Derrick died in my arms.
Derrick died by my hand.
I first witnessed death before the end of days. My father was a drinker and a lout. We loved him desperately, but feared his rages and steeled hand. The heart attack made him seem so weak. Clutching his chest, he dropped to his knees and keeled over. The fear in his eyes was the fear in ours all those times before, and I remember the only thing I could think at that time was that it seemed utterly fair, and that there must be greater powers at play in the world than how individuals interact. He terrorized us, but something even greater laid him low.
Derrick died much in the same way.
He's always been greater than I am.
I smelled liquor and animal fat on his breath. His movements were sluggish, exaggerated. Warmth from his fire spread across the clearing, so much so that my icy touch nearly sizzled. Our shadows struggled against the Douglas Fir canopy above and aside.
Surprise was my friend. Surprise was my ally. Derrick was alone. I squeezed as hard as I could. Annoyance became terror. Airless lips begged.
The job was done.