And now, Act 3: The conclusion of ‘Mercy Falls’.
A week and a bit had passed since Steven committed the violent act that would see him tried in another two. Steven would not last that long. This morning would change everything, forever. Mercy, never more sure of herself than today, sent Steven out to the shed to do his chores. She knew he would focus fully on counting the sheep; he had done since he was a child. Nothing had ever broken his concentration from this mundane task that his father had created to make Steven feel useful, a long time ago. She waited for him to begin and find his rhythm before she also went to the shed.
The block splitter was inside the door of the shed and Mercy quietly picked it up as she entered. Steven’s back was to the entrance, his mind shutting out everything except the meaningless task of counting the sheep. He was completely unaware of Mercy standing behind him, block splitter in hand. As he came to thirty, thirty-one, thirty-two, Mercy lifted the splitter, threw it over her shoulder and in one perfectly fluid motion, propelled it forward with all of the strength she could muster. Its head settled squarely across the right side of Steven’s skull. He stood stunned for just a moment before finding the strength to turn around. She swung again as he turned. His body fell to the ground twitching slightly, terror in his one remaining eye, one word on his lips.
“Now you understand Steven, what you did to that poor girl. Everything you put me through. Now you know.”
Hit after hit after hit.
It was coming. Mercy could smell it underneath the bloody copper odour. She let go of the block splitter, which fell to the shed floor with a crash. Kneeling beside the boy, she brushed the hair from his left eye as she quietly sobbed her grief away. There would be no trial for Steven now. Only one for her. But who could or would really blame her for this? Surely they would understand.
The rain began to fall in a nice steady shower that would wash everything clean. Mercy rose from the floor and took one last look at what was left of the boy. With unsteady legs she walked out of the shed, sheep fleeing around her although she hardly noticed their presence. When she looked at her watch she saw she had been kneeling beside Steven for the better part of two hours. She wondered if she would miss him and decided she probably wouldn’t. She thought things would be better this way, for everyone. The rain cooled her skin and her grief. The rhythmic pattern of drops on her face relaxed and calmed her mind. Mercy stood out in the rain, letting it wash her clean.
. . .The End . . .