Back against the wall. Still better than face
against the wall, Asha supposed. She weighed her options, with her leg and arm now weighing her down.
She could make a break for it. Try to lunge out of the way of Izs next attack, stumble towards Jae. Crawl, if she had to. The closer she got to Jae, the better chance he had of actually hitting Iz with his next shot. Maybe they could tag-team her, have Asha toss him the knife just like theyd now traded the prized position of most fucked up, 2015. Her wounds were bad, but they had medical supplies. Shed probably live.
That was assuming that Asha could
get away, though. Worse - it was assuming that Iz wouldnt
get away. Was she suicidal enough to charge at a crossbow wielded by a guy almost a foot taller than her? Or would she take the chance to run while she could, surviving with serious, but not fatal, injuries? There was no doubt in Ashas mind that Iz would take out all of her pain and frustration out on the next sorry soul she ran across. Excruciating, amplified agony. Preventable. Her fault.
It came down to a question of whether Izs pride and spite were stronger than her self-preservation instincts, and that wasnt a gamble Asha was willing to take.
As Iz charged towards Asha, Asha used her last strength to plunge her knife deep into Izs stomach. She would die, no question about it. It would be slow, and painful, and even though it wasnt what Asha had wanted she couldnt deny that Iz deserved every last bit of it, however long she would linger in this world, however long before she realized that pointless cruelty for the sake of cruelty would always be punished-
There was a dull thud as the blade of Ashas knife hit Izs rib and was stopped, shallow.
- [+] spoiler
Asha tried to flinch, but found herself frozen in place, bloody hands wrapped tight around the knife that was still piercing Iz. She couldnt scream. She couldnt breathe. She couldnt even move her eyes. She was trapped, helpless to do anything but stare back into the hateful eyes of her murderer. The world dimmed around them, leaving the two surrounded by nothing but a black void.
For what could have been a minute or an hour or a month, time didnt pass. Asha and the statue of Iz were trapped together in what she figured to be a dream, or a nearest-death experience, a curtain call for who she was, trying to cram the rest of a lifetime of thought into a single blink of the universe. She desperately tried to think of some way to escape, to live, to use infinity to defy physics and logic and change the only possible outcome of the last seconds of her life-
You never realized it, did you?
Impossibly, there was a voice whispering in Ashas ear, cold breath touching the side of her face. Though her gaze remained irrevocably locked forward, she could feel someone, lurking just out of sight. Hear a gleeful sadism that sounded eerily familiar.
All that buildup, and you have to go and get yourself killed before I could see the look on your face. Disappointing, no?
What the fuck were they talking about, Asha wanted to scream, but her mouth may as well have been stitched shut.
All I wanted was to see you admit to yourself that this was exactly what you wanted to happen. I hope you dont mind me cheating just a little to give you another chance at it.
No. They, whatever the fuck they were, couldnt be more wrong. She had never meant to abandon Jae and Dot, never meant to draw out Izs suffering, had never meant to die-
Theyll cry for you, you know. Of course they will. Theyll think that you were bravely defending them, a last stand for the sake of the sleeping. Theyll be sure that the only reason you didnt wake them up right away was because there hadnt been enough time. Youll be remembered as a hero.
She just hadnt wanted to put them in danger, hadnt wanted to give Iz any chance to escape, it would have been over with quickly and painlessly if she had just had the guts to actually kill her-
If you had lived for much longer, you would have had to start making some hard decisions, wouldnt you? If you made it to the end, could you still have chosen to die without a fight, knowing itd make your mother cry? If Min-jae and Dorothy were still with you, would you try to force them to give up? Better for you to all die good people than for anyone to get out alive, right?
That wasnt the point, the only thing that Asha had ever wanted was to help as many people as she could, prevent as much pain as possible, even if it was only through forcing smiles or shitty jokes or-
Murder, yes. Maybe if youd come to that conclusion a little bit quicker, more of your friends would still be alive.
Iz was different, Iz was irredeemable, she knew what she was doing the entire time and loved it and couldnt ever be reasoned with or understood, she could only hurt and hurt and take and take until there was nothing else left or something finally stopped her-
Im sure thats what some people think about Nancy and Alessio, too. Funny how you never even threatened them, isnt it?
It was still early, there was still hope for them to change-
Not too early for them to start murdering. Do you think it wouldnt have hurt your friends, to see you get cut down right in front of them? If you wanted to try and reason with them, why didnt you do it from a safe distance away?
Jae would have shot them all, if he'd thought he had to-
And you still dont even hesitate to call him a friend. You never even tried to think about all the people who loved Samuel, did you?
It was different, Jae was sorry, he just needed someone to help him not overreact-
Who do you think you are to forgive him? Who do you think you are to forgive any one of these damned souls?
She just wanted to make them feel better-
"You just wanted him to feel like he owed you something."
What better way to be remembered than as a martyr? The cheerful giver of absolution?
"And you've even managed to convince yourself that it really was all about their feelings. I'm almost impressed."
All this time, youve just been wanting to die in a way no one could blame you for, havent you?"
nothing but venomous fork-tongue bullshit
"The easy way."
reaching deep inside and finding what hurts most and never letting up and caressing your heart with its talons and only stopping so you won't get used to it
"Like a hero, without any of the hard work."
just lies and misinterpretation and
and just enough truth to get you wondering get you thinking that it can't all be wrong get you thinking that you're obviously not a perfect person
"If you do, this can all be over."
turning the inherent frailties of human nature and brief lapses of good will into inescapable mortal sins with nothing but yourself and
"All you need is to realize that you've never really been a good person."
all the time you'll never have in the world.
"I'll give you all the time you deserve."
Asha couldnt cry. She couldnt scream. She had long since lost the strength to argue. She found no mercy or redemption, only the words repeating in her head over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over
There we go! That wasnt so hard, was it?
Before Asha could register that she had been cut, the blade had already torn open her throat.
The force turned her head to the side, and she saw Jae and Dot for the last time. She made a gurgling noise.
Then she died.