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10 Hours

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William didn’t realize the gun had fired until he saw them step back, blood covering their chest and hands. They looked up, shock clear on their face, and when he stepped forward they stumbled back and fell over the barrier. He ran forward to catch them, stop them from falling, words falling from his mouth, “It was an accident I swear!”

He watched them fall to the ground, their screams ringing in his ears until they ended with a sickening crack and all was quiet. Too quiet. He raced down the stairs running as fast as he could, hoping that they weren’t really dead. He kneeled next to their body, looked for a pulse, for a hint of life in their glassy eyes. There was nothing. They were dead. And he had killed them.

William stared at his blood-covered hands, blood on his clothes, on his face. He felt his stomach heave and managed to get to a window and open it before his stomach emptied itself. He stayed there for god knows how long, his body trying to rid itself of everything even when his stomach had nothing left inside of it. Once his body finally stopped dry heaving he leaned against the wall and let himself cry.

How had it all gotten to this? This had all started as a fun poker night with friends and maybe a chance to make up with Mark. Now Mark was dead because of him , Abe was dead because of him , the DA was dead because of him , and Damien and Celine were missing and probably dead because of him . Once his sobs had mostly died down and his tears had cleared enough for him to see he went back to the DA’s body.

He put his coat under their head as a pillow, put their neck at a more natural angle, and closed their eyes. Like this, if you took away the blood and the fact that they weren’t breathing, it almost looked like they were sleeping. It was absolutely sickening. William left their body and went upstairs. He came across the detective’s body. His glassy eyes, the ring of red where his heart was, and the blood pooling under him.

William put his body in a more comfortable looking position and closed his eyes. He took his hat off and gave Abe his apologies, not that it mattered. Sorrys mean nothing to the dead. He was too quick to anger, Will saw that now. The grief and stress came together into something horrible and caused him to take an action he could never take back. William left his hat with the detective and went into the last room Damien and Celine had been seen in while alive.

The room was a mess. There was blood staining the floor and walls, bloody handprints on the table, cards thrown onto the ground. And in the middle of it, was Damien’s cane. There were no bodies, but at the moment disappearing bodies were the least of his concerns. William picked up Damien’s cane, the once shiny cane was now dull and bloody. He tried to wipe the blood off with his sleeve, but only managed to smudge it and get more blood on his shirt. He stared at the blood and wondered if some of Celine’s was mixed in with her brother’s. Will felt like vomiting again.

He walked back downstairs, taking Damien’s cane with him. He sat down and stared at the DA’s body. ...He killed everybody. His brain kept giving him things he could have done differently, what if he never showed up, what if he never followed Mark into that basement, what if he hadn’t been so quick to anger, a thousand what-ifs that will never come true. He looked down at the blood-covered cane.

He remembered how caring Damien was, how his friend could he even call himself Damien’s friend anymore when it was his fault he was dead? always seemed to know what to do and what to say. How he was always there to offer comfort. And now he was gone. William hugged the cane in an attempt to get some of that comfort his friend was always willing to give. But all he felt was cold, hard metal. He didn’t know how long he sat there, morning the lives of his friends. But it was hard not to notice when the unmoving body in front of him suddenly got back up again. And the last of The Colonel's sanity broke into pieces.