Day Seven Lynch - The End

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
Ill never look into your eyes...again
--The End, The Doors

“Admit that you and Angus have been doing the killings together!” Carly screamed over the body of Nickie. “You killed this poor girl. You and your boyfriend or...whatever he was.”

“Do ye think all Scottish people know each other then?” Jet glared at Carly and then rolled her eyes and gave Lanna a meaningful look.

“You've had plenty of time to get to know him!”

“And have we been spending it together? We've all been on this journey in each other's company. So maybe you should tell us what you were doin last night.”

Lanna watched the argument progress between the two women, knowing that one of them was a killer. Jet seemed so calm and confident that suggested she was innocent right? One would expect a murderer to be more...volatile or something. Her arguments were reasonable ; they -had- all been here together and they all were strangers before they met in Seattle so why would Jet and Angus team up simply because they shared a nationality. It sounded rather racist or at the very least xenophobic to her. Surely if Carly was innocent like she claimed there would be something to prove it. Lanna didn't know what to do. No one was quite themselves and they had all done things they regretted in order to survive.

“YOU killed the little girl in the caves, and poor Hank and all the others...admit it!” The brunette shouted at the disdainful redhead. Jet's demeanor seemed to infuriate Carly all the more. How could she be so cold about murdering what amounted to mere children?

Jet made a small disbelieving snort before finally getting tired of all this chatter. “Stop bumpin yer gums ya bletherin auld skite. Blaming me won't change the truth and ye know that in yer heart. You killed them.”

Carly screamed and lunged at the redheaded woman, her fingers hooked like claws. “I did NO such thing!” She slammed into Jet and knocked them both to the floor. Straddling the Scottish woman Carly started punching and found she just couldn't stop. She just wanted the truth, that's all. “Admit it! Admit it!”

“Get off me, ye crazy bampot!” Jet yelled and tried to shove the brunette away but Carly was sitting square on her midsection. She couldn't dodge the blows and settled for putting her arms up to fend them off as best she could.

“Admit it! Admit it!” Carly continued her tirade with no notice of anything else. Therefore she never saw Lanna walk up behind her with a large rock.

~*~*~

Matthew brushed the annoying and ever present lock of hair away from his face and met Vera’s hard expression with one of his own, refusing to back down now. He had insisted early that morning that they needed to have a talk, and she had agreed only if they could discuss matters away from the others. That seemed fair enough to him at the time, as their arguments tended to get very vocal, but now, as the sun slowly made its way up the horizon to scorch everything in its path, he found it rather unsettling. Perhaps more unsettling still was the rifle resting on a rock off to one side.

At least they were getting their views out in the open, finally, instead of playing this ridiculous game of tug-of-war every day. Vera wanted to go to Vegas and join Flagg, while he wanted to join Mother Abigale in Colorado. While that had been obvious for a while now, it was good to get that out on the table rather than playing these passive aggressive games.

It became clear, however, that no amount of discussing this issue would make her see reason. She was as dead set on going to Vegas as he was determined to see Mother Abigale, and nothing would make her change her mind. Finally, he threw up his hands in disgusted exasperation. He hadn’t wanted it to turn out this way – in truth, he thought it was shameful to think that he would have to tell Mother Abigale that he had left half of the remaining party behind in the desert – but he saw no other course of action.

“Then I’m leaving, Vera. I’m taking whoever wants to go with me, and we’re going to see Mother Abigale. I didn’t want it to be this way but I can’t…I won’t follow you anymore.”

With that, Matthew turned his back on Vera and started to walk away, back toward the motel. Vera shouted after him, her voice thick with anger and sadness.

“And how long do you think –He- will let you live, Matt?”

Matthew turned around mid stride and called out in response.

“Certainly no longer than you.”

He started walking again, his heart pounding with adrenaline and his head full of confidence at having finally made his stand, when he heard the gunshot rip through the early morning sky.

~*~*~

Lanna winced and then swung her weapon into the back of Carly's head. She really hoped that she was making the right choice here but it was obvious that if she didn't choose right now that Carly was going to kill Jet. The rock connected with a splash of blood and grey matter; just that quickly Carly was no more.

Jet slowly got to her feet with the help of the nurse and looked down at the corpse. “A shame really. She had some fight in her.” The redhead smiled and then looked up at Lanna. “I thought she was goin to kill me.”

Lanna smiled weakly and let the bloody rock drop from her nerveless fingers. What had she done? Was it the right thing? She -saved- lives; she didn't take them!

Jet gave her an understanding smile. “I'd like to thank ye for tha. Don't worry none. It'll all be over soon enough.”

The nurse frowned in puzzlement but nodded. Hopefully this nightmare would end quickly and they would make it to some place safe. She looked down at the shallow grave they had started for Nickie before the fighting had broken out, wondering if they could bury both bodies together.

It was as she was reflecting on their own mortality, on how quickly their lives could be taken away with the swing of a rock or a scorpion’s sting, that the gunshot sounded.

~*~*~

Instinctively Matthew ducked and put his hands over his head, freezing at the deafening sound, but he soon composed himself enough to turn around again. It would seem Vera wasn’t done with him yet, or at least that was what he gathered from her expression behind the double barreled rifle pointed straight at him. He stood still, staring at her in silence for a long moment before slowly walking back toward this woman who, he was just now realizing, was just as terrified as any of them.

