You reach into the drawer and take out a perfume spray. The knockout mist Xenon uses when people are stubborn.
He always wants them to come to him, about half actually do. The man, despite only having one true friend, is very persuasive.
You always liked it better when they just went, it made you feel less guilty about it.
When they see the bottle a flash of panicked recognition runs over their face and for the first time, you actually believe them. They look weak, resigned to a fate that perhaps was their own fault…but they never wanted.
Just like you.
“I’m not going to hand you over.” You tell them. That confused inkling of hope washing over their expression. That’s all you need. You spray the bottle in their face and cover your own with your sleeve. You watch them slump over in your chair as you count to thirty.
The time it takes for the substance to disperse enough to be harmless.
You check their vitals, alive, but down deep.
There’s no way they’d feel this.
You lay them down on their back atop the dusty floorboards. Then you grab the paperweight. A pointy metal thing shaped like a cat, and carefully please it atop the bridge of their nose, one cat-ear facing each eye.
Then you get up, aim your foot and stomp. You stomp down and down again beating the face into a mush cracking the bone and sinking the cat down into the skull. Knowing full well that with each beat your friend will speed on up here to see what’s going on.
They must be dead before he gets here.
You drop down to check the vitals.
Though not safe yet.
Alchemy can bring them back, alchemy is rotten like that. You hear the footsteps behind the door. You walk towards it, perfume bottle in hand, sleeve over the face.
You know you won’t kill him, you know that once the body’s disposed of you'll go back to your old ways. You know this one saved soul means nothing in the big picture. But still, your fingers tremble around the netted diffuser. Still, you have this sense of duty. To make a difference, at least once. From the corner of your eye, you notice a small grey moth disappear from the window.
You giggle the nerves away.