Bringing Her Back

“Put it down,” she said, and I could see her pulse in her throat. “Put it down before you hurt someone.”

“Fuck off,” I said conversationally. “I’m here to hurt someone.”

“I don’t want to get involved,” she murmured, her hands up, her eyes huge. Bitch had ridiculous hair, full of dreads and braids and ribbon and bullshit; I wanted to rip it out by handfuls. “How ’bout you just let me go?”

“How about you’re the first one I hurt?” I asked, grinning. I wasn’t going to let her get any closer. Crazy people could mess you up, and I knew she was crazy — you could tell by the way she looked at me, like I was some kind of alien. I pulled the trigger and she doubled over and hit the floor, kicked twice, and then went still. “Good,” I said, nodding. “Stay down.”

Everything was going fine until she got back up again. No blood. No nothin. She tossed me somethin and when I caught it, that’s when she had me. It was the bullet I’d shot at her, flattened. Spent. And then I was moving, but not myself. Something was forcing me to move. She was — I could tell. Bitch had that smug look. She made me take my gun and put it in my mouth. She made me put it against my teeth. She got up close and watched my face as she crooned, “Just remember, when you get to Hell, you had a chance to change how this all went down.”

I woke up in a field of fire; I could smell my own gunshot, taste my own blood on the back of my tongue.

Mostly I could still see her face, smiling.

I’m not allowed to leave Hell for long, but that’s all right. All I need to do is find Miss Fucked Up Hair, and then I’m bringing her back with me.

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