Word Prompt: Window

Scenario: Write about the most difficult decision you've ever had to make.

Complete the scenario in any way, in any style, and for any word count. Open your mind and follow where it leads, writing as you go.

SM owns Twilight. This Edward originated in last October's witfit (three entries, Stomp, Recover and Young if you're interested) so it's funny (funny weird, not funny haha) that he popped into my head when I saw this prompt. Rated M for language, violence and assault. unbeta'd (be nice to me)

The TV dinner sat untouched in front of him, greasy gravy congealing on the sorry excuse for a steak, the potatoes as cold as the rain-pelted window pane to Edward's left. He'd thought he should eat something, keep his strength up, but once the food was in front of him had found the idea revolting. The motions of cutting the food, piercing it with a fork, chewing, swallowing seemed impossible. His stomach heaved. There was no way anything would stay down.

He checked the clock and blew out a breath. That couldn't be right. But no, it was. The sun was just starting to set, not that he could tell much through the gloom of the rainclouds, but the sky was darkening, just. Hours yet. He couldn't go back to the warehouse until nine. James had said nine and Edward didn't dare defy him.

Not while James had Bella.

Edward's stomach rolled again and he cursed at himself. Maybe he should call the police. James had said not to but they always said that in movies, the gangster ones, the kidnapping ones.

Don't call the fuzz or the dame gets it.

This wasn't a movie, unreal as it all was. James was a loose cannon. Unpredictable. Dangerous. Demented.

Edward tried to think. What would James do if the police showed up? He sure as hell didn't seem the type to throw his hands up and surrender. Would he kill Bella? Edward scrubbed at his face, rubbed his eyes, trying to rid himself of the vision of Bella slumped, throat slashed, blood gushing. He shook his head. No. No, he'd have to do it himself. Bella was counting on him. He wasn't leaving her there again. James would have his money, twice what he'd originally asked for. Bella'd been in that grey, cold room for a day and a night. Too long. A day and a night too long. No more.

He shoved the foil container away in disgust. It bumped into the small handgun he'd found upstairs, sending it spinning on the table making a sound like a toy, a top spinning, until it stopped, the muzzle pointing toward Edward like a macabre version of Spin the Bottle.

In desperation, he'd gone through his parents things for the first time, he'd never had the heart to before. If they were to come back to life they would find their home, their things, exactly as they'd left them. Except for the gun Edward had found in his father's closet.

The gun changed things. James had that fucking knife-and he was deadly with it. Edward thought about the knife, the way James had wielded it at the carnival, the oohs and ahhs of the crowd. James had thrown again and again, the silver blade flashing as it skewered pieces of paper and rubber chickens to the thick wooden slab set up as a target. Awe-inspiring accuracy. Terrifying skill. James had invited people from the crowd to learn to throw.

"C'mere, beautiful," he'd said to Bella. She shook her head, grabbed Edward's hand and tugged. James had jeered. "What's the matter? Your old man doesn't let you do anything fun?" Edward had turned back-to do what he didn't know-and James put his hands out in that universal and timeless man gesture that says 'come and get me'. Bella pulled on Edward's arm harder and he allowed himself to be dragged away. He'd been relieved really. "Yeah, better run along," James called after them. The crowd had laughed.

A week later, that same jeering voice was on the phone.

"Want your pretty little girlfriend back, Edward?"

In another man's hands a knife would be a minor threat. Not James. Edward hadn't seen a gun though, neither time he'd been in the warehouse. That didn't mean James didn't have one but Edward didn't think so. James was a show off. If he had a gun he would have waved it around. No, he didn't have a gun. Edward felt a thrill of dangerous confidence possessing one himself. Now the big questions.

Could he fire it?

Could he aim and fire? Head or heart? Edward had seen that in a movie too.

Could he kill a man?

He'd never even really been in a fight, not until Bella came around anyway. Edward made a sound, a half-choked laugh that was on the verge of becoming a sob. Everything had been wild since Bella showed up. Mostly good, almost all good. He looked out the window, watched the rain lash against it. Bella had arrived like storm, exhilarating and destructive, churning up already muddy waters and inviting Edward in to skinny dip. It was ridiculous that she wanted him. Edward had to count the weeks, think carefully. Less than a month and he couldn't imagine his small world without her.

James was a psychopath. And a liar. He'd asked for five thousand and Edward had delivered that amount, twice. He'd said he wouldn't hurt her. He had.

"Didn't anyone ever tell you not to trust a carnie, Edward?"

Edward thought about Bella, the last time he'd seen her. Tied up to a wooden chair, gagged, shaking. Her shirt torn and James leering.

"Now, don't look at me like that Edward. You were gone a long time. And I got bored."

Edward's stomach didn't roll this time. There was a lead weight there now, heavy and steadying. The rain pounded on the window, rattling the pane, streaming in clear, undulating ribbons. He reached out for the gun, aimed at his watery reflection in the window.

Yes. Edward could kill a man.

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