I have his god to thank for this. ‘My god,’ he says. ‘Do you understand? The true god.’ This is what he tells me as he presses the blade into my neck, testing the contrary forces of hard metal and skin.

I try to think clearly. I feel an urge I’ve never felt. ‘What’s his name?’ I say between choking gasps. ‘This god of yours, what do you call him?’

He hisses a name to my ear as he hauls me along the corridor. The knife draws its first drop.

I repeat the name. ‘…are you there? Can you hear me?’

‘He won’t listen to you,’ my captor spits. ‘You’re nothing.’

‘It hardly seems fair.’ I try another tack. ‘Lord?’ I whisper. I call to the god of lazy Sunday-school mornings.

The blade pushes in. It matters little. My life will soon be drained from me. I think of my family, my friends, my lover, as if it is they that will spill so pointlessly, staining the carpet, leaving me with nothing.

No deity, neither his nor the one my parents hoped I’d trust, answers my call. ‘Is he a loving God?’ I say. ‘Is he beautiful? Is he caring?’

‘Shut up,’ he says. His angry red face quivers. He pushes in further.

‘Is he glorious?’

‘Shut up.’ Pressure parts the skin along the stainless line.

‘Is he wonderful?’ I say.

Deeper.

‘He’s all those things, isn’t he? He’s glorious and wonderful.’ I say.

His dark eyes narrow.

‘And forgiving, too. He loves without question those who love him. Like you, my friend. You he’ll love for eternity.’

The blade cuts through with fury. The first red spurts pump onto him. I watch his spattered face, victorious at first then turning blank.

‘This is it then. His destiny?’ My last words. I slump into the pool, the warmth of it all my own. I drag my life down with me. It warms me as it seeps. The people I love. The things we could have done

‘Stay alive you bastard,’ he yells but I’m almost gone. He starts dragging me desparately towards the control room. He doesn’t understand how easy it is for me to die here on this carpet among thoughts of my friends. To embrace them in this way and depart with them before we reach the door. I’m the one who knows the code. I’m the one who can disarm the security. It’s a system as elaborate as it is simple for it needs only me, and I will be gone.

As I die I’m wondering how his god will punish his failure. His god. His beautiful god.

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