A/N: A short story I wrote for my English coursework. A friend really liked and I thought it'd be worth sharing. Enjoy, read and review.

Revenge isn't all that sweet

The gun fell to her side, rain covering it in a slick layer of water. A watery river of red twirled in circles towards her, slowly colouring the puddle red. It was over. He was dead and she had gotten revenge. She dropped the gun, the clatter of metal against concrete echoing in her mind, and turned away from the cooling body.

She closed her brown eyes and felt the short strands of black hair stick to her skin the more she stood there. The darkness of the night pressed against her and she slowly exhaled, releasing a puff of cold air. As she opened them again, she turned her head to look over her shoulder at her victim, his hollow eyes reflecting the hollowness in her gut that somehow hadn't been filled.

Scrunching up her face she snapped her head away and ran from the scene. She was a ghost. Always had been and always would be. She thanked the monster laying in the puddle of rain and blood for that and let her mind think back to the day the hollow in the bottom of her gut had opened up and made her empty.

Eight.

She was eight years old and the sun was bright that afternoon, very bright. Her black pigtail swung as she skipped by her mother's side, a toothy grin on her face. "I liked the part when the dancer went up and up to the top then rolled back down. It was like magic, but it wasn't 'cause magic isn't real right?"

"No honey it isn't." Her mother's warm honey gaze made her grin all the more. As a treat for her birthday, her parents had bought tickets for a ballet show that she had been wanting to see for months. They'd finally gotten them only to find that her father couldn't go because of work.

He had made up for it by treating her the day before to a visit to the zoo, allowing her to drag them both around the entire park. After a three hour show they were on their way back home, a bag of souvenirs clutched in her mothers hand. "Do you think I can do that one day mummy?"

Her mother stopped them in their tracks and bent down to her level, a smile warmly lighting her face. "You can be whatever you want to be Melissa." She tapped a finger against her nose and Melissa giggled.

"I want to be a dancer!" she said, jumping on the spot and making a run for their house, leaping and twirling in her skirt. Her mother only laughed at her antics and hurried along, joining her at the front door.

"You can be a dancer then."

"Yes!" Melissa shouted, punching a fist into the air and waiting for her mother to open the door so that she could run inside, find her father and tell him about what she wanted to do. The door was pushed open gently and with a grin on her face Melissa ran forward, straight down the narrow hallway and stopped when she spotted the scene. The front door slammed shut and the person turned to face them.

That wasn't her dad.

Who was he? Melissa looked in front of the man to see her father tied to a chair, blood, cuts and gashes decorating his face. Her mother screamed and a bang echoed in the house, a silver gun shining in the light. Melissa was frozen in place as the strange man turned to face them, gun outstretched in their direction.

Her mother shoved her up the stairs with a panic, "Sound the alarm, Melissa," she screamed at her and Melissa felt a sob tear from her as she simply asked for her mother. She looked back down the stairs to see the strange man fighting with her mother, both wrestling to get the gun. Another bang echoed and tears leaked from the corners of her eyes.

The man saw her and Melissa ran up the stairs, banging on the alarm that was fitted into every household, allowing for emergency services to be directly called without the use of a phone. Steady footsteps on the stairs made her run up the next set of stairs, scurrying higher up the house and into the next room she could see open.

She pushed the door shut behind her and scouted the room out with her eyes, looking for somewhere, anywhere, to hide. The closet. She stumbled over to it, tripping over her own feet, and pulled the two doors shut behind her and pushed herself as far back as she could go.

Her heart pounded in her chest, her blood rushed in her ears and she closed her eyes, praying that someone would save her, anyone. Footsteps sounded over the pounding in her ears and she froze, held her breath and clamped her tiny hands over her mouth. Sirens could be heard in the background and she whimpered, wanting them to be here now!

The doors flew open and she gasped, drew herself into a small ball and clutched her knees to her chest. The stranger pushed the clothes aside and she peered up at him through watery eyes. "Please don't hurt me," she cried. His gray eyes looked her up and down, back towards the door, towards the sound of the sirens, and back to her. He lifted the gun and she cried harder, digging her face into her knees.

She waited.

And waited.

No pain came and she opened her eyes and looked up to find herself alone and in one piece. No wounds and no cuts. Crawling out of the small space she looked around the room and cautiously stepped onto the landing and overlooked the balcony. At the very bottom step, she could see a small pool of red.

It hit her a week later that the man she had seen, the one that pointed a gun at her, was her parents' murderer. She knew what he looked like and he had let her go. When the police told her that they couldn't do anything about it, a hollow dug itself in the pits of her gut, yet to be filled.

From that day on, she had promised to bring justice to her parents deaths, no matter what it took.

Stopping in her tracks and letting the rain wash over her, she blinked back the tears and pinched her eyes shut once more. She had kept her promise, done what she had set out to do. It still hadn't helped her. It hadn't healed her and she still felt hollow, empty.

Pushing the shiver away she opened her eyes, starting when she found that same set of gray eyes from her childhood, staring back at her. The rookie, Christopher Harper, stood there, hands in his pockets and his face hardened to a stony mask. "You've killed him haven't you?"

Melissa straightened her body to a rigid state and nodded once. He looked away and clenched his jaw, the rain outlining the sharp structures of his face. She stared at him, waiting for him to shoot her, kill her, like his father killed hers. There was a gun in his pocket, she knew that.

He surprised her by nodding over his shoulder and ducking his head, "Go." She refused to move and his eyes snapped up to her, angry. "I'll find you."

She nodded simply and frowned, "Wouldn't want it any other way Chris." She stepped past him, stuffed her hands into her pockets and hitched her shoulders up as she slinked back into the shadows.