Persecution by Murder
by Bradley "DpsMiqote" Cleckner
Natasha drew the knife from the sheathe to run her gloved finger across it stopping at
the tip. She could feel it begin to pierce through the leather as she stopped it before it could
pierce the skin. She did not put it away but held it as she looked at the woman in front of her.
“Hello, Natasha,” said the woman.
“Hello, Mira,” replied Natasha.
Natasha had not seen Mira in years as their friendship had drifted apart. Natasha had
become the one who would say what Mira, the artist, could and could not create. She looked
up at the cabin and the patches of snow that hadn’t yet melted away on its roof as well as the
ground. Natasha could feel her boots want to sink into the ground as she approached Mira.
“Your hair has grown longer since I last saw it. I remember you liked to keep it at
shoulder length,” said Natasha.
Natasha could see Mira looking through a sketch book as Mira said, “I wanted to try
Natasha sat down next to her.
“You kept it blonde. It goes well with your blue eyes,” said Natasha.
Natasha said nothing else, and, for a few minutes, there was silence between the two
friends. Natasha would let he knife drop into the ground and take it back out only to let it fall to
pierce through the ground causing a small hole to form.
“When you cut my throat will you let the snow bury me?” asked Mira.
Natasha let the knife sit in the hole as it fell one last time. She didn’t want to pick it up.
“Mira,” said Natasha.
Natasha heard the book close with a hand touching her shoulder a few seconds later.
“You don’t want to ask why?” asked Mira.
Natasha placed a hand on top of Mira’s. At first, Natasha felt a coldness bite at her
gloved hand but soon that changed to warmth.
“Because I know the answer,” said Natasha.
“Is it wrong to love who we want to love? Is it wrong to express that love through art?
It is wrong to express it through the written word?” asked Mira.
Natasha took Mira’s hand and held it tighter.
“Mira, you’re getting repetitive in your questions,” said Natasha.
Natasha could see the snow starting to gather on her clothes as they were almost
covered by a patchy white blanket of snow.
“Sorry, I guess I started them all the same, didn’t I?” asked Mira.
“Yes,” said Natasha.
Natasha let go of Mira’s hand before standing up.
“You should have created the content they told you to create. You should have just
loved who they told you to love,” said Natasha.
“No, I don’t think I’ll do that anymore. Natasha, lets go inside and have a drink,” said
Natasha had placed her hand on her gun but didn’t draw it.
“Just a drink between us before you kill me?” asked Mira.
Natasha watched Mira get up and place a hand over her hand that laid over the gun.
Natasha loosened her grip on the gun.
“One last drink,” said Natasha.
Natasha felt Mira remove her hand to go pick up her sketch book. Natasha followed
Mira inside only stopping to look around the room. A simple kitchen, with a dining table not too
far from it. She could see Mira still had the same old couch with its teal colored blanket
draped over it and the fireplace straight across from it with a television on the wall to the right.
She went into the kitchen as Mira had placed down the sketchbook on the counter.
Natasha opened it and began to look through the pictures. They were drawings of
Some were same sex couples while others weren’t. She looked at them taking in the
forests, the walk through the snow, the cherry blossoms that fell around them, and the couples
that sat on the porch watching the moon. Natasha stopped to see a drawn picture of her and
They sat on the couch hand in hand. Natasha noticed Mira’s head on her shoulder.
Natasha could tell this was younger version of herself as her black hair had gone past her
shoulders. She still had her green eyes and still stood a bit taller than Mira.
“What do you think?’ asked Mira.
Natasha looked up at her and took her drink.
“They’re beautiful. I like that you chose the couch,” said Natasha.
Natasha downed the drink not wanting to enjoy it. She watched Mira set down her drink
before Natasha felt Mira’s lips on hers. Her instinct wanted to go for the gun, but she didn’t.
Natasha wrapped her arms around Mira like a rope holding onto her. For a couple minutes they
kissed before Mira stopped.
“The world changed too quickly on us, didn’t it?” asked Natasha.
Natasha looked at her wondering why love could be hated so much just because of who
people chose to love. All the people she had to kill, and now they wanted to test her loyalty.
“Yes, it did,” said Natasha.
Natasha watched Mira placed the side of her head against Natasha’s shoulder.
“I should have said I loved you before all this. What would you say back?” asked Mira.
Natasha looked in Mira’s eyes as Mira looked up to her.
“I would have said I loved you back,” said Natasha.
Natasha gave Mira another long kiss.
“They’re waiting out there. The Federation sent more with me,” said Natasha.
Natasha reached for her gun but only placed her hand on the holster.
“They’re expecting a test of loyalty. Either I kill your, or I die with you,” said Natasha.
Natasha watched Mira take the book.
“Is it possible to get away?” asked Mira.
Natasha shook her head knowing they wouldn’t make it.
“It’s not likely,” said Natasha.
Natasha held her tight as she briefly saw a round ball like device shatter the window and
land a few feet beyond them.
“I love you,” said Natasha.
“I love you too,” said Mira.
Natasha closed her eyes feeling her feet lift from the ground as the device detonated. She held
Mira tight as Natasha could feel her body impact the wood its splinters cutting at her with
pieces of glass stabbing through her skin. She could feel the heat on her skin her clothes ripped
away from her left side, and arm. The cold snow embraced her before chasing away the heat.
Natasha turned her head to see Mira lying in the snow next to her.
She could see signs of life, but the damage had also been done. Natasha knew neither of
them were in any condition to get up and run much less fire a weapon. She took Mira’s hand as
it reached out for her. A gun echoed like thunder as Natasha could feel Mira’s hand go limp.
Natasha reached for her gun wanting to at least kill one of the bastards before it all ended.
She grabbed it her arm growing hot from the burns on it that grew irritated by her arm’s
movement. She drew it and took aim in a direction facing forward. The shots rang out her clip
growing empty until only a click played like a record player. She let her arm fall gaining some
satisfaction that she heard something heavy fall to the ground. Natasha looked to her side her
last sight being the symbol of the Federation. A red and blue bear against a white background.