Because I won't let go
Day one: A fight [30 day Tumblr challenge]
Drip. Drip. Drip. Her eyes fluttered. What time was it? What day was it? Why was she lying on such a hard surface? She didn't want to open her eyes.
Drip. Drip. Drip. Couldn't someone fix that dripping? She was trying to fall back asleep. She rolled onto her right side, curling up slightly. Her hand brushed a boot. Tingles shot through her palm, rocketing up her arm. Dread filled her heart. She placed her hand tenderly on the boot. She felt steel where the toes should be. She didn't own any steel toe boots. Her heart began to pound. It felt as though it was slamming against her rib cage. She slid her hand up the boot, the tips of her fingers hitting denim. She clamped her teeth down onto her bottom lip, suppressing a scream. Her eyes popped open, brown boots next to her face. Her eyes trailed up, her heart racing even faster. A denim clad man stood over her, a sword resting in his hand.
Without a second thought, she rolled to her left as quickly as possible. The man slammed the sword tip into the ground, where she had been laying. She got up quickly as he rushed over to her. She ducked, anticipating the punch he threw. Backing away quickly, she looked both ways.
"What is going on?" She asked, her voice shaking. The man stepped into the light. A heavy beard covered his face, a ripped tee shirt barely covered his medium build frame. He took a step towards her, his hands outstretched. She raised her leg, bending it, and snapped it into his stomach. He fell to the ground, landing on his rear end. The blood in her body was as cold as ice, her face heating up as he stood back up. She pulled her arm back and formed a fist with her fingers. She let it fly. It connected with the man's jaw, pushing his face with the force. She swore she heard a popping sound. He staggered back, but quickly regained his balance.
The man grabbed the sword from out of the ground and ripped it up. She swallowed. Hard. The man came at her, the sword poised for attack. Instead of moving, she brought her leg up, her knee bent. As the man rushed forward, she kicked her leg out and swung it in a circular motion. The heel of her shoe slammed sharply down onto the man's wrist. He dropped the sword profusely, letting out a howl of pain. She let her foot fall back to the ground. As the man grabbed his injured wrist, she took the opportunity to grab his dropped sword. She bent down and picked it up with her right hand. The sword didn't feel right in it. The man realized he dropped the sword. He lunged at her, not seeing that she was still holding the sword out. It sunk sickeningly into his exposed stomach. He let out a gasp of pain. She pulled it out quickly as he fell to his knees, blood blossoming on his shirt and skin.
"Oh my god. I'm so sorry!" She cried out, her eyes catching the blade. The steel was marred with his blood. She felt nausea creep into her system, the feeling vomit overtaking her nose and her mouth. Her body lurched forward as the contents from her stomach emptied itself onto the dying man. He gurgled as she coughed up the last bit of vomit, her hands shakily resting on her knees. The hilt of the sword dug uncomfortably into her knee. She straightened up, her breath heavy. She brought her bare hand to her lips and wiped them off on the backside of her palm. She looked back down at the sword in her hand. It still felt uncomfortable there. She brought her left hand to the hilt and wrapped her fingers around it. Something about it felt right. Like it'd been there before.
A sharp pain exploded in her right shoulder. She turned to see a rail thin man holding a handful of daggers. She guessed that was what was in her shoulder blade, searing her skin as it sat there. The man rose his right hand, a dagger poised in it. He whipped it at her. Shrieking, she jumped away from it. A dull thud filled the room. She quickly looked behind her. A man who had been holding a gun was laying on his side, the dagger in his throat. Blood was pooling around his head, his eyes still wide open. She turned her head back as another dagger whizzed past her right ear.
"Why are you attacking me?!" She screamed. Tears were falling from her eyes rapidly. The pain was unbearable.
"They are your foes. You need to kill them before they kill you." A voice said, filling her head. The man with the daggers prepared to throw another one. His black shirt clung tightly to his protruding stomach, his jeans looked as though they had been painted on.
