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His big fingers wrapped around her throat. His look was not of evil or cruelty, but of fear and panic. The sweat rolled in giant beads down his large forehead and into the scratches on his face, stinging the pulpy grooves left by her hard acrylic nails. He wished he could let go as her face turned pink to red to purple to white, but he didn’t know how to stop. His shoulder pulsed and his big thumbs pushed into her thin pale neck and he squeezed. If he let go now, she’d say he’d tried to kill him. If he didn’t let go, he was trying to kill her. He just wanted her to stop and leave him alone. His shoulder continued to pulse, and focussed on the pain for a while, let it calm him down. She had stopped struggling such a long ago. He opened his paw-like hands with a push, her limp body crashing to the dusty floor like she’d forgotten how to move. He tried to swallow but couldn’t. He stepped back from her unmoving body.

‘Missy?’

‘Missy can you get up?’

‘Please?’

She ignored him and stayed still. Very still.

He looked at his big hands, and they were splattered with red.. He tried to wipe it off with his dirty overalls, but it just smeared and spread on his large calloused hands. He looked around the screamingly still and quiet barn. Sunlight arced in through the slats of the wood of walls, and the dust danced in the sharp spotlight beams. One of the beams with the dancing dust shone on the very still Missy on the floor. God was shining a torch on this broken little woman, this little woman that he had broken. Another beam shone down on the little broken woman’s little gun. Her little smoking barrelled gun. Her little gun that had a smoking barrel that reminded him of the oozing, pounding ache in his shoulder. Her little smoking barrelled gun that seemed so small in his large fingers. Her little, smoking barrelled gun that he could barely hold, but yet sounded so very loud for such a very short time in his ear.

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