Victor paced the room for ten minutes, chewing his bottom lip and muttering occasionally. He stood by the globe and stared at it. With a gentle shove he set it spinning; around and around the continents chased one another. He put his hand on the globe’s wooden stand, leaned against it and bowed his head. His breathing became erratic. He suddenly stood upright and hurled the stand to the floor; the globe cracked and stopped spinning. “F***!” he yelled. He squeezed his lips together and breathed heavily through his nose. “F***!” he reiterated, a little longer and a lot louder. He stomped to the desk, took the sword in his hand, then returned and began hacking the globe and its stand to pieces. On the fifth strike the blade lodged in the wood, and Victor had to yank it free. “This is bullsh**!” He went to the door. He left the study, went back along the hall and then down the stairs. As he crossed the fireplace room he screamed up into the air, “This place is f***ed!” as though someone were listening. He slashed at the back of the armchairs by the fire as he passed, and then brought the sword down like a guillotine on the bearskin rug, decapitating the already long-dead animal. “Bullsh**! Bullsh**!” he chanted as he made his way past the mirror and out of the room.
He crossed the hall and entered the ballroom, then ran to the far end and sliced the tops off the candles; they fell onto the table and kept burning. Victor slashed the bottom of the great curtains hanging at the wall. Swathes of thick red material fell to the floor, leaving the curtains jagged and shredded like a bad haircut. Victor marched back out of the ballroom, his face red and glistening with sweat.
Up the hall he stormed, and into the bedroom. He glared around the room that had been his basecamp throughout his haunted ordeal and he began to tremble. Tears formed in his eyes and his breathing quickened. “It’s all bullsh**,” he spat through clenched teeth. He stepped in and looked at the books and pencils and notepads and blankets strewn on the floor. He kicked the books out of his path, then hacked the desk and the overturned bookshelf, which spilt at the back with a satisfying crack. Victor turned his assault to the mattress, but the scimitar inflicted minimal damage to such a spongy foe. He moved onto the bed frame. Loud clang after clang rang out and sparks flew as he chopped repeatedly at one of the bed posts. After a dozen broad, powerful strokes of the blade, the top of the bed post detached with a metallic shing. It clunked on the floor and rolled in a circle before coming to a wobbly stop. Victor stared down at it, his shoulders rising and falling with heavy breaths. After a moment his shoulders slumped and the sword fell from his hand, thudding onto the floorboards. He wiped his watery eyes with the back of his hand, and then turned and stepped through the random mess on his way to the door. In the hall, he turned his furious, exhausted eyes to the ceiling. “F*** you!” he yelled. The mansion answered with cold silence. Victor sniffed. He wiped his eyes again, and then went up the hall, through the pool room, and out into the courtyard.
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