"Did you say that?" She questioned. He didn't say anything. Instead, he whipped yet another dagger. It landed in her collar bone, shattering it. She screamed in agony. The pain threatened to blind her. No. She had to stay alive. She couldn't give in. All she could do was fight back and sob. She wished that she only had to do the latter.
"Fight them. Don't just stand there. You know how to use the sword. Remember all that I taught you." The voice said. She lunged at the man, the sword out. He didn't move. She sent the blade through his throat, like he had accidentally done to the man that had been behind her. She yanked the sword out as blood shot from the wound, spraying her. She pulled her arm back and stabbed through his chest to his heart; he fell to his knees, the sword holding him up. She pulled the sword out, watching as he fell to the ground, bleeding out.
"Good. Look out behind you." The voice said. She turned, but didn't move fast enough. A fist slammed into her cheekbone. Pain blasted itself through her face. She stumbled backwards, trying not to fall. The fist didn't give her a chance to react yet again, this time fracturing her nose. Blood trickled out of her nostrils and down her lips. She gasped out as the fist yet again connected with her face, her lip this time. She willed herself not to fall over as the man pulled his arm back, preparing to strike again. She lifted her leg up and kicked up, her foot hitting the man's genitalia. His eyes popped as he wheezed in pain, his hands going to his crotch.
"Jab your fingers into his eyes." The voice said. She spread her fingers and jumped forward, shoving them into the man's eyes. He screamed as she raked her fingers down his face, her nails catching on his face. Raising the sword, she slammed the hilt into his temple. He staggered about drunkenly and fell to the ground. She then turned her wrist and stabbed it through his solar plexus. Blood bubbled up to his flesh as she pulled the sword out. She stabbed him again, for good measure. She let out a wail. Her heart hurt so much for these people. She knew she had to attack them to survive, but it didn't seem fair. They would die here. They would never see their family again. Pulling the sword out again, she looked around. A masked person stood behind her, not moving.
"I'm not going to hurt you. Hand over your sword so you can take those daggers out." The person said, the voice calm and soothing. It sounded so familiar. Where had she heard it before? "You have performed admirably. I'm sure the dojo where you took your lessons from would be very pleased."
The woman handed over her sword, her body screaming at her not to do it.
"Should you have done that?" The voice in her head asked.
"Why am I hearing a voice?" She asked. The masked person took the sword and examined it closely.
"I don't know. Perhaps you are crazy?" The person responded. The girl ripped the dagger out of her collar bone, biting back a scream.
"No! I'm not! There has to be an answer! Just like there is an answer to where I am, why I'm here, and why these people are attacking me!" She yelled, blood slipping out of the wound. She took a step forward, the dagger sitting comfortably in her left hand.
Before she could take another step, a sash appeared across her body, going diagonally from her left shoulder and down to her right hip. It burned into her skin as it pulled her back. She screamed out as her flesh melted, her blouse and bra binding itself to her flesh. She dropped to her knees, whimpering. The sash pulled itself upward as she collapsed to the floor. Steel toed boot connected with her exposed side. Balloons of pain popped. Another kick, this one landing in her stomach. White flashes burst in front of her eyes as she rolled onto the side where the boot had first hit. The boot rose up and slammed itself down onto her newly exposed side. She couldn't cry anymore. She'd lost all her tears during the battle. She fell onto her back. The boot flew into a fury of kicks. There may have been more; she didn't know. Her stomach, ribs, and solar plexus felt each and every kick. A few foot stomps landed on her chest, her breasts threatening to explode under the weight of each stomp.
"Stop. She's had enough." The masked stranger said. "Help her up. Your job here is done."
"But…" One of the attackers said. The masked stranger snapped their fingers. The protester fell to the ground, gasping for air. His hands laced themselves around his throat, his face turning blue. He twitched violently as air refused to pass in or out of any of his orifices. Suddenly, he stopped moving. His hands loosened from his throat.
