When the rainstorm became a thunderstorm and lightning hit the ground where Becky LaPlante was lying dead in a shallow pit up the hill from Murphy’s Cove, the zigzag voltage found the handcuff and watchband on her wrist. Her cut off arm convulsed and jumped to life. It was the middle of the night and pitch dark. There were no houselights and no streetlights anywhere nearby. The arm sparked and glowed an electric white and blue.
Life is made in Heaven, but so is thunder and lightning. There were more than 100 million volts in the lightning bolt. There were 120 volts waiting in the wires to light up North Rustico in the morning. When the arm got over the shock, it reached for Becky. It didn’t like what it found. It reached the other way. It fought to dig its way out.
If I ever get my fingers on the neck of the killer, I will have my revenge, the arm thought. It wouldn’t look for the right time and the right place. It would spring and squeeze the life out of who had done the evil act the second it found him. The arm’s revenge would be vigilante justice, plain and simple.
Becky wanted to tell her arm to settle down and lay low. She wanted to say revenge was for the living, who might find satisfaction in it, but not for the dead. She wanted to say don’t bother on my account but couldn’t get the words out.
There were more firebolts. There were more thundercracks. Wood ducks and Canada geese hunkered down. Lightning bugs in the weeds stayed where they were. A hard rain fell.
As the arm broke through the ground its spurt of energy died away. It stopped in its tracks and made a fist around the loonie in its hand. The killer was going to pay, the arm vowed. It struggled to form an image of the man with the axe. It was the arm’s last thought. It was the end of the last living part of Becky.
She thought it was better that way. She didn’t want to be cut off from herself. She was on her way somewhere and wanted to get there in one piece. If it was Hell, she would give the Devil a piece of her mind. If it was Heaven, she would bite her tongue and get through the pearly gates as fast as she could.
Even though it was the witching hour, all the dark things in the trees and in their burrows and bedrooms stayed asleep. There was a silence that wasn’t entirely quiet. There were some sounds in the tiny gaps. A fox snapped awake in his den, made sure the kits were all right, and tried to work out what he thought he had heard. He couldn’t make out if it was real, or not.
The arm stiffened getting rigid fast and the briefcase handcuffed to its wrist fell to the side. The fox drifted back to sleep, making a mental note to take stock of his domain when he had a chance. A steady rain fell all through the night and most of the rest of the next day. It was only the day after that the fox was able to get out on his tour of duty. By then there wasn’t much to see. The fox got down to business hunting mice and rabbits.