“Okay. Who first?” Charlie asked, placing the pistol back on the table. Caroline smiled at her and leaned forward. She moved the pot and slid the gun to the center of the table and spun it. They watched as it went round three times and settled.
“I guess that’s you,” Caroline said. Charlie bit her bottom lip and stared at the pistol.
“This will be the first time I’ve ever fired a gun,” Charlie said, looking up at Caroline.
“Are you scared?”
“No,” she said, picking up the .38. Charlie pressed the button to release the cylinder and looked at the single shell sitting in its chamber. She spun the cylinder and slammed it into place.
“Don’t forget the pot,” Caroline said. Charlie nodded and picked up the spaghetti pot and put it on top of her head like a hat. She waved goodbye and made a made a silly scared face before pulling the pot down over her eyes and nose. Breathing in through her nose, she held the air in her chest and pushed it out of her mouth. She didn’t need to breath, but going through the old motion still helped her focus, even if it was only psychological.
“Okay, okay…” Charlie said, then put the gun in her mouth.
“Upside down honey,” Caroline said. Charlie nodded and took the gun out. She smacked her lips and chewed on the flavor of oily gunmetal.
“God, it does taste awful,” Charlie said, then turned the gun around and pressed the end of the barrel against the roof of her mouth, her knuckles resting on the lip of the pot, her teeth chattered against steel. She jerked the trigger, screaming around the barrel when it clicked on an empty chamber. The gun clattered to the table and Charlie yanked the pot off of her head.
“Jesus Christ! Fuck!” Charlie yelled, her eyes wide, her jaw hanging open and shaking. Caroline laughed as Charlie shook her hands in front of her chest.
“I thought you weren’t scared!” Caroline said through her laughter.
“Holy shit,” Charlie said, still shaking, as she tried to unwrap a stick of gum.
“You gotta squeeze the trigger, not pull it. If that had gone off you would have shot yourself through the cheek. Squeeze it,” Caroline said. Then in one swift motion, she put the pot in her head, the gun in her mouth and pulled the trigger. It clicked on an empty chamber.
“Fuck!” Charlie yelled again, startled by how quickly Caroline went through the motion.
“See?” Caroline said, after taking the gun out of her mouth and setting it and the pot back on the table.