The woman's heart began to pound again after watching this. Who was this masked stranger? Why did her attacker get killed? She heard footsteps fade away. It must be the other attacker. The masked stranger didn't let the attacker leave, though. The person snapped their fingers again. The attacker fell to the ground, not moving or making a sound.
"He's bleeding to death. If you were standing, you would see that." The stranger said. She felt herself being levitated. Too weak to scream, her eyes bugged out as her heart slammed itself against her rib cage. She wheezed in absolute fear. She was sure that her fear could be heard by anyone alive. Moments later, she was back on her feet.
"Who are you?" She asked. The stranger didn't say anything. Instead, it reached up and lifted the mask. The woman gasped. She was staring back at herself.
"Oh god. This is such a cliché. You have got to be kidding me." She said. She looked around, laughing. But, the laughter quickly faded as pain manifested in her abdomen. She looked down. The sword that had saved her was now twisting inside of her, slicing her organs. She fell to her knees, gasping for breath. She looked up at the woman before her.
"There is a saying. 'You live by the sword, you die by the sword.'" She said. Everything slowly slipped to black.
"Clear!" A man wearing a face mask stood over a horribly battered woman, paddles in his hands. He slapped the paddles to her skin, electric jolts shooting through them, into her body. He pulled the paddles away as a single beep was held, the sharp tone agitating the man. He rubbed the two paddles together, his brows furrowed together. "Clear!"
He pressed the paddles to her chest again. Electricity coursed through her body. The one toned beep turned into a series of short beeps. The man breathed out heavily and pulled the paddles away.
"Get her on a ventilator. She barely has a pulse." A woman said, holding the battered girl's wrist.
"Is my wife going to live? What's going on?! Why can't someone tell me?" A male voice called, echoing through the doors where the girl was laying, barely breathing.
"Here lies the girl who thought she could win." The stranger said. The girl breathed heavily, her eyelids fluttering. She fell backwards, making the stranger laugh. "Be reasonable. You're dying. Just give up now."
"No." The girl said. Cold metal nestled up against her hand. It was a gun. The only one she'd seen with a gun, he'd died before he had a chance to attack him. How did she end up with his gun?
She wrapped her fingers around the hand grip, her finger sliding around the trigger. The gun was already unlocked. The man had meant to use it on her, before he met his own fate.
"Such determination. It's not like you'll live for much longer." The stranger said. She stepped in front of the girl, her feet on either side of the girl's calves. The girl rose her arm with much difficulty. The pistol in her hand rattled as her hand shook. "You have a gun. Let me guess. You're going to shoot me."
The stranger laughed loudly, her eyes closing in glee. The girl pressed down on the trigger, a bullet exploding out of the gun's mouth. It shot through the stranger's chest, hitting the stranger mid laugh. Her eyes flew open as the bullet slid through her chest, leaving a hole in its wake. Blood spurted out gracefully. She swayed momentarily and fell to the ground, her eyes still open.
The girl let out a heavy breath as she took a shallow one. She dropped her arm and shakily moved both hands to the sword that was still stuck in her. She grasped the blade, ignoring the fact that the hands on her skin sliced under the slight pressure of the blade. She tried yanking the blade out, screaming in agony at the attempt. It had to come out. She couldn't just leave it in.
Yanking again, blood began to pool out of the wound. She was losing far too much blood. "Help!" She cried out. "Someone. Please! I'm dying."
"Mr. Lorthane?" A female voice said. A tall, light skinned man turned around, his eyes puffy and red from crying. "Hi. I'm Doctor Ronan. You can call me Elaine. I'm one of the doctors who is trying to help your wife."
"What happened? Is she going to live? I just want to see her." The man said, bursting into a fresh round of sobs.
"Let's take a seat." Doctor Ronan said. She grasped Lorthane's arm and pulled him gently over to a section of chairs. He didn't protest. He sat down on the chair as Doctor Ronan sat next to him.
