I can see the twitch beginning in the thick of your brow, as your eyes tighten and narrow. Your lips part, purse, then close. You decide to stay silent, and drum your fingers on the beer-stained coasters dividing the space between us.

You’ve modeled a therapist’s face of support and understanding for so many others, that you default to it automatically with me, despite how unnatural it is between us.

I speak first, and smile around my words. “It’s true. I kill people for money.” I adjust the gun beneath the table, as awareness bleeds the color from your cheeks.

(Written for The PredictionChallenge words: divide, model, speak)

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storyteller, artist, & fervent mountain roamer. find my collection of flash fiction, Unusual Diction, at

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