The first thing I hear is Emily screaming. Its coming from behind the door, so at a guess, I’d say she’s found the priest.
I lumber up the hallway, holding the wall as I go. I’m leaving hand prints in the dust, accumulating a thick layer of it on my palm in the process. The other hand I have up to my head, I press my temples together and I can feel a grinding somewhere in my skull.
My left eye feels as though it is drooping dramatically, lazily. I’m finding it harder and harder to focus. When I reach the door I slap my hand uselessly against it. Emily, I can hear her breathing, rapid, sharp.
I lean against the door and I tell her, I’m not going to hurt you, I was trying to save you. Save us.
“You’re a monster!”
My head is pounding out about a 6.8 on my internal Richter scale.
Come on Emily, I say, its just the two of us now, we gotta stick together.
When I bang on the door my head spikes to about a 7.0.
Calm down, I say. I just want to talk, I’m not going to hurt you. Can’t you see I’m the victim here? I say, I’m hurt, hurt bad.
In the back of my head I can hear pounding. Like the sound of a siege weapon, busting down a castle wall. Like the bang, bang, bang of Ben’s hammer. My stomach heaves and I can feel the warm tide rise within me. That warm, rancid tide. I drop to my knees and my internal Richter scale bangs on about a 7.3, I open my mouth and gush vomit onto the floor. As I put down my hands to steady myself I splash chunks onto my knuckles.
When the acidic vapours hit my nostrils I puke again. Every time I throw up my, head is bang, bang, banging.
The door opens and before I can look up, Emily rushes past me and back down the stairs.
I call after her and my head tips to 7.7, creeping to an 8.0. And its bang, bang, banging. Boom, boom, booming.
I scream as I stand and force myself to go after her. As I reach the stairs I walk, then stumble down.
I get to the bottom and in a last desperate attempt I sprint after her. My head is Mt Vesuvius. Lava pours out of my mouth in a scream. Emily is running across the room and the boom, boom, booming is getting louder and louder. As she reaches the fire, I catch her sleeve. Emily, she’s a whirlwind of chocolate hair and razor nails. Hurricane Emily. She catches me across the jaw and I drop to the floor, still holding her sleeve, taking her with me. The boom, boom, booming. The hysterical screeching of Emily. My own screaming. My head a thunderous maelstrom. Emily mounts me and is raining down lightning strikes with her hands.
I feel my eyes beginning to cloud over and I can make out, through the haze, Emily above me. Like some vengeful, angry, ancient God. Boom, boom, boom. Her hands held high. In them, the fire extinguisher.
My executioner, my angel of death. My Emily. I’m finding it hard to focus as she howls at me. A bloodlust Valkyrie. She finishes her death knell and brings the extinguisher down toward my head. My left arm comes up in front of my face and in an attempt to cover up and the hard metal hits me just below the elbow. There is a resounding crack, and what feels like an electric shock sprints up the length of my arm, connecting with the pounding in my head.
Emily, off balance tries to regain her composure for another strike. I thrust my hips up and, with my good arm flip her off balance again. She tumbles to the left and I roll with her, as I go my left arm smacks on the ground and shoots another current up to my shoulder. On top of her now, I pin her arm with my right hand and she tears at my face with her nails. My left arm all but useless, I plunge my face into her neck and I bite down as hard as I can. I feel her skin give way and she is screaming so loud now that my left ear is ringing.
I take a mouthful out of the flesh in her neck, chew once or twice then swallow. Emily is screaming and a warm fountain splashes onto my face and throat.
When I look back at her, her eyes are wide and brimming with tears. She has stopped struggling and is just looking at me, her face about to crumble into emotion. With my good hand I let her go and gently brush the hair from her eyes and I kiss her. She is staring at me, now past me, now gone.
I collapse and my vision deteriorates into blackness and all I can hear is the bang, bang, banging in my head.