‘Get back!’ I screamed, as the filthy ink spilled from my mouth, ‘get ba…’
My voice was smothered as wave after wave of black ichor rose up out of my throat. I gagged, choking on the viscous liquid. And slammed both hands, fingers clenched, over my mouth, desperately trying to hold it in, helpless against the tide rising from my stomach.
Cassie staggered backwards, away from me, terror dawning in her dark eyes.
‘Tayla!’ she yelled, reaching out towards me. I wanted to touch her, to hold her so much, but with a huge effort, I threw myself back against the stone table once again. My shoulders and spine hit the granite with a resounding crack, grinding my teeth together and knocking the wind out of my chest. A jet of ink rushed out of my mouth, staining my ragged t-shirt a dirty blue-black.
I heaved, my lungs labouring wetly to draw breath, drowning. And tried to find the words to tell her to run, to flee from this place. That I would always love her.
Cassie took another step towards me, anguish spreading across her face.
‘Cassie…go!’ I gurgled, bubbles forming and popping between my clenched teeth.
Just as my eyes glazed over, just as the life left my body with a wet sob, I saw her turn and run to the deadbolted door. She was safe, she would live.
*** *** *** ***
My eyes snapped open. With stiff, creaking limbs, I pulled myself upright on the stone slab. My mind was fuzzy, confused. I remembered the finding the amulet, Cassie’s bright smile and the triumphant glint in her eyes. I remembered opening the amulet and then….pain, panic and…
Where was she?
Suddenly alert, I scanned the room, looking for her, looking for Cassie, the only thing that mattered. I saw her by the door, and swung my legs off the table, hissing at the pain in my chest.
On unsteady feet, I lurched over to her, brushing the dampness from my mouth with the back of my filthy hand.
I crouched down next to her, ‘Cassie, Cass? Baby, are you OK?’ I said, my voice gravelly and too loud in the silent room.
She was still, too still.
My hands shaking, I carefully turned her over to face me, pulling back the tangled curls from her face. There was no light in her beautiful eyes, no welcoming smile on her lips.
‘Cassie?’ I said again, hope dying in my chest like a moth burning in a candle flame.
Here is another piece I wrote in response to prompts. I quite like this one, it has influences from the work of a former student, and a bit of Dr. Who too.