Hey guys! Femi here and today i have a continuation of the story we went through 3 weeks ago. Thanks for all your kind words (and snarky ones too) and support, i hope you enjoy this installment. Please read, leave a comment and share. You can also follow me on Twitter @disfemisef as i randomly chatter about everything.
And if you want to read the first chapter, you can do so here
“But…but, you can’t”
Krysty heard her own voice but it didn’t sound like her. It didn’t sound like her at all. This was a nightmare. Surely she was dreaming.
She was dreaming
She was sure of it. An optimistic part of her kept saying ‘Alright Krysty, it’s time to wake up, enough sleeping already’
Krysty took a deep breath and then ploughed her teeth into her lower lip so hard she drew blood. Krysty moaned in pain. She could feel the metallic taste of blood on her tongue.
Her eyes welled up, partly in pain, partly because it had started to dawn on her that this was no dream. This was real. She was here and she was going to die.
The masked man moved in front of her and stood between the two screens. He raised his hands to his sides indicating both sides.
“So, what will it be?”
Krysty was shaking.
“NONE YOU BASTARD!”
The man chuckled.
“You’re right…I am a bastard.”
“Yes” Krysty retorted her anger rising to a crescendo “You’re just a weird old man with no life, no friends and no one to love you. You don’t want to die alone so you concoct sick games to make yourself feel relevant.
“But I have news for you… you’re not relevant. You’re pathetic. That’s what you are.”
There was defeaning silence. Krysty wondered if she’d gone too far and maybe the guy would kill her out of anger. She felt a shiver of fear. She wanted that, she wanted to die—for her friends, in their place. That’s what she deserved.
The silence stretched on
The man simply nodded and went back into the shadows
“And now that you’ve expended your anger, you still have a choice to make.” He said this softly, there was no trace of anger in his voice, he was simply making a comment.
“One for the other, or they both die and it’ll be on you”
Krysty had a choice to make.
“Hey Krysty. This is my friend Linda” It was Demelza. Krysty was just on her way from class when Demelza, one of her closest friends from school, stopped her for a quick chat. Krysty remembered thinking Linda was a bit too eager, a little too forward. Krysty had smiled politely and asked how she was too. Linda’s smile was genuine, Krysty remembered liking it a lot.
“She’s a bit of a slut, so just be careful around her” Krysty had looked at Demelza with some surprise.
“How can you say that about your friend, Zaza?” Demelza had given her a sheepish look
“I’m sorry, I just wanted you to be careful around her is all.
Krysty came across Linda a couple of more times and each time Linda had been nothing but nice. She had heard the rumours though. It hadn’t only been Demelza. Other people had also alleged that Linda was the campus slut. She was with different guys, went for the parties, did all the weird hookups. But Krysty always thought to herself ‘She’s just a nice girl with a brilliant smile’
Then Krysty had received a WhatsApp message one day
Hey. What’s up
I’m good. So there’s something I want to share with you
Krysty wondered what would bind them together like this
Sure, what’s up
I’m really sorry, I don’t want to feel like a snitch or anything, but you’re just always so nice to me and I just didn’t feel this was right.
Krysty was getting a tad impatient now, what could it be? Was Linda secretly a lesbian and hoped to score with her? If that was the case—Lol!
Tell me what the problem is
It’s Demelza. I’ve tried to talk to her, but she doesn’t listen, she always asks that what’s my own.
Go on (smiley face)
Well…Demelza is fucking your boyfriend Tobi
Krysty felt like she’d been sucker punched
You’re lying. Stop lying please
I’m sorry, but I’m telling the truth.
Linda then went on to send screenshots of conversations between Demelza and Tobi and even nude pictures.
Krysty had no idea what to do. She was so shocked and numb that she just played it cool for a few days until finally she confronted Tobi after he’d gone on a maddeningly hypocritical rant on how girls weren’t loyal nowadays.
He’d denied of course. He even sent Whatsapp messages later that night denying it, saying he didn’t even know who Demelza is and how she’s nothing to him and how he knows how she throws herself at guys and so on. A petty-feeling Krysty had screen grabbed all this and sent to Demelza.
She had been so hurt by Tobi’s vehement denial that she’d decided to throw him under the bus.
Krysty was hurt…the betrayal was too much to bear. How could her friend do this? How could someone who they’d shared fears, aspirations, dreams and all of that throw it all away for some guy?
