The smoke drifted and curled in the warm afternoon sunlight, pirouetting with adagio grace. The source of the slowly-thinning smoke was a gunmetal grey barrel, surrounded by the machinations of a slick, elegant handgun.
A glint from the handgun reflected away from it, to a spot above the window that was spewing the sunlight. The sun was visible some distance away, still hanging in the sky but clearly lowering, a danseur making a smooth, but urgent, exit.
The man opposite the gun saw it all, as if it were moving in slow motion. He saw the smoke, the sun, the warmly-lit room around him that had, at one time, meant safety. His vision dipped as his strength left him and his legs entered an exaggerated plié.

The syrup-coated time dripped away, reality picking up an allegro pace. The man behind the gun, the perpetrator of the crime, slipped away. His footsteps echoed in the wooden floor and reverberated off the walls and distant ceiling.
In a far off room a kettle began to whistle, having been placed there not long before. The high pitched screech filled the air, and an irked groan, followed by some swifter footsteps, saw the screech turning into a hiss.
The throes of the dying kettle faded into a loose, shifting memory, trampled out by the footsteps.
The footsteps danced to and fro, accompanied by grunting and rummaging and bumping and… Silence.
Not a complete silence, however, as all that was left was an unremitting ringing.

The room still smelt of comfort, of a much-enjoyed pie made not all that long ago. As a room that was no stranger to this scent, it had acquired it throughout, even if only slightly.
Another scent, however, pervaded through the room. It out-manoeuvred all, wafting its brazen aroma of metal and gunpowder and chemicals through the swiftly-relenting air.

The wood beneath his fingers was hard, but smooth. It trembled slightly, but almost without reason. Earlier, he had felt the thudding repercussions of footfalls, or so he had thought.
They had stopped some time ago, though time was now an intangible thing, a distant idea of a concept that no longer had any place in his head.

He swallowed hard, which stung.
His breathing was ragged, but allowed for a brief aftertaste that was more than welcome.
The taste of the few brief bites of pie lingered, mercifully, but was swiftly drowned out.
A tide of crimson copper taste rolled over his tongue, before being forcefully swallowed.
It was too much to swallow.

The sun set, leaving the empty house in darkness.


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