"Come now, you've always been a good boy."
He twisted in the leather armchair, feeling it squeal against his clamped knees. She'd fit right into its seat. The chair felt like a fat palm to him.
"It would make us so happy." She tapped his pointed chin. "You said you like seeing us happy."
He'd said that when he was four, or so he had often been reminded. Possibly he'd said happy. Possibly he'd said getting along. He squirmed again, jerking his face away from her hand, trying to make it look like the smooth tilt of his Uncle's head when he cocked it.
"You're a big boy now, aren't you? That's why we know we can trust you with this." She held it out.
The floor was white, catching an oily, shadowy reflection of the two of them, the chair. His reflection would do anything he did, except get hurt.
"You're the smartest boy in your grade." Her voice grew gentle with warmth. "I was so glad to hear it. You like impressing your old grand-mère."
On his knee, the fingers of his left hand uncurled. Not reaching for it. Not. He hadn't agreed to do anything. His heart was beating, but it was in his head, behind his eyes. The reflections were hazier.
"There'll be pretty lights, my little one," his grandmother said. "You said you wanted to see them again."
He watched his reflection reach its arm out, palm up, fingers closing. Without a sound, the six year old put the gun to his head.
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