Her Ex guy
“I’m sorry” It was Linda on one of the many nights she’d come over to keep Krysty company. Krysty had looked at her with eyes so full of pain. Linda had chuckled and said
“I know what they say about me…and they’re right—I am a slut. But, I have principles, I have friends and I value them.” She’d hugged Krysty then.
She was warm
Like any other human being.
She loved…like any other human being. She cared…like any other human being
And that was how Linda had become her friend.
“So do we have a winner?” said the soft voice of the sadist.
Krysty just sat there. She was shaking. She looked at Linda who was wriggling, trying her best to get out of the chains. She wasn’t screaming now, but her face was desperate. Scared.
“HELLO???” she suddenly screamed, writhing and screaming with renewed vigour.
“SOMEONE GET ME OUT OF HERE!” Krysty watched blankly. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks. Linda wasn’t going to be getting out of those chains. There was no was no way she was going to be able to. She had no chance.
She turned to the screen with Tochi. Tochi was trembling. Her eyes were fixed in front of her, looking down the barrel of certain death. Krysty wondered what she was thinking.
This was all her fault
None of her friends would be here if it wasn’t for her, they might have been home with their friends and family. Perhaps Tochi had a secret boyfriend she hid from everyone that she could be snuggling up to at this very moment.
Yet here she was, shivering. Her arms must hurt, Krysty thought, hanging via heavy chains, the oppressively dull metal cutting into your flesh, scaring your wrists, pinning your arms.
She remembered how she and Tochi became friends.
She had always known Tochi in school. She was the opinionated girl who didn’t have many friends
“What’s always doing her?”
“That one can’t have husband”
These were just some of the comments that many made when they saw her, or heard her speak.
She was too ‘Woke’ for her own good.
Krysty didn’t really have much of an opinion of Tochi. Tochi could do whatever the hell she wanted, she was a grown woman after all.
One day, they were both reading in the library. Krysty sat with her earphones in place, reading a particularly difficult section. She was listening to The Smiths. She let the voice of Morrisey saunter through her ear canal and calm her as she read.
She happened to look up and saw Tochi, who was beside her all this time, smiling. She pulled off her earphones and heard the song still wafting through, meaning it was loud enough for people around to hear. She wanted to apologize to Tochi till she heard
“That’s ‘How soon is now’ right?”
Krysty was shocked. She nodded
“Oh my God! I love the band”
“Of course! Who wouldn’t. That was from their Meat is Murder album…I think it was the best”
“Hmm, I’m more partial to The Queen is dead”
“That’s just general consensus. Meat is Murder was personal, it was an album that mirrored their values as humans”
“True, but the Queen is Dead had so many, many good songs.”
Tochi paused for a bit
“So you like 80s alternative bands?”
Krysty nodded with gusto. “I love them!”
“Have you listened to Joy Division?”
Krysty thought. She hadn’t.
“No.” she said
“I’ll send it to you tonight.” They exchanged numbers. She couldn’t believe it, the way Tochi’s eyes lit up when she spoke of The Smiths was truly something. Krysty shook her head
“What?” asked Tochi
“I always figured you were more of a Pussy Riot gal.”
Tochi went silent. She looked at Krysty seriously for a second
Then burst out laughing
It was unabashed, sudden, full of life
She rocked from side to side almost like a little girl
They were quickly hushed by the rest of the library who shot them disdainful looks. Tochi apologized but she continued to titter.
Then she fixed her gaze on Krysty
“I like you Krysty.” And then promptly went back to reading.
She had sent songs and introduced Krysty to other amazing bands. From there their discussions moved to other things and she realized that even though Tochi was condescending and a bit of a bitch, she was just a really honest person who had a set of beliefs that she was tied to.
Krysty was sobbing quietly. These were her friends. People who had gone through a lot with her, people who were one day random, but upon knowing their stories, became important.
And now someone wanted her to choose? Was she God?
“Why are you making me choose?” she asked softly. From the shadows, she could hear his voice
“Because a disturbing truth we never want to admit is this: There’s no equality in this world. Not for races, not for genders, nor for individuals.
“Suffering isn’t equal, happiness isn’t equal. Love isn’t equal.”
“But we’re supposed to love our neighbours as ourselves. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? To love equally?”
“Ah, the good book.” The mysterious man chuckled “But even then we saw people like David, Enoch, Elijah. David was described as a man after God’s heart, God supposedly loved him more. Enoch, Elijah. They never died. They weren’t the only holy ones were they?”
