Bytown e2c4: We've Just Gotta Survive
Semi-automated announcement: Bytown episode 2 chapter 4 is live! Here's a preview...
His face was numb, but the morning sun caused a stinging sensation, like someone dragging knife tips across his cheeks and nose. He tried to focus, tried to see where he was...but his eyes just refused to cooperate. He felt like he was drifting, gently, somewhere far away. And he realized, to his surprise, that suited him just fine.Read more at bytownseries.ca!
He closed his eyes and saw Rían there, smiling at him in the imprecise beyond. He was reaching out his hand, urging him on. Come with me! he was calling. It'll be OK!
The more Liam thought about following, the less he felt the knives on his face, the agony in his ribs and legs and arms and everything else. The more he thought about following Rían, the less the rest of the world mattered at all. So he let himself drift a little further, off toward that nondescript nothingness, where Rían was waiting for him, arm wrapped around--
"Maggie!" Liam gasped, and sat up on the ice.
It was daylight, and frigid, and silent, but he was alive. He looked to his side, saw the Canadien who'd chased him, tried to kill him. Dead. Neck snapped by the fall, eyes staring off into nothingness. Liam reached over and closed his eyes, saying a silent prayer. The dead deserved that much, at least.
Then, faintly, he heard a deep ker-chunk sound, rumbling through his bones in a way he couldn't quite fathom. He knew exactly what it was, though: ice breaking.
The ice shuddered beneath him, and he scrambled for the shore, and--discovering his legs were in too much pain to rely on--caught a tree hanging off the shoreline. He made it, barely, and turned 'round to see the spot he'd been lying on come apart, swallowing the Canadien whole as the water underneath whisked him away toward some crueler conclusion.