He’s sneaking in his mother’s house—the place makes him ten instead of twenty. He keeps his shoulders square with the wall, back and neck pressed against the cool plaster, finger around the trigger guard of the gun. It shoots only caps, but he’s painted it black to make it look real. It would be useless against an intruder, but after all, this is only make-believe, and he is only playing. He loads the red ring of caps, spins the cylinder shut, and aims the barrel at the hallway bulb. A silent kerpow from his lips, a flick of the switch, and an explosion of imaginary glass and genuine darkness.
He’s keeping it dark. In case they come.
– from a new story