I’d rather not talk about it—it’s rather embarrassing on my part–but I will say it had to do with the office bathroom and cameras. And if Greg didn’t happen to be the nephew of the CEO, he probably would have been fired. But life is unfair in that screw-you kind of way.

And so it is up to me to make it fair myself.

The doors of the Regent slide open before me, and I’m enveloped in the mindless chitchat of my coworkers. It looks as if someone just tore down the walls of the office and built a new room right around them all. Glenda stands with the same exact slouch she does when she’s making photocopies (so, all day), Bruce is using his wild-ass hand motions to tell some idiotic anecdote, the same way he does during Power Point presentations on synergy, and Cindy is still wearing those God-awful five-inch bright red high heels.

Greg, on the other hand, gives me a look I’ve never seen before. Then I realize he’s not actually look at me. Just the cake. I imagine this is how he looks at all food, like some kind of overweight tiger who, instead of pouncing to capture quickly running prey, just finds the slowest, fattest (or fattiest) morsel he can and kind of flops down on top of it to crush it beneath his enormous belly.

He ushers me toward the large table in the center of the room, littered with shoddily wrapped presents and disheveled bowls of chips and dip. I place the cake in the middle of the war zone. Greg compliments me on the design.Fireworks! Perfect for a July birthday. Sure, Greg, that’s why I drew fireworks.

I expect the party to get into some kind of full swing, but like most things work-related, I am sorely disappointed. There’s not even music. No music at a party. Yet another peg on Greg’s vengeance ladder. He’s already up ten stories and toppling over. He’s really pushing it now. I attempt to give him the benefit of one last doubt, hoping he’ll come up with some kind of party game or something.

But, alas, he just stands there, basking in his misplaced self-importance and expecting people to praise him for his inadequacy. And so, nearly bored to tears, I stand up, waltz out of the building, cross the street, turn around, take out the detonator, and blow up the cake.

It explodes in a violent blast of red and orange, blowing out the windows and setting the entire first floor of the Regent ablaze. A few moments later, the second floor collapses onto the remains of the first, and the rest of the building follows suit. Jenga.

As the firetrucks speed past, police cruisers on their tails, the scene becomes a mess of sirens and water hoses, ruining my vengeful masterpiece. I click my tongue and check my watch. 2:15 PM. Hm, time to leave anyway.

I have more cakes in the oven.

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