[This is six months later from six months earlier, therefore it's the same moment as the first post.
If you want to write something that happens concurrently then we'll have to invent more characters.]
One of you is going to, maybe both. Change my mind. Go. A blueish mist puffed from my mouth with every word and with every breath between. To my right the moon was low and large and such that Sasha was only a silhouette. Her black shape was highlighted blue-white which almost made her look pretty. Almost. Behind her, a few fleeting glints of moonlight reflecting off of the rippling surface of the Pacific were the only indication that the vast body of water was even there. The western horizon was invisible. The boardwalk had no artificial lights this far out and here at the end of it the darkness overwhelmed. Too dark for me to read her face. If I could have seen it, I could have read it.
He stood to my left where he had approached us from the shore. I could see his face clearly. He wore a worried expression, naked and sincere, that was confessing to me. It confessed that this wasn’t a setup. I didn’t think it would be. This time I outsmarted him. I outsmarted both of them. Sasha was to my right, Edwin to my left, and I was standing in the middle with a gun in my hand.
I didn’t need the gun. Killing was my fortay and I had a dark prerogative. A gift. A good friend of mine–my only friend–had insisted that if I was going to do this I should do it as my old self. My old self. What he meant by that was that I should avoid killing them using my gift, that I should deal with it the way I would have long ago; before all of this. Sure. Then maybe afterward we could all have coffee and pancakes and when we looked back on this, oh, would we laugh! Sure.
Edwin stared into the muzzle of my pistol and it stared back at him with a single black eye. He was wearing jeans and a plain white t-shirt. An average Joe if he weren’t standing on a boardwalk at the deepest hour of the night with that perpetual look of smug satisfaction on his face. I could see it even in the dark, even through the worry. It drove me half way to the cookie hut as my father would have said.
The air was cold and moist, the night quiet. The only sound was of the waves beneath us. The ocean respired, slow and calm and eternally patient. It seemed like the world was waiting for something to happen. The world was waiting on me.
Might as well hunker down for a long stay, Marc, because we aren’t going to do anything.
His voice sounded muffled and distant though he wasn’t very far away. The breathing body of water below sounded louder than his voice. Behind him, a distant orange rectangle of light shone in the middle of a house-shaped blackness at the crest of a large hill. Someone getting a mid-night snack, maybe. Someone with a normal life up there. Well fuck them.
Silence reclaimed the boardwalk momentarily. The ocean inhaled. Exhaled. Eternally patient. Waiting. Waiting like me. For what? I don't know.
No one needs to be hurt here Sasha said and I laughed at the irony of it. The reason we were here is because I already had been.
One of you is going to be, maybe both. Change my mind. Go. I said, and then they had nothing to say. They were speechless. It looked like I was going to have to be my own mediator. Bad idea Edwin. Bad idea, Sasha.
I always hated him but I once loved her. Funny how love changes so eagerly into hate. Funny how the opposite is not true. Hate is better, anyway. When you hate someone at least you know where you stand with them. That’s the luxury of it; you can see the whole damn chess board and make out which of the pieces are not yours. That’s why I was embracing it now.
I looked to Sasha and the shipping end of my pistol followed my eyes. I pulled back the hammer. She did not have a smug expression like him, but she didn’t look worried either. The ocean below inhaled, and seemed to hold its breath. She issued a vague gesture; something like a shrug, and if under daylight you may have seen a brief spray of red mist bloom from her back. She bent forward and fell backward. If she were only a foot closer to me she would have landed on her ass with the width of a plank separating her from the cold and unforgiving water and maybe–just maybe–she would have survived. Instead she landed on her ass only a few inches past the last plank but that was far enough and she tipped over the edge like some morbid midnight scuba diver. Looking back, I wish she had survived.
I heard the splash and I felt as cold as Sasha did at that moment. The intimately familiar coldness enter me as Edwin rushed toward me wearing a twisted expression of anger that still hinted at that damned smug look of his. The cold started in my hands–it always did, that was normal, but it seeped through the rest of me with a quickness that was not normal. Edwin was almost upon me when I looked down to upturned palms and realized the change was happening with a frightening quickness. His eyes followed my own and in an instant he had stopped. The smugness I hated had finally been wiped clean off his face. My hands had caught his attention, hands which were now only shadows of blackness and the shadows were spreading up my arms like some kind of sentient ink trying to engulf me. My god, he said, it`s you.