The Last Murder

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Chapter 1

The time has come

by: Natasitsa
As I was lifting the pistol, my hand was shaking uncontrollably. A few steps away, tied in a crooked tree, facing me, stood my best friend, Mark, who was gazing me with two giant eyes full of rage and something else I couldn't detect. Just one movement of my finger and the bullet would be released...

The cries of the crowd were piercing my ears, and while they should force my legs to move, they did exactly the opposite; pinned me to the ground, like giant ropes envelopped around my ankles.

I should have stood on that spot, on the sand of the desert which was blazing under the scorching sun, for what felt like an hour, before I heard a shaky but shrilly voice, whispering behind me:
"What are you waiting for, you fool boy? Shoot!"

I managed to turn to the right and saw Osfald's white beard, shining in the sun. He was standing just behind me and I could feel his hot breath slaying the back of my head. My coach gave me a toothless smile, lifted his wrinkled hand and gripped the back of my neck. I could feel his nails scraping my skull, almost biting through the flesh.
"Five hundred dollars for this, hear that? If you don't do it now, you know all too well what awaits you. Don't you?" he muttered and kicked my leg.

I broke free of his grip and rubbed my leg, which felt ripped off. Osfald smiled to the crowd again, pretending that nothing had happened but I could feel his fiery eyes burning my back, as I stood to face Mark again.

I gulped, my breath barely coming out. The task was before me. I had done it a million times before without a single moment of thought. I had eagerly pulled the trigger and set fire to lots of men and women who were threatening Osfald's Company. However, this time, it wasn't just any random person. It was my friend, Mark, who I'd known since forever, who had showed me how to make a boat from paper, who had lent me his priceless silver ring for a day just because I couldn't stop admiring it, who had once saved me from darkness, when I risked falling into the pit of my garden. It was also the person who taught me that even death could not beat genuine friendship.

The task was something I had to do, though, if I wanted to gaze the world again and see dear old Lucy or my beloved son, Tony. Because, if I didn't accomplish it, not only would Osfald send his guys to capture my family, but I would also suffer the humiliation of my peers at the Company. And then, of course, I would close my eyes forever.

But when I turned the gun towards Mark, our eyes met through the dust that circled the desert, and a light travelled from his eyes to mine. His lips formed a nervous smile, in which all the meaning of my life was hidden; for, his smile was the flask where I had kept the only part of my soul that I hadn't yet sold.

He looked at me and I knew exactly what to do.

I counted up to three, placed my finger on the trigger and, accompanied by the renewed cries of the crowd, I turned around and found myself looking straight into Osfald's black eyes.

And then, I shot.

Among the defeaning crack that slashed the air, I saw the last remnant of his white beard, which vanished into a cloud of smoke and dust, and I knew for sure that, at last, everything had come to an end.


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