Death rushed towards me with each beat of my heart. After all, I could see the bloodied pieces of my body spilling out of the ragged wounds through my abdomen. The claws had ripped and torn and my minimal training hadn’t even enabled me to return one strike. Pain had torn the air from my lungs, stunning me long enough for the creature to knock me on my back and begin tearing away. I wasn’t sure what had pulled it away — a sound in the distance, perhaps? But even without it there to finish the job, I was done. I could feel my blood leaving my veins, my heart fluttering with slowing beats, every bit of strength leaving me.
Confessions of an Erstwhile Assassin
A year ago, my hands were covered in some poor bastard’s blood. Now my hands are covered in dirt. I used to wear gardening gloves for all of two weeks before I couldn’t stand the sensation — or the lack thereof. I can’t bear to distance myself from it: the soft loam breaking beneath my fingertips, the brush against something that scurries away…
The human race had been operating on borrowed time. We’d torn apart our world and continued doing so when every scientist agreed it would be the end of us. The safe havens we created when water became more precious than air, when the earth was scorched by the sun and then man-made horrors, were only meant to weather the storm for a while.
It seemed to be a fact of life that any bout of good luck was sure to be followed by bad. At least, that was what Rhiannon had determined over many, many years. Graduating college had been followed by a massive recession, so no one was hiring full-time. Finally finding a full-time job was rewarded with her car giving up the ghost before any sort of savings could be built up. And so, when she got the notification a lottery ticket she’d purchased (alongside a singular bottle of wine and a bag of chips) at a gas station had won...well, she just started bracing herself.