Who Would Live Quietly Must Murder Hope

Hope was living in a basement apartment when he found her. One small southern window near the ceiling let in what little light there was, enough to show a cracked concrete floor and four white unadorned walls. A rug in one corner had a blanket on it; this, he surmised, was her bed. He squatted tailor-style on the rug and settled back to wait her return. He had nothing but time.

The sun had set before she returned, arms laden with fast food. He sat, still as the Buddha, beneath the window, head bowed. The flourescent ring in the ceiling flickered into dim light. “Oh!” said Hope, and dropped the fast food. He raised his face and watched her, lips parted slightly over his pointed white teeth. The door had shut behind her, and she backed against it, hands spread over her throat. “What — what do you want?”

“I want nothing,” Resolve said, and stood. She opened her eyes and her mouth to scream, but he closed upon her and she was silent. When it was finished, he looked down at her body on the concrete and snapped off the light. He did not leave the apartment. Time passed.