This is a continuation of a story I have only written in response to WOE prompts. Here are links to the first three.




The man did not move a muscle, but Melody sensed it was not because he was afraid of her bullet. His hands were still in the pockets of his trench coat. Locking her hazel eyes with his blue, she said, “Take your hands out of your pockets, and put them on the back of your head.”

He laughed. She almost took a step back in surprise. He did not take his hands from his pockets.

“Your gun cannot hurt me, little soldier,” he said. He then did take his hands from his pockets and gestured wide. “Take your eyes off of me for a moment and look around.”

At this point, Melody did what any good soldier would. She deferred to a superior. “General?” She got no answer. Finally, she took her eyes from the stranger for a quick glance at her commander.

He stood stock still, eyes glazed over, his arms at his side, completely unresponsive.

At this point even Melody’s training couldn’t stop her human response. She dropped her gun to her side and ran over to him. She shook him and yelled his name. Still no response. She moved to the tent’s flap and looked outside. Everyone in view was in the same state.

She whirled around to the stranger, her gun back in her hand and pointed at his forehead.

“What have you done to them?” She barked out.

He sighed and crossed his arms over his chest. “Nothing permanent. But they all would have reacted just as poorly to my presence as you did, and that would have been more of a fuss than I need at the moment.”

“Since I am the one with the gun, I think my needs are more relevant,” she replied. “Fix them.”


They stood eyeing each other, the impasse thick between them.

Melody fired her gun, not at his head, but at his shoulder. The man simply held up his hand. In the middle of his palm was a metal disc. It glowed purple and a beam of light shot out towards the bullet which disappeared.

“I told you,” he smirked.

Melody moved in to hit him with the butt of her weapon. He just aimed the disc at her, and she disappeared.

Melody was aware of colors and lights and sounds moving past her. Or was she moving past them? The speed seemed great enough to crush her. Yet she did not feel the effects of movement. There was no air to whip her hair or coat about.

She was back on the subway platform, in a dark corner behind a support pillar.

It was chaos. Everything seemed to be burning. Heatwaves filled the air. People were everywhere, in every state of helping, hurting, dying imaginable.

Melody’s eyes fell on a small boy. He was cradled in the crook of his mother’s arm as he sucked his thumb. His mother’s eyes were empty, unblinking.

A paramedic noticed the boy and gently pulled him from his mother’s last embrace, walking toward the light from the stairs.

“You opened a gateway to Hell,” the man’s voice said in her ear. “You unleashed demons on these people.”

Melody fought back tears. She choked out, “I did it to fight the demons. The greater good.”

He laughed a mirthless chuckle. “The rallying cry of the thoughtless and obsessed.”


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