Flash Fiction: Sinner and Saints

“Since when isn’t murder a sin?” the wind tried to pull the words from their mouth, the rain fell into every syllable. 

But Jyn knew Lila heard them. Even though the feet between their huddled forms was like a chasm, the handcuffs they’d put around her wrists a noose. It should have been a different kind of ring they’d given her, but fate had a different ending in mind.

“When you murder the murderer, doesn’t that make you the saint?” Lila’s voice was faint in the patter of rain on the tin awning above them, but it felt like a sledgehammer into their skull. 

Jyn watched the remnants of the rain drip from her auburn hair, fall along her jawline and drop from her chin. They might both be dry by the time backup came, for all they were in the middle of nowhere outside a podunk town. 

Three hundred feet away in a shallow grave sat the body of the murdered murderer, but that all paled in comparison to her icy blue, deadened eyes, that looked at them with resignation. No pleading, no fire. She knew her fate the moment she’d pulled the trigger and she’d done it anyway.

“Why?” They didn’t know what else to ask.

There was a moment of light in her eyes, like the sun peeking through the clouds for a moment’s glimpse. “He would have gotten away with it otherwise.”

“You don’t know that,” they reply, but they do know. He would have.

“Of course he would. They always do.” The glint was a sunspot now. “But not this one. Not this time.”

It wasn’t anything new as far as motives went. They’d heard it a million times. This one wouldn’t get away. I stopped this one before they could hurt anyone else. 

All murderers were the same. Whether you twisted the knife or notched the bullet in the gun, that spirit leaving the body on your account was all the same.

But Lila wasn’t like the others. She never could be.

Jyn dug into their jean pocket tucked up tight against their leg, the fabric soaked through. They found the small metal key, and used it to unlock the handcuffs around her wrists.

“I have a different ring for ya,” Jyn said. Lila rubbed at her chafed wrists as they pulled out the black velvet box from their back pocket. They handed it to her, not bothering to open it.

“It’s not much. But pawn it and it should be enough to get you far away from here. Go. You don’t have much time.”

Jyn refused to meet Lila’s gaze. Instead, they watched the hesitation in her body, the way she started to reach for them, stopped, then turned away in a run towards the woods, slipping on the wet grass and mud as she ran. Disappears into the undergrowth.

It would mean the end of Jyn’s career, but that was fine. They weren’t fit for this job.

It meant the end of their love life too. That hurt more. 

“Will you marry me, Lila Jones?” they asked the rain, not expecting an answer, and was unsurprised when they didn’t get one.

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