She looked out over the fields of dead land and lifeless corpses. It was bad enough that her stock had suffered and yet somehow survived through both drought and flood in recent times. But now, they were suffering the indignity of being targeted as blood sport by a local gang, just recently moved to her small, isolated, rural town. Hers was not the only property being targeted either. Two other properties had lost stock as a result of the new gang. There were rumours that the hoons had relocated to her town to establish marijuana crops, an always lucrative revenue stream for the criminal element.
An early morning ride on her favourite horse had confirmed the rumour. She could not help but admire the organisational skills of her new “neighbours”. There were now several greenhouses, all with marijuana plants at various stages of growth. The plants were being grown hydroponically to accelerate their growth, and thus provide a higher turnover of the crop, and thus, a higher turnover of profit.
She left the corpses of her stock unburied. After all, there were other animals that would benefit from the bodies and if she couldn’t use them, the local scavengers could at least benefit from the carrion.
She went back to her house and prepared herself for the task ahead. It was time that she took back ownership of her land and sent a statement to the gang. Life was hard enough for her and her friends. A local collection of criminals adding to their woes simply would not do.
She grimaced. Though she knew what she was about to do was necessary, she did not particularly look forward to the task. She had never been fond of violence. Indeed, she had avoided it whenever she could. Unfortunately, there were times when violence was truly the last resort.
She waited until nightfall, dressed in a simple cotton dress and her ever present wimple of the same material, and set off on foot to confront her “neighbours”.
Part of her distaste for the pack of unruly heathens was their location and their behaviour. They had bought the vacant piece of land next to her and then built a warehouse-cum-squat house type of shed on the fence line, not 100 meters from her own residence. They favoured loud music, loud bikes, long nights, and excessive amounts of beer, drugs and women. Their parties lasted well into the night and she had excellent hearing. Sleep was becoming a rarity for her. Given how physically frail she was, sleep deprivation was the last thing she needed.
She proceeded down the short dirt road that was the only access point to the property towards yet another one of their “parties”. Empty forty-gallon drums had been converted into fire pits and several were dotted around the front of their shed. The ruddy glow of the burning logs reflected off her plain white apparel.
The louts were everything she imagined. Tattooed. Loud. Coarse. Rude. Drunk. Stoned. Unwashed. They groped their female “companions” without respect nor shame. Suddenly, the impending violence did not seem as distasteful. She moved forward to a point where she knew she would be seen. She wanted to give them a warning after all.
The first to see her was an overweight, bearded lout with a beer bottle in one hand and a breast in the other. He went to take a swig of his bottle and noticed Her out of the corner of one bloodshot eye. He dropped both the bottle and the breast of his companion, then stood. He walked a few steps forward and then stopped, casting his gaze over Her in a way that made her flesh crawl from the inside out.
“G’day love.” He started. He spoke in a thick Aussie drawl and with a volume that she considered unseemly at any time of day or night. “We were wonderin’ when you were gonna come over and meet ya new neighbours?”
The Woman returned his gaze with one that would normally cause anyone - man, woman or thug - to pause. “My apologies.” Her voice was measured and controlled. “I’ve had problems with my stock.”
The man laughed in subconscious confirmation of their actions. “Well it’s a hard time for you farmers ain’t it. All sorts of things happening to your animals. Bloody piss poor luck I reckon.”
Now she smiled a small, almost serene smile. She found she was now looking forward to what she had to do. As always, the regret and shame would come later. She reached up and modestly removed the wimple from her head. It took several moments for the drunken biker in front of her to realise what he was seeing. Without the coverage of the wimple, he could clearly see the distended rear portion of her head.
“Jesus Christ! You ain’t normal!” He yelled at her, grabbing the attention of the dozen or so others that were at the front of their communal residence.
By now the woman had begun to exercise her talent. Her skin began to prickle with the all too familiar sensation of static energy. The back half of her head, in contrast, had begun to radiate warmth that was the side effect of her talent. For her, it was almost a sensual experience.
“We do not like you. And we do not want you or your drugs here. Please leave.”
The biker laughed at her and made a number of obscene gestures as his companions joined him.
She had warned him.
She resolutely brought her palm forward as one may do to stop a door. From the air only centimetres in front of her hand shot forth a concentrated burst of electricity. It surged forward and hit the man in the centre of his chest. The force of the bolt flung him backwards and through the flimsy wall of the shed.
