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Hello, readers all!

My being sick has led to this. I offer no apology or explanation. I just hope you all enjoy it. Caveat Lector: It’s rather dark. If you want to know… partly a challenge from Iris. She wanted me to write something in first person, present tense. Here you go, Iris dear. I hope you like it. 😛


Checkmate

                I am so tired.

I didn’t sleep last night; the coughing got worse. I couldn’t sleep much. Apparently it’s impossible to sleep while you’re coughing the fluid out of your lungs. I almost wish I hadn’t been coughing all night long—just gone to sleep and drowned, quietly, in my sleep—never woken up—been at peace

No. I can’t wish that. There are things I have to do.

I press a hand to my chest as I break out into hollow coughing, yet again. It’s so bad this time that I find myself not just coughing, but throwing up as well. Just perfect. And there are red streaks in it too, which means that I’m sicker than I thought. I’m going to die soon.

I can’t die yet. There are things that must be done first. After that, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter.

To die would be an awfully big adventure.

I slide into a corner, trying to stifle the coughs, at least to make them quieter, perhaps to silence them. Or… since I have to sneak in, perhaps I could just cough myself dry—purge the fluid, so I could breathe—for a little longer—yes.

I force myself to cough, until I am doubled over and wrung out, panting with the effort. It hurts, but I embrace the pain. Pain is good. It tells me that I’m not done yet.

Exhaustion dogging my steps, I creep into the fortress. It is ironically easy, as if she is still subtly mocking me with this. I don’t care. I am grateful.

I don’t think she really planned for this eventuality.

The weapons room is not so easy to find. That’s not surprising. My mind is growing clouded, spinning out of control with fever and illness. But I do find it. And when I do, I destroy it.

The feeling of my fist smashing into the screen is a good one, despite that my knuckles crack and burn, blood streaming down over my hand. It gives me the illusion of power—power that I actually do, ironically, have, now. I rip out the circuits and smash the memory chip. The whole matrix fritzes out. I have just destroyed her entire operation. And even though I am weak and ill, I’ve just done it. I succeeded. It’s an exhilarating feeling, almost like a drug, and it gives me strength I don’t have, I shouldn’t have, I shouldn’t use it—but I don’t care. I am already dying, and I might as well make the most of it.

I find her. Not the other way around. I smile. I can spare her that much.

“Goldan,” she says, in a flat, dead voice. What have they done to you, littleing? I miss you. I miss you.

“Hello, sister dear.” I say, and then I fall, in slow motion.

It doesn’t hurt anymore.

Checkmate.

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