Simon finally left and Iris lowered her gun. She sighed and quickly looked back at Holly, her only friend. Who did that boy think he was? Talking about her friends like they were dead! Who-
Who did he think...
Who... who was she kidding? She was...
Wrong. Wrong? Wrong.
That boy could have saved her. Instead she just scared him away.
"I-" She coughed. "I-"
Iris slapped herself across the face. As hard as she could. She winced, and took it. She braced her hand and hit herself again. And again.
Iris let go of Holly's head. She held onto her cheek, staring back down at her friend. Her face showed so much pain. Why did Holly have to die? Why couldn't she just accept Johnny? Why did they have to die? Why didn't she do anything to stop them?! Iris wanted to curl up into a ball, shut out the whole world and just rot. She wanted to just die. Most of all, she wanted to wake up from this terrible dream she was in.
And then Iris found herself alone. And she did not cry.
... she had time, right? A hour if she recalled correctly. Less than a hour at this stage.
Iris didn't have a very large list of things to wanted to finish, but there was one more thing she had to do. The reason why she came here in the first place. So she closed Holly's eyes with two fingers, kissed her cheek and rose.
She walked. As she walked, she thought. She thought about Holly. She thought about Johnny. She thought about... everything and nothing. About this game. This was all just a game right? It was not like any other game she played. People died in this game. They killed each other. So Iris had been lucky... she had made it further than a lot of the rest. Did that mean she was better than them? Iris never liked to compare herself with such terms. Better. Worse. We were all the same weren't we? So why should she ever consider herself better than Holly?
Holly... maybe Holly was the only reason she was still alive.
That made Iris frown. Frowning hurt everything.
Time passed. The cove was huge.
She really hoped she could find him. She had to find him, had to find him. Her heart was pounding.
There was an odd buzzing in Iris's arm. It scared her. Was her arm SUPPOSED to do that? Iris didn't want to think about it. She just wanted to find -
She gasped. She dropped her bag, rushed over to the little nook, fell to her knees.
Her mouth tasted of metal suddenly and she slowly ran the tips of her fingers down the latin boy, the one she found herself hopelessly devoted . Iris was known to let her mind dramatize things, to twist things so that they looked... better. Iris had always known about this terrible little habit of hers. With Cristo, it was different.
Cristo. The only boy that... touched her. She would have given him anything just to feel wanted. Wanted for her body, wanted for her. Her cheeks turned a tint of red. That was a very dirty thought, wasn't it? Iris wasn't as innocent as everyone thought she was... She was just a girl who just wanted to be pretty. And Cristo made her feel pretty.
And still her mouth still tasted like metal. What was that? It was so unusual.
He was dead, there was no question about. His expression was blank. Had he died quickly? Poor Holly, her face looked terrible, nothing at all like Cristo's. Iris thought, for just a quick moment, on how her face would look once she died. Iris chewed at her lip. and this was around the time where she realized that she had put her gun to her lips. She resisted at first. Then she gave in very quickly. The gun was in her mouth. The thought of suicide had always disturbed Iris but she was willing to forgo that. There was nothing left for her to do.
She only had two choices. Either she got up and fought or... The choices were quite similar, two pieces of dialogue that lead to the same Shakespearean conclusion. As Iris sat there with her pistol buried in her mouth, she realized the mechanics of the pathetic game she found herself playing. Even if you win, you don't really win. So what was the point in playing? All of the paths looked the same and arrived at the same place. So why should Iris bother? Iris never liked playing games anyway. She never liked being the winner, never liked losing either. The whole mechanics of games, the winner and loser, points and penalties, rules and regulations. They were there to make someone feel better. Like they accomplished something when really all the effort was for nothing.
The problem was, or at least the problem for poor Iris, was that she couldn't get the thought of this being a game out of her head. It floated in her head like a terrible nightmare. She knew she couldn't just stick around with Holly anymore and pretend desperately that nothing was different. She was dropped into a game of life and death and she just wanted to throw in the towel and watch from the sidelines. Of course she couldn't do that. Unfortunately life wasn't that fair.
So with pistol in mouth, finger over the trigger, knowing that she would never see her mother again, she squeezed
and pulled the gun out of her mouth.
"No..." Her hand squeezed around the handle. "NO. No no no no no no!"
She lifted her head. It was the only thing she had done on her own. This was Iris talking. Every time Iris did something, it was usually because someone had told her to do it. Or perhaps she did it with another person in mind. Iris was such a selfless person. That was what momma called her. Selfless meant that someone was caring to others, almost to a fault sometimes. The opposite of selfish, where someone thinks only of themselves. Momma always told her to take charge... well, she had never told Iris, she had said that to her father once when Iris was supposed to be in bed. The circumstances didn't matter, did it? To this day this has been the only instruction that Iris had never accomplished. The one thing Momma asked that Iris didn't immediately follow.
Perhaps this game had been the best thing that ever happened to Iris Landon.
"I ain't a bad person. I-I ain't nevah done anything to deserve this. I've always been a good girl. "
Her fragile heart was pounding. She had never screamed so much in her entire life. First at Holly, and now here she was. Her voice was harsh but she let one last battle cry out, desperately fighting the buzzing.
"IF I'M GONNA DIE, THEN IT'S ON Y'ALL, NOT ME!"
The buzzing continued. Iris realized that she was sweating. What would become of her? Would she die very slowly? Would it be quick?
"JUST DO IT! I AIN'T AFRAID!"
Why was everything so cramped? It was like the walls were closing in on her, like in Star Wars, she loved that movie with all her heart. Her father took her to see it when they were in the city, they were replaying it in a small cinema that had seen better days. She pictured the walls of the trash compactor closing in on her, ready to squish her like a piece of trash, and everything felt so claustrophobic and she couldn't stand it, but she knew it would be over very soon. Yet... There were so many things that she never got to do. Iris wanted to travel the world. Become famous. Do things. Feel things. ... kiss a boy. No, she's never kissed a boy before in her entire life. She always thought she would. It was a better time than any. The only time, she figured. No time like the present. Momma always told her that. And Iris always listened to whatever Momma said.
Amidst the buzzing and the tears and the knowledge of impending doom,
Iris lowered her head, hand pacing up, her heard ready to burst,
her lips quivering, the buzzing growing, the heat rising,
she lowered down as far as she needed to,
Her mouth tasted of metal and his
tasted of nothing. How ironic.
Then lifted herself off,
saliva stained lips,
and then she,
Subject C02, Iris Landon: ELIMINATED