Valentine’s Massacre (Volume One)
A short story noir by Frank D. Wilson.
The blood. All the blood. So much blood.
As I slowly removed my husband’s hunting knife from the poor bastard’s temple and watched the small chunks of brain matter hit the floor, a surprising feeling came over me. Not the relief I had imagined. I felt sorrow again. I felt anger again. The same emotions that washed over me as I sat in that hospital next to the love of my life who struggled to hold on to everything we had built.
As I sat with my assortment of guns and combat weapons next to the severed body parts and pools of crimson plasma in that decrepit warehouse, my mind was not somber like I had hoped. It was flooded with painful memories of Trevor lifeless in that bed a month earlier.
“Please, baby, don’t go. I can’t do this without you!” The words seemed to echo from my mouth, drowned out by the sobbing that bellowed from my soul. I was completely losing it. A puddle of tears had long ago dampened his gown in the chest area where my head had been glued for the last hour or so. Around then, I received the news from the doctor that my soulmate, husband and father to my three beautiful children would never awaken from his coma. He was a vegetable. To say that my heart had been broken into a million pieces would be an understatement akin to saying Hitler kind of disliked Jews.
I momentarily snapped out of my journey down memory lane in order to focus back on the task at hand. I stood up, kicked one of the pathetic henchmen’s decapitated head out of my way and lit a cigarette as I prepared to continue my way through the building to my main target. His name was Gregory Marzello and he was the reason for this soccer mom’s weeks-long path of death and destruction.
Marzello was the man directly responsible for my husband’s death and I had sworn as I tearfully watched the casket containing Trevor’s body lowered into his final resting place that I would not stop until I ripped that son of bitch’s heart right out of his goddamn body or vice versa. I have never broken a promise to Trevor Valentine and I wasn’t about to start.
“Amy, I’m so terribly sorry for your loss,” Kelly Simpson softly and sincerely said kneeling down to comfort me. I sat next to the kids on the front pew of the church, directly in view of Trevor’s open casket. “If you guys need anything, do not hesitate to call me or Daphney. We love you guys.”
Kelly Simpson was Trevor’s long time Mixed Martial Arts coach and manager and childhood friend. A woman so unrealistically attractive when Trevor and I first began dating, I couldn’t help but be jealous and insecure, doubting the alleged innocence of their relationship. Soon, however, I would realize Trevor didn’t stand a chance with her, not because he wasn’t good-looking enough (because he was mouth-wateringly sexy), but because Kelly played for the home team. Eventually, Trevor insisted I start training under her for protection when he wasn’t around but I think he secretly became a little jealous himself. Rightfully so.
I flicked the butt of the Malboro into the face of the lackluster excuse for a security guard who stood between me and the entrance to the main facility which housed Marzello himself. The ash and fire distracted him enough for me to dodge his wild gunfire, tuck my shoulder under his arm and snap his elbow like a twig. Everything happened so quickly that I completely ignored his screams of agony and “fuck you, bitch” shouts as I flipped his 200-pound body over my shoulder, twisted his useless forearm around and blew his brains onto the pavement using his own gun. I pulled the .357 Magnum from his clutches and calmly enter the door he had vainly attempted to protect.
“Amy Valentine,” I remembered my beloved saying on our tenth wedding anniversary, passionately taking my hand and longingly staring into my eyes, “you are the very reason I continue living. Ever since the day I met you, I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind. You have given me the best life that a lowsy son of a butcher could have ever dreamed. Every morning when I wake up next to your beautiful smile, I thank God that I’m such a lucky fool. I thank Him for our love, for giving me those wonderful rugrats of ours, for everything. I know I can be an asshole sometimes but never forget how much you mean to me. Even if something happens to me, I will wait for you in Heaven and love you forever.”
Again, I wiped the tears from my eyes and checked to see how many bullets remained in the Magnum. Four. I used those four bullets to kill two goons rushing from around the corner after me. I discarded the gun and wielded a switchblade. I needed to use more stealth since I knew Marzello was aware of the threat by now and would be waiting for me with more killers as I approached the upper floors of the building.
It was like I was on autopilot. My thoughts drifting back and forth to happier times with Trevor. It was all I could think about.
