[n] an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment

Suddenly I was being shaken awake, reality crashing down around me quicker than I would have liked, my head pounding and stomach queasy. I was thankful that at least the room was dark, having slept the day away, but I could just make out Pete standing next to the bed, looking down at me with a bored frown.

“It’s time to get up,” he said after I blinked a few times. I sat up slowly, running a hand through my hair, my fingers catching on tangles.

“I feel like shit,” I mumbled. Pete waved a hand and suddenly my headache was gone and my stomach was no longer uneasy. “You couldn’t have done that earlier? You know, when I was vomiting?”

“I thought you could suffer for a bit,” he said, heading out of the room. “Hurry up and get dressed. We’re leaving in 10.”

“Where are we going?”

“It’s time for you to start repaying your debt,” he answered, turning in the doorway to smirk at me. “In case you’d forgotten.”

He left me alone and I glared at the empty doorway. Of course I hadn’t forgotten—I was just wishing this wasn’t real.


Pete was standing in the living room when I came out of the bedroom, hair brushed and clothes changed.

“Ready?” he questioned.

“No. Not that it matters.”

“That’s the spirit!” he said, smiling like killing someone to collect their soul was something to be happy about. Though, for him, I suppose it was.

He moved closer to me quickly and grabbed my wrist, almost crushing it between his fingers. I tried to pull away but before I could even complain we were somewhere else, somewhere dark and unfamiliar.

It was silent and I strained to hear any sound. I could still feel Pete’s hand around my wrist.

“Where--?” I started to ask, but Pete shushed me quickly before pulling me towards something I could not see. In a moment, the lights were clicked on and I blinked rapidly to the assault of light on my senses.

I looked around finding that we were in a sparse bedroom, the bed made neatly and no one in it, despite the time. Pete let go of my wrist slowly, before reaching into the jacket he was wearing and pulling out a small blade.

“For you,” he said quietly, handing it to me with the hint of a smile on his lips. I glared at him, but took it anyway.

“Is there even anyone here?” I asked in a whisper, eyes jumping around the room.

“Oh he’s here,” Pete said. “Just need to sniff him out.”

Pete started moving towards the doorway, feet quiet on the carpet. I followed close behind him, clutching the blade in my hand and seriously just hoping this was all a bad dream.

Pete turned on lights as we moved down a hallway and checked the bathroom. We found a door in the living room and when Pete tried to open it, it was locked. Pete grinned and looked at me.

“Almost time!”

I shivered, wishing I could just run away, out the front door of the apartment we were in. But I knew I wouldn’t get far, that Pete would find me.

I watched as he took a step back from the door and lifted his leg, hitting the door hard with the flat of his foot. A yelp came from inside the room behind the door and I heard scrambling. I started to shake.

“I can’t do this,” I said, watching a Pete kicked the door again, harder. Someone behind the door started sobbing.

“Please, please don’t do this,” a man begged. Pete just kicked the door again and the sound of the door starting to crack met my ears.

“Oh God!” the man exclaimed. “Please God, please help me!”

“Don’t make deals with the devil,” Pete called through the door, giving it another kick. “Then maybe God will listen.”

The man was sobbing harder now behind the door.

“Pete, please, I can’t do this,” I begged, tears forming in my eyes. “Don’t make me do this.”

He glared at me as the tears started to spill down my cheeks. I tried to step away from Pete and the door and this insanity, but my body was frozen.

With a final kick, the door collapsed into the room.

“Hey Steve,” Pete said, grinning at the man in the room. “Don’t mind me, just here to collect what’s mine, as you know.”

“Please, don’t,” the man sobbed. “Please, have mercy.”

Pete ignored him, just crossed his arms and leaned against the doorframe.

“I hope you don’t mind, but I brought a friend to help me out,” he said, gesturing toward me. And though I didn’t want to, my feet started moving on their own, taking steps towards Pete and the open doorway.

“Pete,” I sobbed as I got closer. “I don’t want to do this.”

“You should have thought of that sooner.”

I was standing next to Pete now, and I looked down to see a man with graying hair, cowering in the back corner of a large closet. I wish he had made it out of this apartment, had chosen a better place to hide. But I had no doubt that no matter what, Pete would know exactly where he was.

“Well, Sophie?” Pete asked, gazing at me. “Are you going to make the man wait?”

I tried to force my legs to work for me, to walk away, anything to get me far away from here.

And suddenly I was moving… just in the wrong direction. I was now standing over the man, the small blade in my hand rising slightly. My other hand was reaching for the man, going to his chin to raise his head. Our eyes met and the blade touched his throat.

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered, closing my eyes as the blade slid across his throat swiftly, warm blood spraying out at me.

I suddenly had control of my body again and I fell back on the floor of the closet, blood coating my face and clothing. I let out a sob and opened my eyes to see Pete staring down at me.

“You’ll get the hang of it,” he said. I sat up quickly and leaned over, vomiting bile on his shoes, my stomach empty from not eating anything. Pete frowned at his feet. “Well… that’s unfortunate.”
♠ ♠ ♠


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