31. Was It Hell After All

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A monster. A murderer.

That's what you are, little one.

Look what you've done.

You killed!

Finally!

Elisa swifts in her bed, unable to wake up already. She knows this is a nightmare. Yet, she can't get herself to wake up. She also doesn't see anything. But she can hear everything. The handler her voice echoes and echoes while darkness surrounds Elisa completely. There's not a single light, and for a second, Elisa tells herself that she deserves this. After all, she did kill. She did murder.

The wind howls, making Elisa crawl away . . . But to where? It's all darkness, and it feels as if the wind is everywhere. The howling sounds all around Elisa. Where can she go? Nowhere. If the Commission's cell felt like hell to her, then she was so very wrong. It was nothing! Absolutely nothing! This is on the other hand . . .

This does feel like hell.

And just as she realizes so, a light appears. A sob sounds, and Elisa realizes it is her own. There it is, the light. It's hard not to see, really. It's a lantern like light floating around in the dark. It should light up everything, but it doesn't. Instead, everything around it stays dark, black.

Elisa her eyes narrow at the light. She follow every movement of it, too. It moves slowly, but oh so gracefully. It even makes several twirls, making Elisa tilt her head to the side. What is it? She doesn't know. It's too far away to know.

That's why Elisa sits up, presses her knees against her chest. She also curls her arms around her waist, needing her body heat to stay exactly where it is. If she wouldn't do so, she's sure to freeze to death. That is if she isn't dead already. Surely you've got to be dead to wake up in hell? Or is everyone wrong? Is hell somewhere you can wake up in anytime?

A shiver goes down Elisa her spine, and she tightens her grip around her waist in reaction. It can be hell. After all, a monster deserves to land in hell. A murderer deserves to rot away in a place like that. She deserves to suffer.

The light is closer now, and Elisa concentrates on every movement it makes. Watching the glow makes her forget a little about the darkness around her, so her eyes don't leave it. They stay on it, watch it, focus on it.

And then it's right in front of her. It's as if it has seen her, too. As if it's coming right at her. Not in a frightening way, though. It circles towards her, and it lowers and lowers in the air.

Then it lands right in front of her.

At first, the glow is too much for Elisa her eyes to handle. That is why she has to close them for a few seconds. Then, she forces them open, curious what the light is here for. Why it came to her rescue. When her eyes have gotten a little more used to the light, she can finally see what it is.

A fire. It is a fire.

Elisa should be scared, she realizes. But she isn't anywhere close to being afraid. Instead, she uncurls one arm, and her hand comes closer to the fire. Immediately, the fire radiates warmth, and Elisa sighs in relief. Warmth. At least she won't suffer of the cold any longer, and she's grateful for that.

"Why are you here?" Elisa murmurs, knowing very well the fire won't answer her. But it is the question that has been zooming around her mind ever since the fire appeared out of thin air.

Not able to stop herself, Elisa lets her hand go closer to the fire, to the warmth. It doesn't burn her, not even close. Actually, it stays the same warmth it was before—even when she's so close to touching it.

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