I have fifteen seconds to impact.
My brain and heart cook in unison to burn through options.
If I shoot, the child dies. If I don’t we crash.
The last time it felt like this, like a vice grip on my conscience, it was that flash job in Topeka that went pear.
I think about the kid. My kid. This kid. This one life.
What do I need to be around for anyway? What have I got left to deal with, to make better? To make worse?
But it’s not just me. It’s them. They’re asleep. They’ll die well. But they shouldn’t. They don’t have a choice. Nobody does.
My finger hugs the trigger. My shoulder hugs my ear.
The kid is crying. My kid is probably crying.
I hope they’re dreaming.
I hope I’m dreaming.
Five. It’s slowing down.
It’s Jane’s birthday tomorrow.