On the day he met her, he knew what he had to do.

All his life, they never mentioned 'the fate.' But it hung over him in a black cloud, threatening to pour down. Even his Grandfather's dying words were, "Arnold, never forget the reason you have been born into this world. Revenge." Arnold had expected this to change him, to bring out some unfamiliar thing inside of him, but he remained the same Arnold. The Arnold who had held his dying Grandfather's hand after helplessly watching the man be shot.

At his new school, Arnold had also expected a change. But it seemed like his old school. Except for her.

She was Emma. Just Emma. She lived in a small, run down house near Arnold's. She was a cutter. She saw everything to be a weapon. Never went to bed without praying.

But Arnold never really met her until that day. It had all started so normally. Arnold woke up in his cot on the floor. His mute sister was making breakfast, which she shoved at him only two minutes after Arnold had gotten dressed. Because of the water bill, he could only shower every other day.

"Thanks," said Arnold to his sister Alison. She just nodded and rubbed her greasy hands dry on her filthy apron. Arnold ate his breakfast and then got his shoes on and ran a comb through his blond curls.

When he left, he shut the door behind him with a click. How was he to know he would never open it again? If he had known, he would have undoubtedly apologized to Alison, who had to spend her life taking care of him.

But he didn't, so Arnold just walked the six blocks to his bus stop. On the way he passed her, lying on the sidewalk in baggy clothes, pouring over yet another book. He couldn't see her face.

Arnold walked right past her, and didn't stop walking till he was at the bus stop. Seven minutes later she arrived behind him, and sat back down on the sidewalk to keep reading. He decided not to bother her.

When the bus pulled up, the doors opened with a 'Whoosh!' and Arnold boarded. He didn't pay attention after that. He just let his walkman do the talking.

everybody at school was already gathered around in their cliques, looking out at the other groups with anger and disgust. Arnold walks past them all, calm, but not at all oblivious. He sets himself on the staircase and pulls out a worn out cowboy novel to read for the fourth time in Arnold's fourteen years.

When the shrill bells cut into the morning air, Arnold put his books away and begun to climb the stairs. But at the last minute, a girl jogged up in front of him, and he bumped into her.

"Excuse me," said Arnold, remembering the manners his cousin taught him.

The girl turned, and gentle, sad grey eyes studied him. A strand of red hair hung down by her eyes, but she didn't bother putting it back. She saw Arnold, standing there. But she also saw Arnold, surrounded by a ring of blood with a cool expression on his face. In his hand was a silver gun.

"It's okay," she whispered. Then she turned and continued to jog, never stopping or turning back around. Arnold watched her go. He was captivated by her eyes.

Homeroom was loud. Kids always talking, passing notes, finishing assignments, and gossiping. He hated the gossip. He hated the sound of the whispering, filling the room with lies and deceit. So Arnold sat there, continuing to read his book. Nobody bothered him.

But his next class was quieter. He payed attention as the teacher talked about the ancient Romans. It was vaguely interesting to Arnold.

But when he turned, he saw her again. She was writing in her notebook. She might have been paying attention. Arnold couldn't be sure. But he didn't care if she was or not. Her silky red hair framed her face perfectly. She never once was interrupted. Whatever she was doing must have been important to her.

When the bell rang again, she stood up. And Arnold couldn't help but see the name on her notebook. it said, 'Emma.' Just Emma. Arnold decided he liked that name.

It all went smoothly for the next two classes. Arnold didn't see her again. But the peace couldn't last forever.

Arnold was walking down the hall, headed towards the Cafeteria for lunch. But then he heard the sound of something falling. Then something like a muffled shout.

And then the door to the art room fell open, and out fell Emma. Her lip was bleeding, and her hair was mussed up. Arnold knew in an instant what had happened. He got down on his knees to help her.

Suddenly, though, Emma's eyes widened. Arnold looked down and noted with horror the knife stuck in her side. "Rot," muttered the art teacher. Emma looked up at Arnold.

He would never question what happened next. Out of her backpack fell a silver gun. And he'd never question why he picked it up. Because that was the fate. To kill.

Emma looked up at him one last time, and through her grey eyes, Arnold saw everything. Her eyes told him she knew what he would do. And her eyes said that she forgave him for it. That she accepted this. That it wasn't his fault. And that it was over now, but that she would be okay departing this nightmarish world. Arnold saw all of this.

Then, the grey eyes closed and the head fell onto her own shoulder. She looked almost asleep, but she obviously wasn't.

Arnold dwelt there for only a second more. Then, he picked up the gun. It was already loaded with three bullets. He knew this somehow. Maybe she spoke to him.

The entire school heard the three shots. They'd learn later that their art teacher was murdered. But one thing the cops couldn't make sense of was the blackboard.

Written there, slashed in white chalk, was a name.


My first attempt at a murder fic where no one comes back to life. Like the hints of romance?