Bridgette’s moment of triumph was cut short as the heelies hit the side of her face with a dull thunk. She stumbled backwards, pulling the knife out of Panya’s neck as she crumpled to the ground. Her hand went up to cover her cheek, wincing at the sting.
As she straightened herself up, Bridgette saw the other girl writhe on the ground, hand clamped over the wound. In all of her life, Bridgette had never seen this much blood come out of a person. Her stomach turned as a primal fear crept up inside of her, but she had to steel herself.
She sank to her knees, the knife slipping from her grasp and landing somewhere in the flowers. A sense of relief washed over her, but her heart was still racing. Bridgette doubled over and clutched her stomach as she heaved, although it sounded more like wheezing laughter. She still couldn’t believe what had just happened.
Panya was dead, though that didn’t matter. All that mattered was that Bridgette had won.
She had survived.
Bridgette waited until Panya was still before moving again, crawling over to the body and gently pulling the duffel bag out from underneath. She began to idly sift through its contents, putting the extra rations and first aid kit in her own bag. All the while, Bridgette avoided looking the body in the eye. Its eyes had glazed over, and it was taking all her strength not to throw up at the sight.
But she knew she had to get used to the grisly scene for when she had to kill again.
When she was finished, Bridgette zipped her bag shut and stood up, turning away from the body. She bent down to pick up the knife she’d dropped earlier, and her eyes lingered on the blood stained blade. After shooting a glance at the body, Bridgette opted to wipe the blade on the front of her jeans, leaving a crimson stain above her right knee.
She stuck the knife back in her pocket and closed her eyes, feeling the breeze against her face. Bridgette’s heart rate was finally subsiding, and for a moment, she felt completely normal. The first of many obstacles had been overcome, and she had to prepare herself for the next.
Bridgette turned to the treeline and left the meadow, with the only reminders of Panya’s existence in the extra weight of her duffel bag.
((Bridgette Sommerfeld continued in Cursed are the ones who can't abide.