Into Death's Arms (Part II)

Stay with me, Justin.

Darkness. Shadows swooped and unfurled in a hazy gloom, spreading like a droplet of black dye in crystal clear water. Air and liquid and solidity combined into a melting sensation of numbness.

Stand back, Serena, let me try.

Voices. They echoed a dozen times, ringing into the empty space swirling around.

He’s not dead, he’s not dead.

The sound of a crying woman. My heart fluttered.

No, no, please.

Hands were on my chest now, pumping. Trying to bring back a fading heart. I felt the darkness wrap more securely around me now and my lungs expanded weakly.

Breathe, damn it!

Soft lips were on mine, forcing air into me like a balloon. My stomach swelled.

Please, Justin. Breathe.

I wanted to obey yet at the same time I did not. I was supposed to be…dead.

Don’t die on me. Please, Jesus Christ, just breathe.

My lungs twitched and brought with it a gasp of air. Blood flowed and pushed away the black curtain. Something was entering my sight. The voices grew with distinction.

“He’s alive, Serena he’s alive!”

Someone was grabbing my face and staring into my eyes. All I could see, though, was a blurry silhouette and what looked like long, blonde hair falling around me like a drape.

“Justin? Justin, say something. Please.”

I felt a trail of blood slide down the side of my mouth as I recognized her voice. My best friend.

Serena,” I choked faintly.

Serena exhaled with utter relief and began to cry. “Justin,” she whimpered. “Justin, what have you done?”

I couldn’t move very much, but I could feel slight pain in my knuckles and my stomach. Serena reached to touch the side of my face and I could see her palms smeared with blood.

“I’m…sorry,” I managed to say, before my heart flopped feebly in my chest. My breathing became shallow.

Darkness came for me again.

“Brielle, call for an ambulance again!” said Serena hysterically, attempting to hold my face and keep my eyes open. “No, Justin. Stay with me. Stay with me!”

But I couldn’t. The shadows welcomed with many fluttering arms and I let them embrace me in an icy sheet of emotionless comfort.

The last thing I heard was the sound of Serena’s echoing sobs before I slipped into blackness.

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