If you had the chance to exact revenge on someone who had irrevocably changed the course of your life forever, would you?
For American writer David Holthouse, it’s a question that he has asked himself many times.
“I remember too well what it felt like to plot the murder of the man who raped me when I was seven,” Holthouse admitted in a recent essay for the The Guardian.
“In the fall of 1978, when I was a little boy, growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, the teenage son of family friends raped me in a basement during a dinner party. In my bad dreams, I still hear the sound of his unsheathing the samurai sword he terrorised me with. I feel my face being crushed into the black plastic of his waterbed mattress by the pillow he clamped over my head to muffle the cries of pain,” he continued.
“Right after he was finished, the rapist threatened to gut me with a fishing knife if I ever told anyone. I kept the rape a secret for the next 25 years.”
In the time that passed Holthouse moved from Alaska, attended university and eventually became a journalist in Denver. It was here that he was reunited with his rapist, who was living just a few miles away.
What followed was months of plotting – to murder the man and avenge his younger self.