Written for the game Fire Starter–Writing Prompt #7
Eyes glassy and blood on the carpet. A fly buzzed as it flocked to the sent of blood.
It was a sweet smell. Thick and metallic in my nostrils as I checked my watch. Ten hours and fifty-three minutes since I’d been here last.
She’d told me to leave. “Everything’s fine.” Her hair was loose and hid most of her face. “It was a false alarm–you know, kids. Too many action films.”
And I believed her.
In his eyes, I saw only a little boy–peering out from the lounge with laughing eyes. So I believed her.
Now his eyes were empty. And his tiny hands clutched death–one gun, four bullets.
It was Southam for God’s sake. Tiny, quiet town with a village green and a river. “Good place for a bobby to start,” they said. “A couple of petty thieves now and again. Maybe a teen with illegal drugs once a year. You’ll do fine.”
This was not fine.
Ten hours and fifty-five minutes now, since I could have stopped him.
Mum and dad were still in bed, the sheets stained dark with their life. How long had he waited? Two hours? Three?
He confessed his crime. And then he committed it.
I found the baby in the tub. Arms stiff and curled across her chest.
Eleven hours and two minutes since I’d said goodnight and went home to my bed.
I shut my eyes as the sirens grew closer. And I wished that I could join them–one more breathless body in a house of silence.