Nothing Is True. Everything Is Permitted
Natasha sits astride a white horse, stepping lightly through the grass and wild clover. Her normally dark brown hair is instead a deep red, slicked back into a bun held with sticks like a geisha girl. A tattered wedding dress barely hangs on her pale, waifish body, blackened like it had just been salvaged from a burning house.
She is riding through a vast, rolling field surrounded on all sides by a dense forest engulfed in flames. The trees rippling like belly dancers inside the fire, never burning down just burning. The sky is somewhere beyond the fog of violet smoke, which reeks of sulphur and burning flesh. Tiny red butterflies dark around her leaving crisscrossing trails of crimson like someone scribbling through the air with a crayon.
Natasha comes upon a small playground in the centre of the field. It's a pit of sand with a mangled slide and a rusty swingset, where a scrawny, raven-haired boy about 16 is rocking back and forth, spinning the cylinder of a revolver. He's dressed in a shiny, immaculate black suit. His shaggy hair hangs down, hiding his face. The only sound Natasha hears is the sickening crack of the chains as he swings, deafening the isolation. The boy spins the cylinder and holds the gun under his chin. Natasha scrunches her freckled face and covers her eyes in fearful anticipation. CLIC. She shudders, terrified by the sound, which seems as loud as an actual gunshot.
She dismounts, feeling the grass beneath her bare feet. Then she kisses the horse on the head and it turns, running full stride into the burning forest. When she turns he's holding the pistol limply to his temple, as if he were bored with it. He squeezes the trigger slowly excruciatingly, until finally, CLIC. Even though Natasha can't see his face, he seems almost disappointed as he spins the cylinder again. She steps into the sand, squishing it between her toes. There are only a few feet between them now and his hair seems to be moving, shifting. She looks close and sees hundreds of little spider the colour of cop lights scurrying around in his hair. She tries to speak his name but no sound comes out. Again….Nothing. She screams at him with all her might and there's nothing except the clicking of the pistol and the creaking of the rusty swing set. The boy places the gun under his chin again. Natasha bites her lips, tenses for the shot.CLIC.