“Yellow,” the EP barked to his comrades. “No conditions. This one’s clean. Tartarus.” He tossed the device to his compatriot. Forcefully, Micah’s mother was pulled from her curled position on the ground to her knees. The cold silver device was pressed against her neck as she struggled, growling like a feral animal.
“Ugh!” The EP withdrew, knocking his mother backward, away from him. “She’s Red.”
Silence then. “Well, we have our orders. You know what you have to do. She’s sick. It will be a mercy.”
His mother seemed to lose some fight then. At those words, tears began to stream down her face. Still, she attempted to pull away, however futilely. “Please…please let us go! Let us go!”
A boot to her temple silenced her. Micah squirmed and thrashed, attempting to fight back with everything he had, desperate to get to her. Strong hands held him still, digging into his flesh.
“Enough of this.” The EP nearest Micah’s mother cocked his gun, aiming it at her head. Micah’s breath caught in his throat. “Let’s get this over with, yea?”
The gun was aimed at his mother, pressed against her head.
“Get the kid out of here. He doesn’t need to see this.” The EP in the doorway moved closer to his mother, grabbing a fistful of her hair to pull her head back and expose bloody lips and tear-streaked cheeks.
“Please,” she whimpered. Micah had never heard her voice sound so soft, so frail. “Please don’t hurt him…”
Micah was forcefully pulled away, his small body lifted by the back of his collar and thrown over a broad shoulder. Though he kicked and screamed, his efforts were useless. “Mom! Mama! Let me go!” His cries were ignored as he was removed from the room, removed from the crumbling walls of the shack that had been his home.
Behind him, he could hear his mother’s sobs. And then the deafening crack of a gunshot followed by the weight of a body lifelessly hitting the floor. Silence. His mother’s cries were gone, only replaced by the pounding of his heart against a backdrop of total silence.
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