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Hilton's Decision

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"Who do you want to be, kid? What do you want this world to turn you into? It's time to choose..."

They sat, opposite each other, silently. The flames of the fire crackled and danced into the open night air. The cool evening breeze swept through her long dark hair as she polished her rifle. So delicate. Like a flower blowing in the wind, she hummed quietly to herself. Daniel sprawled his legs out onto the cool grass and smiled. It had been so long since he had contact with another human, let alone somebody like her. The glow of the fire highlighted the dimples and crevasses of her face. Her freckles dotted so perfectly around her cheeks. Her hair falling effortlessly into place as she placed it gently behind her ears. Daniel let out a sigh and rested his head back onto the tree behind him. The crickets chirped their nightly song, the fire filled his bones with warmth, and for a moment, every thing was good in the world.

The events of 4 months previous still echoed in his mind. The fall of the camp. The death and destruction. It was worse than the initial outbreak - in his mind. Seeing the people he had come to know and care for, souls torn from their bodies as their screams called out into the night. He shook his head, as if to clear the memory. If only. But for now, he was content. This spirited young woman, so full of life and wonder, had found herself in his path 2 months ago, and turned his cold heart of stone back to its' natural state. She reminded him of Beth, back at home in England. "I'm only going for 6 months honey... This is a big opportunity for me. 6 months and I'll be home again. Promise." He let out a snigger, reminiscing just how wrong he was. He could not be sure that she was gone now. But he knew the odds were against him. Even if she made it, he would never make it home. 

She broke his trance, "So tell me Dan..." Dan. He hated being called Dan. But it almost didn't matter. She was allowed. 

"Where's the weirdest place you've done it!?" She giggled incessantly to herself. So seemingly innocent. So definitely not.

Daniel rolled his eyes, trying not to crack the inevitable smile. 

"Go on! I'll tell you if you go first!", she pleaded.

"Oh wow... You wouldn't believe me if I told you..!", he insisted. "It was actually in an aeroplane bathroom!" Daniel quietly laughed to himself. It was Beth's idea. She was so full of life, too. The similarities were uncanny between the two of them.

She laughed her beautiful laugh, as Daniel reciprocated. She opened her mouth to speak. Those bright white teeth as dazzling as ever.

"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!", a voice demanded from behind her. 

Daniel sprang up, jumping for his rifle. 

"Hands up, or I shoot the girl", the voice commanded. A figure appeared from the shadows of the night, his gun perched in his left hand with his knife in the other. Daniel lowered his weapon to the floor and put his hands up; shaking, panting. The figure appeared behind her right shoulder, gun pressed firmly against the back of her head. The flames of the dying fire now lit up his face. 15, maybe 16 at best. This boy shakily stood his ground, fear in his voice. He was gaunt and pale. His eyes wide and empty.  

"Okay. Okay." Daniel replied, unable to think of anything else to say. He darted her eyes at her. Her eyes were shut tight, her hands shaking at her side. "It's okay."

The boy stuttered as he made his demands. "G..give me every.. everything you got. Now", trying to make his voice seem deep, and menacing. 

"Listen to me kid...", Daniel began. "It doesn't have to be like this. You can still come back from this. This situation doesn't define you."

Daniel had been to the edge, and she had brought him back.

"What happens here will become the man you are in the future. You can lower the gun. Join us. Sit. Have something to eat, hell you need it. Or you can kill us. I wouldn't blame you. I'd probably even forgive you given the circumstances of the world. But would you forgive yourself? If you saw yourself doing this 3 years ago, would you be proud? Would you shed a tear for the man you were destined to become?"

The boys hands were trembling. His knees weak.

"I haven't killed people. I haven't had to", Daniel continued, "YOU, don't have to... It's not too late."

 Daniel glanced over at her. A tear fell slowly down her cheek.

"Now let her go. Who do you want to be, kid? What do you want this world to turn you into? It's time to choose..."

What felt like a millennia past in the seconds after. Their lives hanging in the balance of a frightened child.

"I.. I don't...", stammered the young man. "I can't..."

Before he could finish his words, she moved quickly. Spinning around, she desperately tried to grab the knife from his other hand. The startled boy caught unaware of her plan to repel his efforts. Everything moved in slow motion. Daniel, watching every single moment, seeing every single detail.

A single gunshot sounded.

Daniels' ears rang. A symphony of high pitched sounds fluttered around his head. His eyes flitted as he watched her plunge to the floor. The boy fell back, aghast with what he had done. His arms fell to his sides.

Rage flowed through Daniel like a torrent, like an unstoppable tide taking down everything in its' path. His eyes wide and deep with anger and hatred. He picked up his rifle and aimed it at the young man.

"I.. I didn't mean t--", his jaw shaking.

The hatred consumed him. The anger too dominant to deny. Shot after shot reverberated through the night sky. And then, silence.


He looked down, as red began to pool around her. Her beautiful hair matted in blood. The reflection of the final embers of the fire flickered in her empty eyes.

His fists squeezed tightly as complete and utter loathing overtook him.


This isn't the man he wanted to become.


This is the man that this world creates. 


Edited by NecroFeelYak

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Heyy I gave it a quick read and I gotta give it to you, it's really good. The story is very intriguing and detailed, and I like the ending as well. "All stories can't have happy endings."

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