Disclaimer: Not mine. No offence or liability intended
Base Story: First Nick, Now Stephen
Base Author: rodlox
Summary: One step can change the future.
Notes/Warnings: Character Death. Written for the Remix challenge.
The lines had shifted just a little, sideways and upwards and just slightly off their track but as enumerable philosophers have observed it only takes one small moment to change the course of history.
And it was a small moment, almost imperceptible, one slight movement by one man as they chased the dodos, he stepped right instead of left (turn right, split the lines) and everything changed. He blocked the dodo that had headed towards the door and in doing so he doomed Nick (dead but breathing).
Nick’s smile was bright and slightly manic, high on adrenaline and Oh My God can you believe it. Smile shining up and happy beyond all measurement, even when one of the birds turned its head and bit him, beak coming down hard on his hand (changes, changes, lines scrubbed out and redrawn).
He yelped but his smile didn’t fade, he just waggled his injured hand at the creature as though admonishing it (I looked and beheld a pale house and his name that sat upon him was Death).
But Ryan had grown cautious at the bite and they forced the Dodos back early (another change, another line) and they all passed through the anomaly alive.
Tom was never bitten, Abby never kidnapped (lives unwound, pain never felt) but Nick never found the parasite and it fought his brain for control like another personality, one which embraced his hate and anger, but unlike Tom in some ways Nick didn’t want to fight it (descent into darkness, madness swirling with colours). So he lost.
He tracked Helen down, his primal self succeeding where his conscious (controlled) self never could. Stalked her to her lair and sank his teeth into her skin, tearing, blood in his mouth. She killed him, her knife in his neck, his teeth still locked into her flesh (she owned his death, just as she owned his life).
She went primal two days later and the parasite used her body to spread itself far and wide, into everything that would sustain it, and a lot that wouldn’t. She was prey turned predator but as the days wore on her body was collapsing underneath her and in a moment she was not quite fast enough, muscles degenerating, not quite smart enough, her brain liquefying (food, nourishment), not quite agile enough, her nerves frying and suddenly she was prey again.
The parasite flourished, failed, found its niche and stayed, endured (what came first, the chicken or the egg?).
They’d tracked them down, (duty, honour, fear of doing it alone?) found the corpses rotting in the past and they dragged them home, placed Helen in her empty grave with a lying stone and her husband (murderer, victim) beside her.
The Cutters became just another name, just black ink on white paper somewhere, a list of the victims, and on other lists, hers villainous, his heroic, (and in which the hero became our death) just names, spoken and whispered and eventually dulled and forgotten.
Their lines twisted and broken, their stories untold, their reality now belonging to someone new.