TITLE: The Cotillion Figure
The boy's eyes were gray. Light blue-gray, really. The color of a raffish jay flashing past in strong sunlight. They'd most likely wrenched the heart of a girl or two--or perhaps some lonely, full-grown woman's--somewhere in the recent past.
Not anymore, though. It was just as well now that there was no one left alive in the shabby farmhouse to witness the new, uncaring flatness of the once compelling orbs. Or to be sickened by the sight of the fat brown roach which wriggled purposefully in curves of the kid's left earlobe.
This first victim's lanky, too-thin body had fallen straight back from the open doorway, and had come to rest on the bristly hallway rug after only one violent, up-and-down, slow-motion bounce. His nerveless frame had rolled freely with the ending jolt, however, and now one arm flopped aimlessly across the lower half of a tanned face that didn't register even the slightest concern over the inconvenience of the limb's position.
The fine, sun-white hair that fell across the boy's forehead had been cut raggedly; either he had a lousy barber or he'd hacked at it himself to save money. Black grit crudded his nails, a ragged scar split the clean-shaven chin, and two mosquito bites flared red and angry on his bent left elbow, although the wrathful color of the insect stings in no way competed with shiny, black-and-scarlet hues of the bullet wound in his mutilated chest.