The hammering on the front door of the house finally brought a response as the door was opened quickly. He stood there, blood running from his face where he’d been slashed several times. His beard was stained red and he was soaking wet from head to foot. The poor light from the overhead bulb threw shadows that distorted his features. He looked at the figure standing in front of him, but was unable to see her face.

    ‘Who the fuck are you?’

    He was trembling, mouth open, one arm holding the door and the other hanging limply by his side. In the darkness he failed to recognise her, and as he flung the question at her she launched herself at him.

    ‘I’m your worse fucking nightmare, you bastard.’ She still had the rock in her hand and she drove her fist at him, hitting him full in the face.

    He reeled back and staggered, then fell backwards on to the floor. She went for him, meaning to stove his head in, but he put up a defensive arm and knocked her to one side. With agility driven by fear, he scrambled to his feet as she took another swing at him, the rock still in her hand. He fended her off, and as he swung his arm, it caught her on the side of her face, sending her sprawling on to a glass top coffee table. The glass shattered under her weight and the rock        dropped from her hand.

    He saw his chance and reached down, grabbing a handful of her flimsy shirt. As he pulled her violently to her feet, the shirt ripped and fell away from her shoulder. In that moment, he saw the distinctive birthmark there and froze.

   She was unaware of the reason for his hesitation and pulled away from him, then stumbled across the room, her anger now changing to fear as she realised he would be too powerful for her. She grabbed a standard lamp and swung it round in an arc like a club, aiming for his head as he came scrambling towards her. He ducked and the heavy lamp sailed over the top of his head.

She let the lamp go and turned making a dash for the door on the far side of the room, but in the gloom she crashed into the edge of an armchair and went sprawling. Once again he was on her, but she spun and kicked him in the balls. He yelled out in pain and made another grab for her, but she crabbed backwards away from him and then turned to fetch up against the door. At that moment her hand touched something cold. She glanced down and saw the paper knife. In a moment it was in her hand and she was up on her feet. He was oblivious to the threat as he rushed at her.

     She drove the knife in hard, feeling the point slip between his ribs and directly into his heart.

   He stiffened instantly as his breath stopped in his throat. A look of complete surprise and astonishment clouded his face and he collapsed to the floor. His mouth opened and closed rapidly as he tried to draw breath, but then his body went into a spasm and he died.

She stood over him, her legs spread-eagled, her arms flung out, breathing rapidly. She stayed like that for a while until it finally registered that he was no longer a threat: her search for revenge was over.

    She stepped over the body and winced as a pain stabbed into her ribcage. She ignored it and walked into the room. Whatever he had there, and she had no reason to know what he kept in the house, she needed a fix and was convinced she’d find something.

She began opening drawers and flinging the contents on the floor. Her mind was only focussed on one thing and that was finding a wrap or a syringe; anything that would bring her down and restore her fragile sanity.

    She found the cocaine in the kitchen. A pipe, a small bowl, a syringe, and a lighter. It was all she needed. She warmed the powder, sucked it up and plunged the needle into her arm. Then she took off round the house flinging everything she could lay her hands on into a pile on the floor. Then she shook the expensive cocaine powder all over the place like she was dusting a cake. She laughed. It was fun. She felt free.

    When the final thought came to her, she suddenly became subdued. She knew it would have to end, but she wanted to end it all on her terms. And she knew where it had to be.

She found the car keys and knew what she had to do. She hadn’t driven a car in years, but now she needed to do it. For her it was the only way it could end.

She picked up a bag she’d found in the bedroom, threw a couple of wraps and the paraphernalia into the bag, picked up a notepad she’d seen on the floor with a pen, and walked out of the house.