with with (prep). against: I am arguing with the woman who is clearly

with (prep).
1. against: I am arguing with the woman who is clearly out of control.
2. alongside; near: The children sitting with her on the sofa are terrified. The mother still
won’t shut up, so
3. in the keeping, care of: I level my Colt Single Action Army Revolver, the one I always
carry with me, at her youngest child and slowly click through the chambers, checking the
rounds. Then I snap that cylinder back into place, and that gets her attention, and
4. into; among: she stares at me, anger mixed with fear, red with black, my two favourite
colours, and she cries out,
5. concerning; in regard to: “What do you want with us?”
6. showing; possessing: And her youngest girl, the one with the bright red hair is rubbing
her eyes
7. by means of: with her fists, and then burying her face in her mother’s blouse.
8. as an associate or companion: But since Cal’s with me, watching the front door and
driveway, I’m not in much of a hurry.
9. working for: He’s been with me for years now, Cal has, and although he doesn’t
understand the psychology behind why I do what I do, he gets a charge out of it, just like
I do.
10. in the same direction as: The mother’s eyes travel with the gun as it sweeps across and
points at her five-year-old son.
11. at the same time as: She struggles to her feet, her arms tied behind her back just the
same as those of her kids, and I rise with her. “That’s a bad idea,” I say. “Now you have
just ten seconds to answer me, or I’ll shoot them both.”
12. from: She flops back down. “Take anything. I can part with anything—money, jewels,
just not my—”
13. after: “Seven seconds.” And with that remark, she pees herself, and I see the wet spot
spread across her pink skirt.
14. having received: I shake my head back and forth like I’m sorry. “Now your time is up,”
I say, and since you’re not going to tell me which one to shoot, I’ll have to shoot them
both. With your permission,
15. by: I’ll start with killing the girl. “No!” she screams, then quietly whispers, “Ricky. Kill
Ricky. I love you, Ricky.”
16. having: So I level the gun at the kid and pull the trigger. Click. Empty. Well, you didn’t
think I’d walk in here with the thing loaded, did you? I mean, I’m not some animal.
17. by force of: But like I say, I like the psychology of it. You see, way back during the
flood, when that huge new dam burst, my mother and my sister and I were swept away
with the rushing waters. She had to let go of one of us or all of us would’ve drowned.
And my problem, all my life? I get the feeling she made the wrong choice. And the
kicker is, I think she feels the same way too. So I got to thinking about what others would
do, just ordinary folk, just people like us. And how will that boy grow up, knowing his
mother loves his sister more? And how will the mother deal with the guilt? You see, it’s
one of them moral dilemmas they teach in psychology classes at the university, the ones I
can’t get into. Think I’ll head over to that other couple I’ve been watching—there’s a
greater spread in years between their boy and girl. I wonder if age makes a difference…