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She hit the ground, her head bouncing against the cold floor. It rang. It buzzed. It erupted at the back of her head but it was quickly drowned out by the sea of pain all over the rest of her body. Her leg. Her face. They roared. They roared and she could hear it and she could feel it and they were the only things on her mind and they were the only things that she could even think of. There was no Sandy. There were no chairs surrounding her. There was no game. There was only her and the pain on her leg and the cuts on her and the blood on her face. Her blood. She had been injured and she was bleeding and she was in pain and for a brief moment, she had forgotten about everything that had been on her mind for the past day.

And then Sandy appeared again, in front of her. Above her.

And amongst the pain, a familiar feeling emerged. Crawling on the edge of her skin. Going up her arms. Reaching into her body.

Her breathing became harder. Ragged. She had to get out of here. The door was still there. She just needed to-

Her leg roared as she tried to move and she screamed. No. No. No. She couldn’t move. Her leg was gone. She couldn’t run. She couldn’t get away. Her only hope now was that Sandy would have mercy on her. She looked up at him. Green meeting Blue.

The look in his eyes told her everything she needed to know.

She was gone. She was dead. She was going to be just like Rea, on the floor in the storehouse. Sandy was going to kill her. Everything she had done, all of her mistakes had built up to this. Anyone she had met who she succeeded with could have saved her. Everyone who she had met, she had failed with. The girl in the dark room. Maxim. Toby. Natalie. The two people at the helicopter.


And that was when it hit her.

That was when she realised it.

Everything she had worked for. All the time she had spent studying. The future she knew she was going to get for herself. Gone. All jettisoned in favour of dying in pain and fear in a building on an island in who knows where. Her friends. Gone. And taking their place, someone who opted to kill her because of one thing Jasmine had said. A psychopath. Nobody got that angry. Nobody let it get to them that much. That was when she realised it. Everything she had worked for, everything she had, everything she had aspired to be was going to be gone, tossed aside in favour of just being a victim of someone she knew was going to do more.

And the worst part? They were watching. Julian. The crowds. They were watching her being in pain, they were watching her die. And they were probably enjoying it, as well. They were laughing when the girl on her screen’s efforts just resulted in her getting a bottle thrown at her face. They were cheering when that bitch tore her leg open as she fell onto the chair. And they would applaud, as everything she was crumbled to dust in favour of becoming Sandy’s first number. That was terrible in itself, but the worst people were the ones who wouldn’t even realise how bad they were being. The ones who watched and had sympathy. The ones who watched and felt sad about what was happening on the screen. “Awwww,” they would say. “That’s Jasmine, isn’t it? I was really hoping that she wouldn’t die. It must suck, being there.”

“I just feel so sorry for her.”


She wouldn’t.

She knew that now. She was going to die here. No matter what happened, she was not going to leave this room alive. She would just be the name of someone Sandy Bricks killed and that would be the end of that.

Not if she could help it, though.

Because even through the pain, even through the fear, there was still one thing that she knew. She was Jasmine King. She had worked for everything she had, and she was going to get the best future she could possibly give herself; and she was not going to lose it in favour of being the first number for an aspiring psychopath.

She looked. It hurt to, but she did. There was a piece of glass, at arm’s reach on the floor.

Her hand began to reach out.

Because she was still better. She knew that more than anyone, at this point. Even after everything had changed, even after she had lost everything for something she couldn’t possibly have known, she was still the best. She was Jasmine King, the person behind the ruler of her grade, and she knew she showed it. Who never gave up, despite the constant failures? Her. Who never, ever, considered killing another person on this island. Her. She knew that now. She was better. She hadn’t fallen, like the rest of them. Isabel, Conrad, Kimiko, Alvaro. She was better than all of them.

And she knew now, through the pain and the fear, that she was not going to die to Sandy. She knew now that she was not going to be his number.

Her hand reached out. She got a grip.


She turned to Sandy. Met his eyes. Blue anger came across green pride.

And she gave him the biggest grin that she had ever given in her life.

His expression changed, still staring wordless.

She had the perfect thing to say to him.

“I win.”

She clenched her hand on the glass, not even noticing the knuckles digging into her bone as she swiftly moved her arm.

And just before the feed cut to black, as the pain from her body faded and as the blood from her neck ran cold, the one thing still on her face was her grin.

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