As he approached, he realized that Vera was speaking, not shouting or barking or snapping but simply speaking, a quiet litany of words from her surprisingly sweet voice.

“I can’t let you go, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I can’t let you go…”

She was stepping back, now, in spite of holding the gun pointed at him it was her stepping back, and Matthew slowly reached up, feeling suddenly more in control of the situation, and pushed the barrel down to the ground between them.

“It’s okay, Vera. Shh, it’s okay. We can go right now, we can get everyone, leave no one behind just like we said, and we can go to Mother Abigale, she can protect us, I know she can…”

Perhaps he had been doing okay until then but that was the wrong thing to say. With all of her former hardness she lifted the rifle once more, pointing it at Matthew with renewed resolve.

“Mother Abigale is –weak-,” she spat. “No one is strong enough to stand against Him, no one! And when he gets to you you’ll –beg- for death, you’ll have to beg before he’ll give it to you!” Her chest hitched, and only then did she seem to realize that she was crying as she spoke. She sniffed and wiped at her eyes with her forearm before readjusting her aim with the rifle. Matthew, meanwhile, held very still, hoping against hope that this was another fit of Vera’s always erratic temper that would soon wear itself out.

“This way is better, Matthew. You…you shouldn’t have to die on your knees. You earned the right to die standing.”

Matthew shook his head and took a step back. “You –don’t- have to do this, Vera.”

“I don’t have a choice any more,” she croaked in response. Tears clouded her vision but she still managed to pull the trigger. She watched in horrified fascination as Matthew took two stumbling steps back, wearing an expression of disbelief as his hands went to the wound in his chest and came away a brilliant red. He looked up at her, then, with his bloody hands outstretched, and Vera was shocked to see not fear or pain, but pity in his eyes. Then he took another step back, stumbled, fell, and died, his eyes wide open to the huge desert sky.

Dust and sand stuck to the tear tracks that made neat lines down her face, but by the time she got back to the hotel the rising sun had dried any evidence of her crying away.

~*~*~

Lanna let out a croaking, breathless sort of sound as her hands went up to press against the sharp pain in her stomach, never knowing that Matthew was making a very similar gesture at this very moment. Her eyes went huge and round as she regarded Jet, shock giving way to terrible comprehension. She stumbled once before landing hard on her rear end, looking at the gun in Jet’s hand but unable to voice her question.

'Oh, what this?” Jet looked at the pistol and then turned to grin at Lanna. The blonde sat in the dirt, still clutching her midsection and staring up at the redhead in disbelief. “Why?,” was all she managed to croak out before the pain overwhelmed her. She thought she might vomit if she tried to speak more.

“Ye mean why didn't I use it before?” The other woman shrugged and explained. “I was interested to see what side of this game you were on but you really believed you were doing the right thing didn't you?”

Jet had picked up the weapon in the little mining town they had visited, figuring it would come in handy and it had. She had never been afraid for her life but the Walking Dude would reward her if she could convince some of the others to go with her. Carly was not someone for Flagg's team and there would be no way to change her mind. That left convincing Lanna that the others needed to be killed but it was clear now that the nurse was not cut out for the violent lifestyle that Las Vegas offered either. She needed to just finish the job and get going.

Rising to her feet, she brushed off her jeans and gave Lanna a little mock wave as she headed off to get her gear together. Lanna closed her eyes, moaning, but opened them again at the sound of footfalls. Vera had come back. She reached out helplessly toward the other woman, who now stood only a few feet away. She could taste the blood pooling in her mouth, could feel it gushing out of her, but she was still alive; Vera could be a decent human being and help her! How had everything gone so terribly wrong?

The Devil may know, but Lanna did not.

Coughing up an impressive flood of blood (flood blood, I’m dying in a bloody flood, her mind put forth in a slightly insane singsong voice), Lanna tried to turn her head to keep from drowning to death, a prospect she found somehow more frightening than bleeding out. Vera whispered softly, which was remarkable only because Lanna didn’t think she’d ever heard her whisper, and then walked away.

No, Lanna thought – there was no Jesus here, despite what deities Vera might invoke in solemn tones.

Soon enough Vera returned with Jet at her side and crouched down, looking into Lanna’s glassy eyes. Lanna could not move in response – even blinking was too difficult, but she was channeling every ounce of hate she had in Jet’s - that lying bitch’s- direction.

“Is she dead?”

Lanna was incredulous even now. No, she wasn’t dead! Surely they could see that? Jet reached out and seemed to give her a sharp poke (which she was alarmed to realize she could no longer feel) before turning to her sole living companion in this deadly adventure.

“Yeah. Let’s go.”

“And Matthew?”

Lunna couldn’t hear Vera’s response, but she could see the woman’s shadow shake her head. Her last sight was the two women, the last of the survivors, walking away.

The end of the world waited.

Please allow me to introduce myself
Im a man of wealth and taste
Ive been around for a long, long year
Stole many a mans soul and faith
--Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil

Jetamio 15 years ago
"Vegas, baby, yeah!" Jet suddenly shouted in excitement as they walked away, and did a little erotic dance that would even have impressed Temperance. Ignoring the throbbing of her rapidly growing black eye from Carly, she fell in beside Vera without even a glance back at the carnage she had caused.