The blade dug into the ribcage of another goon but my mind was not on him; it was on Trevor and our first date. At Burger King of all places. We were so young and carefree. He was a total gentleman. It took him almost six months of friendly phone conversations before he could even work up the nerve to kiss me. We both felt butterflies. The first of many.
A roundhouse kick to the side of another would-be mercenary’s head and a slit of yet another’s throat later and my mind had switched to darker times. The night I learned of how and why my love had been murdered.
“Don’t bullshit me, Shawn,” I barked at Trevor’s best friend Shawn Miller, who sat in my kitchen drinking the morning coffee I had just handed to him. He knew me and he knew that I meant business. I never accepted the petty excuse that Trevor had been attacked during a robbery.
My husband was a world champion Muai Tai expert. I had witnessed with my own eyes him break a man’s entire face for insulting me at a nightclub when we were dating. He then proceeded to put four of the jerk’s armed buddies into the Emergency Room. I wasn’t a damn genius but I knew the whole cover story stunk to high hell and I demanded answers from the one person who knew Trevor as closely as I.
He finally relented in the face of my womanly wrath, “It was a hit, sweetie. Those fucks killed him because he refused to throw the Williamson fight. He made a deal with the wrong tough guys and his pride wouldn’t let him go through with it.”
“Why the hell would he do such a stupid thing?”
“For you. For the kids. The bank was about to foreclose on the house and you guys were broke. Trevor double-crossed them. He took the money for the fall as well as the winner’s purse so he could provide for his family. He knew what would happen but he did what he had to do to keep a roof over your head. I’m so sorry but he made me promise not to tell you. He didn’t want to put you or Chloe or Samantha or Trevor, Jr in danger.”
Danger? Us? No, we were not the ones in danger; something I would soon prove. The asshole who took Trevor from us would be the one in danger. He and anyone associated with him were in for a personal gift from the Valentine family: a one way ticket to Hell in the most gruesome and violent way possible.
Another hired hand attempted to stop me as I approached Marzello’s office where I knew for a fact he was holed up. The shotgun blast hit me and the shrapnel knocked me back several feet.
Assuming I was down for good, the idiot slowly edged close to my seemingly lifeless body. Standing over me with his legs spread apart only to realize that my bulletproof vest had absorbed the shot was a grave mistake as he would know intimately when the hunting knife quickly cut into his scrotum. He fell to the ground, crying and screaming like the little bitch he was before a point-blank blast to his face from his own shotgun put a silence to that incessant noise.
I was onto my main objective. Or at least I though.
I barely escaped the shower of bullets shredding through the door and walls of Marzello’s office by ducking into a nearby empty room. They were trying to surprise me and had almost succeeded. Hot metal and wooden shards wizzed by my ear as I loaded every fire arm at my disposal. The two Glock 9mm’s, the Uzi, even the .38 in my combat boot. I scooped up the remaining shells from “No-Nut’s” pocket and stuck them in mine before strapping the shottie to my back holster.
I said one last prayer as I prepared to meet my maker and my lover. The kids were at my mother’s house and all of my final arrangements had been taken care. I fully expected to die which was okay. I would take as many of those fucks along with me.
“Do you, Amanda Peterson, take Trevor Valentine to be your lawfully wedded husband,” the preacher’s words seronated through my conscious the same way they had every night when I fell asleep on my best friend’s chest. Only this time, they were accompanied by the visual of fire spitting from the twin glocks in my hand.
“…to have and to hold, in sickness and health…”. The hundreds of holes in the door gave me enough sight to notice the dumbasses reloading their guns. I had an opening. I grabbed the corpse of No-Nuts and used it as a human shield as I charged towards the office. With my free hand, I squeezed the trigger of the Uzi, ripping through the heads and torsos of several of the goons guarding the chickenshit Marzello, whom I could see cowaring behind his desk. I had taken out four and counted three still standing. It was time to get up close and personal.
“…till death do you part?” Of course I did and even after death had separated us. This monster had taken away my world and that of my children. He had caused death to separate me from my soulmate and now I would separate his rotten soul from his fat, worthless carcass.
