February 2019

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They had to lead him here...OK, trail him here, but he's here and I'm done listening to him talk already. Breaking his jaw shut him up and now his mouth's wrapped around the gun, waiting. Silence suits him. I hope he likes the taste of lead. 

- - - - -

He throws a side-eye at the compound bow. "I paid for a hitman, not Robin fucking Hood."

I centre myself, exhale and loose the arrow. A figure by an open window across the street drops out of sight.

"Hitwoman. And it's Queen Robin fucking Hood to you."

- - - - -

I still feel you close in places you no longer are. Your resentment still finds my midnights and the ghosts of your hands still grip my shoulders in warning. I once changed the locks to exorcise you, but now I just look in the mirror and let myself smile.

- - - - -

They didn't convict him. Something about not enough evidence but really just covering up the evidence they had. Money changed hands under tables and people made selfish choices. It doesn't matter. The truth may never come out but his days are still numbered.

- - - - -

It wasn't deliberate, which I can't help but feel annoyed about. If I'd meant to run him over, I'd be feeling pretty good about myself right now, but he just walked out in front of the car and it kind of messed with my plans. Still, job done.

- - - - -

Dry desert air. My father's dark glasses and my mother's embroidered dresses. Gold dripping from wrists and fingers. Silk and coffee and calls to prayer meant for more godly ears. No such thing yet as a native language, but I could say thank you to anyone.

- - - - -

You exist in a constant transition between unstoppable force and immovable object. It must be exhausting, assuming everyone wants to stop you or move you. I'm not trying to change your direction, but I'm also not going to wait for the eye of your storm.

- - - - -

He looks like he could buy and sell everyone in the room if he felt like it. Not in a bougie look-at-me kind of way. Just like he's low-key loaded, but he doesn't have shit to prove to anyone. He looks bored too, thinking after better places. Aren't we all though?

- - - - -

Work's work, but the rest of the time I keep a lid on it pretty well. I'm not exactly sunshine and rainbows, but I'm also not going to cave in some rando's skull for taking my parking space. Or at least I haven't yet. There's still time.

- - - - -

Look, I'll get hangry if I don't eat something. I need to keep my blood sugar up, you know? I'm not going to ruin my dinner or anything. Just a little bit, for now. Only a small slice. You choose what part. After all, it's your body...

- - - - -

Saturday night was...something. Went out, got fucking munted and woke up with another total stranger. At least it looked like one person, but it was hard to tell cause they were in so many bits. There was definitely only one head though.

- - - - -

With the downlight casting a gentle glow against his hair, he looks almost angelic. Electricity is captive fire and wires breathe sunlight through glass against even the most undeserving. Blood doesn't show on a black suit. He opens his eyes and the temperature drops.

- - - - -

She whispers spells in poetry with tender words for time. Daybreak and eventide are satin and dreams. Forever is a sharpened blade, now used only to prune roses, a devotion born from the sense that growth comes from loss and all scars bloom eventually.

- - - - -

I always thought these rooms were a myth, but here we are, around the table. The intelligence agent. The instigator. The devil's advocate. The manipulator. And me, the rapporteur. The conference is tomorrow, but we're determining the path of fate tonight.

- - - - -

Wrong, abominable, irreparable, the bad thing that happens to good people, all my faces when I wake with my heart in my throat at 2am. A lingering sense of misplaced guilt kneels in the corner, the ghost of every time I didn't have anything to apologise for.

- - - - -

"They say I have tastes. If I wasn't rich, I'd just be crazy, but society has its double standards to live up to." She raises her glass with a smile. "Well, cheers!"

The neat rows of human skulls in their mahogany display case smile back, as they always do.

- - - - -

He arrived like a tropical storm, forecast, but with a severity no-one expected. It was more than a paradigm shift. He ripped traditions out by their roots, gripped our collective face in firm hands and turned us towards the future, ready or not. And we followed him.

- - - - -

"I don't feel well" he says, fake cough and everything.

I can't roll my eyes any harder. Malingering waste of space. "No-one feels well the day after their first job. Unless you're the one currently melting in a vat of acid, GET IN HERE."

- - - - -

At her behest, I sat in silence. "Now smile, darling," she whispered. And I did. The sweetest smile on the prettiest face, just like she always said.

She also said they never suspect the quiet young lady when the poison starts to work. She taught me well, my mother.

- - - - -

The weight of a teardrop  is somewhere between the 28 grams of your soul and the tonne of bricks that fell around me. The solid mass of loss can wedge itself into the hinges of a door and hold it achingly open. The coldest edge of grief can split a sunrise.

- - - - -

The Hávamál says something about how a lame man can still ride a horse. There's more to it but the point is you can be fucked up in a bunch of ways and there are still things you can do. Gets me out of bed in the morning, the thought of finding those things.

- - - - -

He hands me a beer and we raise our bottles in a casual cheers. "You did good," he says.

I shrug. I know. "I did OK."

He nods like it's the right answer. "You did good. Being humble doesn't mean you're not the best. It just means you're not an asshole."

- - - - -

The last time I saw you was at an event, a celebration. Someone's birthday, maybe. Someone getting engaged or starting a new job or reaching some other meaningless milestone. What I remember was you, smiling, entirely without substance, surrounded by lies.

- - - - -

He was a champion. Then he was a coach. Now he's the boss. His gloves haven't seen action in years and his hands shake a little pouring his morning coffee, but his eyes are sharp and his tongue's sharper. You still don't cross him or get in his way. 

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