There’s a chair in the corner of the room, the ashtray is filled with cigarettes. “I brought some more clothes for you, as you’re pretty filthy dear.” Edna sets the clothes onto my bed and sits back into the chair. Lighting two cigarettes she sets one in the ashtray then flicks the Zippo closed. “Go ahead sweetie, get changed then you can have a smoke.” I undress in front of her. Her eyes examine me, I enjoy it but hate it. Uncomfortable I pull open the bag with the clothes, a suit with everything needed. I dress in haste, wanting to leave the watching eyes of the white room. I get to the tie when I have trouble moving my fingers. Edna walks over to me and places the cigarette into my mouth. “Let me fix that for you handsome.” She does the knot as the cigarette makes me feel lightheaded. “There we go, you look as sweet as sugar,” she says running her hand across my face, her thumb makes its way over my lips. I close my eyes, I enjoy the sensation, I want to lick her finger, but don’t. She removes her hand so I open my eyes, missing her touch. She tastes the end of her thumb, sucking on it slowly. “Yep, sweet.” She says. I smile, she smiles. Edna walks over and puts her cigarette into the ashtray, I mimic her. She flicks the silver earring on her ear, I find it strange how she only wears one, it’s probably because she’s so unique. “Well dear, I suppose it’s time for us to leave this dreadful place, come now and take my arm.” I do so and the white room vanishes.
Phones ring, people walk around us in an urgency, as if too preoccupied to notice us just appear. Suits, cases, dresses, movement, always movement. I feel frightened. I tighten my grip on Edna, her hip feels bony and metallic. She looks at me concerned but slips to a smile. My eyes dart to each wondering face as Edna guides me to the receptionist behind an awkward shiny desk. “We need up, to see them, and be quick about it, dear.” Edna says. The woman, or man, I can’t put into my mind if they were even there. My mouth felt dry, I listen for a sound in the corner, but phones ring. Edna turns to me and fixes my tie. “Don’t you worry, this will all be through with soon enough.” I smile and nod at her. The being behind the giant, or small desk, says something and Edna nods to her then turns back to me. “It’s time for us to go up.” There is a metal clicking sound and a panel next to the desk moves to the side. The trustworthy ding of an elevator sounds as the doors open. I follow Edna inside.
It feels as we move with great speed, but I can’t tell if it’s up or down. Edna lifts up the end of her dress. I stare at the exposed skin as she pulls the pistol that’s taped to her hip and hands it to me. “We’ll be king and queen of this place, we will.” She says as I examine the pistol, the wieght of the gun fills good in my hand. “Put that away before you hurt yourself, dear.” Edna says reaching for something in her underwear. I tuck the pistol on my lower back. It kind of pokes me, but I move my legs a little and the feeling settles. Edna brushes her dress straight again then looks up to my watchful eyes. “Well if you like what you see now, the reward will be greater dear if you do what needs to be done.” The elevator seems to speed up with my heart rate. “Oh yes, you dropped this back there.” She hands me a lighter, a Zippo. I try to remember where I dropped it. “If only Eugene could see this.” Edna says, a second passes, the elevator dings, and with that, I remember where I left my device last.
Edna walks in front of me, I stare holes into the back of her head as she walks up to kid behind the desk. They exchange words, but I don’t know what they say as the relative notion of killing her now sings in my head and heart. So bombarded with thoughts I just stand there, burning holes.
A buzzer sounds and plain looking oak doors open. Edna takes several steps before she motions me to join her. I shake the thoughts and catch up. As we step through the door seven elderly people sit around a conference table. They watch us as we walk in. The doors close with a quick thump behind us, Edna is grabbed by some scrawny, but surprisingly strong old man. She kicks and elbows him but he keeps his grasp of her. The others at the table begin to stand when I yank the pistol from its hiding place, it scrapes my skin, but I ignore the pain. With shaking hands, I point the killing part at the man at the end of the table. He rolls a silver ball in his palm then looks up to me. “Oh, boy, well this was bound to happen at some point, which is funny to say. What we mean is, see…” I interrupt him. “Just shut the fuck up, just shut up!” he spins the silver ball on the table and it moves to an elderly woman who begins to speak. “Hasn’t anyone ever taught you manners, well I suppose being an orphan you didn’t quite have the luxury of parents to do such things for you.” I shift and point the gun at her. “They’re toying… Uhh… They’re just toying with you dear, shoot them, and let’s get this over with.” Edna says struggling with her attacker. My hands shake more as the old woman spins the ball back to the man at the end of the table. “Oh what a sweet one, she’s still playing with that idea, want to be the queen you always wanted to be. How quaint, but oh so tiring, but I guess, can gods really become tired?.” Their old wretched heads shake in no’s. “We all knew this was going to happen sooner or later. We really did. It’s our jobs as gods to see all of this ahead of time, we know each move.” Everyone at the table shakes their head in agreement. The old man’s gaze turns to Edna. “We all knew, how you lost your lover, what was his name again, Eric or Ivan?” The rest of the voices make guesses as well. “It was Eugene you sick fucks, you cunts, you, you…” Edna’s yell patters to a lost hope. “Oh yes, Eugene, he was something else. That is however beyond the point at hand. You see Karl, if that’s what you’ll like us to call you, you see, we’ve all seen this, we all have, doesn’t work out for you, it doesn’t. I purpose you put down your silly weapon and just ride back home on the little stead you came on.” The shake melts away and my hands become steady. I take a deep breath and mumble under my exhale. “We’re sorry, we couldn’t quite hear you, speak up, child! You’re talking to adults here.” I lock his dead glossy eyes and in a steady voice, I speak. “You changed it.” His eyes widen as I exhale through my nose and squeeze the trigger.
His head jolts backwards, there’s a shocked murmur but they all stay in their seats. Like fish in a small conference room I exhale on each squeeze, their thoughts splash on the unimpressive walls. Exhale, squeeze, I do this for all seven at the table. I point my gun at Edna’s chest, I exhale, she ducks, and I squeeze. The eighth man dies on his way to the floor, though I was hoping for nine. “Hurry!” Edna grabs my hand, runs to the silver ball on the table, and picks it up. She turns the ball in one hand then looks up at me. “Eugene was right, it could happen.” Edna says then the room is gone.