The once happy and blazing inferno had given way to a soft, halfhearted crackling from deep within the blaze. As it consumed the last of its meal, the fire seemed to slow, become lethargic, as though tired from the effort of burning. The light turned deep red as the leaping flames turned into smoldering embers. The last life of the fire still crawled across the blackened logs – Like a living beast trying to break free.
The fire was surrounded by litter, hanging around as if trying to gain the last bits of heat before it died. Cigarette stubs, empty bottles and crumpled cups. It looked like a scene from a Hollywood teen party. Hard to believe they had only been three people around.
Further back, a couple of camping chairs stood.
The tents just next to the chairs were abandoned and empty.
The scene looked abandoned, apart from two people lying on the hard ground. They looked like they had passed out after a long night.
One person was awake, however.
Red hair tied back in a messy bun.
Lesley was slumped in one of the chairs. Black shoes with white rubber soles, barely grazing the ground, brown pants, a white shirt and a green camouflage jacket completed her look. A lit cigarette hung loosely from one hand, giving off tiny wisps of grey smoke. A bottle hung loosely from the other.
She was staring deep into the fire.
Almost as if seeing something in the dying embers.
Tear tracks and ruined mascara lines decorated her face.
Her eyes – Usually a light brown – were bloodshot from the crying and the amount of drugs she had ingested.
She took a sip from the bottle. It dribbled down her chin and onto her shirt. Her white shirt covered in red stains. Taking a long, deep puff from the cigarette she was holding, she tossed it.
How had everything gotten so messed up?
Behind her chair one of the passed out bodies lay.
A closer inspection would reveal Jason was not passed out and had in fact been shot. Part of his neck blown away. His eyes were wide with terror. Clearly he had known what was coming.
A gun lay carelessly tossed at his side.
Later, when the police arrived they would find Lesley’s fingerprints all over the handle.
No honor amongst thieves. A bank heist should’ve made them all rich. Only Lesley was alive to enjoy the money now.
Wiping her tears and part of the mascara. Lesley glanced at Hannah. She had clearly been trying to run, when she was shot in the back. A bag lay at her side, it had opened up when she had fallen and money was spilling out.
Lesley couldn’t believe her brother and sister would do this to her.
Maybe she’d just never been part of the family. They were step siblings after all.
“We lied to you…we never cared.”
She couldn’t believe the only reason they had finally been nice to her was because they wanted to exploit her skills as a robber. For the briefest amount of time, Lesley had a family. And she had to kill both of them.
Alone, terrified and mentally reeling.
She was a tiny, insignificant child trying to make sense of a world that refused to accept her – yet again.
Bending down, she scooped it up and placed it in her mouth.
Staring at the barrel, she said:
“Please forgive me, God.”
She closed her eyes and her fingers tightened on the trigger.
And then a growl stopped her.
Across the fire, something with silver eyes stared at her, probing her soul and asking questions she didn’t want to answer.
It looked like a dog. But she’d never seen a dog so big. Her fur was white – grey, fur glossy and thick. Her paws caressed the earth with a precision and stillness. She had upright ears and they twitched every few moments.
The wolf stared at Lesley. Staring deep into her soul.
Time slowed won, Lesley dared not move, afraid that the wolf would attack her or take flight.
Staring at the wolf, she felt like transfixed.
Maybe she could one day be as free as the wolf, living out in the nature, with her family.
And the wolf was gone. Had it ever been there? Tossing the gun to the side, Lesley stumbled on to her feet.
Pulling the bag away from Hannah’s dead weight, she zipped it up, slung it over her shoulder and disappeared into the night.