The Snake Crawls Part 7: Determination
rating: +15+x

June 06, 2021:

Well, here it is. The end of the story. I rushed out of the room, stuffing the letter inside of my pocket. My mind was still clouded with thoughts of what had just happened. All I could think about was getting to Janice. I stomped down the stairs at full speed, nearly tripping over myself in the process. I probably should’ve slowed down, but I had no time to waste. The rush of the purple accents, baby blue walls, and the blurry faces of the Maidens hit my eyes like fireworks. I was only focused on one thing, and that was finding her. I was determined to complete my goal.

Everyone glanced at me as I sprinted by, wondering what on Earth had gotten into me. Some tried to tell me to slow down, or even downright stop me to ask questions. I didn’t care about what they had to say. I didn’t even have the time to listen. All I cared about was pushing forward, and nothing was going to stand in my way. She is what brought me back to life from my long dusted corpse of sorrow. I could not stop now. I eventually ran into a few Maidens by accident, who told me to watch my step; I continued as if nothing happened. The adrenaline rushing through my veins made each of the crashes painless. I tuned out their aggravation, only muttering a quick “sorry” under my breath before continuing.

I then reached a corner next to our data center. As I hastily drifted across the wooden panel flooring, I fixated my sight onto something down the hallway. There was a woman that had darted out of the data center who immediately caught my attention. I observed her features: long blue cloak… Pantalone Mask… It had to be Janice. The other Maidens began yelling as they were alerted to her sudden appearance. My suspicions were confirmed at that point.

A few tears fell from my eyes as I met her gaze. I needed to get to her as fast as I could. I needed to save her. As soon as she noticed me, she quickly dashed across the hall in a desperate attempt to escape. Was the creature really afraid of me? I thought to myself. Did it know that I wanted to cure her from its disease? These were some of the many questions that arose during the chase. However, it did not stall me.

I continued onward in my attempt to rescue her. As she ran further and further, the surrounding Maidens had joined me in the chase once they saw her, in pursuit of both of us. She ran gracefully, avoiding every obstacle in her wake; I was amazed. I kept bumping into Maiden after Maiden, furniture after furniture. She had gotten so far that I started to think I had failed her, or that I had lost. That was until a group of Maidens blocked her only exit. This was my chance.

I finally caught up to her, cornered by the other Maidens. It was time to finally confront the rotten creature which had been lingering inside of my true love once and for all.

(As soon as she saw me heading her way, she spoke to me.)

Janice: W- wait! It's not—

(I had gotten to her and had given her a long hug.)

Kyra: Shhh.

Janice: N- no—

Kyra: It's okay. I will help you get rid of-

Janice: No! Actually stop!

(At first, I took those words as the creature deceiving me until the voice started to sound… different.)

Kyra: I'm here now. You can be safe.

(I slowly reached for her mask and proceeded to take it off… that was until everything changed.)

Mackie: Just stop! Get off me!

(I jolted back in shock from what stood before me, and from what I had done.)

Kyra: W- wh- wait! I-uhh- but- a-

Mackie: Sigh… well you caught me. I hope you're happy.

Kyra: But y- you look- looked just like her!

Mackie: That was the point!

Kyra: I… I- I don't.

Mackie: You didn't know? I'm the spy! There's no way I'm saving myself from this.

Kyra: You but… then why—

Mackie: Why did I dress up as her? I took her strange actions during the party as an opportunity to disguise myself in order to spy on all of you. We have the same mask after all.

(I couldn't believe what was happening in front of me. I was shaking from the fact that Janice might not even be here anymore. More tears continuously flown down my face. I struggled to convey my words and feelings. I couldn't hold in my sadness and anger.)

Kyra: You- you fucking traitor! M- murderer!-

Mackie: Traitor? Maybe, but I'm no killer.

Kyra: The M.E.G. is wh- what started the Maidens from the horrors of their experiments!

Mackie: Do you even think we want to do that? No, we don't.

Kyra: Then why do it!?

Mackie: It's for the sake of humanity! But now we have to save innocent wanderers from people like you!

Kyra: Then wh- why did you save me that night?

Mackie: To show you that we still care!

(Was her saving me just a trick? Maybe it was to prove a point. I did not care.)

Kyra: Was it you that put th- that thing into her?!

Mackie: What are you?—

Kyra: The fucking snake! Did you do it?!

Mackie: I don't even know what you're talking about!

Kyra: So you didn't do it to her?!

Mackie: We never had anything planed for her!

(At this point I could barely breathe. So many emotions wanted to explode out of me like a volcano. Unable to hold myself together any longer, I let out a scream of agony.)

Kyra: You will… pay for this.

Mackie: Pfft. Paying the price for saving humanity. Right.

(As The Maidens then started to take her away, I made a remark as they were taking Mackie to her trial.)

Kyra: I bet that entire thing about your brother was a lie too…

Mackie: …No… I would never…

I stood there, distraught. My efforts to save Janice were all in vain. She wasn't there at all. She had left Level 67 long ago. Was this all just a coincidence? Had the creature invaded her body by chance? I began to ponder these questions in my head as The Maidens grabbed my arms and held them behind my back. Once I was successfully detained, they lead me along to the interrogation room. The Maidens then offered me to write a letter to another Maiden. I never spoke a word. Then there I was, tied up to a chair in a questioning room. A Volto-wearer peeked in to inform me that my interviewer would be arriving shortly before closing the door once more, leaving me alone.

