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Arianna stumbled into the house, her dress torn and her hands smeared with blood. Droplets of tears fell from her eyes and struck the marble floor below her. Her stomach churned, and her heart felt as if it was on fire. She fell down to the ground, her bloody hand prints staining the floor
“Arianna!” her father called out, rushing to her side. He grabbed her wrists and pulled her up. Arianna couldn't bear to look at him.
“I'm so sorry,” she muttered under a flood of tears.
“What happened?” he asked. “Did everything go as planned?” Arianna's throat became momentarily choked before she could answer.
“Jake and I, we went down to where the monster was,” she said while staring at the ground. “There were so many other people there. We were directed as to what to do, but it-it-” She started crying again. She wiped off her tears using the non-bloody side of her left wrist.
“We took our swords, dad,” she said, “And we fought. Hard. Day and night for three whole days! But on the last night, the monster, it-it-it killed everyone!” Arianna broke into an uncontrollable fit of tears, which lasted for a long while before she was able to continue.
“How did you get away?” her father asked as he let go of her wrists.
“I just ran. I didn't even look for my sword. I just ran as fast as I could!”
Arianna looked up at her father. His mouth was in the shape of a grimace. You'd think he'd be happier to see me, she thought.. She and Jake had been gone for months training in military camps, and thy were released from it only a few days ago to fight the uncontrollable monster that had broken out nearby. The monster had suddenly gotten a burst of strength, and killed everyone that had been in Arianna's tent, including her brother Jake. She hadn't seen her father in almost a year, and she thought he would at least be grateful that one of his children had made it out alive.
Arianna received a blow to the head, knocking her down to the floor. Her already wounded scalp began to ooze blood onto the marble. All she could was lie there.
“How dare you come back to this house,” her father started, “Without your brother! Without your weapons! You abandoned the monster! You let everyone die!”
“I didn't!” she yelled back. “There were already going to be killed! The monster awoke as we were trying to slay it and killed everyone! I ran, dad! For my life! I had to scavenge for food and water!”
“I don't care,” he said. “That monster is going to come here. And guess what it's going to do? Kill everyone else. You abandoned your mission, Arianna. I can't even begin to explain how disappointed I am in you.”
Her father stomped away. Arianna didn't even try to get up. She just laid there with tears running down her face.
Two servants came to her, and grabbed her arms to pull her up. They ran a bathtub full of water. Arianna dismissed them before undressing and getting into the tub herself.
The warm water began to soothe her aching muscles. She had not taken a bath in who knew how long.
The water became a dark red with blood and dirt almost at once. Arianna lowered herself into it, until her head was fully submerged.
Her eyes were completely closed. She couldn't hear a thing besides the swishing of the water around her and her own heartbeat, which was beginning to slow. She considered staying down there forever, until she was no longer alive. What did she really have to live for?
She actually tried, but found that she could not force herself to stay underwater for long. Instead, she pushed herself up, coughing up the murky water that had already seeped into her lungs. She got up out of the water and wrapped a towel around herself.
She went into what used to be her room. There were still some clothes hanging in her closet. She grabbed a gray dress and threw it on without drying off.
All of the lights were off in her room. One of the windows was cracked open and letting in a slight breeze. Arianna's thick brown hair blew around it it. She sat down on the mattress of her bed and thought for a moment.
Afterwards, she walked over to her bare drawer and pulled out a dagger that she had stored in a secret compartment. She had always kept one there, ever since her world had turned to ruins. Her mother had been killed only a year and a half ago, a memory that still stung. Monsters had suddenly appeared all over Earth, and she and her brother had been trained to attack and kill them. They hadn't succeeded. The monster would be coming closer any time now...
Arianna held the dagger with both hands and pointed it toward her chest. She closed her eyes tightly, and brought it closer to herself. Her heart was beginning to race as the tip of the knife slowly embedded into her skin. Any moment now...
Her door slammed open, and the knife fell from her hands. A servant entered her room as she quickly tried to hide the knife underneath her mattress.
“Arianna?” the servant asked.
“Yes?” she replied. The servant wandered next to her bed.
“I was sent by your father. He wanted to know if you were hungry.”
“No thanks,” she replied, even though she had hardly eaten anything in the past few days. Her appetite appeared to have disappeared into think air.
The servant got up to leave, but turned back around at the last moment.
“I think you should know something Arianna,” she said.
What is it?” she asked. The servant came back to her bedside.
“This monster will be coming for us soon. The king has just sent a warning to all people in this area to evacuate as soon as possible.”
“I know,” Arianna replied.
“If I were you, I'd gather my things. We're going to move tonight.”
“Thank you,” Arianna said, “But I have no things to keep safe. Everything that was once important to me is beyond being salvaged.” The servant bowed her head before leaving.
The sky was becoming dark. Arianna felt sick to her stomach. She had to do something, to at least assist in this situation she had already helped to screw up. She couldn't just evacuate and expect everything to be okay.
Arianna pulled the dagger back out from under her bed and held it by its blade. Small little indentations formed in her hand that began to bleed onto the blade itself. She stopped this, and held it once again by its handle.
Her mind began to race, a million thoughts occurring at once. What should she do? What should she do? What should she do?
She gripped the dagger's handle tightly in her hand and went through the window, glass and all. She was determined to make some right of this.
Arianna ran, fueled by nothing except pure, insane adrenaline. She ran barefoot through the streets, dagger raised upright. She ran through fleeing people and empty buildings until she reached the source of the destruction: a monster that had grown even more than when she had last fought it.
Last time, the monster hadn't been nearly as strong. Now, it was crushing buildings they were fragile pieces of plywood. Arianna suddenly felt a burst of rage.
How dare this monster ruin my life? she thought. How dare it destroy the only home I have ever known? How dare it kill my brother and my friends. How dare it make my father hate me?
Arianna roared as loud as she could before storming toward the advancing monster. She didn't bother to think about how small her dagger was.
She took her dagger and stabbed the monster as hard as she could. Although its skin was as thick as concrete, Arianna's frenzy allowed her knife to go through. The monster merely down at her as if it was annoyed.
“Come get it!” she yelled, pulling out her dagger and stabbing it in the other leg. She played a kind of game with the monster, stabbing it and then running away to the other leg when it tried to catch her with its arms. Each time, more and more of the green blood gushed out of it.
Eventually, the monster's legs were filled with so many holes that it tumbled down to the ground. Arianna was careful to stay out of the way.
She then took her dagger and stabbed the helpless monster over and over again in the back, until it ceased to make sound. The last time she stabbed it, she slid the dagger out from its skin and held it in her hands.
Arianna was covered in the monster's green blood, which was beginning to burn her like acid. She, too, toppled over to the ground, exhausted.
The last thing Arianna saw that night was the twinkling stars in the sky. She stared up at them, imagining them as the playground of her dead brother. She hoped that he was having a good time up there.
A crowd of people began to surround her. They began to ask her questions, but her dying brain could not comprehend exactly what they were saying. She didn't even try to figure it out. She just waited on the ground while her well-earned death faded her eyes to black. At last she felt some sense of calm.