Key Nineteen: Grace:
She spent all of her life surviving. She had to survive while looking for the rest of the Escape Party. She had to survive during the first escape attempt. She had survived escaping her from her partner in Fallen City. She had to survive with her partner in the City. She had to survive ending up in the same City. She had to survive during the war. She had to survive when the Apocalypse arrived. She even had to survive her human life.
She just wanted to collapse and fall asleep for a long time. But, a certain someone wouldn’t let her do that.
“Why did you choose to tag along with us?” Kit asked.
“What?” she asked.
“You still won’t tell me anything about yourself. You barely say anything at all. Help me out here.”
She threw back her head and groaned. “This again?”
“I’m serious. I have so many questions about you. I really do want to get to know you.”
For the longest time, she’s dodged every question about her. By now, Kit was starting to lose his patience. She rolled back her shoulders.
“You really want to know more about me?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“I don’t understand why.”
“Because I…” A high wind blew over as he spoke. She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes.
“What did you say?” she asked. Kit’s face turned bright red. He clenched his fists at his sides.
“I think I really like you!” he shouted. Grace gave him a confused stare for twenty seconds.
“Are you stupid?” she asked. She’s heard this before. Those words came from a boy in Massachusetts. At least she thought it was from Massachusetts. He always was there for her. He tried to reach out to her. But, she never understood his motives. She didn’t have the full picture. She did have a guess that she turned him down.
Kit turned his head away. “Never mind. Forget I said anything!” He walked past her.
“Kit, wait!” she shouted, turning around. He looked over his shoulder at her.
“I don’t like to talk about myself that much,” she admitted. “Too many… I have too many bad memories.”
“I can understand that,” Kit said. “Just answer me this.”
“Do you have your memories as a human back?”
She froze as the question lingered in her brain. The color drained from her face as her mind went back to a darker place.
“Papa,” she murmured.
“Grace? Grace?” Kit asked, shaking her shoulder. Images in her head played on repeat as she started breathing heavily.
She could see pitch black around. A big stuffed teddy bear sat in the corner staring at her with its lifeless eyes. Only a single window without curtains broke the illusion of being trapped. She drew her knees to her chest. She hated nights like this. He was going to be back. She counted down his steps.
Just like that, she heard the door opening. She can’t hide in the close like she did last time. He pulled out of the closet last time. But, tonight was going to be different.
Here he came in all drunk.
“Gracey! Gracey!” His growls made her think of a demon. She clutched the handle of the knife by her side. Come at me, you bastard! I won’t let you hurt me anymore!
He spotted her in the dark.
“Gracey!” he yelled. He ran towards her. She let out a choked up scream. Everything disappeared into a blur from there until the end. Red. Red everywhere. Stab. Fifteen stabs to his body. He didn’t make a sound. His twisted grin on his face would haunt her for the rest of her life.
She didn’t stop there.
Before the sun rose, the house was covered in blood. Five bodies inside. She wandered to the front door in a daze covered in blood. She sat down on the front step. The knife lay on the kitchen floor.
She would not be found until hours later.
“Grace! Grace!” Kit shouted. He grabbed her on the shoulder. She looked up and slapped his arm away.
“Don’t touch me!” she screamed. She stood back, panting. Kit tilted his head.
“Are you okay?” he asked. She quickly shook her head.
“Please… Just… Don’t…” she said. Kit watched as she wandered off. She shivered as she grabbed her arm.
“Grace?” she heard behind her. She felt like she was walking up to a noose.