The Pact

Reaching down to the depths of my bag, fingers grazing the raw underside of the leather, I delve deeper until I feel the rigid filigreed metal of my grandmother’s gun. I trace the cool ivory handle with my fingers and in my mind, taking in the sure smooth certainty of its existence, imagine the recoil jolt that will come when I fire.

It is a solid pistol, heavier than it looks with the dainty paste diamonds inset into the side. A jewel for each word: ‘I-love-you’. A strange gift, though things were different then. The gun was a relic from the war; but it worked. I knew it did. And Danny knew it too.

Commuters burst onto the pavement like bubbles; smack, pop, rustle, hustle, murmurs, laughter. At every sudden move or sharp noise I tense.

How would he do it?

Would he come alone?

Gazing around, alert but outwardly nonchalant, I consider my disguise.

Hooker boots, fur coat, laddered tights, vermillion lips. The wig might be overkill; too theatrical. Maybe. I hope not. I need the upper hand so I can strike first. I smile to myself as I play over the victory that will be mine. The smile clings to my face, twisting and static, as the bullet skims my heart. The scream in my head consumes me. I don’t feel any pain. Blood seeps then gushes into the cheap, stiff fur of my coat. My heart is the killer as it furiously pumps away my life. Time slows. A sticky, metallic taste. I buckle and slide to the ground. The pavement dank, hard and spattered with shit and spit and dirt.

He got to me first. I’m nothing.

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