It Wasn’t Me

So easily the center of his chest had opened, a blossom, a poppy, spreading in a flash of redblack. He dropped to the concrete, his knees buckling, eyes rolling to the back of his head. When he struck the ground, his hands slapped so hard, she winced, even though he no doubt couldn’t feel it at all. When his head smacked the ground, the skin split at his brow, another wound, and the hot life of him poured out sluggishly, no longer forced by any beat.

She heard an odd whistling, felt it on the back of her tongue, like something inside her tuning to a tinny and far-off radio. It never resolved into a scream, and so she closed her mouth, and lowered the gun. When the barrel touched her thigh, it burned; she dropped it, flinching, uttering low, rough, animalistic sounds from her throat.

“It wasn’t me,” she said to the body. “It wasn’t me,” she breathed, shaking, panting, lost, feeling the tears on her cheeks and hardly knowing if she were crying more for him, or for her.

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