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Ghost

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There’s a part of her brain that’s still functioning.

That’s the part that’s noticing all the small details, like how the plants look so weird when they’re tinted red, and how moving her feet is something she’s been taking for granted her entire life.

How there’s a smile on Gothel’s face.

How her own mother just stands there, watching.

This part of her brain is very, very small.

And with a few more seconds, it disappears.

 

Everything is red. Everything is pain.

It feels like every atom in her body is being pulled apart.

She just wants it to stop, so badly she just wants it to stop, and now she feels something like a hole in her chest, can feel it growing and growing until she knows she’s going to fall, she’ll topple backwards and end everything, end the pain and the suffering and someone is screaming, she thinks it might be her but she’s too far gone to care.

Her feet can move again but she can’t walk, all she can do is collapse. The cold cement floor should hurt, her reflex is to think that it hurts, but it doesn’t, not really.

 

The pain stops.

The screaming stops.

She’s not breathing.

The hole is still there. Lurking inside and whispering impossible promises about what could happen if she would

        only

                 let

            go.

A lot of time passes, she thinks. Her eyes are half closed and she can’t move. She’s dimly aware of the fact that she’s alone, but her awareness stretches only to what’s immediately around her.

More time.

 

She’s not bored.

She’s not much of anything.

 

The pull of the hole grows stronger, but for some reason she doesn’t want to fall. She distracts herself by remarking on things.

 

Still not breathing. That’s odd.

Still can’t move. Ok. Whatever.

Still alone. What else is new.

 

The world is a silent, lonely place.

 

Darkness starts to creep in around the edges of her vision. She’s pretty sure her eyes are still open, though.

The promises from the hole grow increasingly sweeter.

Rest.

Freedom.

She should really just go down there immediately.

 

She tries her best to ignore the voices.

 

“Oh my god.”

A new voice. An outside voice. It sounds like it’s underwater, an echo-y, not-really-there, all-in-your-imagination voice. But then it comes again.

 

“Oh my god.

 

and

 

“Ivy.”

 

That’s her, she thinks. Ivy. It doesn’t sound quite right.

 

Her view changes from blurry greenery to what looks like blurry ceiling. Someone’s moved her. She remarks on things again.

 

Still not breathing.

Still not moving.

No longer alone.

 

“No. No. Nononono, Ivy!”

 

The voice clears up a little bit. It sounds frantic. She wishes she could tell it that she’s fine. The voice doesn't sound like it knows this.

 

“Henry…”

New person. Interesting.

“Henry. She’s…”

 

Henry? She knows that name. She knows that person. Why is Henry here?

 

“I know.”

Knows what? It can’t be the obvious. It can’t be that she’s dead, because duh, she’s not. She’s still here. She’s aware. She has thoughts. She’s pretty sure a dead person doesn’t have those.

She tries to speak.

To breathe, to do anything. She can’t.

 

A face enters her field of vision.

Henry.

He looks sad, which oddly makes her feel better.

At least someone cares.

Except she’s not actually dead, and she’d rather he just knew she was alive and not care, than think she’s gone and suddenly decide to be depressed.

He brushes a hair that she can’t even feel off her forehead, but his hand lingers.

 

“Roni?”

 

Oh, yuck. He brought Regina. Wonderful.

 

“Yeah?”

So that’s the other person.

“She’s...uh. She’s not... cold.

 

Obviously. Dead people are cold. Not ones who are definitely still alive.

 

“What? That’s impossible. She must have been here since Lucy woke up, and that was more than two days ago!”

Hurried footsteps, and then Regina is over her as well.

Arm reaching out, hand on face, none of it that she can feel.

 

“What the hell?”

 

And then muttering. Funny, she didn’t peg Regina as a mutterer. Jumbled words about “failed spells” and “not completing the damn thing” and “that bitch ” and her only comfort is that Henry looks as confused as she feels.

 

And then finally--

 

“Henry.”

Wow that’s a serious face there, Regina.

“There’s a possibility…”

Yeah. A possibility that--

 

Regina takes a deep breath.

 

“Henry, I don’t think she’s actually dead.”

 

Well done.

You finally got there.