Chloe was now back in her hotel room. The bottle lay open in one hand, pills spilling gently across her palm as stark raving terror propelled her thoughts down unconscionable lines.
It was a path, a choice, she had shunned, always and forever. There was no good reason, ever. That had been her decision. It was a good decision. A firm, wise decision that time always lead her to no matter how depressed or hopeless she felt. There was after all, only one life, one memory of this consciousness, no matter what you believed. Only one you in this patch of Earth.
Chloe had held to that as one would cling to a rock in a terrible storm. It was solid, necessary, hopeful, and true.
She had been so close to total loss. Her essence only spared by a momentary hesitation of a hateful God. The type of salvation as might befit a lobster who has been placed in the tank at the front of the restaurant rather than directly in the pot.
It was not a mercy that would last. For one thing, mercy was beyond this particular deity.
For another, she would need to play-act everything perfectly and more and more perfectly until the Deity decided the charade had ceased to amuse it. Chloe understood that that would occur sooner rather than later.
So in its stead there were the pills. Hattie’s last gift before she embarked on her own truncated existence.
It seemed so pointless, so pathetic, so much like the surrendering that it was. It was so Thelma and Louise, so hopeless and Hollywood. It was the urge that said it was better to leave than fight. But…
But that was it. That but. There was nothing else for it. Her existence was on the line and it was this or a fate worse than death, total cessation. And worse, she knew, every moment she delayed increased the chances that the Deity would find Hattie’s body, realize this last attempt at rebellion and seek her out to finish what it had set out to do.
It was a pressing concern but she just couldn’t flush all of what she was down the drain so quickly, give up those precious last few bits before facing either the Hell of her mother’s God or a Heaven of a reality or even something else, that ever possible nothingness that shook her to the bone. It was hard to give up life.
So she remembered Maggie, kissing her gently in the morning before her shower. She remembered playing with Raymie on the beach. She remembered her dad as he had been when she was young before he became so controlling and evil. She remembered her mom and how their exchanges were always twinged with mutual pity and sadness.
She remembered everything she was and everything she dreamed of being. She remembered it all like she was sealing each page in a photo album somewhere so that they would be preserved.
By the time she was done, she had hardly noticed that she had dutifully swallowed the entire bottle of pills. She lay down as the room span, her eyes heavy, and her soul floating out.
Blearily she murmured, before rising completely out of her body, “I commend my soul to any who would take it.”
She felt so tired as she blearily looked down on her body, but that was soon to fade as the boiling eye of the Deity shook her soul aware. She cowered in fear as she floated up towards that disapproving gaze. She could feel its fury trying to snatch at her, trying to punish her for her insolence.
It remained like this before shifting into a malevolent glint. She saw her body below rise like a rag doll, shake its neck one way then another, adjusting itself.
Her soul, her self, stared in absolute terror, screaming soundlessly into void and naught as her body turned to face her and smiled, chipper as could be. That body waved, as she felt her soul being sucked into an absolute void.
There was nothing but darkness and then-
There was nothing.
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