Sisters with a mirror image sit opposite each other, amid dim light in a tawdry cheap cafe. A blase waiter ignores their presence until one attracts his attention with a sheepish hand gesture and apologetic order. "Two coffees please." Polite and succinct, no indication of the melee whirling in her head. He nods, dispassionate and disappearing to hide behind his espresso hiss. Nothing to look at there. Frumps, studious and dull, his froth is more exciting.
Strange how twins so targeted in their youthful past now so invisible in the present. Their conversation hushed as cooling coffee. Expressions intense, since they are making morbid plans and questioning their faith. "You sure? You ready? Got no problems with God?" asks one of the other, while staring blankly into a tiny universe of milky bubbles. It's a topic preying on both women's minds these days as they rebel against a life of Bible bashing and indoctrination. "Yep, never more ready." replies the other. It's been a long time since Holy sun shone on their faces. It helps to know the creator has abandoned them, since books touting religion as delusion have been absorbed. Salient paragraphs highlighted in Stabilo Boss. Letters long written and all arrangements made. Plans are now complete. No interference suspected from an interventionist God. They don't need God at all. "He's such a fucking disappointment." Mirrored images agree.
Envelopes are filled and stamps adhered. Each Will and Testament dedicated to each other. Letters written to key people in their lives. The wherefores the what's and the who's but no explanation of the why. All will be mystified. This is between themselves, twin to twin, soul to soul, they will make a mighty mark that none will comprehend. A mysterious legacy to survive murderous intentions.
They've been researching. Absorbed by a high school massacres. Clippings are bundled meticulously, articles, news papers, letters parcelled neatly in a backpack. Both have a macabre interest in the perverted, betrayed by the faces of quiet innocents.
They can't remember the first time they wrote to the mother of a victim. At first a consolatory note for someone who'd attended their old school. An exchange between a son-less mother and two lonely girls. Her letters had the warmth that their own mother had denied. The mother of twins pressed them to achieve, was critical of their dress, resented them living so far away from home, not realising that she was the cause of their evasion. Yet she would never visit, "Too far, too cold, too hard, too expensive" she would say. Marie, the mother of a murdered child would offer condolence and suggestions to overcome their isolation. "God will prevail" she'd said but that had not rung true. God took her son, God ignored the twins, God had left the planet, both were sure of that.
Time magazine tucked beneath the mattress, the killers on the cover. Both knew why they did it while all others were clueless. They were inside their heads and cognisant of minds that cut down peers turning weapons on themselves. Now that God has left, they know what must be done. The blackness of the abyss holds appeal. No heaven, no hell, no rebirth no retribution or angels wings. Just quiet. Silence, nothingness, emptiness, an end absolute in its finish. Peace.
"Won't they think that we're crazy?" one says to the other. "Why?" then remembrance of a quote The delusion of one is insanity but the delusion of thousands called religion. The question is rhetorical and both see humour in the thought, since neither is insane. They've never been more lucid in their lives.
God' a furfy. A way of controlling the fearful. It's a fucked up concept if you ask me," one replies. "With all that religion shit out of the way, it makes stuff easier. No retribution, no guilt, no afterlife, no repercussions." Eyes lift from coffee and breach smiles. Sisters take hands rested on damask and declare affection, "We understand each other," whispers one and squeezes the other's fingers. Their script now well-rehearsed, their moves decided, they slip on their overcoats, haul handbags over each left shoulder, leave the confines of the cafe and with gloved hands, simultaneously hail a taxi.
They are the picture of normality. The cabbie not even remembering the colour of their hair. Anonymous, invisible. Talking between themselves about nothing in particular. They pay him cash and wish him a 'nice' day before walking down damp bitumen towards the firing range.
Nonplussed man behind the counter barely looks up but realises they're beginners. "Twenty-two's for you girls" and shows them how to load and cock a gun. They smile excitedly and look up at the CCTV camera filming the deadly delivery.
The rifle range is packed. Old men in fatigues pretending that they're snipers. Young guns with hormone-charged intent, pretending to be gangsta. The odd competitive shooter, practising a round. Nobody blinks twice as mirrors hand-in-hand check cubicle after cubicle until finding their right one.
Finger pulls, converting kinetic energy from tendon to trigger. A series of sears and springs drop hammers into the firing pins. Energy hits the primer and explosions ignite powder. Expanding gas forces missiles from cartridges through barrel and temple. But their pact is incomplete, one lies dead, the other barely breathing.
CCTV shows all and nothing. One survives but has no memory.
Newscasters go ballistic. Early editions headline. Coffee conversations and tabloid media collude. Bus stop and water cooler chatter merge with over-dinner banter. All will saggitate and postulate but never have an answer when all they want to know is . . ."Why?"
Posted for Tenth Daughter of Memory "Shooting the Breeze"