(4) Katherine

Seth Horne was an evil man. The greatest adversary to the people he wants to be in charge of. The very people who would determine his fate as their leader are the ones he’s killing.

You wanna know the worst thing about the whole thing is? We all know what’s going on. This exactly was never a secret because there was nothing we could, or would, do about it. And they know that.  

No one has said anything, and no one will because no one feels fear anymore. Being afraid, scared, and frightened no longer exists – just like it’s been for many generations now.

We lost our ability to be fearful since humanity began believing that we no longer had any threats our existence. As a species, we are arrogant enough to be sure, with every fibre of our being, that we are at the very top of the food chain.

Seems like everyone’s ignored the fact that since the beginning of our existence we’ve been destroying each other and that fact will always remain true. Though, for a while, it appeared as if it had indeed ended – at least that’s what I thought right until I made that discovery and ever since I’ve had my doubts things have been just peachy this whole time – but then there was Seth Horne.

*****

I catch myself watching him sleep. Lying there, he seems almost innocent.

Almost.

I close my eyes and shake my head back into focus. I stretch my fingers a little before repositioning them on my rifle. Once more, I move my head to make sure the dart is in the right position and doesn’t fall from the end of the gun.

As I kneel here, on the roof of an apartment building opposite Seth Horne’s own home with a loaded rifle in my hands, I think back to how I ended up on the roof. How this had all started…

*****

One of my babies was asleep in her crib while my eldest son had fallen asleep against my shoulder.

At first, I enjoyed the peaceful sight. Seeing their little chests rise and fall in time with each other. That sight alone was enough to put me to sleep every night. Then one day, it was no longer enough.

As each new day had come and gone, my handle on motherhood was weakening. I had tried everything to bring myself back from the edge but nothing seemed to work and I was getting help from nobody.

That all changed as soon as I found The Market.

My first time was simultaneously the best and worst high I had ever felt. There is nothing else like it.

I could feel that pill being absorbed into my body during that very first time. In that moment, my fully dilated pupils were able to view the world with a total awareness of my surroundings. I could think and feel things that I had never experienced before. My body was reacting in ways I’d never known was possible: my heart and my brain were working so much faster, I could anticipate things moments before they happened, I reacted within an instant if I thought something bad was going to happen to my children.  

For the first time since my children’s father had left, I had felt like a decent mother. Like I was worthy to have them as my children.

But that feeling didn’t last. Soon enough the pills weren’t enough and I needed something much stronger…

*****

My hands begin to shake so I take them off the rifle and start rummaging through my backpack. I find my medical kit and take out a tourniquet, phial and syringe. I used my left arm to tie the tourniquet to my right arm just above the crease. I begin to fill the syringe and then push the full needle into the vein I had made rise to the surface before squeezing the cool, dark substance into my system.

It takes a few moments, but I notice the tremors in my hands fade and I sigh.

Before I can reposition myself behind the rifle, I notice Seth has woken up and left his bed.

Shit!

This couldn’t be good. What if he could see me? What if he woke up and saw everything from his window?

No, I won’t take the risk. Maybe it’s just my paranoia kicking in but I think I should just try again another time. I know his schedule inside and out, I can make the hit another time but for now, I must focus on getting off that roof without getting caught. I have my family to think about as well.

I take my black cloak out of my bag and put it on before replacing the empty space with the rest of my equipment. As I stand, I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket. It’s a text from my daughter but I have to ignore it. Not just because of where I am and what I’m doing, I’m still mad at her for what I caught her doing the other night with her brother and their friend. The worst thing about it is that I haven’t confronted them about it yet, and I doubt I ever will.

I don’t want them to know. I’m afraid that they will find out. But now, after what I saw the other night seems more and more like a possibility. When I saw them there, at The Market, the mother in me wanted to go and stop them. I wanted to take them out of there before they turned into monsters like myself.

But I couldn’t. My job was more important. The lives of the many outweigh the lives of my children and their childhood friend. Simple mathematics, right? I guess a part of me thought that I could go there, get what I wanted and still have enough time to save them before it was too late. I should know by now that you can never have everything your way all the time.

My thoughts are interrupted by the ringing of my phone. I go to decline the call before someone hears it but I accidentally answer the call instead.

‘Shit!’ I shouted.

On the other end of the call I can hear a young girl’s voice cracking in between sobs, ‘Mum, is that you? Something’s happened and I need you. Something really, really bad. I’m so sorry.’

‘Tiana, what’s going on?’

Word Count: 1,081

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