Could she breathe now? Could Cathryn move a finger, get up, could she live? She waited, and waited, and waited, as the footsteps faded into nothing, into the cold silence, but was it enough, or had he stopped, taken a second guess as to whether she was alive? One second, two minutes, three hours, she lay there, letting herself paint the ground scarlet. Only when she'd forgotten the sound of Jackson's gun did she allow herself to come back to life.
It would be better to sleep here, you know. Sleep, it was an exciting prospect. She hadn't slept since, since when again? Since, since Bella? An hour or so after Jewel, after Naomi died, and how many eternities ago had that been? So much had happened, so many new bodies, so much more scarlet spread. She'd had a lot less enemies the last time she slept. A lot less problems.
But she couldn't get what she wanted. Cathryn's body had holes now, new ones. Her right arm couldn't move now, with two holes near her shoulder, a bit above the bite mark, which hadn't even dried yet. Even the biggest effort only resulted in a slight quiver. And the pain, the burning. Surprisingly, she hadn't felt much during the encounter itself, but as the adrenaline faded, the pain intensified. Like a burning ember pushed inside her.
She couldn't even hear properly. She looked behind her and saw fragments of what may have been her left ear. She tried vomiting again, but there was literally nothing left in her gut. No time for sleep, no time for anything, not if she wanted to avoid infection. No rest, no mercy.
Maybe that's what a sinner deserved.
No, no doubts now, not now. She could be forgiven, perhaps. In the end, her conscience could understand, maybe they, her friends back home, could understand that it was special circumstance. She hadn't been cruel intentionally, she'd tried to make it short. She could be forgiven. Besides, he'd do this a million times to live, to get somewhere. It's what she promised herself.
And so she'd push on. Despite the terror, the blood always pulsing a bit too loud through her veins and out her wounds, despite the aches, and the agony, and the hunger, and the weariness of it all, she'd put another foot forward. Because, if at the end of it all, she didn't make it, what worth would all this be? What worth would Leah, Nina, now Alice's deaths be? And what about her hands, her bloodied hands?
And so she stumbled out of the area, and sought shelter.
((Cathryn Bailey continues in Grievances