[n] the act or process of doing what you have been asked or ordered to do

I was finding there was a certain theme plaguing my life: waking up to regret the choices I had made.

My most recent regret, of course, was that I had had kissed Pete for no good reason that I could possibly come up with. I blamed him of course. If he hadn’t given me whatever drug he had given me, I wouldn’t have taken it and I wouldn’t have felt so careless.

But then I remembered why I had taken it: My parents.

Suddenly, I was sobbing. I could feel their blood on my hands, the way the dagger felt sinking into their flesh. I remembered the anger I had felt toward them in their final moments. I would never get those final moments back.

I closed my eyes, breathing in slowly through my nose in an attempt to scatter the images, to get the memories out of my head, even if just for a moment. It felt like breathing air through a straw, my throat strained and tight as I tried to keep from crying more, but after a few tries it became somewhat easier.

“Well, look who’s finally awake.”

And just like that, any semblance of calm was forgotten. I opened my eyes and glared at Pete who was leaning in the doorway to my room, looking smug.

“What the fuck did you give me last night?”

“Relax,” he said, straightening and moving into the room. “I gave you a little taste of your future if you continue to do such good work.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked, looking at him suspiciously.

“I’m sure I’ve told you plenty of times already: this will all get easier for you in time. What you felt last night from that pill will eventually just come naturally to you.”

“I’m not like you,” I said. “I’m not going to just kill people and not feel anything.”

Pete shrugged.

“We’ll just have to wait and see then,” he responded. He held up an orange pill bottle and tossed it at me. “A special prescription for you—half the dosage of what you took last night. It will at least take the edge off.”

I looked at the bottle, shaking it and rattling the red pills inside. I hated to admit it, but I knew I’d need those pills if I was going to make it through this. There were just going to be more bodies piling up because of me and I wasn’t sure how much longer I was going to be able to take it.

There was also the fear that Pete was right. That this would become easier for me. I had already had a small taste of what that had felt like. I had felt the power and ferociousness that this “job” bred within me. And if I had felt that spark of enjoyment, who was to say that wouldn’t turn into a flame that would burn what was left of my humanity away.

With a sigh, I unscrewed the top off the bottle and removed one of the pills. I tossed it into my mouth and swallowed it down with a sip of the water that was on my bedside table.

“That’s the spirit,” Pete said, smiling at me. “Now get ready. We have a lot to do tonight.”


“We need to figure out what’s wrong with your technique,” Pete was saying when we got back to the apartment. I could see through the windows that the sun was just beginning to rise. “You do a very messy job. Not that you can’t pull off this whole covered in blood look. It’s just a lot to clean up after.”

I ignored him and went straight to my room, but he followed me, of course. I entered the bathroom and turned to glare at him.

“You can leave me alone now,” I said. “I need to take a bath.”

More like several baths. My hands were stained red, blood streaking my hair and clothes as well. Pete was done easing me into the soul collection business and had taken me to all of his stops this evening. All night I had to listen to Pete’s commentary on how I was collecting souls as he sat on the sidelines watching me with a huge grin on his face, loving every minute of my misery. Even with the pill running through my system.

Thankfully, because of that pill I didn’t feel as bad as I probably could be at this moment. I had lost count of how many lives I had to take, and I honestly didn’t want to know. I just wanted to sink into a hot bath and not think about it.

“By all means, take a bath,” Pete said, gesturing toward the tub as he leaned against the doorjamb.

And because I had drugs in my system that made me care a little less and I had enough blood on me to bother me more than having to deal with Pete and his antics, I started to prepare for my bath.

I turned on the water, making sure it was a nice scalding temperature before plugging the drain and adding some bubbles (lavender scented, of course, for ultimate relaxation). Pete stayed, watching me pretending not to notice he was still standing there. When the tub was full, I quickly removed my clothes, my back turned to him before climbing into the tub.

I exhaled loudly as my body hit the hot water, not caring that it was scalding my skin.

“You want me to get your back?”

I glared at Pete who only offered yet another cheeky grin.

“You know, I really thought we had something going on here,” he said. “I mean, you kissed me yesterday, after all.”

“There was nothing going on between us except for your drugs and too much alcohol,” I said. “So don’t flatter yourself.”

“I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before we kiss again,” he said. “And I’m very much looking forward to it.”

“Fuck off.”

“Will do. Enjoy the rest of your bath.”
♠ ♠ ♠


Finally motivated myself enough to update this! I'm thinking there might be a time jump in the next chapter. We'll see.

In other news, I put together an aesthetic for this story, so if you want to see it, here is the link.