The first of the henchmen tried to shoot me but only met his dead comrade as I hurled the bullet-ridden bastard at him, knocking him to the ground. While he fumbled around to regain his composure, I took out my .38 and popped the other two in the knee caps. I then ran over to them, smashing one’s nose with the heel of my boot and quickly snapping the other’s neck with a rear naked choke.
The first goon had made it back to his feet so I took fast care of him by lunging the switch blade squarely between his eyes. The last guard had little time to whine about his broken nose before a direct shotgun blast took off his entire skull. I looked over at Marzello in the corner of his office undoubtly pissing and shitting himself and I grinned. This was the climax. Me and him.
“You stupid fuckin’ cunt! Do you have any idea who you’re fucking with? You’re dead, bitch! Your whole family is dead! Get ready to join your loser husband!” I let the pig spew his bullshit. They would, of course, be his final words after all. “Do you think your man was some hero? Wrong! He died like a bitch. Crying and begging for his life as my men clobbered his pitiful ass into mush! Just like I’m about to do to his whore wife!”
Marzello mustered up his last bit of courage to stand and face me. He talked a big game but looking into his eyes I could tell the weasel had never been in a fair fight his entire life. He was the type to use others to gain his power. And now, he was about to get his ass handed to him by someone with a vagina. Fitting end for such a pussy if you ask me. He finished up his rant and I dropped my weapons to the ground.
Time slowed down for me. I sidestepped his punch and before returning a stiff shot, my mind once again floated to better times. My wedding day. Trevor’s beautiful vows gave me strength like it had done for fifteen years.
“Amy: my friend, my partner in life, my love. It took me forever to write this so bear with me. I hope you remember these words when times get tough.” Tears streamed from my eyes, not because Marzello had just buried his knee into my stomach, either, but because on that day, the man I would forever love had reached into my heart and said everything I needed to hear. His words took away all the pain of the fucked up experiences I had went through up until meeting him and reassured me that no matter what, he would always be there for me. Even if no one else was.
“Everyone said that we would never work out. That you were too quiet and too shy to be with someone with my over-the-top personality and fighter’s lifestyle. But I knew better and so did you. We accepted one another for who we really were and never gave a damn about what anyone else thought. Hell, the looks on the other trainees’ faces when you showed up to the gym. You showed them, didnt you, baby?”
I blocked Marzello’s next knee strike and countered with a sharp elbow to his hip then a jumping knee of my own to his jaw. He fell sloppily onto his desk where I quickly mounted him and began wailing onto his head with punches and elbows.
“We live in a weird world of our creation and I wouldn’t trade it for all the fame and money in the world. Your mom even thinks I’m an okay guy; something that Mr. Peterson will agree is no easy feat. In closing, I just want to say that I am honored to have you in my life and I pray that we grow old together like in those romance novels you like. Amanda, you are my universe and I will love you forever.”
At this point, I was full out bawling as blood covered the gloves over my knuckles. Marzello was nearly unconscious now. The time for playing games was over. I reached down and picked up Trevor’s hunting knife.
“Fuck you! I regret nothing, you dumb slut! I’ll see you in Hell!”
“Probably so. And you know what, I’ll kill your ass again and again for eternity. Fuck me? No…” I looked the piece of shit in his frightened eyes one last time so he could feel the hatred I felt for him. I, then, forcefully jabbed the knife into his chest plate.
As he gasped for his final taste of air, I removed the knife and replaced it with my hand. I dug around for a moment and violently jerked it out, claiming the prize I had promised my dying husband I would obtain: Greg Marzello’s beating heart! “FUCK YOU!”
An hour later, various memories of Trevor and myself watching silly movies and obsessing over the latest UFC fight and taking the kids to Disneyworld crept back into my mind while I finished dousing the entire establishment in gasoline. It was all over now. Though none of my murderous actions brought me the sort of peace that having Trevor back in my life would, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel fabulous after doing it.
The building burned hot like a Phoenix in the night’s sky. There would be no investigations into this low life’s death. Another death amongst a community of killers. Just another day. However, on the streets and in the folklore, people would know what happened.
Everyone would remember the Valentine name. They would remember this massacre.