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Vengeance is Mine

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Vengeance is Mine

by Virgil Jordan

Genre: Drama
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 15 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


My machine ran along, bumping over hundreds of bodies lightly covered by the new snow. I got out, stumbled over them at my feet, felt them. They were not long dead. I looked about me at the dark, silent city of Mannheim. A panic took me. I ran to my machine, tried to get it off, but failed and sat numb and transfixed, vainly groping in the darkness of my mind for the thought that would not form, till my comrades came to me with blanched faces and bit by bit in swift succession pieced for me the words that could not find utterance, having never been uttered in the world’s life before.

The rest–a flowing phantasmagoria that tore me too far out of human experience, even of dream–to tell again. The thousands crumpled up in full-dress uniform, stained and tattered, beneath the new snow of the parade-ground, fallen at a moment, at a word, hands here and there stiffened in salute to the flag slow moving in the graying winter’s dawn. Death we had seen,–but here in the streets and in the houses, in all corners and in all byways, the vivid faces of those who had sought death freely, each face telling with ghastly eloquence a tale that had never been told in the life of man, of a race self-destroyed at a moment, at a word, for a vision which it alone had understood, leaving its epitaph in the words on the poison vials which a government machine efficient to the last had supplied–“Der Tag ist zu uns”–“The Day is Ours.”


A World War I pilot seeks vengeance against the Germans. Much of the action takes place in a cockpit of an airborne plane, which might be interesting to write. Is there enough present-tense storyline here to sustain anything longer than 15 minutes?


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