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by Paul Heatley

The gun is inches from her head.

The old lady sleeps.

Rae sweats. Rae’s hand shakes. Rae steadies his finger on the trigger. His teeth are grit, his jaw aches.

This is his initiation.

When he kills the old lady, he’s in.

She saw something.

Shoulda minded her own damn business.

They wouldn’t tell him what.

There was nothin for her to see, yo. It was long past midnight, ain’t no call for her to poke her head out the curtains like that.

He thinks she saw them kill a man.

Five-o were round, askin her questions.

Or saw them dump a body. Behind the bins in the alley down the side of her house.

Shorty saw her talkin to em. Saw the bitch invite em in, make em drinks n’shit.

Rae just has to pull the trigger. Just has to make sure she doesn’t talk to any more police.

All he has to do is pull the trigger.

She’s dead.

He’s in.

He closes his eyes.

He pulls the trigger.

He lowers the gun and turns away and waits for the ringing in his ears to stop. He needs to go, but his legs are jelly. He doesn’t look at what he has done.


He freezes.

A boy’s voice, thick with sleep.

“You fall, gramma?” A different voice. A girl’s voice. “Whassat noise?”

He hears them get out of bed. Hears their bare feet patter across the floor. Hears them coming to him.

Her grandchildren.

Paul Heatley’s writing has appeared at Thuglit, Horror Sleaze Trash, Shotgun Honey, the Flash Fiction Offensive, and Near to the Knuckle, among others. His novellas The Motel Whore and The Vampire are available for Kindle from Amazon. He lives in the north east of England.