“How many bullets does the gun hold?” Riley points it at her own leg and fires. The gun clicks. She passes it to Dawa.
“Six. Most blessed guns have twelve, but this was all I could get.” Dawa takes a drink from a clear bottle. She says that the bottle is full of holy water. She’s been making a show of drinking it since she sat down. She aims at her leg and fires.
“Twelve, not thirteen?”
Ane takes the gun next. Her hands shake as she holds it. The other two talked her into this game of chicken. She doesn’t want to be here.
Riley takes it, a frown on her face. “There has to be an easier way. Or at least a less disturbing one.”
“I’m all ears,” Dawa says. “Why the cold feet? Are you worried?”
“Obviously.” Riley attempts to copy Dawa’s aloof tone. It isn’t convincing.
“It’ll hurt, but you won’t die. …Unless you’re the demon?”
Riley fires. Click.
“If I were a demon, would I agree to this stupid idea? Wouldn’t I just kill you?” she asks.
“Maybe you’re waiting to see what we do.”
‘Couldn’t that apply to any of us?’ Ane wonders.
Dawa glances at her. “Why doesn’t she talk?”
“No idea,” Riley says. “Take your shot.”
Ane holds up six fingers.
“Six… wait. Was that the sixth turn?” Dawa asks.
The three look at each other. No one moves. Riley speaks first. “Where was the bullet?”
“Someone took it out.”
Dawa and Riley focus on each other. They don’t blink. “You got the gun.”
“You got the bullets,” Dawa says.
“This was your idea! You probably set it up! To see what we do, just like you said!”
“Why would I confess my own plan?”
“Because you knew we wouldn’t take you seriously!” Riley screams.
Dawa gestures to Ane. “She’s not buying this!”
“Did you think you’d get us to turn against each other?”
“You aren’t even friends!”
Ane takes the gun and points it at Dawa.
“What are you going to do with an empty gun?” Her voice displays no fear, even now, with a gun pointed at her head.
Ane loads the gun with two blessed bullets. She had always been prepared for the possibility that more than one demon would sit at the table.
Dawa and Riley smile. Speaking as one, they say: “You’re smarter than I thought.”