*This is a novel I am working on. I figured I would go ahead and add the first chapter here and perhaps other chapters later. Thanks for those who read and, please, I love creative criticism.*
Drone of the Absolute Machine
April sat on the end of the bed holding his hand gently. The plastic bag that covered his entire head had left him without words or breathe. As she watched his final moments a tear fell from his left eye. She had never seen something so beautiful yet tragic before. Even if she had quickly removed the bag from his face the multiple empty orange bottles that rested on the floor nearby proved that the lose of life was inevitable. It had been exactly forty-two hours since she had slept, twenty-seven since she had eaten and now twelve since she had found the old man dead.
She had already called 911; Already spoke with the police who came to investigate in case of foul play. They found none of course, and with that April was left to mourn as she liked.
She choose an elegant manner of such and in her unquestionable beauty she sat quietly in a chair. Her room, and apartment alike, where darkened. As she sat there, in that old mahogany chair, praying to her God that she rarely called upon.
She considered herself a Christian, though she hadn't been to a church in years. The idea of religious assembly wasn't the turn off, but the way that churches contradicted themselves and the word they were supposed to teach here in Texas did.
She preferred her own method of religion and spirituality. In the vapor trails of paint that wrote the words in her bathroom that spelled out,"SAFETY IS A FLEETING PROMISE", a faint trace of cigarette smoke existed. Whomever had killed her grandfather also planned on doing the same to her, it seemed. But that's the result of being an upstanding citizen. To be a witness of an assassin killing a state Senator and then to serve as a key witness has a price.
For herself and her grandfather, apparently the price is death.
Something about that image had stuck with her. Senator Rowley walked in his general cocky manner down Iris lane. The killer, dressed in a very nice black suite walked up behind him in a such a casual way while pulling a small handgun out of his pocket. In a matter of moments, the trigger was pulled, the bullet flew from the barrel, stuck in point blank and shattered through his skull. Fragments of brain and bone flew out the front of his head, splattering the pavement ahead with a sickening, abstract art. A stunned look painted his face before those haunting, vacant eyes appeared. He fell with a thud, in such an inhuman way that you would swear that someone had just thrown down a crash test dummy.
Until a few hours ago this event played over and over again in her mind. Now it was replaced with another. Her reaper had taken his first victim since his return to the regular world, one not surrounded by metal bars. She knew he planned his second victim to be herself and it appeared that he planned on making this draw out. He was the cat playing with the bird; the bird already dead in mind, but the cat trying to coax out one more response, one more movement or plea before biting down. She would not give such an arousing return of a response to a man of this kind. She would not fight back. She would not even allow him the satisfaction of being responsible for her death.
The idea of Seppuku was invented by the Japanese. In a brutal beauty, one would disembowel themselves in an act of honor instead of dying by hands of an enemy. She would've liked to have time to pick a more elegant blade, but in the circumstance of the situation a simple meat knife from her kitchen would have to do. This was her life to take.
Perhaps it was that she had stopped taking her pills weeks ago that added to this choice, but when you're prey and the predator looms there are only so many choices and sometimes it's better to not give false hope.
As she wrapped her hands tightly around the handle and prepared to dig into her own flesh, an image appeared into her mind; A memory of her grandfather's ranch. He had lost it when she was still a little girl, but the long nights watching over her favorite horse was still something she thought of often and in such a fond manner that the grasp of her hand on the knife lessened.
This was a familiar memory that painted her mind and soul at times of distress and chaos. As the peaceful moment faded away and reality began to set back in, a heavy rain began to fall outside with no warning. She found this strange as the weather channel had mentioned no rainfall in sight for the next few weeks, but that's what happens when you try to predict southern weather. Large eruptions of thunder shook the Earth while violent strikes of lightning light the sky. The brightness, even through her curtains, were blinding as if someone just took a photo with the highest flash setting on.
A chill went down April's spine as another memory flashed into her mind, though this one not such a happy one. A memory that she had pushed far into the back with all the other things she hoped to never think of again.
As a child, April had lost her parents and was mostly raised by her drunk uncle. That's why she cherished her time with her grandfather.
Once every month, her uncle would go gambling, or at least that’s what he told her, and
leave her with Gramps. No abuse, no sad tears. Just joy. The only thing that ever broke the happiness during these times was when she would remember her parent's death. She knew she was crazy and that all kids imagine things but she would sneak outside and play with the fireflies and one night a rain like this one began to fall.
She ran to the closest thing for shelter, which turned out to be an old shed.
While there she saw, out of the vicious storm, the roof of her home get lifted and tossed aside and both of her parents sucked into the sky by an invisible force. Of course, hours of therapy, if her uncle would've even cared enough to take her, wouldn't have solved this trauma.
It haunted her every once in a while and a little piece of her heart died each time. She knew how crazy it all sounded, but this moment, this storm reminded her so much of her loss of both parents that a realization occurred. No single storm had she seen like this one since her childhood. Not once. A fleeting thought, though one that drove her emotions to a near panic, popped into her thoughts, “What if they’ve returned for me?”
She dropped the blade.