TITLE: A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS
GENRE: LITERARY FICTION
Nick had sensed for some weeks now that something important, something seismic, was about to happen. He didn't know what. But he could feel it there, hear the distant, whispering roar as the current drew him ever closer to the waterfall-edge of the future.
He poured himself more wine before going over to the desk and taking out a worn, old rosewood case. Opening it, he sat for a long time in the middle of the room caressing the heavy chunk of smooth, black steel, weighing it, turning it in his hands. So superbly engineered. So comforting to hold. So lethal.
In a sudden surge of anger, Nick snapped the loaded magazine into the hollow grip with the heel of his hand. In one swift-flowing movement, he whirled the swivel chair he was sitting on into a fierce, violent spin, pointing the black Beretta stiff-armed, two-handed in front of him. Treasured mementoes flashed past, in and out of the circling gun sights: laughing photographs, Art Deco dancers, Meissen figures, Japanese prints of lovers and warriors, Dutch oil paintings, each carrying their own story – each up for rapid-fire.
The first bullet hit his face in the mirror, smacking and fracturing it like a frozen pond. Then in rapid succession the photographs, the figures, the lamps exploded and splintered, fragments flying. He ejected the empty magazine and slammed in another, forcing the whirling chair even faster.
The gun leapt after each explosion and suddenly he half felt, half saw something hurtle past his ear.