Writing

Nope

Hey guys! I know, I know, I’m awful at posting. And I’m sorry! But here’s another excerpt from my book, Edifice. Enjoy!

Trigger warning: Talk of assisted suicide

Nope

“You were an awkward kid, weren’t you?” Beck laughed.

“I was. Especially for back then. I was much too free spirited for those times. Maybe that’s why…” she trailed off.

“Why what?”

“Why Warden chose me.”

“I’m sorry about what he did. He had no right.”

“I know. And I don’t understand it. But there was something I wanted to talk to you about because of that.”

“Yeah?” Beck cautiously set the photo album down and turned to face her on the couch.

“I had an idea. I need you tell me if I’ve completely lost it.”

“I can tell you already. You’ve lost it. You’re crazy. I told you that the night we met.”

Lenci laughed. She remembered that. And she had agreed with him. “That’s right. I remember.”

“There you go. But seriously, what is it?”

“What if…” she paused. It sounded very dark in her head and she was sure it would be worse out loud. But it needed to be said. “What if I could get rid of Braithe for good?”

“That would be amazing!”

“Right?”

“Definitely.” Beck nodded, liking the idea of not having that demon around any more. Even better, the idea that Lenci would be free from the torment of it all. ”How?”

“I need you to kill me.”

Beck stared at her. Neither of them spoke. After ages of silence he shook his head, said, “Nope,” and walked out of the room.

“Beck, wait!” Lenci ran after him. She caught up and ran around in front of him. “Hear me out, please.”

“Any plan that ends in your death is going to be a no, Lenci. I want to protect you, not take your life.”

“But did you hear what The Warden said?”

“I did. I heard it all. It’s an awful thing to do to a person. But that doesn’t mean you have to go and die. I didn’t hear that mentioned at all.” He went to the kitchen and poured himself a glass of whiskey.

“Not all that. He said whatever happens to me, happens to the demon. If I die, she dies. Forever.”

Beck took a sip and set his cup down. “That’s not a strong enough argument. Sorry.”

“Saving the world from a murderous demon, literal demon, who will have nearly unlimited power if she’s united with her master, isn’t a good enough argument?”

“Nope.”

“It would save countless lives.” She looked at Beck in unbelief. She didn’t understand why he wouldn’t want Braithe gone. It was the best possible solution to all their problems.

“If it worked. This all sounds pretty experimental to me. You could die and your demon could take over for all we know. I’m not going to risk it and I’m not going to kill you no matter how much you try to rationalize it.” He frowned and took a long swig.

“Please, Beck, don’t make me do it myself.”

“Don’t make you—“ He shook his head. “Come with me.” He grabbed the whiskey bottle and walked briskly to the secure room.

Lenci followed him, wondering what he was thinking. He opened both security doors for her. At the second one, Lenci paused. She hated this room where she gave up her will to her demon. She looked at Beck, who nodded that she needed to go in. She stepped up into the room and sauntered around. There were no chains today. Beck had taken them out to clean the blood from them and hadn’t put them back yet.

Beck closed the door behind her and bolted it. He stood at the viewing window and turned on the sound.

“What am I doing in here? You know I hate this room.”

“I do know that. And I hate it too. I hate putting you in there. I hate seeing you suffer as a demon takes control of the body that is rightfully yours. I’m sorry to have to ask you to be in there. But you, my friend, are not going to kill yourself. This is the only way to ensure that. So we’re going to sit here until we’ve worked this out.”

“We can’t sit here forever. I’ve made up my mind. Sticking me in here isn’t going to change that.”

“I’ve got time. And I’m pretty sure you do too.” Beck winked and raised his bottle to her before taking a gulp.

Lenci couldn’t help smiling and almost laughing. The way he said things lifted her heart. He had a playfulness about him. “What can you say that will change my mind?” She folded her arms.

“I’m not really sure yet. But I’ll come up with something. Give me some time.”

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