She slammed the teenager against the wall, her arm forming a cross with his smooth neck. “Stop sputtering” is all she said while she stuck the gun inside her pocket closer to his ribs. He felt it and became more silent. Screaming was out of the question. Thank God, she thought for a split second. Fighting was only dirty when it was done against children. Bunny took the cell phone from his jeans and slid the card from the back. No point in taking the whole thing, they’re too easy to track. She kicked his knees from behind and he fell to the cement. She grabbed a thimble-covered finger and stuck it at the back of his neck. “The Almighty will get you for this” was all he said, grimacing, she guessed. No, he won’t is what she shot through the finger, it flashed in the front of his head, a voice popping off like silent fireworks. He seemed so young; she only took out three years.
Petty crime wasn’t what people thought it to be. It took a lot of training for such a slight girl. Bunny walked away, spacing her paces to get the most distance with the smallest chance of tripping the pedestrian walkway sensors. All she needed now was the scanner to pick her from the crowd as she neared the square. “You are my spotlight, my only spotlight, you bring me safety when skies are grey.” She sang it softly so as not to appear disturbed. She kept her pale eyes low, while the coils spit out the morning increase of lamplight. Lucky to have them her Dad once said. Lucky indeed, after those thirteen years of darkness; never look up at dawn he also said, you’ll burn your eyes if you look directly at the heart of the sun. Dad never explained why there wasn’t just one.
Bunny arrived at the square, which was actually more of a circle but since the last explosion geometry and signage didn’t always coincide. Had she taken too many years off his mind? Something about the boy was coursing through her system, making her strange. She looked up and before it became too bright, she breathed a sigh and wished upon a satellite. She loved the blue ones, the way they twinkled. An old one was streaking across the sky and with a subdued smile she took the girlish hope that it offered. Just a few yards now and the controls would be looser. All she needed now was to make to two left turns over the course of six blocks.
Here on the concourse, Bunny adjusted her sight. She had to find a semi-random place to stop to throw off the shield-bots. The Rose was her favorite but it had recently been raided. It wasn’t her fault or any of the Hares who caused it. It was a Bird from another country who’d started smoking some unapproved hash. Flyers weren’t always as wise as they looked. That one in particular looked droopy and dim by the time the bots has filled it with current, maybe one time more than was needed, according to the report that was published.
Ahead three blocks was a shrine. Bunny decided it was the easiest place to go. She ducked her head into her ankle length hoodie and closed a few buttons to hide her brightly colored dress. She passed through the sensor with her left hand out and coughed to slip the thimble into her mouth. Everything else would go unnoticed by the women who worked these screenings. Here the machines were and the workers were old or working off their debts. The shrines were merciful like that.
Slowly again she adjusted her eyes. In here it was OK to look up. A tree grew in the center and rose at least 40 feet. An old red woman, with fingers sharp like a Cat, seemed to follow Bunny through the slits of her eyes while she recited the colors of the spectrum. It’s hard to tell what people say when they pray, harder still with the rolling R’s of obstruction poised at their tongues. Unlike the Flyers the felines had remained killers at heart. Everyday workers sat in some benches. They rocked back and forth and few of them smiled in manic spurts, confusion flickered along their expressions as well. Manic panic first thing in the morning is what Bunny tried not to think. Disturbances here were easily traced.
In the front sat the eternal smoke, its flame just out of view and of reach but still the burning could be detected by her sensitive nose. Not everyone could smell heat the way Bunny could. On either side were wires woven into improbable wreaths and they gleamed from the workers, who shined them daily. Smoke rose all the way to where the wires met in symmetry that defied gravity gracefully. Suddenly, Bunny was tired herself, inclined to leave quickly, she decided to stay a moment and kneel. Just off to the right, she found her mind focused on the boy and the three years she had taken. She allowed what she learned to rise up in slow spirals. She saw his first real kiss and his moves into foreplay. She stifled a grimace at his awkward hands. She saw his mother’s eyes and the way he once stole from her purse. She saw his teacher in the pink flowered dress and his friend who took him driving on a dirt road carved by the floods. She saw his first kill. More and more she became entranced, his memories so vivid, his attention to detail so luscious and acute that Bunny could not allow herself to be removed from each richness, revealed. And that of course, was how they caught her, the bastards.