Chapter 1:

Bloodstains

Red Christmas


Ava was trembling violently, and not just from the cold. Her hand wobbled erratically, shaking the gun she held.Bookmark here

"I have to do this." She thought desperately. "It's kill or be killed."Bookmark here

She glanced at the hooded stranger down the alleyway from her. She couldn't tell anything about them. It was so dark she could barely see them, anyway.Bookmark here

"Just like before." She tried to tell herself. "Just a practice."Bookmark here

The mantra didn't help. If anything, it made her feel worse. She levelled the gun to the back of the stranger's head and hesitated.Bookmark here

"Can I really do this?" One part of her mind asked herself.Bookmark here

"I have to." Another replied.Bookmark here

"It's wrong."Bookmark here

"It's your life or theirs."Bookmark here

"It's murder."Bookmark here

"It's self-preservation."Bookmark here

CRACKBookmark here

Unconsciously, Ava's finger had been tightening on the trigger during this internal battle. It wasn't until after the shot was fired that she realized what had happened.Bookmark here

The stranger jerked forwards, as if their feet had been swept from under them. They landed spread-eagled on the snow-covered ground, spilling blood everywhere.Bookmark here

Ava stumbled backwards, sweating. "Oh shiiiiiiiiiit... I've just committed murder... I'm a criminal..."Bookmark here

Somewhere off in the distance, sirens wailed, snapping her out of her reverie. Body plus only person around plus holding murder weapon equals prison sentence.Bookmark here

Ava ran. She ran so fast the world became a blur around her. She didn't stop running until she reached her house almost a mile away.Bookmark here

Sweating heavily, Ava slid the key into the door and fell through it, landing in a heap on the carpeted floor. Her flatmate, Laika, poked her head round from her bedroom door.Bookmark here

"Hey, you alright, Ava?" She asked.Bookmark here

"Yeah... I'm fine..." Ava panted. "Just tired..."Bookmark here

"Did you do it?" Laika asked, concerned.Bookmark here

Unable to say any more, Ava nodded. Laika frowned, as if expecting further elaboration, but got none.Bookmark here

"I think I'll go to bed now." Ava said wearily. The last thing she wanted to do at that moment was deal with Laika's wilful obstinance and interrogation.Bookmark here

She reached her room and faceplanted on the bed ; too tired to do anything, too anxious to sleep.Bookmark here

"I did it." She thought numbly. "I'm actually in..."Bookmark here

L. Moonlight
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TheHaoboSpatula
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Abraham B. A.
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Red Christmas


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