Deny. Deny. Deny.

One. Two. Three. She caressed each bullet in her fingers before sliding it into the chamber. Four. Five. Six. Her heart fluttered with each click of the barrel accepting another piece of lead. She had done this hundreds of times, but tonight was different. Before tonight, she had only done it for practice. This was the real thing. The stakes were higher, the risks deathly real. She slid the revolver into the small of her back, the cold metal sending pleasurable shivers up her spine.
She looked at herself in the mirror. She both hated and loved what she saw. She loved how her Packers sweatshirt disguised the lethalness that lay underneath. But then she looked herself in the eyes and she began to doubt. Am I good enough to actually pull this off? She suddenly smacked her hand across her cheek, hard. “No.” You will pull this off. You have to. For him. She grabbed her duffel bag, laced up her running shoes, and headed out of the hotel room into the cold winter’s night.
The snow glowed gold with the soft light from the full moon, lighting her path as she walked down the quite side alley. She turned the corner onto University Avenue and continued down the sidewalk, not noticing that the passing cars splashed her with dirty slush. She was focused on one thing and one thing only. She looked at her phone. 10:50. She had ten minutes to set up. Plenty of time…
West Village #3. This is it. Game time. She bounded up the steps and entered the building. Thankfully, the halls were empty and the stairwell was too. When she reached the fifth floor, she glanced around, searching for the maintenance steps. She had one more level to go. She spotted a ladder-like structure at the end of the hall and sprinted for it. She jumped on the third rung and climbed furiously, eager to get to the top. She pushed open the trap door and hoisted herself into the starry night sky. A shiver ran through her body, but she didn’t care. She walked over to the edge and looked over. Such perfect position. It was meant to be. She strolled along the edge, watching the people below.
A few cars rolled by, one honking at the other. A gaggle of drunk girls were laughing and yelling obnoxiously at three soccer players on their way to McDonalds. But she was more interested in the couple sitting a bench. The girl was slender, even in a heavy winter coat. From the roof she could see that her baby blue eyes only completed her angelic face. She seemed worried. The boy, very handsome, was saying something to her. The girl’s shoulders started to shake and not a second later the boy had drawn her into his chest. Ariel’s heart leapt. He held her there for a minute, then gently pulled her away so he could look in her eyes. He put his hand on her neck, pulling her towards him. Oh so tenderly he kissed her forehead. Ariel’s eyes welled with tears and she wanted to rip her heart out of her chest. “All I want in the world…”
She pulled herself away from the scene. “Focus, focus, focus.” Ariel angrily wiped away the pathetic tears. She was done crying. Tonight, she was going to do something about it. She threw her duffel bag down and unzipped it. She glanced around to make sure she was hidden and got to work.
Within two minutes, she had her MK11 set up and loaded. All that was left to do was aim and fire. She laid down, the concrete cold on her stomach, and looked through her sight. It took a few seconds, but she quickly found her target. “Thank God she always leaves the blinds open. No heat-seer tonight.” She reached behind her and put her extra heat scope back in her bag, her eyes never leaving Marie. She danced around her room, primping her hair. She pranced to her mirror and admired herself. Ariel could feel the hate beginning to rise up. She was so vain, conceited, and selfish. She never thought of anyone but herself. She took, but never gave. And it was killing the person Ariel loved. She couldn’t have that. That was why she was here tonight. She had shed so many tears, suffered so many bruises and sleepless nights because of Marie’s selfishness and total disregard for others, especially for Patrick. But after tonight, he wouldn’t have to feel that pain or worry anymore. Ariel would make sure of that.
Marie’s head snapped around, a sound calling her attention. “Knocking. He’s here.” Ariel saw her grin as she turned to answer the door. Sure enough, there he was. As soon as the door closed, Marie shoved him against it, mashing her face into his. He didn’t seem to mind. Ariel’s heart was seized with pain. But the pain wasn’t from seeing the man she loved making out with another girl. It came from knowing that after she made love to him, Marie would either ignore him or yell at him or go out and screw another guy, all of which made him hurt. Ariel couldn’t stand to see what that hurt caused Patrick to do to himself. White, hot anger flowed through her veins. “Let’s go, b****.” Ariel took a deep breath, nestled the butt of the rifle in the notch of her shoulder, and settled in behind her sight.
They made out at the door for a good five minutes before the first article of clothing came off. Or more accurately, was ripped off. “Damn…. Please don’t make me do this when you’re naked Marie…” Ariel’s heart stopped. It looked like Patrick was looking straight at her. “He can’t see you, he can’t see you, he can’t see you…” Patrick leaned down and whispered something into Marie’s ear. She hesitated, kissed him again, and turned around. Ariel’s muscles tightened. “Here we go.” Marie walked straight towards the window. The cross hairs split her pretty face into even fourths. “Won’t be pretty much longer….”She had a straight shot, except for the fact that Patrick was right behind her. “A little to the left Marie… common….” It was almost as if she had heard her. Marie moved to the left, reaching for the string to shut the blinds. Ariel breathed in, breathed out. “Still. Relax. Pull.”
Ziiip.
A millisecond later, Marie dropped to the floor, motionless. Ariel expected Patrick to move, but he just stood there. A small grin played at his lips, then it grew into a full out smile. His shoulders shook with laughter. Suddenly, he looked out the window. Ariel felt his stare. He knew she was out there. Ariel grinned. “Good”. He smiled at her and bent down. “What the hell is he doing?” A few minutes later he stood up, his fingers covered in blood. “What’s he holding?” she whispered to herself, jamming her eye into the scope trying to get a better view. It was a small, silver oblong object. He held it out for her to see. “No…” Ariel couldn’t believe it. Patrick grinned at her as he put the bullet in his pocket. He looked straight at her, his dark eyes oh so intense, and mouthed something to her. “Deny. Deny. Deny.” And with that he left the room, the door closing gently behind him. It was as if nothing had happened.
Ariel smiled to herself as she packed away the rifle and stood to leave. She turned back to look through the window one last time. It could’ve been any other dorm room. Nothing different about it. Except for what lay just out of sight beneath the window.

“Deny. Deny. Deny.” That she would. And with that, she walked away.





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