“Nobody. Move.” I hissed hostilely through gritted teeth, reflexively curling and uncurling my fingers around the trigger of the gun. It was a something I always did when I was scared; one might even call it a nervous tick. Before tests, I always curled and uncurled my fingers around the edge of my pencil, and before track meets, I always curled and uncurled my fingers around the shoulder strap of my gym bag.
Only this time, I wasn’t scared. I was downright terrified.
“Arnold, sweetie,” My mom began, eyeing the pistol in my hand with fear glimmering in her misty grey eyes, the tears building in the corners threatening to spill as she held out her trembling hand. “Give me the weapon.”
I cocked the gun and pointed the barrell straight at her forehead.
“I said don’t move.”
Suddenly, Noah stepped out in front of my mother, arms spread out wide as if that could possibly shield her from a bullet. “Woah, woah, woah! Hold on here a second. Arnold, that you’re mum.” He exclaimed, incredulity and trepidation causing the british twang in his voice to crack.
I almost lowered the gun, but the cold sting of the metal against my pale flesh snapped me back into the reality of the situation.
I now aimed the gun at him. “What do you think you’re doing, alien scum?”
“Arnold,” A quiet voice squeaked from the back of the room. It was Vanessa, doleful brown eyes brimming with tears. “Nobody here is the alien.” She spoke slowly, and I felt my erratic heartbeat being lulled into security as she tried to rationalize with me. I could trust her, of all people. I’ve liked her since the second grade; we’ve known each other years before then. I could trust her.
But the weight of the weapon in my hands reminded me that trusting people is how I got here in the first place.
I moved the gun from my mom. Then at Noah. Then at Vanessa.
Then at myself.
The gun cocked, fingers curling and uncurling, a breath leaving my lips, and a flash fills the room.