The woman called Alice walks alone through the hollow streets, a seed planted in her sterile heart and a rifle sleeping in her belt. Last night, she'd witnessed the popping of Pérignon, and a dazzling display of fireworks, complete with alcohol-polished emotions and hundreds of thousands of citizens pulsing rowdy fanfare. She'd netted her highest number of kills that fateful day. Blood still rests in the creases of her palms.
A streetlamp greets her brightly with its mild glow, and alerts her to a dirty and disheveled homeless man groveling for money on the other side of the street. The young couple next to him give a feeble attempt to back away, claiming they have none to spare.
"Lies," Alice whispers. She can easily see the pearls jingling from the lady's neck, and a well-crisped suit guarding the young man from the night chill. Money is more than expendable to them. And this city could do without this attractive mask of a couple. They, too, are expendable. Alice begins to take aim at the trio, and narrows her eyes as her shot takes place.
The bullet cleaves through the young man's aorta, and a geyser of undesirable rubies gush from the gaping hole. The lady screams at the top of her lungs as life quickly leeches from him and returns to the earth. The lady, no, the girl shrieks again and flees into an alley. The filthy man stumbles while trying to do the same, and Alice's next bullet burrows into his head. Tissue and gore are spray-painted onto the aqua and white walls, tainting the foundation of her beautiful home.
She'd grown up in this city, and spent her life in its domain. As the small village grew into the metropolitan miracle it was today, Alice grew with a viciously vindictive nature and a natural ability to murder. She frequently stole undesirables' lives, and in turn, the city granted her longevity. She eventually began to know the city's sewers as lungs, the streets as veins, and the buildings as ribs, protecting her home and its fragile infrastructure heart.
Alice recalls this once again for perhaps the umpteenth time, and a hint of a smile forms on her lips. She takes long, careful strides across the street and reaches the decaying alley. This final undesirable is toxic. She must be eliminated.
Even now, Alice can see her trembling in the midnight corner, hear the words spilling over and into a cell phone, each syllable carrying more weight under her desperation. Alice's eyes lock with hers, and the latter radiates terror. Fingers grasp, and the phone is suddenly in shattered scraps of metal and hideous memories. She shrieks, screams, wails for any form of aid, but none is forthcoming.
Alice quivers with a fierce anticipation. One more bullet would kindle her hearth to an extent. And said projectile soars through the air and easily breaks through the surface of the undesirable's skin. She clutches her heart in a vain effort to fix her broken dam of life. Alice turns on her heel and begins to walk.
She takes in the clatter of pearls, the ebbing screams, and trickling residue slowly dripping into a shared soul. She allows herself to smile again: three are now bad memories. Only a few hundreds of thousands remain, a stain on what used to be a wonderland.