Day 2: “Pick who dies”
“There were promises made in the darkness, in your sleep. You remember, don’t you, girl?”
The demon circled the girl. It made the air cold, and the room could only be described as smelling of death.
“The gods remember your promises, girl. And we demand that they are kept!”
A tear fell from Ti Moune’s eye. She remembered her promise all too well. “Take my life, not his!” she had begged the Papa Ge, and the demon had accepted. She believed it was right. She was doing it for Daniel. For Daniel, she thought bitterly.
“You gave him love. You gave him life. And how has he repayed you?”
Ti Moune’s head snapped up. Could this demon read her thoughts? Papa Ge laughed, the sound sending a chill through her body. Of course, she thought. The Demon of Death is still a god.
“He has betrayed the love you felt for him, and you are left to pay the price. You are left with me!”
The girl’s blood ran cold. This couldn’t be it. Not now. Not here.
“Come, child, accept me. It will be easier that way.”
Ti Moune chilled. She felt the air tighten, and invisible hands began to close around her throat, forcing the very life from her.
“Please, no!” she managed to choke out.
“Unless…” Ti Moune’s eyes begged wordlessly for another option. There was a time she would have given everything for her Daniel. But this feeling, this fear as she felt her breath left her, was nothing like she’d felt before, and she clung to life as Daniel once had, unable to let go. “Trade yours… for his.”
“What?” she whispered. Those invisible hands released her slowly.
“You saved him. You loved him. And he betrayed you. Why should you die for him now? Kill him, Ti Moune!”
The girl shook her head. Kill Daniel? The thought almost made her feel sick. He had hurt her, yes, but surely he did not deserve to die.
“Kill the love you feel for him. Prove that death is stronger than love and you can have your own life again.” That caught her attention. Mama and Tonton seemed so far away now, and Ti Moune found herself missing the life that she had once thought utterly dull and uneventful. “Your old life, just as if you had never loved at all…”
Kill him. Kill him! The air around her seemed to hiss down her ear, whispering the evil of the sly death demon.
The demon itself held out a dagger, which looked almost beautiful, glimmering in the moonlight. The god beckoned, and Ti Moune found herself following, all the way to Daniel’s bedside, where he slept peacefully.
She clutched nervously at the blade in her hand, and turned it over in her palm, hesitating. Was it really worth all of this? Must he die? The thought of his blood on her hands made her feel ill.
“Do it, girl!”
“Wait!” A new voice sounded in her ear. The voice of the Goddess of Love. The voice of Erzulie. “You don’t want to do this, Ti Moune.”
“Kill him! Prove that death is stronger than love!”
“Please! Does he deserve to die?”
“Remember what you lose if he lives, girl. Do you deserve to suffer for his betrayal?”
The demon lifted Ti Moune’s arm high, and Daniel turned in his sleep. She was positioned perfectly to plunge the blade into his heart.
Ti Moune looked at the boy she had saved, the boy she had nursed back to health, the boy she had given everything for. He looks so peaceful, she thought.
The gods whispered and urged her, using the girl to fight their battle. She could take no more of it.
“No!” she cried. “I won’t do it! I won’t hurt him!”
Daniel awoke with a start. But he did not see the gods. Instead he saw only Ti Moune, his Ti Moune, with a knife high above her head, waiting to take his life.
“Ti Moune… Why…?” The knife dropped, clattering on the floor.
“Daniel, please, I-”
She didn’t finish. He had cried for help, and soon, she was thrown outside the gates, locked out the Hotel Beauxhomme forever.
But one thing was sure.
Daniel Beauxhomme would not die tonight.
(This one was actually really fun to write. Hope you enjoyed!)