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Villainous Villainy Part 1: A Just Cause

Anti-Hero: a central character in a story, film, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes.

He was not hard to track down, the man with the golden scepter. I could see his silhouette from under the orange hue of the setting sun, illuminating the golden scepter that jutted out of the ground at a slight angle. I crept through the tangle of brush that ran along side the path where the man was standing, aware that another body lay at his feet. My beating heart skipped once, the momentary skipped beat allowing a spontaneous anguish to suffuse through my chest and clutch at my heart, before my heart resumed its beating. I crept closer, fending off the rising desperation until I was right behind them. He was standing above the broken and bruised body of a young woman, her dark hair clumped and streaked by dried mud tinged with blood, and the remaining strands draping over her face to cover the deep purple swelling of her cheeks. She clutched in her hands a babe wrapped in frayed, dirt-caked cloth, its heavy breathing visible with each rise and fall of the cloth in her arms. I could not see what the man was doing, nor did I care as I approached them from behind, feeling the warmth of the wooden handle that held the sharp piece of metal fixed into it – the blade curved upwards and gleamed somewhat under the glow of the setting sun. I moved quickly, seeing the woman’s eyes dart up to look up at me, fear filling her dark eyes while her face contorted into an image of both hatred and despair. By the time the man noticed, my blade was lodged deep into the left side of his back, plunging straight through the flimsy shawl and tunic he wore and straight into his heart. He let out a single guttural cry of pain before slumping to the floor on his face in a pool of blood.

“You monster!” The woman screamed at me, pulling away and clutching her child protectively within her bosom. I smiled down at her.

“No – I’m just a man on a mission to change the destiny of his people and free them from their enslavement. This man with golden scepter and others like him have become a burden to all peoples, but I am here to make things different. I will ensure that the people no longer bow down to these pretentious fiends and their oh so grandiose golden scepters.” I pulled the golden scepter out from the ground, the cold metal seeming to invigorate my entire being. I lifted the scepter high above my head so that the fading sun’s rays would gleam off its golden head.

“Ha! So instead they will bow to you? A fiend!?” She hissed at me. A sensation rose from within my gut as I burst into laughter, the howling loud even to my own ears, the sensation heightened as I repeated what she’d said; the thought of them bowing to me was hilarious.

“Oh no no no my dear,” I said to her, bending down over her as she attempted to scramble away from me, the fear and disgust etched distinctly across her face. I endured the look with the last of my amusement still circling my gut, “No they won’t be bowing down to me. That’s the beauty of it all!” I reached over towards her baby, letting her scream and scramble further away but she couldn’t get far, not with her leg mangled as it was and had I not killed the man healing her she might have been able to get away. All she had managed to do, however, was bleed further and as she screeched at me trying to claw my face, I took the opportunity to snatch the child from her clutching hands. She howled in anger and despondency as I rose up to my feet with the babe in my arms

“Give him back!” She screamed, “Give! Him! Back!”

“Hush now, you’ll get him back yes. By then however, he will be the man I could have been, the true keeper of the golden scepter, a king whom you will bow down to. You see…I always believed that in order to change something you have to infiltrate it, sow seeds from within and change its core and by doing that everything else will follow suit. This boy… he will be my seed, my poison seeping into the system, changing from within what these others could not. His rise will be glorious, yes, and I will enjoy the fruits of his labour, see the freedom of my people and I will no longer be powerless against the higher powers. Your son…our son, will restore what I have lost.” I felt the desperation and loss filter out of my system and I clutched the child closer. Indeed this boy would be a hope, my hope and the hope of my people. If I must become a fiend to achieve this goal, then that is the sacrifice I must make.


I try and delve into the mind of a villain and see what makes a villain tick.


About Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi is a South African published author. He has short stories appearing in both international and local anthologies, and has published his first book, Beneath the Wax, which opens his three-part novella series "Wax". He is an avid reader, blogger and writer.

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