Cupid’s Bullets: West


What was she doing?

I watched her come out of the gun store, strapping a Glock to a holster on her thigh. It was broad daylight, for crying out loud. She wasn’t even trying to be slick with it. Geez Louise, Thumbleeze. Send a bat signal to the freaking NRA, why don’t you? But it was cool. I knew the deal. None of those cupid bullets were ever gonna touch me. I was single and I was not ready to mingle. I gave my belt a pat, making sure my own Glock was still there.

But as the days went on, I noticed she was spending more time going in and out of Cupid’s Gun Shop. And every time, she came out with bigger guns. Should I have said something? Maybe. But those guns were probably all loaded with feelings for somebody else. There was no way she was about to be aiming those things at me.

So I kept it moving. We hung out at my house one day, went to the movies the next, and watched Netflix another day—without the chill, of course.

Then one day, I woke up and I noticed something was different about the town. Everybody was dressed the same and walking around with the same hustle and bustle pace. But some of them were looking at me funny.

Then, suddenly, I heard a bang across the street. A feeling ricocheted off a streetlight behind me and I ducked behind a parked car.

“Come out where I can see you!” she shouted.

I shook my head behind the car. It was going down. I should’ve ended this when I had the chance. “This isn’t gonna end the way you think it will!”

“Shoot me!” she screamed.

“Trust me, I will,” I shouted back. “But my gun’s not loaded with feelings.” I pulled out a magazine from my belt and ran my fingers across the surface: REJECTION. I loaded it into my Glock and jumped out from the car to fire. But gunshots rang out on the other side of the street and feelings shattered the car’s windows next to me.

What the heck? I ducked back down for cover, but not before I spotted three women in sweatpants sprinting down the sidewalk, guns aimed at me. Civilians? Nah, those were her goons. Undercover. I spun back out and fired three quick shots and took them down. Lightwork.

Screams broke out around the area and people flooded out of stores, tripping over each other. And as more people came pouring out, more random civilians started gunning at me. And all the while she stood on the other side of the street, firing shot after shot at me.

I ran down the block and dove behind a parked van. There were so many of them. I’d waited too long. She had undercover goons. Now in order to take her down, I’d have to risk taking down innocent civilians. Was getting rid of this worth the collateral damage?

   Gimme a break. Gimme a break…

There was another gunshot and a feeling grazed my arm, ripping the sleeve.

   Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.

I looked down at the blood trickling across my skin. Maybe this wasn’t so bad of an idea. I mean, she was cute. She was cool. We got along…What was I thinking? The feeling was already getting to me. I had to stop this.

Another gunshot behind me and more feelings rattled into the side of the van. I turned and took out four more shooters. I sent a barrage of shots sweeping through the area again and took out more undercover goons and some innocent bystanders in the process too: a Dad and his teenage son, a little girl on a tricycle, and a teddy bear.

Then I rushed across the street, ran into the open, aimed at her, and fired one shot. She went down instantly.


I walked up to her as her henchwomen scattered with the rest of the panicked crowd.

She stared up at me and shook her head, the only part of her body she could move now. “I thought you had feelings too.”

“I told you mine was loaded with something else,” I replied, kissing the barrel.

“Why would you do this?”

“Don’t worry, it’ll wear off soon.”

“But I thought—” she started.

“I’m not your Superman,” I cut her off. “So stay in your lane—cuz you’re not Lois.”

“You’re a savage,” she spat.

“You go that right. Aren’t you glad you’re not dating me? You’re welcome.”

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