My friend asked me a drawing of CL for his birthday. I was like “ok, I can do it” but now I’m like “fuck” and everytime I look at the drawing I feel ashamed of my lack of artistic abilities and I don’t know what will be worst: not giving him the drawing he’s so excited to receive or disappointing him bc my art is shit. :(
I wrote another thing related to the death counter story, hope you enjoy this one as much as the last one. Contains murder and mention of abuse, so if you’re uncomfortable with that I suggest you don’t read it. Art by mazreynold.tumblr.com
Eleven numbers were close to their end, but each of the eleven thought there were only ten, never thinking to include themselves in the mix of those whose digits might be ticking, ticking, tocking, tocking, slowly slipping and slowly dropping before suddenly stopping.
Of course, the week leading up to it was a tense one. Everyone was on edge, false smiles covering the faces of all in the face of inevitability, kindness shown to those who wouldn’t get a chance to experience it again. Parents cried themselves to sleep, and while the children could feel something wrong, they never knew that it was of them until it was their time to go and time for their numbers to end.
And so on that day, eleven numbers woke up for the last time, to go to bed for the last time, but they enjoyed their past time, so it was not nearly as tragic as it could have been. From various places they came to witness and mourn the ends of their peers, all confident in exception of the self.
One awakened late on that day and rubbed his eyes, washing the grime of the night before from his skin and spitting in a porcelain vessel. His hair was a mess, but there wasn’t time to sort it out so he threw a shirt and pants on and headed out the door, calling a farewell to his family. However, he was stopped by his father, who told him to have a good day, and handed him a lunch of his various favorites. He thanked his father, smiled a small smile of one who knows they’re loved, and walked to school, not noticing the tears in his father’s eyes.
Two and three were still drunk from the night before, and even when they awoke in a tangle of dirty bed sheets and limbs already ten minutes late, they didn’t bother to rush. Two had wanted to spend the previous night enjoying the last of Three’s company, and Three wanted likewise with Two. They had been friends before, but that night intoxication and hormones had bred more than that with them, and so they enjoyed much more than company from each other, sharing in both bodies and bliss. When they finally woke themselves and headed out, they kissed and shared three words, though neither of them meant what they said.
Four was up early and out before her mother could wake up, as it usually was with her days. Her clothes were selected and pressed the night before, and her journals were neat and crisp, organized and alphabetized with everything she felt needed to be contained in them. Being a writer was hard in a house that was either very very loud or very very quiet, but she managed to do it somehow. The words came to her through the anger and bruises and black eyes, and with her battered soul she was able to craft an ephemeral beauty of which she only wished could be rendered tangible by sheer will, for that she had. She was working on something she hoped could get her away from Elana and George, not knowing that George had gone to terra incognita and Elana had gone to the vine for the fact that their flesh and blood would not live past them. How dare she, the little bitch, have the gall to die on them and break their hearts, when they’d worked so hard to have her in the first place. They blamed God, and they blamed her, and they blamed themselves, but that did not make right the abuses. Though their daughter would never admit it, even to herself, she looked forward to the day she thought she would see their numbers run out, and she wanted to be there. Paradoxically ironic it is then, that if she had been there, she wouldn’t have wanted to be, for the abuses were brought about by their selfish desire for her to live, at least past them. However, the irony was lost on everyone, so no laughter was heard.
Five was the mind of a boy with the body of a girl, and lived a lie of existence of which nobody would know. In secret, he bound himself, and in public, he cut his hair short. He got called many things: dyke, whore, lesbian, but really he wasn’t any of them. He wished he could be comfortable in his own skin, and he wished others would be comfortable with it. But he wasn’t, and they weren’t. His parents loved him, but they didn’t understand things like that. Nobody knew, and nobody understood what it was like. At least, that’s what he thought.
He woke up that day after having had only three hours of sleep, put on a dress his mother picked out the night before, and left without eating or saying goodbye.
Six was a womanizing asshole, but he was a hot womanizing asshole. Those that would mourn him were the ones that admired him for his body. He liked to know that he was attractive, but it didn’t stop him from being insecure. In the very back of his mind he regretted the torment that he put the objects of his lust through, but he liked the sex, and he was too selfish to change.
He woke up that day and touched himself in the shower, wore a shirt that showed far too much skin, and set out about to the school, cocky as always.
