Six Heartbeats

     They were standing on the top of a windy tor, the late afternoon sun just barely taking the chill out of the air that coursed around them. One set of eyes squinted into the other's. White clouds puffed and streaked overhead. The wind died away, slowly at first, then so rapidly that the only sound left was the beating of two hearts and the breathing of two women. Beat. Breathe. Beat. Breathe. Eyes held. Breath stilled. Hearts slowed. Silence.

     "You think you're so clever." Acid. Bitter. Beat. Breathe.

     "Not really." Sad. Regretful. Beat. Breathe.

     "I should..." Beat. Breathe.

     "What? Kill me? Kiss me?" Taunting now. Beat. Breathe.

     "Both. Neither." Six heartbeats, and their weapons, cold gun metal and brushed aluminum were against each other's temples.

     "So this is how it ends, huh?" Eyes still locked. Ice blue and chocolate brown melding, wrestling, warring.

     "Yeah, I guess so." Poisoned bile drained away to softened sorrow. "It's the only way this could ever end. Ciao, bella."

     "Abientoh, chere." Fingers twitched. Sweat dripped. Saltwater slid into a pair of eyes just as fingers squeased. An explosion of sound skewered the silence.

One body dropped.

     The other, opened her eyes and smiled. "It was fun while it lasted."

     A tattered bandana mopped sweat out of blue eyes as the wind returned to the mountain top.



The Professor's Ghost

Message in a Bottle

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