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Chronicles of a Broken World One - Dignity in Death

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Sometimes death is the only escape...

“Do it.” Her voice, while quiet, terrified him.

“I… I need a… give me a minute…” Even if she had failed to notice the way his hand was trembling, there was no doubt in his mind that his stammer betrayed his anxiety.

“We don’t have a minute. Do it now.” Nothing scared him more than how calm she sounded.

How could she be calm? Sometimes he wondered if she was even human. His hand was shaking visibly now, the once cold metal hot and sweaty against his palm, so he cupped it with his other hand to steady his grip. It felt heavy, a lot heavier than he remembered, like its weight had shifted from his trembling hands and settled weightily on his soul.

“I… I can’t.” He looked away from her as his arms lowered. He could not bear reading the disappointment that was undoubtedly written there as a testament to his cowardice.

“You disgust me.” Her words were flat, lacking emotion, yet their vehemence could not have been clearer than if she had spat them out at him in anger.

“I’m sorry. I just can’t.” He sounded every bit as defeated as he felt. She despised weakness, he knew that, yet he still could not bring himself to do her bidding. Not that time.

He was about to turn from her when her hand shot out to grab his, lifting his arms back to their previous position. He did not want to look at her, yet his gaze lifted as if compelled by some unseen force. There was no shared warmth as both her hands cupped his, no flicker of emotion in her eyes as she took one step closer to him, touching the hard steel directly to the spot he imagined her heart to be – assuming she had one.

“Do it. Now.” Her grip on his hands tightened, her fingers guiding his toward the task they would never have completed on their own.

The sound of a single gunshot sliced through the quiescent night air. It was louder than he had ever imagined it would be, but still he heard her soft gasp as the bullet ripped through her flesh. Her grip on his hands had slackened, the weight of the weapon no longer registering as he continued to grip its handle.

“Now was that really so hard?” Her voice was still eerily calm.

If swearing to something still counted for anything in the broken world they lived in, he would have sworn that for the briefest of moments he saw a flicker of emotion in her eyes right before they died. With no life force to hold her up, her body sagged and fell into a crumpled heap at his feet. He removed his coat and covered her naked body, affording her the dignity in death that she had never had any right to in life.

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