A Year Ago This Would Have Been An Unthinkable Act

She stood above the prone figure, sweat and grime coating her whole body, her stringy hair falling into her eyes, breath heaving from her lungs while her heart pumped blood through her veins with the force of a locomotive. Her hands shook, her whole being trembled.

The flight or fight instinct within was frazzled, her nerves shot. She wasn’t sure how she would react if the body at her feet even twitched. Her legs claimed that she would bolt, go in the opposite direction as fast as she possibly could. But hand demanded that fingers would tighten and pull the trigger again. Again, again, again until there was no chance that the body would ever rise. She would make it into pulp using bullets.

Honestly, she had no idea where she’d gotten the gun from. She supposed that it had belonged to her pursuer, but the transfer was lost to a blur of frantic activity and the overwhelming patina of panic. Panic that was telling her now that she should preemptively empty the clip into the so-far-still cranium.

Never in her life had she had to fight to survive as she’d done today. But today a madman had entered her campsite, slaughtering her friends one by one. Today she’d lost people she cared about, and refused to lose her own life as well. There had been a switch that had flipped on, probably around the time she’d watched one of them get beheaded via rusty machete, where she’d stopped being scared in any traditional way. Determination welled up in her, and she formulated a plan.

Here was that plan, seen to execution – no pun intended. If she had her way – and she would, this psycho would never harm anyone else.

Her breath slowed some, her heart calmed. She could leave him as he was, mostly certainly dead. She discovered that the idea of this was not at all comforting or satisfying. She lifted her hand and obeyed its earlier determination. The gun was loud, her ears rang after the clip was spent. Realization that she felt better hit her hard. There was nothing left of the head to speak of, no way he’d get up now. The tears came. Relief and horror for what she’d had to do mingled in salty wetness upon her cheeks.

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