The rattle of her lungs made her rethink about picking herself up off the floor; she laid there, with her left cheek pressed to the cement, blinking slowly, trying to focus on the boots of the man who stood over her. She kept being distracted by the slow motion of her own right hand opening and closing against the rough stone; she inhaled — her fingertips scraped the surface, and she blinked her eyes shut, long lashes sticky with blood. On the exhale, her hand opened again, and so did her eyes. She wondered, if her hand stopped moving, if her lungs would give out, as well.
The fuzzy outline of those boots walked out of her line of vision, but not far. She could hear their dull clack as the person wearing them paced behind her.
“Whut ah don’ unnerstan, Cat, ‘s’how a smart girl like you ended up doin’ somethin’ s’fuckin’ stupid,” he said, his Oklahoma drawl mutilating the words.
“Aw, honey,” she said, without any idea of how she found her voice, “I’m surprised you understood how to swallow breakfast ‘n put on pants this morning, much less understand the motivations of someone who can obviously pronounce more consonsants than you.”
She never saw his boot draw back; the last thing she saw was her hand open, and then close.