g r a c e   a n d   g u n m e t a l
chamber zane

     "He held the gun to my head, hard enough I could feel the cold barrel of the .38 dig against my temple. I could tell from the arm wrapped around my neck from behind that He wasn't particularly strong, and hell, I'm trained for this kind of thing. I should have had Him on the ground weaponless before He knew what was happening. But all that went out the window. For some reason with this one, I didn't feel like He needed the gun to kill me. Like the gun was just some sort of totem for a hatred and a malice that was bigger and stronger and blacker than the gunmetal. I know that sounds crazy, but it was the impression He gave. He hissed in my ear; at first I was so terrified it was unintelligible, but then I heard words, and then sentences. He was telling me to remember for the rest of my life that I was alive because He let me live. That's what scared me more than anything. For this moment in time the faceless Man behind me holding me in a pithless headlock for all intensive purposes had the powers of a god. I panicked and struggled like a starved rabbit in a trap. My motions felt slow and ineffective, like one of those classic dreams where you're running down a hall to a door and the door just keeps getting farther away. My adrenaline was running strong and all my senses were amplified. I could hear the tendons in His wrist creak as He pulled back the trigger. It could have been my imagination, but at the time it felt and sounded as real as the pen I'm holding and the words I'm forming on this paper. The handgun clicked and dryfired. And He started laughing. He kicked the back of my knees and I fell face-first onto the wet parking lot concrete. As I lay on the ground, reflection of streetlights on rain-soaked cement glaring through my tears I just kept hearing that handgun dryfiring.. and that damned laughing.."