I just sat there, staring into space. My body was frozen still, focused. Only one word could describe my thoughts and feelings at that moment: determination. My eyes then attracted to one feature in the room… the ceiling vent. I knew it could be dangerous, but this might have been my only chance to find her. I had to get out, but I didn't know what to do. That was until I felt something in my back pocket, the pencil. I pulled it out, and began using the tip to try and collapse the integrity of the poorly-crafted rope, hardly even tied tightly. After poking the pencil through the weaves of the rope a few times, the rope began to fall apart, loosening it just enough for me to slip out. As soon as I broke free, I pushed the table over towards the vent, and climbed in.

The vent could've lead me to my demise, but luckily for me that would not be my fate. It had brought me to Level 4. As I sighed of relief, I made my way through the ghostly office halls. I didn't know where to go, but I knew I had to go somewhere. I had lost track of time after hours of wandering, but I knew that multiple hours had to have passed by this point. As I slowly started to lose hope, a Masked Messenger suddenly flew towards me with its colorful beauty. It dropped another envelope into the palms of my hands. As it glided its way home, I opened the envelope. It read as follows:

It looks like you'll be needing this. I hope you find what you are looking for.

Good luck.

Then, a beautiful, bright-blue ball of light emerged from the letter, levitating above it. A similar ball of light to the one that brought me home in my first mission. I watched in awe as this magical experience occurred before my eyes. The ball began to hover through the halls of Level 4, seemingly leading the way to something. After a while of following it, I was eventually led to an old wooden staircase. I then walked up the stairs, still following the orb, until I eventually reached what appeared to be an old hotel. A female Deathmoth flew by me as I took in the scenery. It looked like I was in Level 5.

As I wandered the halls of the hotel of terror, I noticed how beautiful it was, its imperfections. We all have imperfections, it's the beauty in all. Deathmoths were still an annoyance, but thankfully they didn’t attack anything beyond my hearing. The smooth jazz emitting from the speakers, while broken, was soothing after all that had happened. At one point I thought I heard people on the other side of the wall… but it slowly faded back into silence before I could get close enough to track the source of the sound.

No matter how interesting or satisfying this really was, it all felt like… distractions. I needed to keep my pace. The blue light was still moving through the mahogany-red and gold ornate walls. It was mesmerizing. That was until it went around a corner… then it had just disappeared. I went into a panic. Did the light reach its destination? I turned the corner… and I froze…

I was too late…

She was on the floor… Gone… Her body was black and blue, covered as if she was bruised. Her veins were purple too… I ran to her… collapsing on the floor in tears from what I was witnessing… I held her already cold corpse, cradling her in my arms… I didn't want to let go… I screamed in agony once more. I had failed her. Why did this have to happen? Why couldn't we be together? She never deserved this. Do I deserve this? I didn't know… I still don't. I wanted to end it all, but she wanted me to live on, and I couldn’t fail her more than I already did.

I sat there for what felt like hours… That was until I saw her mask… I took it off of her body and stared at it, reminiscing the memories I had with her. I was crying so much, I was sweating from it. I couldn't even breathe.

I then placed her mask on my face… I wore it to try feeling her once more… I didn't know what I was doing. That was until… I heard a voice, which said to me… "Kyra?" It sounded like her. I looked back to see her withering corpse… no movement. I then heard the voice again… "I love you."… all my emotions came through me all at once. They exploded in a flash of color. I cried again, placing my head on her chest. I asked if it really was her. She then said…

"It's me. It's okay now."

I cried tears of joy… Maybe this was the way it was meant to be…

We can be together forever.

I then lifted the mask slightly to slowly kiss her on the forehead. I walked away with her mask. She was still in there. We can still talk to each other, we can still be with each other. I placed my old mask on a nearby wall. I stared at it for a second, thinking about where I ended up now… I still wish she was alive. I won't be able to hold her, or do any physical interactions. But, this is way better than nothing.

I then made my way back to The Maidens, where I was immediately detained for them to continue their interrogation to see if I was apart of this issue. I told them the truth, and they noticed that I had Janice's mask, so they let me free. It turns out… Mackie was the one that sent me the letter to find Janice before she got locked away. She did it to show that she cared. In my eyes, she is forgiven, but The M.E.G. will never be forgiven. Unfortunately… Mackie will be locked away in a cell by The Maidens for a long time.

I guess this is the end of this story then…

The main lesson to learn here is…

No matter what happens in your life, no matter how lonely you are, no matter who you are, don't end your own life from it… because… love will find you someday.

Love is inevitable. No matter who you are.

And you will be loved forever, no matter what happens…

And that… is the message. I hope you keep this in mind.

Alice, here's your mask. Thank you for letting me use it today. Janice is waiting for me.


Thank you for listening to my story. I hope to see you again someday, whoever you are. I need to go back to my duties. I wish you a great day.

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