by Starsky Hutch 76
Armand Ackart slumped heavily in his recliner, a bottle of wine in one hand and a photograph in the other. The picture was of a man and woman. The man was his younger brother, Remy. The woman was his wife, Sabine. They were both smiling happily at the photographer, Armand. Little did they all know, the happy times would soon end.
When the authorities had found their bodies during the Martian invasion of 1986, Remy Ackart had been so badly burned that they had thought the corpse was him. Papers around the world had announced the death of the Phantom of France until he had turned up much later among the injured.
Armand traced his finger over the lines of the woman’s face and said, “I made them pay, my love. I made them pay.” It was a chance he never thought he would get. He never expected the invaders to come back so soon. They did, though, and it had been his supreme pleasure to bring judgment day to them.
Taking a swig of wine, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He sat the photo on the end table next to him, rested his head in his hand, and wept silently. Le Fantom may have had his revenge, but it didn’t make the pain go away. His wife and brother were still dead.