You guys voted who should die and I went with the majority. Thanks for voting and enjoy! ;) x
"Tavi-" I´m kicked in the gut by a flailing wolf paw before I can reach out, and collapse to the ground, wheezing. This wouldn´t be where I gave up now!
I crawl to my feet and stagger towards her blindly, groaning and clutching my stomach, and clumsily swipe at a wolf.
It whips around and stares with me with crystal eyes, wide as dishes and boring into me, fangs protruding out of it´s red-dyed lips.
It looks between me and Octavia, ears swiveling, and then pounces back onto Tavi, where a piercing scream emits from the pile of scrambling wolves and torn flesh.
"GET OFF OF HER!" Ryder shouts hoarsely, but there´s nothing any of us can do.
Aurora is still frozen in the position that Octavia had set her in when she had been pushed away- fists slightly clenched, lips parted, in a stance of shock and confusion.
But her facial expression was terrifying.
Eyes wide and tiny pupils shaking, her muscles and nerves in her face twitching, and the corners of her mouth slightly turned up in a disturbing, uncertain smirk.
She remained this way even when sprays of sticky red spattered her face.
I cover my face and shake my head, vaguely aware of someone else screaming, then coming to the realization that it was me.
"Hhh...h...kill...me..." Octavia wheezes over the dog barking. "Kill...me..."
I topple over onto the grass, which was now given a deathly cap on each blade as little beads of crimson rest on it like early morning dew.
I breath in the earthen smell.
I peer through my eyelashes, and see Ryder kick away a few wolves, and pick up a sharp rock from he ground.
He aims it at the mangled mess of flesh and organs.
Her words are stopped short with a surprised gurgle as Ryder throws the stone expertly, like a dart, at Octavia.
"...I..." I gasp. I felt as though my lungs were being bound with harsh, fraying rope, rubbing against my flimsy flesh, constricting my breathing.
I curl up tighter in a ball in the blood-capped grass.
I hear the scurrying and rustling of the wolves cowering away from Ryder´s shouts of anger and rage at them.
"Come on. Come on, Kenzie. Get up. We have to go. Come on." he beckons me softly, gently shaking me.
Wobbling, I crawl to my feet, and immediately drop back down when I see the grassy, mushy, pink-and-red, sticky mess of meat and strands of Octavia´s thick black hair that lies in a puddle before me.
Ryder snatches the plums off the tree and hands one to me, dropping the rest in his bag.
I stare at it with loathing.
Before, it seemed a beacon of deliciousness, of hope, of exciting new wonder and a world beyond the Asylum.
Now it resembles a juicy ball of death, and the most disgusting thing I had ever seen.
I feel vomit rising at the back of my throat.
I stumble towards the bushes to puke quietly and politely, but instead I trip over a root and land face-first in the bracken. The thorns scratch my face.
I throw up, curled on the ground among thistles and brambles.
"I want to take your place," I whisper to myself.
But it wasn´t directed towards me.
Inhale. Exhale. In. Out.
Deep breaths are now my best friend.
All three of us are knelt in front of the pool of Octavia, except now she´s been covered in glossy leafs, sweet-smelling jasmine to mask the putrid smell and sprigs of heather.
A blank expression is printed onto Aurora´s pale face, but her mouth is smile in a faint smile and her pupils shrunk to a grain of sand in a very disturbing manner, the blood still dried on her face.
We simultaneously rest our hands on our hearts and press three fingers to our temple.
Then we sing the salute that we generally do in the Asylum if someone dies:
"You have went to many places,
Including to the stars.
But you are also in our minds,
And deep inside our hearts.
We won´t forget you, no matter what we do.
We will remember you.
You might be gone,
But your spirit lives on.
We will remember you."
I feel my face crumpling and wet spurting down my cheeks; not the black gunk that infected us, but clear, pristine water, like from the pond.
I catch the only droplet in my hand.
"W-What´s this?" I hiccup, showing Ryder the wet in my palm.
He quickly unzips my bag and snatches the ´Mackenzie´s First´ book, unties the velvet ribbon and takes a square of paper from a slot. He gently presses it against my palm, and the drop of water soaks into it.
He puts the snippet of paper back.
"What was that?" I say worriedly.
"I´ve heard of it before," he says. "It´s called sadness. People in the Capital ´cry´ when they´re sad, which is when water comes out your eyes." "I suppose this is good. If we ever run out of water, we can always cry and drink that."
"Yeah," he agrees absent-mindedly. "Aurora, are you okay?"
"Hmm-hmm-hmm," she laughs without opening her mouth. "Heeheeheehee!" those massive scary eyes scan me, flaking dried blood peeling off her cheeks. "I´ll just say goodbye...to Octavia...go ahead! I´ll catch up...heheheheee..."
This wasn´t Aurora my friend.
So Ryder and I wordlessly soldier on ahead, kicking away pebbles and stray twigs.
Hopefully some sign of civilization will appear soon.
"You guuuuyyysssss!" Aurora screeches from behind, her pitch dipping.
I whip around...she looked even worse.
She seemed even more drained of colour, her dull-red hair hanging lankly around her paper-white face. The twitches in her face were more frequent and there was even more blood stains covering her face, and a crimson layer of scum caking her fingernails which I could have sworn wasn´t there before.
"Wait up!" she shrieks, staggering ahead to catch up.
"We have to sleep apart from her tonight," I murmur to Ryder. "She´s scaring me."
"We better hit the hay soon! I´m exhausted!"
She hums happily and suddenly freezes and locks her eyes on my face. "You have cuts all over your face."
"I fell in the thorns," I mumble.
"Let me see!" she skips up to me and harshly presses her thumb against each cut. "Oww! That stings!" I whimper.
"Hmm-hmm-hmm," she snickers, looking at the red on her finger.
I back away nervously.
"Some of those might need stitches," she says, very matter-of-factly. She wipes the blood from my face on her finger to her cheek, pressing against her own face.
"Now! How about we get some sleep, eh?" she grins and unpacks her rolled up blanket from her trunk, snuggling up on the ground.
I do the same, but further away.
"She´s really scaring me now, Ryder," I whisper shakily. I shiver from sickness, still a bit shaken after my earlier vomit, a horrible stale taste in my mouth. My stomach swirls worryingly. "The whole Octavia thing really got to her. She´s going insane."
"I know," he murmurs back. "Keep your distance."
I couldn´t sleep for ages.
I hear Ryder eventually drop into a heavy sleep, snoring softly.
I try everything to fall asleep.
But I kept opening my eyes.
And whenever I opened my eyes, Aurora´s would be flashing back at me.