A single yelp of pain that forever stung her ears. A streak of crimson where Bonnie had tried crawling for help; help that didn’t arrive soon enough.
Even in the dream, it never did.
Bonnie was dead.
Sylvia woke up drenched in sweat, just as she had that hot July morning when she’d heard the awful cry followed by peals of drunken laughter.
She’d tried to chase the bastards down, but the cops had gotten to them first. They were lucky.
Two years in prison. Two measly years was all they’d served.
Her faithful knife was firm in her hand, fitting as perfectly as it had years ago; the grooves and indentations in just the right spot for her fingers, letting it rest securely in her palm. Killing someone with a knife was more up close and personal, which she loved. That had been their method of choice, and it was only fitting that they met their fate in the same way.
It had been too long since she’d experienced the rush of killing someone. She hadn’t realized how much she’d missed it until now as she watched the men and dreamed of the blood spilling from their throats. There was little difference between her and them; they were all killers in their own way.
They all got off on the bloodshed. There was something about watching the life drain from someone's eyes that was as primal as it was appealing, and she couldn’t deny enjoying the kill. It was something she was damn good at too. The difference between herself and these low-life bastards though, was that she didn’t kill the innocent. Sylvia believed that she was doing humanity a favor but eventually decided to work with the system instead of against it. Working as a bounty hunter still gave her the thrill of the hunt, but instead of killing them, she let the justice system have their way with them. It was as lucrative as it was satisfying.
Until the courts had let her down, that is. They’d given her no choice but to pick up her old ways once more.
Sylvia followed the men home, which was easy to do since they seemed oblivious to their surroundings. She waited outside their house for several minutes before peeking in through a broken window. They were passed out on the floor, surrounded by empty beer cans. Careless to the point of foolishness, they hadn’t even thought to lock the door. Drunks were easy targets because they were just so damn stupid. Sylvia took one last contemptuous look at the worthless pieces of shit before she got down to business.
Malone was the accomplice, not the murderer. She was merciful and he went quick with one long slice across the throat. His eyes flew open and he made a gurgling noise as he bled out all over the floor. Sylvia smiled seeing the fear in his eyes as he looked at her, relishing the fact that he now knew what it was like to be helpless and afraid like Bonnie had been that day.
His partner didn't deserve to go so easily. Albert was the murderer, the one who’d disemboweled Bonnie and laughed as she’d crawled, dragging her intestines on the ground behind her. He’d watched as she’d cried for help and suffered miserably. That bastard really deserved to know what fear and pain were like.
Albert had slept through his friend’s departure from this life, so a swift kick to the head was needed in order to wake his drunk ass up. Her steel toe smacked him in the forehead.
"What the fuck, man?" He squinted up at her.
"I ain’t your 'man'. I bet you don’t remember me, do you?" Sylvia knelt down and held her knife in plain view, Malone’s blood dripping off of it.
He scooted away from her toward the couch, his hand reaching for something beneath it. Sylvia planted the knife right in the middle of his hand, blade hitting bone with a loud crunch, drawing an agonized scream from Albert.
"Her name was Bonnie, and I know she wasn’t the only one.” Sylvia spat on the man, moving in close enough to smell the whiskey on his breath. "You killed her like she wasn’t worth nothin’.”
"I never killed anyone. I swear to God, I haven’t.” Albert pleaded, trying to keep his eyes off Malone’s lifeless body, but just as with a car wreck, he couldn’t stop from looking, grimacing at the sight.
"For a man that’s done lots of killin’ in his life, you sure are a coward, aren't ya?” Sylvia removed the knife from his hand and stuck the tip of the blade against his abdomen just hard enough to draw a little blood.
Tears rolled down his cheeks and he remained frozen in place by the point of her knife. For a woman, Sylvia prided herself on her strength. When you lived like she did, you had to be strong to stand up to men like these. Though, these men certainly weren’t the strongest she’d ever been up against. They were nothing but cowards who preyed on the weak and the helpless. Albert seemed to think he could talk his way out of his fate, rambling on, begging for mercy, telling her that the lives they took were completely worthless and not something he should die for.
"They were worth far more than your worthless ass, that’s for goddamn sure!” She screamed in his face, silencing him as she slid the knife further into his belly. "And for that, you’re going to know just what it feels like to die, helpless and afraid.”
One quick and clean cut across his stomach was all it took. She stood up as he reached for his cell phone. She laughed as she kicked it away and watched as he crawled, his intestines dragging on the ground behind him, begging for help just like Bonnie had been forced to do.
Justice had been served. Maybe the dreams would stop once and for all.
Sylvia settled in on her couch with a Bud Light and flipped the TV on just in time to catch the news. Her black lab looked up at her with his big brown eyes and she couldn’t help but smile down at him. Clyde brought so much joy to her life just as his sister once had. She reached down and scratched his ears as he settled down next to her with his head in her lap, eating up the affection.
"Don’t worry, buddy. They got what they deserved. Those two worthless assholes messed with the wrong girl’s dog this time.”