Theirs to Claim | 18+

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Epilogue : Madelyn

Epilogue : Madelyn
- Six Months Later -

I didn’t expect my hands to feel as cold as they did, despite the warm feeling of blood dripping down the length of my fingers and the red that wasn’t my own painted in splatters across my face.

I wasn’t one to hold much regret over my choices, though.

Today was a moment I’ve been waiting for for the last eight years of my life, but even I’ll admit, I will never come here again.

“You can’t get rid of the memories, Madelyn, but you can replace them with better ones—ones that you can control.” My father had said to me right before I made the decision to fly out here to Detroit. The potent smell of gasoline burned my nostrils more and more with each passing second, but I didn’t stop, not even as Andrew’s screams began to ring in my ears.

In fact, the sound only encouraged me.

“That house is your prison for as long as you give it the power to be so.”

This was me taking back everything that has been stolen from me for far too many years, even if it meant sacrificing another part of myself in the process.

Smiling as I watched Andrew’s expression of fear turn into pure and utter terror, I circled the chair he was tied up in, pouring a path of fuel until it surrounded him at his feet.

“You know, I heard somewhere that being burned alive is the most painful way to die.” I say, tossing the can of gasoline across the living room of my childhood home. Or at least what was left of it.

Andrew’s body trembled as he looked up to meet my gaze, and while he tried to appear stoic, I knew it was only a matter of time before he broke for good.

“I’m going to kill you for this.” He threatened, spit flying from his mouth with each new word, but I didn’t even flinch. With his blood already across my skin, I couldn’t care less.

This was going to end the same either way.

“No,” I shook my head as I slowly reached into my pocket, retrieving the small knife I’d stolen on the trip over here. Positioning the blade over his right hand, I leaned into his ear as I ever so slowly let the edge break past his flesh. “I survived, and after tonight, I’m never going to pay another thought over the waste of life you are.”

Striking true, I exhaled as blood spurted from the palm of his hand, yanking back the knife before retreating my touch all together.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel coming here again since my mom, but satisfaction was a pretty accurate description for how I was feeling right now.

My body thrived off of the regretful screams Andrew let out from my ministrations, but what was to come would be so much worse for him.

It would be everything he deserved, and maybe after this, just maybe, I could breathe again without the heaviness of each painful inhale that was barely keeping me alive.

As I slowly backed away, making sure to not step in the trails of fuel I’ve lined all over this house of nightmares, I paid no attention to the desperate final pleas of the man being left behind.

There would be no sympathy for a person like Andrew.

Not a single ounce resided within me when I walked out of the place I was raised in one last time, and while I could still hear his cries from the bottom of the old wooden porch at the front, I knew nobody would come.

Neighbours may question the noise, and authorities may question the destruction, but nobody would look into a case such as my stepfather’s, especially not in the poor side of town his skeleton would be found in.

Only hours ago, my dad told me that if I did not desire the memories here, to make new ones.

That was exactly what I intended to do.

Drawing a single match from the box in my pocket, I watched as I lit just the tip until flames danced right before my eyes.

The weapon itself may appear small, but it took away all remembrance of the prison this house once was for me.

Soon, it would be burned down until it was nothing more than a pile of ash.

Glancing at the bricks of crumbling concrete and the slabs of loosened wood, the world before me didn’t seem as scary as it previously did.

The heaviness in my chest remained as did the ache in my heart, but not even the past was strong enough to control me anymore.

Tossing the match at the blocked entrance and stepping away, I revelled in the quiet second that came before the sound of gasoline catching fire met my ears.

With a blink, this entire abandoned street became painted with hues of orange and red, the silent promise on my tongue remaining that this would be the first and last time someone died by my hand.

Andrew’s screams were instantly muffled by the roaring of the flames around him, but it wasn’t guilt that drove the vow I knew I couldn’t allow myself to break.

From this night forward, I would never kill again.

Not because it was wrong.

Not because it was dangerous.

But because I fear I liked it, a little too much.

- End of Theirs to Claim -

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