For many moments, his companions stood there unmoving. Only the man’s female was active, and she simply stood in place screaming as if she were in a B-grade horror film. The screeching resembled fingernails being dragged on a chalkboard. She was the next one to go sailing from her feet and through the same hole in the wall made by the man who had previously groped her so salaciously.
By now many members of the gang in front of her had retrieved their weapons and now faced their pastoralist neighbour with several rifles and handguns. She faced them without a trace of fear. “Go ahead.” The Woman almost laughed out loud at her flagrant use of the tacky, film quote. “Make my night.”
Almost in unison, they bikers fired their weapons.
Unfortunately, she had been ready for them.
What the uneducated criminals in front of her did not realise was that She was a woman possessed of a very unique brain. Hers was fifty percent larger than most and possessed of a third lobe. She was a freak of nature, but a very talented freak indeed. It was this extra lobe that generated her talent. She was able to utilise the neuro-electric energy of her own brain to interact with the electro-magnetic energy around her. She could gather up the ever present static charges in the atmosphere around her into a single lightning bolt of shocking and devastating voltage. She could even join the electro-magnetic energy of her brain with the natural charge of metallic objects. With that, she was able to move and manipulate some metallic objects. She could not manipulate large heavy objects, but small bullets were no problem for her.
Their bullets stopped in mid-air. For the collection of drunk and stoned narcotics peddlers, it was a disconcerting moment. In front of them, hanging in mid-air, were the projectiles that by now should have ripped apart the delicate appearing woman in front of them. Instead, their bullets hung there for several moments before the Woman in front of them “flexed” her talent and exploded them. What was next visited upon the group of criminals could understandably, but incorrectly, be described as the vengeance of Hell.
Systematically, she moved through the entire property with her arms outstretched, her distended head unadorned, and her fingers flexed. The air rang with the small sonic booms created by the bolts of energy she unleashed with deadly accuracy. The screams of the men were of a terror that came from realising one’s nightmares, and then having that nightmare appear right in front of you.
There was nothing they could do to defend themselves. The woman would be exacting retribution on one group as another would approach from behind. Somehow, she was able to sense they were there. The men would not even have time to raise their weapons before yet another flash of electric energy would have them thrown from the feet with their clothes burned and their hair singed.
She did not kill them. That is one act she simply would not do. She had only ever killed once, and it had been in self defense of a young woman being targeted by an abusive, alcoholic husband. The man’s mind had become so addled from drink and madness, that he simply had not been able to comprehend the warnings given to him. Thus, when he had threatened to kill the already bruised and bloodied young bride, the Woman had had no other option but to exercise her talent in all its dreadful lethality. Now, she simply wounded and bruised.
She wanted the criminals to live. She wanted them to remember this night. With all of them now on the ground in various stages of pain and suffering, she went back and focussed on their equipment and their oh-so-treasured motorcycles. She ignited fuel tanks and sent their two wheeled monstrosities exploding into fragments. She sent multiple bolts rending the air as she all but dissolved the greenhouses where their ‘crops’ grew.
She set fire to several farm vehicles that sat at the rear of the property. With one last, double-handed bolt, she ignited the chemicals shed where they stored the compounds necessarily to sustain their hydroponic crop. Even she was startled by the enormity of the explosion. Clearly, there had been a significant stockpile. They obviously had planned to be around long term.
Now, as she walked through the destruction that was of her own devising, she noted with some grim satisfaction that they all lived. She wanted them to know who had done this. She wanted them to relive it in their sleep; to cry out in horror every time a thunderstorm drew near and lightning rent the heavens; to recoil from the elements as they lay on the ground, curled up like mewling babies.
Later, she would place both hands to the side of her face at the shock of being implicated in the wanton damage of the property next door. The middle-aged policeman, a friend since birth, will chuckle as he tells the story of how the bikies were apparently molested by her wielding lightning bolts as if she was some sort of Viking Warrioress of legend. She would nod her head knowingly through a concerned expression as he patiently explained that their equipment had probably short circuited and ignited all the chemical compounds on the property, and that their drug addled minds would conjure any story to abrogate their responsibility. She would, with obvious appreciation, thank him for calling and letting her know what the strange lights and sounds had be.
She would close the door, wait for his vehicle to depart her property and back onto the main road. It was then that her frail body would finally fail her and thus she would collapse and weep at her actions. The shame and guilt always returned. In time, she would gain control of herself. She would then unsteadily rise to her feet, and retire to her bed where she would rest.
The above excerpt is from a work written by Damien Timms and is protected by International Copyright lodged in Australia and the USA and may not be reproduced in part or whole without the written permission of the author.