The Early Moon Pressed an Eye to the Window

He couldn’t remember what he hit him with. Perhaps the soldier’s own gun. It was something metal, hard and cold like his mind. Yes, it was a rifle. He hefted it like a club, and the primitive part of his brain grunted approval.

They hadn’t heard him. They were so tightly knotted in each other--the soldier shoving into her like a panzer, all huffing and grinding--their bodies made one dim, moaning lump with four arms and four legs in the dusk of the room. They didn’t notice him standing in the doorway like a nervous teenager waiting for his first date, his hands clenching the rifle like a bouquet of death.

He knew the first swing for scything slaughter. No devil possessed his hands, no demon rode his mind and urged him on. He felt his fury uncoil from his thighs all the way up his spine, flashing down his arms and through the rigid length of the rifle. A single blossom of crimson bloomed from the butt of the gun, and she watched the soldier slump to the side and slide from her legs face first to the floor.

For a second her mind couldn’t grasp what had happened, and she stared up at him standing at the end of the bed with the butt of the rifle spattering hot drops on her foot. She yanked her leg away and backed up against the wall. A shrill wail startled her before she realized it was her own voice.

She was screaming. He stood there and shushed her as if she were a toddler, but the long screech undulated from her mouth like a viper, and she cringed against the wall staring up at him with her mouth gaping like a broken promise.

The second swing was a distant scene to him, like watching lovers on the beach while pretending to read a novel. The butt of the rifle rose like a silent red angel and kissed her throat with its crushing lips. A fluttering gurgle choked her scream and she fell silent, but she kept looking at him even as the whites of her eyes turned dark red.

He came closer to the moment, felt the pressure of the metal on his palm, followed the length of it from his hand straight out to her throat, and realized he was still pressing her against the wall. He pitched the gun across the room and leapt to catch her before she fell forward to join the soldier on the floor. She leaned against his chest, her body spasming slightly.

He held her and listened to the wretched rattle in her throat. He couldn’t think, so he just listened in the darkness as her wet breath struggled in and out of her lungs. He knew she would stop breathing soon, and then...

Then he would see if there were bullets in the rifle.

The End

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