“That’s ridiculous! God has his reasons.”
“Yes. Yes he does. Like the people he created in his own image, he prefers some over others.”
How was she having a Theological discussion with a mad man?
“Time’s running out.”
“I can’t choose”
“You can. Think. What makes a friend, a friend? Is it the benefits, is it because the person loves you back? Is it mutual interests?”
Krysty looked from one screen to the other. Did Linda deserve life over Tochi? She and Tochi had music in common…what did she have in common with Linda? They were very different. But Linda had always been a good friend, always available for a chat, always ready with surprisingly insightful advice.
Did she deserve life more than Tochi? And even if she chose someone, wouldn’t that simply be Krysty’s choice? It didn’t really mean one was better than the other.
“Please. Please don’t do this.”
“Less begging, more choosing. Time’s a ‘wasting”
“Just kill me”
“Then what’s the use of choice?”
“I CHOOSE TO DIE!”
“It’s not a choice you have darling”
“I FUCKING WANT TO DIE!”
“No.” He said softly
“You Filthy monster”
“That’s just fine”
“Just one name Krysty.”
What if she just blurted out someone’s name? It wouldn’t be a choice, it would be random. But would it? Wasn’t an acceptable answer sitting at the back of her mind right now? Even if she blurted out a name, how could she be sure it wasn’t a choice…maybe even a subconscious one.
“Please” Krysty’s voice was shaking badly “Please I’ll do anything. Anything at all”
“No matter how base, no matter how gross”
“Choose,” he said softly
“I’m terribly sorry then.”
He came and stood a few feet beside Krysty. She looked up at his face—his Santa Claus face. He spoke into a Mic
“Hello, Linda” Linda’s head snapped up and turned around wildly wondering who was speaking.
“I’m Mr. Apples and it pains me to say that I asked Krysty here to choose between you and Tochi…she was asked who gets to live”
“No” Krysty said softly “You’re not going to say that are you…you wouldn’t”
“It pains me to say that she chose Tochi over you”
Linda’s breath caught, it was such a small gesture, but there was so much there. Pain, Disappointment. Anger.
“She didn’t do that” Linda said in a pleading voice. She turned to the camera and Krysty could see her face. It was streaked with pain. It was a pitiable face.
“You seemed like a nice girl Linda” Mr. Apples said “But …goodbye.”
He pressed a button on the remote. With a sickening grind, the wall of spikes in Linda’s room began to move towards Linda.
Death was a certainty now
“NO! NO! GET IT AWAY FROM ME! MAKE IT STOP! PLEASE!”
The wall kept coming.
Linda turned towards the camera again as if looking at Krysty. Krysty wanted to tear her eyes away, but couldn’t. She was staring into Linda’s eyes
“It’s because I was a slut isn’t it?” Linda’s voice was flat, it wasn’t really a question, more like a statement, an affirmation of suspicions she’d been harbouring for a while, suspicions that Krysty always judged her because of her loose lifestyle, suspicions that she was the disposable friend.
“No.” Krysty said between sobs. “No. I value you…always have. You were always there for me.”
But Linda couldn’t hear her. The spikes were right in front of her now
“I’m sorry” Linda said “I’m sorry I wasn’t more perfect”
Those were her final words
With another sickening crunch, the wall of spikes drilled into Linda’s body, completely decimating her. With a thud of finality, the walls came together.
Krysty’s scream was soul destroying.
Mr. Apples calmly turned to the next screen.
Krysty didn’t hear anything else he said. She felt like she was in a world of endless sand…a never ending vista of nothingness. Her mouth was dry, her soul was empty, her heart was in tatters.
She glanced at the screen that had Tochi. She saw the other girl nodding quietly. She said nothing, staring blankly at the gun. She was already dead, despair was the ultimate demise and she had descended into that a while ago. Tochi gave a small chuckle when she heard that Krysty chose Linda instead.
“Can’t say I’m surprised” she said
Angry gunfire ensued. Tochi stood no chance
Krysty couldn’t scream. She felt like she was being stabbed even after already being dead
The screens went blank
“Well…I guess we should move on to our next set of people”
“I hope you die. I will kill you myself” Krysty said in a dead voice, a voice so devoid of emotion that it scared even her, but she meant every word
Every. Single. Word
Mr. Apples came towards her, lifted her chin and placed his weird, plastic Father Christmas lips to her forehead
“I can’t wait” and he got up and walked into the darkness.