a selection of hero/villain shorts
inspired by the dialogues of @the-modern-typewriter
“If it were up to me,” the hero said, their fingers closing around the villain’s wrists, “I’d kill you now. Oh, I’m not actually going to, of course. I like to think I still have some sort of moral compass left, even after everything that’s happened. Even after everything I’ve done. Everything you’ve made me do.” Without quite meaning to, they tightened their grip. It felt as though something was bubbling up from deep inside them, something dark and rotten and long-hidden that wanted to get out. “But if I didn’t…oh, the things I could do to you. I could break your bones one by one. Start with your fingers, and see how long it took you to start screaming. Isn’t that what you did to that nice young man who tried to double-cross you?” The villain didn’t respond. “Of course, if that doesn’t appeal to your delicate sensibilities, I could just string you up instead. Hang you by your wrists like a piece of meat. Or I could - ” They broke off. “Wait a minute. Are you getting off on this?”
“No,” said the villain, unconvincingly.
“What,” said the hero, “are you doing in my house? And in my dressing gown?”
“Making you breakfast!” The villain brandished a spitting frying pan as evidence. “I couldn’t help noticing last week that you’re just not filling out that super-suit of yours like you used to. You need feeding up, otherwise our battles are going to get terribly one-sided. I’ve done you some bacon, see?”
The hero sniffed. The bacon reeked of bitter almonds, with a faint trace of lemon underneath - presumably an attempt to cover up the smell of the poison, which they judged was probably enough to kill an elephant. Several elephants. “You do know I’ve been trained to recognise the smell of cyanide from a distance of five feet or less?” they said. “Here’s a tip: try using something odourless next time.”
The villain looked downcast. “I was only trying to be nice.”
“And murder me,” the hero pointed out.
“Well - yes, but in a nice way.”
“How did you even find out where I live?”
The villain finished securing the cable ties around the hero’s ankles. “Oh, I hacked into those security cameras you installed to keep away intruders. Ironic, really. Sorry - are these too tight?”
“No, they’re - wait, you hacked into my cameras?”
“Well, yes,” the villain said, as though it were obvious. “The encryption on them was terrible, and I was curious. By the way, I’m glad to see that what they say about men with big feet is true.”
The hero covered his face with his hands.
The hero slammed the villain up against the wall rather harder than was necessary, relishing the choked-off sound they made as their back hit the metal. They tightened their arm so that the muscles bulged, cutting off the villain’s air supply, and snarled directly into their ear, “I know what you did.”
The villain made a desperate hand gesture that could reasonably have been interpreted as What are you talking about? The hero relaxed their grip slightly, finally allowing their enemy to breathe - albeit only in shallow, retching gasps. “I know what you did,” they said again. “You turned those innocent people into mincemeat over a fucking business transaction. I already knew you were scum, but this is a new low.”
“Wasn’t me,” the villain said, their voice rough around the edges.
The hero laughed, short and sharp. “You expect me to believe that?”
“Well, exacting bloody and disproportionate retribution for imagined slights is one of my favourite pastimes,” the villain said, and gasped as the hero’s arm tightened around their neck again. “No, wait! Wait. Listen. I’m not guilty this time, honestly. Hand on my cold black heart. Half of those people were in my employ, what would I gain by getting rid of them?”
“Prove it,” the hero hissed.
“Let me down, and I will,” the villain said, coaxingly.
The hero hesitated, their grip just loose enough to pin the villain in place. For a second, their eyes locked, and the hero thought - or imagined - that they saw a hint of sincerity somewhere in there.
I’m going to regret this, they thought grimly - and lowered their arm.
“Oh, please,” the villain sneered. “You’re not going to kill me, you’re too - ”
Without even bothering to look, the hero fired. Blood sprayed outwards in a semicircle, spattering the wall behind where the villain’s head had been. Their body swayed, then toppled gently to one side, collapsing on to the floor as though all the air had been let out of it (which, in a way, it had). The hero turned and stared at the mess.
“Well, that was a lot easier than I was expecting,” they said.