"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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ET.Requiem
Confused Writer
[ *  * ]
With the rock thrown, Ash waited patiently in the bushes. If she made another move, everything would be ruined. Dutchy was going to cave in under the stress and his own weakness very soon. When he moved to the tree and started crying, she knew that the first part of her small plan was complete. She didn't feel relieved or triumphant, though. She only felt a hint of disappointment at herself for going through with it.

Now came the hardest part. Taking his supplies was going to require more finesse, if only because she wanted to use the least amount of energy possible. She needed to conserve her strength for the days to come, if she survived that long.

Survive.... I am harming Dutchy's chances by taking what he needs to live.

She was killing him indirectly with this plan. Was this really what she wanted to do? His blood would be on her hands.

I can't go back now. He will run from his partner no matter what. Better to take his belongings before somebody else claims them.

A bitter taste filled her mouth. This was not right. That kind of half-assed rationalization wasn't convincing her that she was doing something defensible. Even her mother wouldn't try to argue for her in this case.

No. I don't want to do this. But I have to. I.... I'm scared.

She clenched her teeth. Ash wanted to live so badly it scared her. Forgiveness was not possible for her now. She was willing to condemn Dutchy so that she could live just a little longer. That thought alone was something too terrible to be understood by her family.

No more. I just don't want any more. Leave me alone, damn it!

She clenched her teeth. Futile. Fighting to stay human was futile, for death would claim her soon. So, why not leave her sanity behind? Why not play the game with the others? Why not do what it took to survive like she should have from the beginning? It would be so much easier. She would have a shot at surviving if she was willing to go beyond the role of a common scavenger.

Because.... because I'm not the girl they see me as. I'm better than that. I'm not as cold as they think I am. I'm a human. Not a damned monster. And I won't give in just because I'm scared.

Was the truth, though? Was she really so strong that she could let herself die for the sake of a timid little fool? Ash already knew the answer. No, she didn't have the strength of character to be that saintly. She wouldn't be able to go through with it. Her fear was simply too great to be overcome.

She closed her eyes briefly. So, this was it. She would really do this. Ash didn't have what it took to simply walk away and stop herself from robbing Dutchy. No apology could make up for this crime. She would have to bear it for whatever time she had left.

If only I had considered this earlier.... this could have been avoided. Please, let something go wrong now. Stop me from doing this, God.

Ash had never prayed before. This was probably the first and last time she would do such a thing.
V3 Character
B88: Jeff Thorne - Dead from gunshot wounds.

V4 Characters
B103 - Kevin Harding - Killed by a javelin.
G035 - Ash Morrison - Tumbled down a hill.
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Make Your Own Kind of Music · The Felled Forest: South