“Maybe I just destroy them and never do it again,” Atlas swore.

Getting revenge was his plan since the beginning, but he never believed it would be like this. Atlas’s parents and brother had been killed by a crazed gunman when he was 13, and Atlas was determined to find their killer and get revenge. Everyone wants something they can’t have.

He’d always been a cold person, and it had never been easy for him to make friends. When he got picked up off the streets by Veronica, the woman who would become his boss, he felt as though he had won the lottery. She was going to give him a job at an agency that would give him access to documents necessary to find his family’s killer. In return, he was her dog. He would do whatever she asked, however unpleasant. Not a bad contract, eh?

His boss wasn’t a warm person; she was cold and calculating. She knew what she wanted and how to get it. Atlas fell instantly. Everyone wants something they can’t have.

He was assigned a partner, Jordan. She wanted a partner who wouldn’t die on her. She’d lost six partners so far, and she didn’t want to lose another. But this was the nature of working at the agency. She’d wanted more time for Atlas. She knew he didn’t have long, and she couldn’t bear to lose another partner. She’d sacrificed herself for him, given the devil her all. She’d given Atlas more time. Her time. All the time she had left. Everyone wants something they can’t have.

His roommate, Zach, wanted Veronica too. Atlas had felt jealous of Zach, because he’d seemed to replace Atlas as Veronica’s dog. He’d never felt love before, and he believed this is what Veronica was showing him. But judging by what Atlas was experiencing now, Zach was never gonna get that date from Veronica. He’d never experience that love if he expected it to come from her. Everyone wants something they can’t have.

His new partner, Angel, just wanted to die. He’d lived long enough, and he was tired. He wanted to be free from obligation, and free from the agency.

But Veronica took him, made him give her everything, the rest of what he could give. He’d die, but he’d belong to her, forever stuck in his contract. Everyone wants something they can’t have.

Standing here on the beach, with the winds swirling around him and the sand pelting his face, Atlas felt utterly alone. Jordan was dead. Angel was dead. Zach wasn’t here. And

Veronica was offering him a contract.

A contract he couldn’t refuse.

A contract he didn’t want to refuse.

A contract that would cost him his life.

A wise man had once told him he would die the most painful death one could endure. But this didn’t feel painful, did it? He was just morphing, changing. He felt a heavy object appear in his hands, and when he looked, he recognized it as a gun. He blinked, and when he opened his eyes, he was home.

It looked just as it did the day his family was killed. He and his brother were playing outside, but his brother had gone inside to get gloves. Atlas could see his brother’s footprints in the snow, leading to the house.

Atlas felt the weight of a snowball in his hand. That’s right! They were going to have a snowball fight. That’s why his brother had gone in for gloves. But Atlas could have sworn he was holding a gun just a second ago.

His brother came back outside, and Zach, his roommate, followed him.

“Zach!” Atlas heard himself exclaim. His voice was a lot higher than he remembers it being a few minutes ago.

“Wanna play?” he heard himself say as he tossed the snowball in the air. It made a loud BANG as he released it. The sound should have scared him, but it didn’t. “You and my brother will be on a team against me!”

A look of fear crossed Zach’s face. “Atlas, don’t do this, please! You’re going to hurt people!”

What was he talking about? It was just snow. It wasn’t bullets, it wouldn’t hurt them.


“I’ll just destroy you, and then I’ll never do it again. I promise,” he said.

Atlas could hear the sound of a gun going off as he threw the snowball at Zach, and Zach quickly dodged it.

“Man, you’re too good at this!” Atlas heard himself whine.

After firing off a couple more rounds of snowballs at Zach, Atlas was suddenly pinned to the ground by Zach.

“Alright, alright, you win,” Atlas felt a sigh escape his lips.

“I am so sorry about this, Atlas,” Zach said with tears in his eyes. He raised his fist, and suddenly, everything went black for Atlas.