Isabel grumbled something under her breath but Alice, too caught up in her own misery, didn’t catch them. Still, the sound of her voice got Alice’s attention and she focused on the girl before her, watching as she repositioned herself on her side
"I can't stand you, you know.”
The sudden words took Alice off guard. Even though she knew they were coming, knew what the girl must think of her, the pure sentiment behind them stunned her; she had expected those feelings to be flung at her in anger and understandable rage, instead they were said in a calm voice that made them feel that much heavier.
"You fucking killed my only hope in this fucked up game, and you put an arrow in me."
Shame heated her and guilt weighed her down. Once again the simplicity of the statement struck deeply.
She couldn’t bear to look in the girls eyes anymore, so she allowed her gaze to follow the girls arm down to the where the arrow protruded from her leg. She watched as the hand tightened its grip around it, watched as the arrow shifted inside the wound and heard the cry of pain.
It was a terrible thing to see, but it was still easier to look at that what feelings were contained in those eyes.
"But you know what? I feel bad for you. You made a shitty decision that cost you another ounce of innocence."
Before all of this had happened Alice supposed she would have considered herself an innocent person. She had never hurt anybody nor had she ever thought of hurting somebody. She had never committed a crime; never had she even got into trouble at school.
But she didn’t believe that anymore. She didn’t believe that somebody lost innocence by committing the kinds of acts she had carried out in this game. Surely somebody who could do what she had done was never innocent to begin with, right?
"You killed my ally, and I'm probably going to be finished off with infection or blood loss thanks to you."
Alice hadn’t intended to kill with that arrow, she had only wanted to scare them and at the same time prevent Isabel from coming any closer. The leg had seemed like the best choice at the time, but seeing now how much blood continued to pour forth it seemed like Isabel really was going to die because of it. Alice didn’t want anyone else to die because of her mistake.
Suddenly, Isabel ripped the arrow free from her leg, letting out a roar of anguish that chilled Alice to the bone and wiped all others thoughts from her mind. She stared in wide eyed horror at the bloodied and gore covered arrow in the other girl’s hand.
“Wh-what… WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
You couldn’t just tear an arrow free like that. They were designed not to be so easily removed; they were designed to cause more damage if you did something like that. In doing so Isabel would only widened the wound in her leg and hasten the bleeding and her death; is that what she wanted?
She threw the arrow at Alice with a limp gesture. What that her goal? To rip free the arrow Alice had shot her with and throw it at her just to spite her? Did she hate her so much?
Already the blood seemed to be coming faster, the flow thicker, the stream wider. She had to stem the bleeding now if Isabel was to survive. But, Alice couldn’t mover, she daren’t move. It was obvious that the other girl would not accept her help and even now Alice was still scared of her, of the sword which was still by her side and how easy it would be to use it.
Isabel spat at her, the spittle landing near the bloody, discarded arrow.
"Get the fuck out of here so I can die alone, you bastard."
It shamed her, it was a cowardly thing, but Alice couldn’t sit here and watch another person die because of her.
Instead of staying and trying to help, trying to talk, she averted her eyes to the floor and stood. Clutching her crossbow to her she walked away, stepping over the body of James Houlihan and continued till she reached the door to the room she had occupied earlier.
She packed her things and prepared to leave. She would find somewhere else to sleep tonight.
((Alice Young continued in Discordant