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The room is plain; white. He leads her in, handcuffs still on. He brushes the sweat from his brow and runs his hand through his hair. She’s so beautiful. He helps her up and lays her down.
“Are you comfortable?”
“Does it really matter?”
Her words are tinged with the smell of a last cigarette. Her sarcastic smile flashes her perfectly white teeth. She spreads her arms, Christ-like. He pauses and takes her in. Her naked body flashes across his mind. She’s beneath him, naked breasts heaving. He’s running his hands through her auburn hair. He blinks. She’s just lying there. He tightens the leather straps around her wrists. She lifts her head as much as she can and looks down at her bonds. Her eyes are filled with sorrow but her smile lingers. She closes her eyes and exhales slowly.
She’s back at that first dingy little house, kicking in the door. Cocking her shotgun. Raising it. Pulling the trigger. Time slows as the bang echoes through the one bedroom*. And her. That wh*re’s face meets the bullet and explodes, blood spattering the wall and television. Blood drips down, making paths in the dust covered screen. Her flip flops smack the back of her feet as she walks over to the body, reloading the shotgun as she goes. She aims and pulls again. The body bounces, lifeless. The white t-shirt explodes into a red, red mural. She smiles and wipes a drop of blood from her cheek.
She’s almost motionless. Rising in her chest barely noticeable. A man reads a prayer but she’s somewhere else. Not concerned with redemption or salvation. He stands at the end of the gurney, holding her ankle. He strokes her with his thumb; nothing forward. Just comfort. She stiffens and he stops. Looks up at her. Their eyes meet and he’s lost. Suddenly they’re in his bed, lying on their sides. Naked. His fingers trace her perfect frame. She kisses his neck and his hand rests on her hip. He kisses her and they come together, pulling each other tighter and tighter. Never breaking eye contact, melting into each other.
A man swabs her arm with a cotton ball. She’s watching it all but she’s not there; he stares deep into her eyes while she absentmindedly watches the man in the white coat.
She’s replaying her arrival at home. His car is parked in the driveway. She’s excited but nervous. A fluttering settles in the pit of her stomach as she pulls out the hunting knife and slashes all his tires. There’s no escaping this. She tucks the knife into the back of her jeans and walks up to the door. Locked. She takes out her key to unlock it but before she can slide it in, the door opens. He opens it slowly with a gun pointed at her forehead.
“I’ve already called the police. I played them your message. You’re not getting away from this.”
She reaches into her pocket and pulls out her cigarettes and a lighter. Out of the corner of her eye she sees his grip tighten on the revolver. She smiles. He’s not even pulled the hammer back. He has no idea what he’s doing.
“You think I want to get away? That’s not what this is about.”
She sparks her cigarette and takes a drag. Smoke lingers in her mouth until she speaks,
“Could you put the gun down?”
He pauses for a moment.
“I’ll put it down but I’m not putting it away.”
“That’s fine baby.”
She slides her pack of cigarettes into her back pocket and grips the knife, pulling it out gouging it into his neck all in one fluid motion. He gasps and pulls the trigger with the gun aimed at her chest. There’s an empty click and then a clatter as the gun hits the floor. He’s on his knees. Then he’s on the floor. Gasping and bleeding. She bends over him and yanks the knife out. Blood spurts out, puddling around his cheek. She remembers the time she accidentally knocked her goldfish’s bowl off her desk. How the fish had flopped around in the broken glass and pool of water, mouth opening and closing. How she had laughed at it; not out of cruelty but because it looked so ridiculous to her. He reminded her of that goldfish. Struggling to breathe, lying in a puddle. She bent down and put out her cigarette in his eye and he managed to scream. There was a hissing and crackling and she spit on him.
He scanned the faces behind the glass. Mothers? Fathers? Siblings? Four girls killed in cold blood. And her husband. Brutally murdered. He knew all of it to be fact. She’d given a full confession to her crime of passion. Surrendered herself to the police without a fight. But she was so gorgeous. An angel. Bodily manifestation of wrath. His heart in his throat, he gasped when the needle slid into her arm. One final fantasy of pulling his gun and shooting the doctor in the face. Shooting everyone. Unstrapping her and running away forever. He felt her stiffen as the sodium thiopental pushed through her veins.
Liquid fire runs through her veins; she closes her eyes and she’s seven years old, picking flowers in her backyard. She pulls one from the grass and gasps for breath. She falls into a sitting position, the criss cross applesauce rhyme running through her head. Everything whitens around her as she tries to breathe. Once. Everything brightens and illuminates around her. Twice. Opens and closes her eyes. There’s a man in a white coat next to her, holding a flower like it’s a syringe. Three. There’s man with unkempt hair holding her ankle and laying a flower on desperate chest. He smiles at her sorrowfully and she knows that at least someone loves her. Someone knows she’s human. She gasps for breath a fourth time, remembering the goldfish she’ll knock off her desk when she’s older. Tears stream down her face as she tries to take a breath for the fourth time. Everything is so white; she closes her eyes to shield them.
He’s still holding her ankle, even though he felt the life leave her. A single tear runs down his cheek as he lets go. His hands are shaking as he leaves the all white room and the gurney behind him. He doesn’t stop to get his things. He walks out the front door knowing he’ll never come back. The warm, dry air hits him hard as he walks over to his car. He gets in and sits for a moment before reversing and pulling out of the parking lot, sobs breaking free.