by J. T. Evans
“I’m going to kill her,” Mickey said in a dead-pan voice.
Joseph opened his mouth to speak as a tear escaped over his quivering eyelid. He found his voice, but only a whisper. “Not her.”
“You know I have to.”
Joseph’s voice cracked as he tried to sound stronger. “Anyone but her.”
“You haven’t given me a choice.”
“There’s always a choice.” He hoped the other man wouldn’t hear the quiver in his voice.
Mickey’s voice dropped to a low growl. “She makes you distracted and weak. You might have a choice. I don’t.”
Joseph scrubbed his hands through his messy, brown hair and looked down at the dirty toilet in the bathroom they shared. “Something else. Anyone else.” He wanted to add “please” to his statement, but didn’t have the strength.
“There are no other options. Her death is the only thing that can make you strong again.”
Snapping his eyes back up, Joseph stared at the visage before him. “Someone else can be the sacrifice.”
“Someone else? Like the time when you were eight? Who else could have burned in Mom’s and Larry’s place when I saved you?”
Joseph shook his head. “How about me? What if I die?” He kept his shaking hands at his side to keep the other man from seeing them.
Mickey threw his head back and laughed. When his mirth subsided, he said, “You know better than that.”
The young man narrowed his eyes. “There’s no need to kill again. She’s not a threat.”
“She was a threat from the first time you saw her.” Mickey glared back.
Joseph raised a fist and tried to sound stern. “No, she wasn’t. I have-”
Mickey roared. “You have nothing! Without me you are nothing but a weakling! I had to save you back then. I will save you now.”
Joseph cowered back from the sudden outburst and whimpered deep in his throat. “You can’t. I love her.”
With a raised eyebrow, Mickey asked, “Do you love her more than me?”
With a slight bit more force, Joseph whispered, “No.”
“Does she love you?”
More whispers. “I’m not sure.”
“That’s what I thought. Quit wasting my time.”
“See? You’re weak when it comes to her. She has to die. Tonight.”
Something inside Joseph snapped. He growled back at the leering man. “I won’t let you.” He raised his hand again, and slowly curled his fingers closed.
“You wouldn’t dare. I give you strength. I give you power. I protect-”
Joseph closed his eyes and slammed his fist into Mickey’s shocked face.
Mickey broke into dozens of pieces as the bathroom mirror in front of Joseph shattered under the force of the blow.
Joseph smiled as he squeeze his fist tighter over the sink. Blood dripped on the shards and washed Mickey away.
J.T. Evans arrived on this planet and developed into an adult in the desolate, desert-dominated oil fields of West Texas. After a year in San Antonio, he spent a year in the northern tundra of Montana. This year-long stint prepared him for the cold (yet mild compared to Montana) climate of the Front Range of Colorado. He has thrived in The Centennial State since 1998 with his lovely Montana-native wife and newly created son. He primarily pays the bills by performing software engineering and other technocentric duties. To find out more, go to: http://jtevans.net/