The room spun and Daisy was forced to use the counter to steady herself or risk ending up face down on the bloodstained floor. Her vision blurred as her eyes filled with tears and she quickly swiped them away.

Under normal circumstances Daisy wasn’t much of a crier, at least not in front of people. She didn’t believe that crying was a weakness. In fact, she’d always felt that a good cry was rather cleansing. But she wouldn’t let others see her cry. She couldn’t allow that. Not ever. Not again.

Yet, try as she might, she couldn’t stop the tears.

Her head swam with more emotions then she was prepared to deal with: Fear of dying. Grief over the death of two people. Guilt for not being able to prevent the murder of the one and for ending the life of the other. Fear of the possible legal ramifications. Rage for being forced to take a life. And finally both the joy and the guilt that struggled within her for no other reason than surviving.

And so the tears came quick and they came easy.

She felt what she figured was supposed to be a comforting hand on her shoulder — the tall coward — and she shook it off with a growl.

“Uh,” he said.

“Go to Hell,” she said with a tightness.

She dabbed at her eyes, seeing nothing but tears.

“Uh,” the guy said again.

“What!?” Daisy spun on him with such a quickness that she could hear the air rush by her ears.

He stood there pale and shaking, his eyes wide like a pair of coffee mugs. His right hand still hung at his side and clutched at the gun. His left arm rose and he pointed at something behind Daisy.

She turned. She blinked. It was impossible. The old man was on his feet. Her knife still protruded from his chest. Blood oozed from around the blade, but it looked wrong. It was black, almost gelatinous.

“How?” The guy said from behind him. “You killed him.”

“I guess I didn’t kill him hard enough,” she replied.

If only she were as confident as she sounded. She was, instead, about to pee her pants. But she wasn’t about to let this guy see how scared she was.

Still, she had to do something.

“Shoot him,” she said without turning around.


“Shoot him,” she repeated. “You have the gun, asshole.”

The guy behind her didn’t reply, and she didn’t have the time to turn around to see just what the hell was taking him so damn long. The old man was already on top of her. She acted without thinking.

She planted her left hand on the old man’s chest, holding him back. It wasn’t easy. As frail and ancient as he looked, even with a knife sticking out of him, the old man was surprisingly strong. His teeth snapped at her as he struggled against Daisy’s restraining hand. She couldn’t hold him long. But then, she hadn’t planned to.

But then she saw something that made her pause. There was something in the old man’s mouth. Something black and shiny. Something that moved, almost skittered behind his teeth. She nearly dropped her arm and let the old man get her. Which is what snapped her back to attention.

She reached out with her other hand and took hold of the knife handle. Then she pushed as hard as she could. The old man stumbled back a few steps but the knife remained in her hand.

The old man recovered with another growl and came at her once again.

Then the tall criminal stepped up beside her, the gun held out before him, pointing at the old man.

She looked up at him and found that he had no compunction against letting his fear show, he wore it openly on his face as he opened fire.

Here ends Chapter Five.

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