I am inside the gun shop and nervous as fuck.

I'll probably be fine. I mean, I think I'll be fine, because I don't look anything like me. No one's cared to look at me twice, which means I fit in just fine. Big beer belly, stubble, baseball cap, and a bit of a swagger that borders on limp. The hunting type that wouldn't look odd in a place like this. I've got that dirty blond hair, unkempt enough for the outdoorsy crowd, but not too out of hand for anyone to think I'm a hobo. They need to assume I've got the money to spend and can spend it easy. Although lord knows how long it took me to save up for this gun. The store clerk brings me the revolver I ask for and shows it to me with creepy pride and joy. You'd think he invented the thing himself with that kind of glee. I hold it in my hand, and try to make it seem lighter than it actually is. Like I'm a big man who knows what he's doing.

"What on Earth you plan on catching with that?" asks the clerk.

Predators, I say with a smirk, my voice aged and deep, coarse like gravel.

He chuckles, a good loud chuckle, and I tell him I'll take it. He starts bagging it when he asks for my ID. Just routine. I show him my fake with confidence and he barely looks at it. Would've definitely played out differently without the disguise. No way for a 17 year old to get a gun in this country anymore. Not legally, anyway. Not unless you join the military.

I walk out with bullets and the gun in a small bag of black plastic. Now all I have to do is load the thing and conceal it. The coffee shop a few blocks down, in the bathroom. Should be good enough.

But not like this. I don't want anyone to get uncomfortable by my looks, or get suspicious when I march straight for the toilet. A few swipes and taps on my watch and the settings are changed. A rattle around my waist tells me the chips and wires inside my belt are working away. Scanning the clothes and faces and hairstyles of people passing me by, gathering all the necessary data to Frankenstein the right look. A gentle buzz, and voila: I'm a hipster.

The transformation happens in the blink of an eye, impossible for anyone to notice in a crowd. And if you did notice, you'd probably think there was something wrong with you. That it was all in your head.


The sign next to the coffee shop's glass door warns me straight up. 

I stroll in anyway like it’s a daily habit. My hair in a bun, my beard groomed and impressive, and snazzy shirt on my back that says I'm all about my Flat Whites. I stand in the customer line for half a minute before dashing for the bathroom. The way I carry myself suggests that I'll be right out to order as soon as I relieve myself, and nobody stops me.

I load the gun and make sure it sits comfortably between my belt and the small of my back. I can't believe I'm doing this, but I wouldn't have to if the cops were competent.

Only way they can't find Kimi yet is if they're: a) in on it, b) inept, or c) don't care. Fuck that.

I get rid of the plastic bag and make my way out of the bathroom and straight for the exit. Nobody says a thing, and I'm off to Mr. Wright's house.

Damn Fatima. What a tech wizard. I cannot believe it took her less than two weeks to build me this belt. True, making gadgets-on-demand is her side gig, but this thing is nuts! And she wouldn't take any money for it either. But I guess I'd do the same thing too if I had her skills and was told what I told her, what Kimi told me about Mr. Wright.

About what he said to her before she disappeared.

Getting close to Mr. Wright's house, I make the changes on my watch. The belt vibrates, and I become Kimi. I walk up the steps to Mr. Wright's porch, press the doorbell button and wait.

Quiet neighborhood. Pleasant with its tree-lined streets, trimmed bushes, and white picket fences. Dreamy. A little too perfect, if you ask me.

Mr. Wright's door clicks open, and there he is, dumbfounded. Anybody in his shoes would be confused, but maybe a little happy. Thrilled to see their missing student return, but not Mr. Wright.

Hello Mr. Wright, I say in Kimi's sweet angelic voice.

He rubs his eyes and sees I'm still there. He looks back into the house then back at me again before asking "How?"

How what?, I ask him. How am I standing here long after you raped and killed me, you mean?

He takes a few steps back and trips and falls. "What are you talking about?" he shouts.

"I never killed anybody. How'd you get out of the basement?"

The basement? She's in the basement! She's alive and she's in the basement! The fucker raped her. He just denied killing her, but he's practically admitted to raping her.

And if she's trapped in the basement, then he must've done it more than...

The sick fuck! 

Don't you know?, I say as I reveal the gun and pull back the hammer. Us Lakota have special powers, Mr. Wright.

I pull the trigger, and his brains splatter across his expensive carpet in his perfect home.

I walk through the meticulous house and make for the basement door tucked under the staircase. I can't believe Kimi's been here all along. She was here when the cops came to question Mr. Wright, and she was here when the cops left. Unbelievable. Fucking unbelievable.

Down the stairs, and at the end of the room with walls covered in Trader Joe's egg cartons is Kimi, tied up, gagged, and not believing that she's seeing me. Except it's not me she sees, its her. I swipe and tap at my watch to change that, and within seconds I'm me again. I see the relief and disbelief in her eyes, her beautiful innocent eyes. I rush to set her free. I take the gag out of her mouth and begin to untie her and all she can do is cry. I hold her and comfort her, and tell her it's going to be okay. That Mr. Wright is gone.

That it's just us girls now. It's just us girls who've got each other's backs and it's all going to be okay.  

Authored March 2018
in Denver (CO)

Words & Pictures: Ganzeer
Editor: Dan Hill

Copyright © 2018 by Ganzeer, Inc.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License

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