Hey guys! It’s been a while eh, we’re sorry. Deji has this plush new job that has him working dodgy hours and Billy’s laptop met an unfortunate end, therefore, they have been unable to…you know…errr.
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That hateful monitor, all it did was countdown, it didn’t care what it was counting down to, be it to the eruption of a surprise for a kid, a countdown to a bomb blast, a countdown to when an exciting event would begin
A countdown to murder
And so it was again. Here she was again, being forced to make what was the hardest choice of her life. Mark and Seni were hanging in separate rooms, in the same positions as Tochi and Linda. They were both bloody, had they been beaten? They were scared, like the girls, but even in captivity they were trying to be as macho as possible. Mark looked like he was thinking, Krysty knew what it was—he was a defeatist. He was probably thinking of a way out, but only vaguely, for the most part he probably assumed he was already dead.
“The guys seem quieter than the girls” It was Mr. Apples. He came into view with his smug voice, he was clearly enjoying himself.
“You hear that whirring sound?” Krysty could hear it “Well, it’s a chainsaw I rigged by myself. When the clock strikes Zero, it’ll move across the room and cut you friend in half”
That was cruel, too cruel. Krysty heard it but couldn’t quite process it. No normal human being would do that to another person, it just wasn’t done.
“And for your other friend, I admit that this wasn’t an original idea, but it’s the same chainsaw, but this time it’s suspended from the ceiling, so it’ll cut him up vertically instead”
Krysty looked up at Mr. Apples, he was enjoying himself, but when she really listened to him, he wasn’t really gloating, it was more matter-of-fact. His tone didn’t betray much of an emotion. What made people become this way? Why would a human being do this to another human being?
“Why what?” Mr. Apples replied
“Why are you doing this?”
“You’ve asked this question before no?”
“You didn’t answer”
“I did, you just didn’t believe me. But time’s a wasting, make your choice pretty girl”
Krysty looked at both her friends. Dear Mark, dear Seni, they were everything to her, how could she pick one and let the other die.
But if you don’t pick any they both die, she thought. She thought of the deaths of Linda and Tochi which she just witnessed. Linda’s hysteria, Tochi’s quiet acceptance, what if she could have saved one? Not because she preferred one, but because she wanted one alive.
Keep one friend alive, wouldn’t the other understand?
Wouldn’t the other get that this was being done for the greater good?
What are you thinking Krysty? You want to take out one of your friends? Seni? Mark?
Krysty felt sick, she couldn’t play this man’s game
She’d met them on the exact same day and while she had become friends with Mark first, Seni had also become a vital and integral part of her life. She recalled the days the three of them went to see movies together. Seni would take time off work sometimes just to see a movie at 10am in the morning, or on a weekend. The cinema hall would be empty and just being able to sit in there and watch a movie and make as much noise as they want, that had been priceless. They usually had ice cream afterwards. Mark always had the coffee flavoured Ice Cream, Krysty had hated it and secretly suspected that Mark did this on purpose to deter her from taking out of his Ice Cream, so Seni was the one who suffered it and had his Ice cream taken—he never seemed to mind.
Krysty smiled in spite of her situation, they’d had fun.
Krysty was jarred back to her hellish reality. Her two friends were dead—it wasn’t her fault right?
A voice in her head hammered that over and over.
It’s your fault, you’re the only common denominator between them, if they never knew you they’d be alive now
They’d be alive now
Krysty screamed. A blood-curdling scream that would have frozen the bones of anyone who heard it. It was a scream of anger, helplessness, hate, self-loathing.
Mr. Apples stood, unmoved
That much time had passed? Where had all the time gone? In a hundred and twenty seconds, one or both her friends would be dead and she couldn’t do anything. Maybe if she just closed her eyes and let whatever happened happen, maybe that would be the way to get through this.
She closed her eyes
Her eyes shot open
“How can you be so selfish? How can you destroy the happiness of so many lives? I’m not the only person these people were friends to, they had other people in their lives” Krysty wondered why she was trying to reason with a madman.
Mr. Apples spoke, “I made a choice Krysty, something you’re refusing to do. I made a choice, I chose you. Look at your two friends.”
Krysty looked at them; Mark, with his intense eyes and toothy grin. She’d always loved that smile, it had been a façade, but it had always been warm, a glow that was sometimes incomprehensible, it was a grin that hid a lot of pain, pain that Krysty had made her life mission to heal.
Seni, a little quiet, a little broody, but with love, love that hit you in waves and waves. Seni that gave everything and asked for nothing in return, Seni who was lonely, who always wanted love in return and didn’t always get it. Krysty had made it her life mission to love him till he understood that there was love all around him.
She loved them both so much…
“You guys have to know, you have to understand” she muttered to herself.
“You prefer one of them don’t you” said Mr. Apple’s disembodied voice
She did, didn’t she?
But she didn’t
She did not
The chainsaws were whirring, there was a metallic sound somewhere in the background. There were a million unidentifiable noises all around her, everything was too loud, she couldn’t think.
Everything was too quiet
Could she save one? Wouldn’t the other understand? Get that it was all for the good of everyone?
But then she’d be choosing one of her friends to die and the other to live.
But what if she wasn’t condemning one to die, what if she was just saving one life instead of losing two? That made sense right? Save one person instead of losing two
A bird in hand, two in the bush
One better than none
“Looks like another two friends are off to the chopping block” Mr. Apples said with a note of resignation.
Krysty’s stomach churned, watch them both die again…she couldn’t, she couldn’t right?
Save one life, not choose, save.
Save a life
Save a life
That’s it, save a life
Krysty’s mouth was dry. She felt sick. What had she done?
“Hey Mark, I’m sorry, but you’re going to die now” Mr. Apples said into the microphone.
Mark didn’t move, his eyes stayed closed, did he hear that?
Then, almost imperceptibly, he nodded.
He was a defeatist
He had accepted it
Mr Apple’s back was turned as he oversaw his sick game. The whirring of the chainsaw was loud…too loud. It seemed that now that it was powered up, it was the only sound around.
Krysty felt sick
The chainsaw was moving closer and closer to Mark now, Mr. Apples continued to watch. Mark was going to be halved horizontally
The chainsaw was too loud
Krysty inched forward
Mr. Apples didn’t turn around.
Let Mark’s death be worth it. Please let Mark’s death be worth it
The Chainsaw hit flesh
Krysty’s heart broke
She continued inching her chair towards Mr. Apples. Mark’s screams were everywhere, the chainsaw was too loud.
Mark stopped screaming
He was dead
But Krysty was right behind Mr. Apples now and he had no idea
Oh, he had no idea