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I cough while I watch the men drag Richard away. It's unusual that I'd have a physical reaction to such an incident - but it could have been that, or maybe it was just something in the air.

My hands are bloodied and warm. A long, rusty screwdriver broken off jaggedly at the tip is in my hand, covered in Richard's blood. I'm not understanding what's happening, to be perfectly honest. He ran at me, telling me to stop playing games, and I just...

The nice men told me that they would come back, that they wouldn't leave me stranded in the dark. I don't know how long it has been, but I'm chilled to the bone from my damp clothes and the cold night air.

"Richard, oh..." I sob, "Why did you let them take you away?"

I plop onto the ground and sit back on my haunches, with my hands resting on my bent knees. My face is pressed firmly against my bloody palms, with the metallic scent of the screwdriver (and blood) tickling my nostrils.

The aroma intrigues me, but I feel suddenly sick to my stomach.

"Come back!" I'm not so sure that I was even the one who screamed those words into the night. There is no other living thing in sight, so the dreadful realization - sharp as needles - is slowly creeping into me that the men aren't coming back.

On my side, the dry sand clinging to my face and clothes, I stroke the screwdriver and imagine that it is Richard, safe and sound.

"Oh, Richard... I'm sorry," I mourn.

"You are forgiven," he says to me.

"How can I be?" I'm undeserving.

Richard's face turns sour. "You cannot."

I scream louder than ever, tears suddenly pouring from my eyes as the metallic scent of blood stings my nose.

"Richard! Richard! Richard!" I chant his name without pause, not stopping even to take breaths. The only air that I need - the air that Richard breathes - is gone. The bad men took him from this world! And I am left here to burn in his blood!

"Come back, come back! It's not fair!"

The acidic burning suddenly shoots down into my throat, then my lungs, and my spine; it spreads through my entire body until I can do nothing but flop harmlessly on the ground. I scream and scream Richard's name, until nothing but unknown gibberish comes out, and then until my voice is hoarse and cracked; I cannot breathe.

A boot stomps down in front of my face. A strange wake up call. I have no idea how much time has passed, or where I am. Richard! I turn my head up and see not Richard, but the nice men with the fleshless faces. A smile creeps onto my face, and I hold my screwdriver up to them as a gift.

I'm screaming, the last thing I know. I don't know why. Something about the burning, choking feeling inside of my chest. Maybe it's the incident. Maybe it's... something in the air.

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