Okay, well this was unexpected I think as I continue crawling backwards away from the creature pressing herself against the glass pane of the menu; her fists still smashing against it. Can a menu break? I don’t know, I’ve never seen it happen. But there’s a crack there so that’s good enough for me to accept that it can I think as I watch the split grow just a little wider with every thud.
I still haven’t gotten up, my mind still racing with the events that have just transpired. My body preoccupied with gaining distance from the danger. I stop. How far can I go away from the menu? Will it disappear if I crawl too far? Or will it stay where I left it? I’ve never tested it, but… where would I go?
There’s nowhere to go.
I look back at the thief on the other side of the menu, at the elf who is staring at me, obsessed, possessed. She’s always been a little… extra, but this is obviously not what I was expecting. Then again we’ve never talked, we’ve ne-
“When was the last time we talked?” she asks, her face pressing against the crack in the glass. Oh. “Ah, I guess it’s been a while. Then again, there was nothing that could talk. So I can forgive you for running this far, since it maybe turned out for the best if you can be a human every now and then!” Her eyes grow wide. “I can forgive you this time if you stay! If you stop running! Stay with me until you fade away, every time!” she repeats, laughing again, her face growing taut.
“Who would have thought that of all the floors of the dungeon, this one would be here? Out of all of them, that this one would be so low down! You always liked this one! How lucky! I’m sorry I had to kill them, I know you liked them! But you know how it is!” She presses her hands between the crack in the glass, bits of the menu splinter and fall off as she digs into it. The razor shards cutting into her fingerless gloves, slashing and scoring and staining everything with red from her palms. But she doesn’t stop, she keeps prying the glass away, ignoring the shards cutting into her skin. Into her hands.
“They’ll all be back tomorrow anyways! We’ll all be back tomorrow anyways! We’ll all be here forever! Together!” Her eyes grow wide. “None of us will be alone! Me, you, everybody! All of us! ALL OF US! SO NEVER LEAVE! NEVER LEAVE SO WE NEVER HAVE TO BE LONELY AGAIN! I KNOW YOU FEEL THAT WAY TOO!”
Stepping back now I feel my foot rise up the incline behind me and warily I turn to hurry up it, what else am I supposed to do? She’s getting through the menu bit by bit. Apparently she can’t just swipe mine away, but she can definitely break it. Okay, so, this is certainly a development of sorts. I look around seeing if there is anywhere I can leap to, but no, all of the high walls are bare and blank save for a few banners and odd decorations. The statues lining the way all stare down at me, all watch me judgingly with their eyes.
My gaze meets that of the hero with the lance and I wonder, just what in the name of the dark-lord have I gotten myself into here? I mean, it’s nice to be wanted, but this is a bit much I think to myself. To hell with it, I turn and run up the incline now. The menu will either vanish and she’ll get me or she’ll break through it and get me. One way or the other, I’m gonna get got. At least this way I get to say I tried. As I run up that incline I hear the laugh from behind me again, a shrill, unnatural laugh that makes the hairs on my neck stand up on end.
Not much later I reach the top of the incline, which was a lot easier and faster to go up as a human than as a rat rolling a log. Ah, I should have brought the fire-elemental with me I think as I look to the braziers both filled with unlit wood. The one time I wouldn’t mind being a goblin-caster I think to myself with a sigh. I instead focus my attention on the more interesting thing, the monument. Maybe there is some other way to move it. If only I had some fire magic, if only I-
I squint looking at the many depictions of creatures and monsters depicted here. Hey, I know th-
My body lurches forward as my chest thrusts to the side from a sharp pain in the back of my ribs. I fall and place a hand on the monument to catch myself. There is another thud as a second arrow sticks into my body and I slump over forward, reaching around to my back as I hear the thud of soft leather come up behind me.
“Aaaah, you’re trying to run away again! Aren’t you?” coos the voice out from behind me and I freeze, expecting the end to come now. Instead I receive a boot to my back and I fly down forward onto the stone floor, the wind knocked out of me as I painfully land, the two arrows scraping against my bones as I thud down against the ground. Not a second later there is another boot on my back and I feel the arrows shifting as she grabs them by the shaft, I let out a sharp scream as there is a yank and she rips the barbed arrows out one after the other from my flesh, tearing out a chunk of me with each. A chunk of red covered in a bloody purple fabric.
