Published in Knack Magazine Issue 34 (March 2016).
Stand Your Ground
I creep down my apartment’s dark hallway, beckoned toward the living room—beside the front door standing ajar, lock hanging loose—to investigate soft, persistent noises. I use both hands to grip the handle of the revolver I bought after Jeffery left for college—my fingers are numb and I can feel the heavy thing trembling in time with my arms. ‘I need a fucking dog,’ I think.
I peek into the doorway, at the shadowed back of the figure crouched by the DVD cabinet; I step into the room—he rises as he turns.
My finger contracts, the chamber releases—his head cracks backward before he drops, crumples on the rug. I turn on the light, head swimming—he looks young, Jeffery’s age, a child playing a game, blood like drops of melted ice cream coming from his open mouth.
My stomach turns to ice as I realize he’s still moving.