by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
"How's he been?" my sister asks, entering the room I am not in.
"Not good." Our mother stands in the window, her silhouette like a beacon of dark across the city's nightlights. "During the day, he's okay. He even smiles. But at night." When she turns, our mother's gravel grey face twitches. "I'm running out of options here, Maggie."
My sister clamps her hand onto our mother's shoulder, pushes her as gently as she can into the nearest chair. Our mother's body is like a sack of potatoes. The room in which they stand, the room I have not entered for one full week, smells like rotting tubers. Through the haze of the plaster wall, I think I can even see some mold formations like eyes poking from the ceiling.
"You need to rest," Maggie says. "I can take it from here. You look like Hell. Have you slept?"
"He just keeps slamming his fists together," she says and lets her head fall into her hands and moans. I look at my hands, huge and veiny. I slam them together.
In the dark of this room in which I sit huddled in a corner, there is nothing for me but the memory of my victory like eyes from the ceiling, from the walls. I wish I could lock my hands together, because each time my fists meet they crack like the shot of a gun. Behind closed eyes I see black and blood and streaks of red leading from the door of the theater like the skid marks of a car. His car, the shooter's car, which he had parked outside, still running, the exhaust fumes muddying the smell of sweat and gore which would have told me where to go, where to find him. I found him anyway.
He killed them all, every person in that theater. So I wrung his neck; his bones snapped in these hands.