"Your wife has been in a car crash. A driver slammed into her, and her car spun out of control. Her car hit a fire hydrant. The other driver, from what we're told, also spun out. His car hit an electric post. One of the poles on the post shot threw her back window and lodged itself into her shoulder blade. The impact caused her windshield to shatter. A large piece of glass went into her collar bone and broke it. Luckily, she was wearing a seatbelt. But, she still hit her head on her steering wheel. Her nose and left cheek bone fractured, and her lip split. It's possible that surgery will have to fix the damage. She has extreme bruising on her chest, stomach, and solar plexus. There is massive internal bleeding."
"So, she'll live?" Lorthane said, sniffing. Doctor Ronan bit her lip.
"Mr. Lorthane. John. Is it okay if I call you John?" She paused, but didn't wait to hear his answer. "Your wife is on a respirator. If we take her off, she will die. She will never breathe on her own."
"So, you. You need. You need. My…permission. My permission to…to kill her?" John asked, sobbing. Doctor Ronan nodded. She held a clip board with a form attached to it as well as a pen out to John. He took a few breaths and tried to compose himself. "I. I need time with…with her."
Doctor Ronan stood up. "Follow me, John.
John stood up and followed Doctor Ronan through a set of double doors. He tried to stop sobbing. He had to be strong for her. He didn't want her to see him so weak, even though she wouldn't be able to actually see him. He just needed to talk to her. To know if he was making the right decision.
Doctor Ronan led him over to a series of beds. John spotted his wife and ran over to her. A small stool sat next to her bed. He sat down on it and studied her. The machine next to her worked almost soundlessly, breathing for her.
"Allison." He said, gasping. He picked up her right hand gingerly. It was heavily bandaged.
"What happened to her hand?" John asked, turning to Doctor Ronan.
"Both hands. She was trying to shield herself from the glass. Shards managed to get into her hands and slice up her palms." Doctor Ronan said. John turned back to Allison.
"Alli." He said, tears stabbing his eyes. "This isn't how things are supposed to go. What about me? You can't leave me. I need you."
He paused and sniveled. He could not cry. She needed him to be strong. "And our baby. She needs her mommy. Hannah needs her mommy." A tear slid down his cheek as he attempted to swallow. His heart ached. His throat felt like a rock had lodged itself inside.
"I suppose you don't want to hear that. That we need you." John said, letting out a dry laugh. Memories sped by his eyes. "Remember that Christmas morning? Our first one together? You were so excited to see snow for the first time. I…I…I had…I had grew up with. With snow. But, you. You lived…lived in. In California your whole life."
His body shook as a sob escaped through his throat. Tears fell from his eyes. No. She needed him to be strong! He had to stop crying. He took a few deep breaths, looking down at the floor. As the sob disappeared, he looked back up.
"You loved snow, Allison. Just like Hannah does." He said, stroking the bandage on her hand lightly with his thumb. "I remember when you first told me you were pregnant. I couldn't have been more happy. I could already imagine spending time with my future son or daughter. You were so scared, though. Scared of my mother. Scared of your parents. But, they accepted it."
A few more tears fell. He needed his heart to stop hurting like it did.
"I can't do this alone, Alli. But, I can't keep you on this life support. It's not fair. I…I'm…I'm going to…I'm going to take…take you…off." He choked out. "Please…please. Forgive me."
She lay on the ground, her breath becoming more shallow by the moment. "God?" She called out, barely whispering. "I know I don't believe in you, but I need you to listen."
She took a few more shallow breaths, the pain slowly numbing itself. "I'm sorry. For everything. I know. I know I wasn't perfect. But, no one is." She paused, breathing in as much as she could. "I'm not worried about me. I know I'm going to Hell. Just do me a favor. Watch out for John. And Hannah. They…they really need a mother and a wife. I won't be able to be that for them."
She closed her eyes slowly, not wanting to see anymore. A shallow breath escaped her lips for the last time.
The monitor connected to Allison let out a long, continuous beep as the line on the monitor went from jagged to flat. John sobbed into his wife's hand, wishing more than anything in the world that she didn't have to go.