Elizabeth glowered at the mark on her forearm. She slipped across the lounge to the crumbling mattress she shared with her brother, kissed his cheek and studied his sleeping face. At the age of sixteen she had seen countless victims to cruel destiny: including her mother ten years ago. She’d raised Marnie alone since then. Now she’d expired. She found her phone and returned to their lumpy armchair.
“Lizzie?” Her friend slurred.
“Dolly, I’ve got a crisis.”
“No time for a crisis… schedule’s full. Tomorrow?”
“It’s the mark.” Elizabeth snarled.
Seconds clashed together as they shoved the next moment into place. Elizabeth patrolled the rattling windows as adamant on living as her mother; but determination hadn’t helped her. A crash on the door scared Elizabeth from her seat. Dolly slunk in and locked the door. She grabbed Elizabeth’s wrist, turning it toward the pale slither of light.
“Not good.” Dolly breathed.
“I need to live, for Marnie. Can’t leave him alone.”
Dolly gnawed her thumb and flicked pink hair from her eyes before speaking.
“People see that and kill you – there’s rules! But kill someone, death mark goes to them.
The air froze. Stifling the oxygen, suffocating her. Exchange her life for a stranger… She couldn’t do it.
Elizabeth stole through the moonlit streets in search of supplies. She slithered through shadows to Peace Street. The shell of a home had become a hive for criminals and the biggest food store in town.
A man advanced from the darkness, hurling her into the wall with forceful steps. She felt the bulk of her pistol and aimed. Fired. The gun kicked, slamming her backwards and cracking her head against the wall. As blood poured from the gash in her head she watched her death mark fade.