Wrote this in response to a prompt on Tumblr’s WriteWorld blog.

The prompt is in blue. I’ve made a few tweaks and come up with an ending since first posting it there. It just seemed to cry out for a Thunderbirds twist. Word count:  650. Any feedback welcome!

“As one of the hundreds of people who have tried to kill you at one time or another, I can attest to your tenacious refusal to die, milady.”

The Hood circled the table where Lady Penelope lay, stripped of all but her stiff upper lip. Her golden hair lay tangled and awry; her body was covered with bruises of every color and she shivered slightly in the dank warehouse room. Only her beautiful model’s face remained untouched. He stopped near her head, coming near enough to run a taloned finger down the side of her face. The straps holding her head and neck still did not allow her to turn her face away.

“This time is different,” he whispered seductively.

Stepping back, he indicated the IV bags hung on poles beside the table. “I have finally read that manual, the one meant to instruct a villain on how to come out on top.” Chuckling, he circled the table, passing above her head to end up on the other side. “A highly informative read, I must say. I recognized many of my own flaws in its pages. In fact, I threw it across the room several times before I saw the wisdom in it.”

“I didn’t know you could read.” Lady Penelope’s voice was perfectly calm, her expression, serene.

The Hood refused to rise to the bait. “Indeed. I thought you had better intelligence concerning my humble self.” He waved a hand, dismissive. “No matter.”

Nodding to the two lackeys in the room, he continued his stroll down the table. As they hooked up the IV bags and attached various medical leads to his victim’s chest and temples, he explained further.

“In these bags are poisons of my own design. Untraceable, they deliver the most exquisite pain that builds to a crescendo so strong, it crosses the line between pain and pleasure, bringing on an almost orgasmic climax that lasts a full quarter hour.” Here he stopped, a sly smile crossing his wide, brutish face. “Your manservant, Parker, begged me to spare you this before he died.”

She was unable to stifle a gasp at the mention of Parker, who she hoped had gotten safely away. The sly smile grew wider at the involuntary sound.

“Oh, yes. His loyalty was his undoing, you know. He couldn’t wait for reinforcements. Very predictable of him. The Tracys will find his body at my previous hide away.” He traced a bloody slice inside Penelope’s left ankle. “They will also find the tracker you had implanted last time you visited their island.”

By the time this exchange finished, the IVs were ready. The medical monitors, swathed in clear, protective plastic sheeting, were beeping along in a rhythm just a touch too fast to a trained ear. One of the technicians nodded at the Hood, who dismissed her and her companion with a wave.

“Take up your positions outside.”

Penelope, who had been trying to communicate with her wide panicked eyes, now called, “NO! Don’t leave me alone with him! Please! For God’s sake, don’t go!” Neither of the begoggled figures looked back as they picked up assault rifles and opened the door.

The Hood fingered the valve which would start the poisons flowing. “Once I turn this knob, there is no going back. Your death will be lingering, exquisite, and sure. There are no antidotes or counteragents.”

“What. Do. You. Want?” Penelope ground out between clenched teeth.

“My want is simple, milady.” He ran his finger down her cheek again. “I want revenge. Nothing more.”

She glanced at his fingers, still playing lightly with the valve. “Then I suppose you know the location of Tracy Island?”

He shook his head, his face gazing down her with a beatific expression. “I do not need it. Not anymore. Parker gave that gift to me as he lay dying. For you, my dear Milady, there is only death.”

Article by Tikatu

Tikatu is the long-time alter-ego of L.D. Bennett. She enjoys cat naps, head bumps, and regaling the world with the further adventures of International Rescue.