The heat of the desert was near-unbearable, a constant weight bowing her shoulders, and there was hardly a breeze that twisted through her hair, impossibly bright in this sunlight. On anyone else, it might've been like the halo of an angel. On Katie, she thought it be might be like the crown of a queen, and the words on her lips were an order for execution. She took little solace in their isolation, the fact that it was just her and the skinwalker on the highway, too far to see town unless you squinted, the sun shining in her hair and the shotgun heavy in her hands. The thing looked up at her and she could swear it wanted to beg, trying to whisper prayers into the cloth that bound its mouth.
She couldn't think of anything to say in that moment. Katie's grip tightened on the barrel of the shotgun, aimed squarely at the skinwalker's face, and braced herself for the impact. She did not smile when her finger found the trigger and pulled after a moment's pause.
She felt like the shot could have been heard back in Redgrove, even though she had gone far enough to make sure that it wouldn't be. It rang in her ears for a few moments, and she looked down at the corpse and forced herself to see. Skinwalker. Male. Approximately twenty-seven years old. Confirmed supernatural. It would be left out here, for the vultures to get, for the sun to bleach its bones.
The gunshot was still ringing in her ears when she turned the other way and emptied her stomach.
Wiping her mouth, the woman squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, allowed herself a reprieve from the brilliancy of the light of day. She used to like fire so much, used to enjoy Molotov cocktails and bombs, but right now, the desert felt like an inferno kissing along her skin. Her hand was trembling as she wiped the sweat away from her forehead, but she couldn't make it stop. She needed to clench, flex all of her fingers and her arms and her legs. She needed to make sure she was in control, because it wasn't too hard to remember an utter lack of control, a complete passivity while she watched something take her body and use it as a weapon. She couldn't forget Tracey's face, twisted in pain, ashen with fear, when she did not have control. But, God damn it, her hands wouldn't stop shaking, and she couldn't stop remembering. Fay, in her apartment, looking like she was hiding something, but she had wiped that all away, buried it six feet under, and it came crawling back up. What weren't they telling her? What was she missing?
The gun felt too heavy in her shaking hands, so she returned it to the trunk of her car, getting in it after another moment and another glance over her shoulder at the body she'd leave behind. She could swear, there was something circling ahead, already waiting for its meal. It would be fine. It would be fine. She began to drive back into town, turning up the radio so she wouldn't have to hear her own thoughts on the matter. Something old, something that made her nostalgic for days with Dallas, with "borrowing" cars and getting ice cream and trading secrets that meant so little compared to the ones neither would ever talk about today.
She got back into town all right, but her mind felt hazy. She sat in the car, listening to the engine settle, until the heat got to be too much and she slipped out, making sure that there weren't noticable spots of blood on her jeans. She was fine, thankfully enough. Without much of an aim, Katie began to walk around, staring at all of the people of Redgrove. They were so happy, so complacent. Didn't they realize what had happened? Don't they think about what might happen next?
Distracted by the idea of the town still being so completely oblivious and slightly infuriated by the thought of them swallowing whatever bullshit the mayor and his wife fed them, Katie wasn't paying much attention to where she was going. And she was bumping into people, just brushing past them to elicit some sharp stares that she didn't really notice. But she did notice when she ran smack into someone, forcing the both of them to stop. The blonde fixed the person she had bumped into with a stare.
"You really ought to watch where you're going." The words were right, but they lacked their usual bite. Jesus, she sounded almost tired. What the hell was happening to her?