Excitement abounds! Multiple submissions to the prompt means we have yet another vote this time around 🙂 We have really great potential endings to Rita’s story, and I can’t wait to see which one you guys pick. While you’re at it, suggest some titles? I’ll put those up to a vote as well.
The release shocked her. Rita stumbled where she stood, the lurching of the bus and its passengers finally taking its toll on her mind and body.
The power hadn’t overtaken her since…Walter.
The noise of the destruction travelled to Rita’s ears and brain, snapping her back to reality. She stood from where she was sprawled on the floor. Broken glass shards littered the ground and the smell of the brakes’ screeching dominated the wreck.
She was surrounded by shouts of pain. Looking around, Rita suddenly noticed the blood that covered the many glass shards, the bodies that hadn’t moved and the driver who was slumped forward.
All of the anger and fury she had felt at these people vanished like a flashlight dead of battery. One moment she wanted to see these passengers cowering beneath her glare and now Rita wished that she was back under the old woman’s taunts and insults.
Becoming dimly aware that she hadn’t moved, Rita walked around, helping the other passengers. She received some odd and accusatory looks, but Rita stared back defiantly. There wasn’t any way they could pull this on her.
Moving towards a body on the ground, she froze.
It was the old woman. The one who’s sneering had started the loss of control, the involuntary burst of power that for years had been clenched deep inside her mind.
The woman’s face which once snarled was instead drenched with crimson. Her eyes were torn, covered in pieces of glass like so many other victims.
Rita backed away. She ran past the people screaming in agony, the bodies that lied still, the driver whose head now rested on the wheel’s horn.
The ear-wrenching and startling deep honk made people jump, but not Rita.
She escaped from the damage and the one she cared most about.
Walter is gone, Rita reminded herself forcefully, and bringing back this power will do more bad than good.
Rita was through with the horrific dreams and memories that haunted her being.
The chants and sacrifices.
It was too much…
No one noticed her departure in the commotion but later on they would mutter to themselves in their homes:
What happened to that crazy business girl? The one whose eyes glinted scarlet, whose growl pierced everyone’s ears before the crash and whose nails grew into long talons as sharp as a razor.
They would never know.
Stacy Overby – @dontpanic2011
Everything froze. Glass shards twinkled in mid-air like tiny stars reflecting the bright heat of her rage. The first drops of blood that had begun to stream from their eyes hung like macabre parade streamers.
She looked up. The old woman was shaking her head as she stood up. Her form blurred as she moved toward Rita. By the time she’d crossed the short distance to stand in front of Rita, the old woman had become a stunning raven-haired woman in her thirties.
“Morrigan,” Rita whispered.
“Did you not recognize me?”
“I’ve never seen you as an old woman.”
Morrigan shook her head, “Where is your awareness of power? Surely you sensed mine.”
Rita paused. She had felt something. That was what brought up those memories. It wasn’t the eyes; it was Morrigan’s power that conjured the eyes.
“Forgive me. I should have known.”
“You know I am Death; therefore, not so very forgiving.”
Rita bowed her head. Death was never lenient and she knew it. She’d known it back when all of this started. Part of her regretted her choice back then. So many things would have been different. Easier.
“Come, child. Do not regret your choice to serve me. I may not be forgiving but I am not unreasonable. I know the pain you have suffered in my name. The memories my presence stirred up.”
Rita began to sob. She would have fallen had Morrigan not caught her and guided her to a seat. Certain Morrigan had left by the time Rita could breathe again, she squared her shoulders and braced herself to face the mess she’d created.
Looking up, Rita blinked several times, uncertain what to do. Morrigan still sat across from her. Death was patient, or so it seemed.
“I can give you peace.”
“I’m not certain I’m ready for that.”
“Not death, my dear, though I could make that an option if you wished. I have another option; a plan if you’re willing.”
“Will it give me peace from this torment?”
“Then I am willing.”
Morrigan crossed the aisle and wrapped her arms around Rita. A bright light filled the bus. When it dimmed, Rita was gone. In her place was an iridescent black raven.
“Go, my child. Be at peace. I will find you when I have need of you.”
The raven flew away. The bus continued down the road unharmed.
Renee Tennis-McKinley – @2old2tap
Rita stood in the middle of the aisle, eyes squeezed shut. The screams no longer reached her ears and she shuddered in anguish at the result of her rage. The memories had flooded her mind, intermingled with the taunts of the old woman and other passengers.
She had let it overcome her.
A hand touched her shoulder then stroked her cheek.
She ignored the whisper, soft and warm as a summer’s breeze. But Walter would not be shunned.
“Rita, open your eyes. Look at me.”
“Nooo,” she sobbed, “I can’t look! I can’t!”
She could hear the people on the bus again. “What’s wrong with you, girly girl?” it was the screech of the old woman.
Again she heard the soft voice, “Hush now, Lucy. You haven’t walked in her steps. Go still yourself.”
As Rita finally opened her eyes, she saw the old woman trudge to an empty seat. The bus moved steadily down the street, the passengers still staring at her, but without the hostility she remembered. There was no blood, no shattered windows. No one screamed.
Rita looked back to Walter, “I thought…I thought I killed them!”
“You almost did.” Walter said, “but you stopped before it became real. You chose life over death.”
Walter smiled at her. “Because you are stronger than the coven. They couldn’t control you as easily as they thought.”
“But the memories, the pain.”
“Lies. All of it.”
Rita shook her head in confusion, it had seemed so real. But as she tried to recall the fear and hate, the feelings faded.
“You are free, Rita.” As he turned to go, Walter looked back one more time, “See you in my dreams.”
And we’re right at the end of another round! How will Rita’s story close? What shape will her freedom take?
Thanks again to everyone who’s participated. I can’t say enough how awesome you guys are! I love reading your takes on the prompts and where each of your stories twist and turn.
Voting time! Be sure to spread the word and show these writers some love.
Voting will be open until Sunday at 11:59PM EST. Spread the word!
As always, think happy thoughts!