“Dikê, I have a very busy evening ahead. This…” Alton paused, waving his hand toward me, “visit is unexpected. How can I help you, sha?”
I looked around the study. The room was all oak paneling, dark wood, and leather. The fireplace housed a roaring fire. The contained blaze cocooned the room in warmth while highlighting the bookshelf covered walls in a muted red glow. The leather-bound novels were spotless of dust and made for a prominent display. Alton leaned against a heavy oak desk covered by papers and a stack of manila folders on one side. A laptop, partially open, held residence on the other side. It looked like the lid had been pushed down in a hurry. A gold desk lamp marked the space between the two sides. It was turned off, but it was obvious the lamp was a tool to aid Alton in burning the midnight oil.
In the time since I’d returned to earth, I’d hungrily consumed the world’s history. Threats to balance were very often fueled by a lack of information and historical understanding, so I’d made catching up a priority. If I understood my review of the world’s history, from the appearance of his study, Alton was cliche down to his socks.
It made me sick to my stomach. Tremors of fluttering waves raced through my being. Everything Alton represented caused the core of my spirit to recoil. Knowing the world was so tilted was heartbreaking. There were actual visual representations of corruption and injustice for one to model themselves after. Alton more than did that model perfect justice, as the case may be.
A forced smile curved my lips even as I turned away to hide my eyes. My power wasn’t visible, but I knew my disdain would be. “I’ve come to discuss your resignation,” I said, glancing into the fire.
Oh, if only Alton could see his future in the flicker of the flames.
He chuckled, crossing his arms and leaning back slightly on the desk. “I’m sorry, you’re here to discuss my what?”
Turning my back to him, I moved closer to the fireplace. The embers appeared to dance as I watched. It was as though the fire was putting on a slow performance just for me. I was mesmerized by the hum and crackle. They called to me.
I stared into the flames as I responded to Alton. “You’re going to use that laptop,” my head tilted toward where the laptop sat on the right side of the desk, “to type a letter detailing the resignation of your congressional seat. Your departure will be immediate.” I turned slightly. “Then, Alton, you’re going to type up another letter. In this letter, you will confess, in detail, the years you spent accepting payouts. The ones you took to sway votes and strong-arm freshman congress members. Once it’s written and signed, we will take it to the police station so you can turn yourself in.”
Turning fully to face him, I laughed. “Trust me, Alton, there’s nothing little or girlish about me. Now, please, do mind your manners while we work to get these things done.”
He was maybe an inch shorter than Anthony. Instead of a bald head, sported so sexily by his son, he wore a buzz cut short mess of salt and pepper hair. Where Anthony was toned and thick, Alton was like a reed, long and wiry. His face was clear of hair, not even a thin mustache remained, and his eyes were dark-sin charcoal gray. They looked black, but probably just projected the stain on his aura. His artificially tanned skin seemed to glow in the firelight as he leaned forward, before standing straight. “Is Anthony pranking me? Has he sent you here to get one over on me?”
Tilting my head slightly, I offered a small shake as a smirk curved my lips. “No, Anthony is at home sleeping.”
He cupped his chin and his thin lips curved into a smarmy smile as he slowly advanced. “Ahh, now it makes sense. Anthony is home sleeping, and you are here trying to make it into a bigger bed, sha? Did you really think accusations and threats would do it?”
His tone was smooth. He spoke in unaccented English, devoid of any hint of his New Orleans Cajun roots until his tongue rolled over the word sha. He managed to imbue that one, harmless, syllable with such vile intent that my skin felt like it wanted to crawl away. My palms started to warm, and a low pulsing began to throb in the middle of each. It made my skin itch. I wanted Balance and Truth. My hands craved to feel their equity. However, history had proven that once they entered my hands, the only being left standing—breathing—would be me.
I wanted Alton alive.
He stopped advancing a few feet from where I stood.
“Must we play this game, Alton?”
“That’s Congressman Bell or Mr. Bell. You will resp—“
I chuckled, as I picked up one of the pokers that lay near the fireplace. “Respect? You? Why should I? You are a criminal. A bad one at that. You have a horrid moral center.” I paused, taking a deep breath. “You are so unbalanced and full of chaos, even the god of it couldn’t right you.”
He advanced further, leaning forward into my space. He was trying to prove his dominance, trying to force me to step back and back down. I didn’t budge. “You’re a judgy thing, aren’t you? I told Anthony you’d eventually be a problem.”
“And what did Anthony say to that?’ I asked, my brow arching. I shifted my weight to my right foot, adjusting my hold on the poker in my left hand. If needed, I would be able to easily swing and pivot in one movement before Alton even understood what had hit him.
I tried to be reasonable, but from there, it went downhill.
He began to tell me what he’d allow me to do for him so he’d forget my visit. He even suggested he’d make sure not to mention anything to Anthony if I sped things along and didn’t play hard to get.
“You’re a disgusting fucking pig. I hope you roast on every spit in the bowels of Tartarus.”
A cloud of hatred seemed to cover his eyes as his lips set in a determined smirk. “Fine, little girl. Your audacity has just ruined your future.”
He swore he’d dismantle my plans. He promised to make sure my newly received acceptance to Howard University School of Law was reversed. “Yes, I know about that.”
There was very little damage Alton Bell could do to me or my future. However, he didn’t know that. He was not aware I was a goddess. He didn’t know I wielded more power in my pinky than he could ever conceive of in his lifetime. He simply thought I was some woman. He saw me only as something to be abused and taken advantage of at his hands because of his perceived power.
I saw red—literally.
Dark matter and blood splashed the walls as Balance slid across Alton’s neck, the force of my swing almost decapitating him. Truth sliced straight up his middle, flaying him. In the end, more of his insides lay outside than it seemed could have ever fit inside. I spun on my heels, inhaled deeply, and brought each blade back to my side. Alton’s body fell in a heap of blood, bone, and intestines.
Cackling laughter bubbled up and out of my being as I frowned down at the mess covering my clothes. I could hear the sound, hollow but fierce, bouncing off Alton’s office walls. The fire’s crackling hum seemed to echo the sound as his blood ran free and covered the wood floors.
I felt my eyes pulse silver, as enraged power ignited and flowed through me. I needed to bring this world to heel, bring it to balance, even if it meant judging them all.
Standing, I rotated my shoulders. I flexed my wrists and sent Balance and Truth back within the ether that housed them.
Killing Alton hadn’t been the plan. How was I going to put this in order?
A rolling cramp clenched my belly, taking me to my knees, as my fingers clutched at my mid-section. A loud moan escaped my throat.
I could feel it.
It was almost crippling.
My scales…were no longer just unbalanced. They were tipped.
I tried all the quick tricks I could think of to re-center: shielding, locating a momentary space of balance. I tried to do any, and everything to at least ensure I didn’t tip further towards darkness.
In fact, the more I tried to set my scales right, the worse the cramping rolled. The more the rage pulsed, as though coming from my veins, the louder that humming sound blared.
Then it began.
Your home is where your father’s throne stands. You were created to judge over the land.
Your father’s throne shines mighty and true, balanced for judgment granted by you.
Throwing my head back, I glared at the ceiling and yelled, letting out every ounce of rage building within my essence. The sound vibrated off the walls. It felt as if thunder had shaken the brownstone, but I was so off-kilter it was hard to tell if that were real or imagined.
“You win. I’ll come back,” I whispered, knowing the universe would understand. “I’ll clean up this…” I looked at the remnants of Alton scattered across the floor in front of me, “mess. Then it’s home again, home again, jiggity jig.”