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“I don’t want to.”

The mocking laughter that followed this statement made her skin crawl as it rang out upon the bare walls and concrete floor of the unfinished office space. The individual holding her here was waiting on her, he was waiting on others, and he was waiting on the one thing she no longer cared to do.

“You know what I’m about to say, right?”

“What I want is irrelevant,” she said, sniffing as a single tear ran down her left cheek. The right side of her face was nearly swollen shut, the result of being beaten to within an inch of her life. Bruised ribs, if they weren’t broken or cracked she would be amazed, a broken arm, a twisted ankle, and a knee that was already swollen to twice its original size told a story of the savagery that another had done to her. It wasn’t the man currently holding her life, and so many others, in his hands, but the bitch that had followed him like a trained dog for so long.

“That’s right,” he said, “You chose to play this particular game, and as a result, you get to see it through to the end. Your wishes were granted when you started this chain of events, and now, you get to decide how they end.”

“It’s too much,” she almost sobbed, “Please, I’ll give everything back. I promise. It’s too much.” Even moving sent a wave of pain and a resulting surge of nausea through her frame, forcing her to remain still as her left eye closed, which was a horrible mistake as the darkness behind her lid began to spin uncontrollably. She couldn’t hold it any longer as she vomited a stream of greenish, orange bile out upon the floor, leaning forward to ensure that none of it struck her lap. She was mostly successful, but a small splash reached her right thigh, where it clung tenaciously as it began to run down her battered flesh, the bright colors standing out in stark relief against the dark bruising and brown skin surrounding it.

“That’s pretty rank,” he said with a laugh, “A final repast of Mountain Dew and Cheetos. Not exactly a fitting last meal, but then again, some have had less.”

She couldn’t help but shudder, leaning forward as her stomach cramped, the man’s laughter ringing in her ears as she found that she just wanted it to end.

(to be continued)

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