Seven and eight hadn’t slept the night before, deciding rather to play games and eat things that were bad for their health, not that that particularly mattered much. They were brothers, Seven being the older of the two, and they loved each other more than the world, in the way with which only brothers are capable. Seven thought that things could change, despite what he’d known, and was defiant of fate. He saw Eight’s time coming soon, and set out resolute to ensure that he would continue. Eight worried, but was much calmer about fate and about passing on than his sibling. Regardless of this, he did as he was told. They packed lunches at the break of dawn, and Seven slipped a knife into his knapsack, and again a pair of parents did not get a chance to say goodbye.
Nine awoke in the frail arms of a woman whose bitter heart resented the taking of her child and her grandchild before her time. They asked their grandmother why she looked so sad, but she smiled and said because she was proud of the person they’d become. Nine smiled too, but they knew that that wasn’t the reason. That was alright though. They ate oatmeal for breakfast and wore a clean plain shirt with clean plain pants, a holy book of the ages tucked in their pack. They received a kiss on the forehead, and went off to school. While they were away, the frail old woman that they’d shared their life with ran out of time.
Ten was dead even before her count dwindled down to none. She’d learned her number accidentally years ago, and had severe depression and anxiety as a result. She barely got out of bed that morning, wondering why she bothered. She got dressed and ate breakfast even though she wasn’t hungry, and turned to leave, only to be pulled into the strong embrace of a father that had done his best. He whispered to her that he loved her, and she said the same thing in return, somehow finding the willpower to mean it. The large man dropped her off at school and drove away smiling, not wanting to look back. Nobody cried in this world, at least not in public.
Eleven was broken, and the saddest case of all. He’d gotten it in his head somehow that he was the god of this world, the savior for the lost, and reaper of the plentiful bounty before him. His parents didn’t notice the firearms or the ammunition missing from the locker underneath their house, and nobody else noticed how much heavier his backpack seemed than usual. He entered the school, coolly and calmly, looked around, and pulled out a 9 mm pistol from his pack.
One was talking to a friend about something or another, when he noticed a strange change in the demeanor of his comrade. The friends eyes slid to a point slightly above One’s head, and suddenly and inexplicably, the friend said, “I love you.” Of course, One did not have much time to ponder on this.
He heard the pop two seconds later. He heard it, but it didn’t register with him. That part of his brain was already in a state of having been sprayed across his friend and the locker and the ceiling. What was left of him collapsed instantly. His friend turned, saw Eleven, and ran as he got two bullets through the abdomen. He collapsed as well, but the gunman had already started down the other direction of the hallway, screams filling the air and more pops cutting them off. Two and three heard this, and tried to hide in the janitor’s closet, knocking over a bucket in their haste. The gunman heard, opened the door, and shot them both twice in the chest. He reloaded and their numbers went to zero as they held on to each other, slowly slipping to the floor.
The hallways had cleared, and scared kids crowded in classrooms where they couldn’t be seen from the door. The gunman continued to stroll down the hallway, a frown on his face. He worked methodically, shooting a handle to get it open and unloading ten rounds into the mass of people. Four was in the first room he hit, and she dropped while draped over the motionless but very much alive bodies of three younger students. Her body caught six rounds.
Five was in the second classroom, six in the fourth. They were the most unfortunate ones, as it turned out. After the fact, they almost made it to the emergency room. Almost. Five was fated to have a name he hated on his tomb for as long as the stone would last, and six would die unwanted by anyone in any meaningful way. But thats just how it was, and nobody could say it wasn’t what he deserved.
Seven and eight were in the eighth classroom. Seven might’ve survived had he not charged the gunman with the knife he’d been carrying around all day. Eight was another unlucky one, bullet hole straight through the heart. Of course, not before he saw his brother die. Life wasn’t nearly as merciful as that.
These were the only ones that died inside, but dozens more were wounded less fatally. In fact, they would be fine eventually, but not soon. Eleven went outside, still frowning, and saw two more people.
Nine and Ten were outside on an old swingset. Neither moved when Eleven leveled the gun.
“Are you scared?” he asked, somewhat confused.
“No.” said Nine, a far off look on their face.
“No.” said Ten, emotion long past gone.
“Why not? I’m going to end you.” Said Eleven, stepping closer.
“Yes, you are.” replied Ten.
“Yes, you are.” echoed Nine.
“Then why aren’t you scared?” Eleven asked, fingering the trigger.
Ten smiled for the first time in what seemed like an eternity to her. “Because we know you’re going with us.”
Three pops sounded out as the sirens chimed in, growing closer. It was a messy ordeal, but overall everyone was okay. The bodies were collected and burned, and everything went back to the way it was in due course of time.