Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Still Strange (Life is Strange fanfiction)

Two years later:

On the run, always moving, riding low. Going from town to town, working little jobs. Day labor. Picking fruit, painting fences, baling hay for a hot meal, a bed in a shelter, dead dinosaurs to keep Chloe's pickup running. Film for my camera, sometimes. Being terrified of getting in any kind of danger that might make me reflexively rewind time and cause another hurricane. Fighting the urge to just pause a little sometimes when things happen too fast, like trying not to blink with your eyes full of glass. Moving south, where we can maybe live off the land and not freeze in the winters. I can picture us in Zihuatanejo, running a cheap little hotel by the sea, just like the old guys in "Shawshank Redemption". But it'd probably drive Chloe crazy within a week.

I sent my parents a card to let them know I'm alive, but I couldn't think of anything else to say to them.

I've been very busy thinking about other things.

Of course, what I think about most is "Did I do the right thing?" I probably didn't. I think probably I'm a horrible person. A self-involved, nosy, cocksure brat who got my entire town wiped off the map just because I was scared I would have to have to look my friend in the eye when I gave her the death sentence. One life against many. Doesn't sound too bad. It probably isn't. Obama makes choices like that every day. But he doesn't have to stand in front of them when he kills them. Even his drone pilots don't get close. That makes all the difference.

And that's what I've figured out, after all this thinking. Maybe Chloe deserved to live more than everyone else in that shithole, maybe life had taken enough from her already. Maybe killing Chloe wouldn't even have been enough, maybe I should have let him shoot me too. If my power would let me. And maybe everyone didn't even die. We still haven't checked. And if I didn't kill everyone maybe I'd have killed even more if I'd tried to fix it again. That's another thing I've figured out: I really, really had no idea what I was doing. Thinking the tornado I (probably) created by messing around with time would magically disappear from time if I messed around with time some more, well, that seems unlikely in hindsight. But that's what I thought at the time, and I still chose not to. So I get to live with that. In the best case, that makes me a responsible adult on the level of Harry Truman. Who, after all, never nuked anyone again after Nagasaki.

I may have destroyed a city before I realized what kind of power I had, but it's safe to say I learned my lesson.

But anyway, back to the question of how much I suck. Because none of those maybes mattered when I stood there with my finger on the trigger. I couldn't let Chloe down again. That was all there was to it.

And I look up from my notebook, at her sleeping face, happy and relaxed and damp and covered in stripes of sunlight and shadow from the windowshades, and I know I'm not a good person because I don't regret anything.

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