She takes the rifle in her hands: soft, nimble fingers flex around the cold metal trigger when it should a fountain pen or a hockey stick. Her breathing is shallow, the air hard to take in, almost as though she is being suffocated by the dark thoughts that enter her mind and fill up her head. She sees it again, the splattered blood on the white door frame. Hears it again, the shot of the bullet, her mother’s gasp. Smells it again, the putrid stench of iron that filled her nostrils until it was all that was left, like a storm cloud that fogged her brain and made her numb.
Without a second thought, her finger is flexed and the butt of the rifle jams into her ribcage. She winces, but doesn’t close her eyes. A crimson pool spills from the man in the chair, the first ink blot on a fresh page. He stares at her with blank emotion, the face of death leering out from his dead skin and dead body. And she smiles back, for she now knows that they’re going to be more than strangers. More than acquaintances. They’re going to be best friends.