Chapter 21: Day Five/Day Six/Day Seven in the Arena
I wake the next morning to find Coral is gone. Something tells me that she won’t be back. The number one thing I feel is disappointment. Disappointment in myself for blindly trusting Coral when the only thing she did was managed not to kill me.
Now that I’m alone again with my thoughts, the crushing realization of what I did yesterday has finally sank in. I killed someone. Stole their life.
Eric. His name is Eric. The same Eric who tried to kill you and Luca and many others, I remind myself.
But when you take someone’s life, it doesn’t matter the circumstances or what kind of person he was. He’s dead because of you and only you. Nothing can change that.
I’m not excusing what he did or was planning to do. Of course I’ll never be able to forgive Eric. He was a pretty terrible person, but did he deserve to die? Who am I to decide what punishment people receive for being a bad person?
You would’ve thought because of the sheer amount of fish in the lake that I would be able to catch one. I guess I should stop making assumptions. Every time I think I’ve skewered one, it manages to squirm away.
Can kill a much twice the size of you but can’t kill a fish? A voice echoes in the distance.
I whip my head round, startled. There is no one in sight. Did I imagine it? No one knows I’m here. No one but Coral. The voice I heard didn’t sound like Coral’s. It almost sounded like…no it couldn’t be.
Across the water, I make out an outline of a person, a boy with copper hair and a set jaw – determined, conniving. But that’s impossible.
“It’s nice to see you again, Willow” Eric says grimacing.
My knees almost give in. Fear and confusion sweep over me. This isn’t real, it has to be a dream, but I know it’s not. If it were a dream, everything would be cloudy and my senses wouldn’t be as sharp.
“Haven’t you got anything to say to me? He shouts across the water. “No apologizes? No explanations?”
I taste sickness in my mouth and I am reminded of why I killed him.
“You’re dead” I say with as much courage as I can muster up.
Eric raises an eyebrow.
“Is that a threat, little girl?”
Little girl. Little girl. LITTLE GIRL?
“5”4 is hardly little” I shout back.
My voice never sounded so small. Eric throws his head back and laughs – strangled cackle from the back of his throat.
“You’re pathetic” He sneers.
I can’t really be standing here talking to Eric, can I? I must be going crazy.
I turn away from the phantom Eric and stride in the opposite direction. Eric appears again blocking my path. I let out a gasp and nearly drop Eric’s harpoon.
“You’re not going to get away this time” Eric says, being creepily quiet.
I scream and run towards Eric’s former settlement, all the while hoping Eric’s leftover food I ate last night will give me the strength I need to outrun Eric’s ghost.
He appears again and again and again. In every direction I turn Eric is there. I can’t get away from him.