Thinking instinctively I reach now for the dagger on my belt, but she kicks me in the gut and I splutter; another boot kicks the dagger out of my hand. Two hands grip my side and roll me over onto my back which is seeping red from my mangled flesh and I look up to the thief standing over me, her eyes wide and a smile on her face as she has a bloodied finger in her mouth. Blood from her cuts. Blood from me. Her body tensing together as she laughs.
Dropping down she sits on top of me in a fashion that I can only describe as a deep breach of my personal space and looks me in the eyes.
“Hey! Hey! Remember that time you were a spider? Remember how you were on-top of me like this?” She laughs and leans forward closer now like we were then, her short hair dangling down over my face. “I liked that. It hurt when you cut me. I liked that. I thought that was really cute how you saved me from the red-caps, even if it didn’t matter. None of it matters! But you saved me anyways, so that’s how I know-” she laughs, blood and spit drop from her mouth into my eyes, blurring my vision.
“-That’s how I know you don’t really want to leave! I even forgave you for letting that girl baby you when you were a drake!” She leans in closer. “The rat one was a bit much though. That one hurt me, you know? You know?” She’s whispering in my ear now. “Sitting on her lap of all people? That one hurt me.” I splutter as there is a sharp pain in my gut, looking down I see the red, deeply cut hand slowly pressing the dagger into my abdomen. “That was really unfair of you!”
I look back to her, to the face I can see now beneath the shadow of the hood. The smile. The happy smile.
“But I forgive you. I know you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re just a big dummy!”
Another lurch as the dagger enters between my ribs now, sliding into my lung and I splutter blood which hits her face. She laughs and smears it around, mixing it in with all the rest of it, her eyes never leaving mine. Laughing she presses her bloodied body against mine and wraps her arms around beneath my neck, wraps her legs beneath my back and falls to the right, rolling us over once with me now on top. Instinctively I grab the dagger and turn it around towards the figure clamped tightly around me, towards the face with the giant smile just in front of mine.
“Do it! You can do whatever you want to me! If you stay! STAY WITH ME IN THE DUNGEON!” she shouts aloud and I hesitate, my adrenaline cooled by an overwhelming sense of dread. I hesitate and a hand wraps itself around mine and takes the dagger back before I can react. My body frozen in fear and doubt, my resolve too covered in red and shock to make itself seen.
I let out a splutter as the blade runs into the side of my throat, pushed in deep by her small hand. The tip juts out of the other side of my neck. Well, I’m out. Peace. She laughs as she looks at me, at my spluttering form oozing blood; at the knife sticking out of my neck. Pushing my hand grasping to the blade aside she rips it out, sending a violent spray of blood out over the room, over her face and eyes as I cough and splutter; as the last of this life begins to leave me. I watch in relative horror as she takes the dagger and runs it along her own throat from ear to ear, the large smile on her face never leaving. Her shrill laugh which has never stopped, still ringing out as she coughs and splutters blood violently out. Still laughing and gargling as it fills her lungs, fills her mouth.
There is another push and she sends us off to the side again in another roll, as she is on top again but only for a second as we reach the incline and then roll down together, two exsanguinating bodies interlocked as we tumble down the large, bright stones. Leaving a trail of our intermingling blood in a long red smear from the top of the slope to the bottom. All the while she laughs and splutters as we roll down to our graves.
There is a thud as we come to a halt, as we hit the foot of some statue and come to a standstill.
I cough and writhe, choking on my blood as my eyes grow dark. As my life goes dark. As I lay there dying, looking into the still unblinking gaze of the elf still holding on to me, I can’t help but notice the satisfaction on her bloody face as red streams out of her throat. The spark of joy behind her bright gaze as she watches me die, as she watches us die together. Red leaves her mouth as she laughs a final time, her eyes locked on to mine.
I feel a hand grip mine just as everything turns dark.