There are fates much worse than death.
She knows this now, more than ever. Lying curled up on the warm wet floor, blood and water swirling together like a macabre painting left outside in the rain.
Spending eternity wandering the darkness alone… Being chained to a boulder, eviscerated over and over by razor sharp beaks, with no hope of salvation… Or forced to torture others, skinning them alive, unable to stop your blade from slicing and slicing…
Yes, there are many fates worse than the cold starless void of death.
There would be no light at the end of the tunnel. No dead relatives waiting with kind smiles and outstretched hands.
Not for her. Not after what she’s done.
A sharp, shrill noise, like keening, makes her raise her aching head. At first she thinks it is someone – or something – attempting to break through the beautiful gilt framed windows above the overflowing bathtub.
Her eyes slide away from the windows to the locked door. Blinking, her heartbeat slows, pumping the last of her blood from her body…
The door bursts inward, hinges splintering, and suddenly someone is shouting her name.
“Leave me alone,” she whispers. “Let me go.”