Remember yesterday when we were talking about violence and all of that fun stuff?
Here’s a chunk from chapter 10 for you. It’s starting to feel weird posting all of this stuff when most of you don’t know what these people look like, or why they’re doing all of this, but I guess that’s part of the fun. We never said these would be stand-alone pieces, did we? But I’m starting to think I’m ruining it. Might be about time to start posting from another WIP.
Note to self: start another WIP.
We’re a long way from the safety of last week’s flower garden now… (warning: there be gore ahead)
“Would you let me die now?” he asked, after I’d put the last of the food away. He sat on the far side of the fire, shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows.
“What do you mean?”
“If you saw me injured and dying again, what would you do? You said that if you’d known who I was that day you’d have left me to your friends. Has that changed at all?”
I had no idea what he was getting at. Stupid me. “I still don’t know you very well.”
“Knowing what you know now.”
“I… no. I might still turn you in, but if I saw you hurt like that again, I don’t suppose I could leave you.” I didn’t like the way he was looking at me. Not threatening, exactly, but he looked half-insane in the flickering firelight.
“I believe you.” In one smooth motion he reached into his knapsack, produced a long, dark-bladed knife, and plunged it into his left wrist. I screamed. He gasped, then pulled the knife through the flesh of his arm, twisting it near his elbow. The blade must have been sharper than any I’d ever come across before; it cut through muscle and tendons like they were liquid. Blood gushed from the wound.
“What the hell are you doing?” I yelled, and jumped up from where I had been sitting. Aren held his arm away from the blankets so that his blood poured onto the ground, burning on the fire-baked rocks.
“This is up to you,” he said, speaking as calmly as he had when we first met. “You probably have a few minutes, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t leave it for too long.”
“No.” My legs went weak, and I had to sit down and push with my feet to back away. “You’re crazy.”
“And I’m dead if you can’t manage a repeat performance. I…” He grimaced. “Gods, that hurts.”
I tried to tell myself that he was tricking me, that this was some kind of illusion, but as his eyes became glassy and his breathing shallower it became harder to believe that. “You ass,” I whispered, and he tried to laugh.
“Rowan, I can’t-”
“Shut up.” I picked up the knife and used it to cut into a thin cotton blanket so that I could tear a ragged strip off of it. I dropped the knife and kicked it onto the woods.
He looked at the fabric in my hands. “You don’t need to do that.”
“I said shut up!” I felt sick at the sight and smell of blood. Panicked tears made the world tremble in front of me, but I managed to start wrap the cloth tight around the butchered arm to try and slow the bleeding.
Aren placed his other hand over mine. “Don’t. You can do better than that.”
I pressed the heels of my hands to my eyes and tried to clear my head, then grabbed Aren’s injured arm in both hands and squeezed. He yelled. “You deserved that,” I whispered.
Don’t forget to check out all of the other WIPpeteers’ posts for this week (head over to My Random Muse and click on the link), and to join in if you’d like. The rule is that you post a bit of a work in progress that somehow corresponds to the day’s date (so for today, 10 lines, 10 paragraphs, etc.). Thanks for stopping by!