By Emily Lannon, Managing Editor

The gun clattered from her shaking hands to the floor as the shot fired off, going wide and missing the figure that scurried behind the wall. She cursed, a sob shaking her body, as she pulled herself to the ground and tucked her knees under her chin. The sound of boots on the tiled floor behind her bring her back to the moment and she tries to right herself, grabbing for the discarded pistol with one hand and wiping at her eyes with the other. Before she could pull herself to her feet, a rough set of hands did it for her. Calloused fingers grab at her shoulders as they lifted her to standing, and she knew who it was before she opens her eyes.

“The fuck Alice? What do you think you’re doing? You could have killed him! Where the hell did you get my gun?” Her brother’s words were harsh and biting, but laced with concern. His eyes searched hers for answers, finding none he pulled her close for a moment, glad she was safe. After a beat he pulled back, retrieving his gun in the process and keeping it at his side, not yet holstering it.

“H-h-he was going to, again, and I just couldn’t, the bruises…”. She finally managed to stammer between frantic breaths.  He caught on, something clicks in his head and he understood, and he hated himself for not noticing sooner. She always had bruises but she was always doing stupidly reckless things and he had never thought, never wanted to.

“Hey, hey,” he softened, and attempted eye contact while trying to be aware of the environment. The living room was in disarray, signs of the struggle clear, coffee table upturned, magazines scattered, couch cushions pushed out of order and falling to the floor. The front door he had entered from still opened to the street where his police cruiser was haphazardly parked.  Across the room from their spot in the corner a bullet hole marked the doorway to the hallway where her intended target had disappeared to. “I’ll be right back. You stay here, I’ll take care of it, just please stay here.”  He kissed her forehead and eased her to the floor where she curls into herself again.

Suddenly there’s a crash of glass from what sounded like one of the upstairs bedrooms and he took off through the hall to the stairs. She didn’t see any of this though.  Her eyes had been squeezed tight since he set her down, trying to calm her breathing. She heard his boots ascend the stairs, not quite sprinting but that weird tactical run that he developed at the police academy. She heard more glass shatter, a bottle against the wall if she had to guess, and brings her hands up to her eyes.  Pulling her hands down her face she opened her eyes and confronted the scene before her. The sight of the disturbed couch brought her back to the events of only a few minutes prior.…………

To be continued…

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


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