"Are you sure you want to do this? We can stop now. Surely, there's no shame in admitting defeat?"
Thick brown eyebrows knitted together, his brow was damp with sweat, his eyes unfocused, "Just take your shot, already. This ain't over yet, girlie," his words slurred a little around the edges.
"As you wish..." I felt the corner of my mouth twitch ever so slightly as I adjusted my aim, changing the trajectory so that my target was just above his sternum. I held my hand steady and waited for my shot. Letting all the air out of my lungs in one slow, steady breath I made the shot. One. Two. Three. Splash!
The people around us erupted into astonished laughter, some of them whooping and hollering, and my opponent's head sank to the edge of the table. I leaned back in my chair, draping an arm casually over the back of it, and held my other hand palm up next to my shoulder to allow the barrage of "high-fives" to come in quick congratulatory succession. I was five beers deep into this particular game of beer pong while my challenger was seven beers, two lagers, and four, well now five, shots.
I watched him wallow in his drunken self-loathing, a rather satisfied sense of victory brewing in my chest, and waited for him to take his latest shot. From the smell of it and the dark color, I would have to guess it was Jagermeister. Not a particularly friendly alcohol to some, especially when they were already beyond three sheets to the wind as it was. Myself, I really couldn't say alcohol affected me much. I've been drunk before, but it didn't take me long to build up a tolerance to beer. Some of the harder shit, now that could still get me buzzed, but beer... child's play. I was lucky, I suppose, that he managed to reach the hard liquor before I did or the playing field would have been quite different. Of course, it helped that I had amazing hand-eye coordination. Truth be told, it was beyond ordinary. I should know. I'm far from ordinary myself. Maybe it wasn't really a fair match, but who said life was fair?
The chanting of the crowd grew louder around us and I couldn't help but laugh. It felt good to be doing normal stuff that girls my age did. Okay, so most 120-pound girls couldn't drink the Varsity linebacker under the table but that just brings me back to the reason I need a little sense of normality. I'm not just a college sophomore and a Theology major. I'm not just another girl who parties with her sorority sisters and runs around town doing normal college-girl type stuff. My name is Kaia Duncan, and I am a Sin Eater.
What's a Sin Eater, you ask? If only it was so simple. You see, I really don't know what all that entails myself. I only just found out my true nature when I was 17. What I do know is that I have a very specific purpose in life. I am the vessel of absolution and retribution. I don't know which side I was created to fight for, or if there even are sides of good and evil. I don't "work" for God or the Devil, for Heaven or for Hell. I am a neutral force. I am relief for the repentant and dread for the corrupt. The hows and whys are unimportant. Or maybe they are incredibly important. I don't know. I'm not even sure if I understand it enough myself.
The table shook suddenly, pulling my attention back to the 6'2'' football player across from me. His eyes were nearly crossed in his inebriation, but he was trying like Hell to appear pulled together and straight-laced. His meaty paw grabbed the tony shot glass, hiding it completely in his grip, and he tossed it back into his throat quickly. Discomfort and something else pulled on his features. Nausea? Dizziness? He slammed the emptied shot glass back down onto the table with such force that it shattered into pieces but the surprise of that was short lives as at that moment the towering behemoth teetered forward, then back, then spun rather suddenly off his chair, falling to the ground and pulling the chair on top of him. Laughter erupted into madness around the table, even pulling a tipsy chuckle from myself.
"You might want to pick up your mess, gentlemen," I said to the group of wobbling jocks behind his seat, but they were either too drunk or too engrossed in the hilarity of the scene before them to take notice to my instructions. Whatever. I could care less if they retrieved their friend or not. Right at that moment, I was more worried about sneaking away for a quick cigarette. I took to my feet and pushed my way through the crowd to do just that, squeezing past dozens of drinkers and smokers, through lust-driven couples and gossiping harpies. I didn't stop to dwell too much on the idea that some day it might be one of them at my mercy. If I let myself think about that then I would never be able to do my job. I wasn't sure what would happen if I flat-out refused my calling but it couldn't be good, whatever it was. I wasn't exactly overwhelmed with a great curiosity to find out.