The man scratched at his head, ran his fingers through the stubble on his chin, the downy fluff on his cheeks that passed for sideburns as he searched for an answer that might make sense to someone with no knowledge of six thousand years of mythology, unstained by organised religion.
“Um…” he trailed off, losing steam. “Well…”
She stared back, in naked innocence – he diverted his eyes, taking in the room surrounding them.
It was immaculately clean – a stark contrast to his own dishevelled appearance – the spines of books stared out at him from their shelves, and he could see a murky reflection of himself in the polished stone-mirror floor. She smiled, in gilt-edged guilt, both her and the room showing a taste of her life, ultramoderation.
“You don’t understand it either, do you?”
Her question settled into the fabric of the room, hollowly echoing from the walls, like the call of the tame, forcing its way into his wild life.
She moved slowly toward him, her smile now uncertain, shy.
She was a trap. He understood it now. His uncertainness turned to steeled determination, a call for swift justice rang out inside him.
“Are you human, madame? Or a trap, a temptation sent me by the Devil?” His eyes roved the shelves. Books on computing and engineering. Books of heresy. His hand reached for the Bible, bound to his chest. He touched it, reverentially, as his other hand sought the pistol at his hip.
He delivered her swift justice, and left the smell of cordite gun-smoke and sparking electronics on the floor.