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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
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For a brief moment, Astrid’s expression flickered. Her eyes widened, and her gaze flicked between Penelope’s face, fierce and unrelenting despite her shaking, and Penelope’s hand, holding the pistol against her own stomach. A few seconds passed as everything slowly sunk in.

Then her expression changed back, and then changed again, now to one of anger. How dare she? How fucking dare she? It was bad enough that absolutely refused to understand her point of view, for some reason couldn’t change her own one-note mindset to accept that Astrid wanted to live at any cost. It hurt, having someone she had considered a friend, calling her heartless, calling her a terrible person, but she’d heard it all before. Arrogant friendless Astrid. Maybe if she wasn’t such a bitch all the time people might like her. Same shit in a very different place.

But now, Penelope was acting as though she was worse than the people who’d put them in this situation. Two people. Two people was all she could stand to kill. One person to insure she could get out of this alive. If necessary, another person in the endgame in order to stay alive. Saying ‘every death’ was on her was asinine beyond belief, exacerbated further by Penelope’s sheer hypocrisy. She didn’t want Astrid to kill, but it was so very, very obvious she’d accepted her own death by now. Her comments earlier, her wish that ‘Astrid would outlive her’, and now this. She was prepared to die, prepared to let everyone she cared and loved to deal with the fallout of her death.

And yet Astrid was a monster for wanting to survive.

She could hear her heartbeat as she glared at Penelope. Sweat was beginning to streak down her face – at least, that was what she assumed it was. The gun remained fixed against Penelope’s stomach for seconds, seconds that passed like eternities, everything outside the room drifting away into so much nothingness.

Then Astrid ripped the gun away, turned, and walked to the other side of the room, angrily running her free hand through her hair. Strands tore away, sticking to her sweat coated palm. She rounded on Penelope, white hot fury on her face.

“There are no fucking winners, Penelope!” she spat. “Not here, at least! No winners, just losers. The terrorists are the only people who win in the fucking end, not me, you hear me?”

She pointed the gun back at Penelope again. This time, the barrel was aimed at her heart. She had to do it. She had to do it. She didn’t want to do it. She had to do it.

“We were friends, once,” Astrid said, voice softer but full of just as much venom. “But you’ve just fucking given up. I’m… I’d say I’m sorry, but I know you won’t believe me.”

Astrid pulled the trigger.

There was a gentle pop, and a gentler fluttering. Penelope stayed standing. Astrid blinked once.

There was no gun smoke trailing from the barrel. Just a white flag, still in the dead air, a cartoon explosion and the word “Bang!” written on it. Astrid stared at it, trancelike, as if the flag was just something from a dream that would disappear if she looked at it too hard. She jerked her head to look at Penelope, then back at the flag. It was too late to pretend that she’d known the gun was fake all along. A single glance at the expression on her face would be enough to dispel that lie.

It was so cold in here.


"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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