Chuck stayed there for a while. He could not remember Jasmine's exact words, but whether out of pity or strategy, of a fit of conscience or the cruelty of a slow death, she had left him be. Left him alone with his thoughts. His thoughts were not the best company at that time. They consisted mostly of 'fuck, this hurts'.
But soon, the bleeding slowed. The pressure and the elevation was working. The cut, ultimately, was not that bad. It was bad, no question about it. But was it crippling? Disfiguring? Terrifyingly deep? Nah.
Chuck sat up. His hand was soaked in blood. He draped it over a patch of grass, both taking away the most congealed and coagulated patches as they became tangled with the green blades, and feeling the freshest blood trickle down onto the ground below. His hand was still red. No matter. His face was no longer feeling particularly swamped with more blood. Which, y'know, progress.
He set about cleaning it up. Rifling through the first aid kit. Making a note to, from now on, keep his crossbow within reach at all times. Because being able to shoot people could be helpful. He grabbed some stuff. Hand sanitizer first. On his less bloody hand. Then alcohol pads and saline solution, applied haphazardly to his face. It stung. A lot. Hurt more than the cut itself. Which was reassuring in a way. And then, a bandage. Wrapping it around his eye. Popped an aspirin too.
Chuck was able to stand. Before he left, he looked over the edge. Saw Lance's body. He swallowed. He had seen corpses before, in person. He had seen his grandmother, lying in the coffin, before her funeral. Made up to look like she was sleeping, but it didn't really work. In that state, she looked straight from the uncanny valley, with an almost ethereal ease and restfulness to her sleep, an impeccability to her makeup and attire that she had never tried to attain in life.
Lance, in contrast, was raw. Bloody. Nature had granted him no dignity. Indeed, as the waters carried away some small parts of viscera and gore, seagulls around his body. One big fucker in particular seemed to be picking apart his corpse the most.
Chuck heaved. A dry heave, ultimately.
He picked up his bag, readjusted his Boo hat, and walked away.
((Chuck Soileaux continued elsewhere.))