Date: November 10, 2016
Life and death choices come in many forms. Some of which even have to be made off the battlefield…
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Tough Choices - 99 Bottles Later…."
Land of Lightning - Outlying Apartment Complex
This was it. This time she would cast aside one future for another. No more did she have to worry about going that one step to far, about betrayal, or the nature of her existence. All it took was a single bottle. Or maybe three? Three was always a safe bet. Then again, one could just as easily turn into three and then some. That was the whole point of the escape plan.
Again, Rise had to shake herself to be rid of the derailing thoughts. As soon as a semblance of focus returned, green and red – opposing pools – fell back onto the single object atop her kitchen table. Every few months she had to replace it with another of its kind. The long hours of letting the bottle just sit out in the open without knowing for certain if its contents would grow stale prompted the need. Well, that, and the occasional incident involving said bottle getting smashed into a wall.
In the past, thinking back to any of the latter incidents produced a chuckle. Sometimes, it even resulted in a bout of hysteric laughter. But not today. Her nerves were far too frayed at the moment. The fact that its label had been turned just within visual range did little to calm her. Worst yet, the longer she kept her focus upon it, the easier it became to remember its pungent aroma to her sensitive nose, surprisingly sweet taste, and… the aftermath following its consumption.
And all she had to do to be free was to drink, and… to never stop. She came close to doing it once. Close to forgetting her single-minded drive, the nightmares, and avoiding ever giving a fig about her past. But instead, she let one “little” death stop her. It wasn’t even /her/ fault that he –
“Just drink it already!” Rise muttered tersely under breath, clenching her hands together tightly. After a lengthy moment of silence, she bows her head until it rests against the back of her fingers. “…. This is so… stupid.” She murmured darkly under-breath. “If she wants it back…. Why won’t she hurry up and do it?”
If there’s anything she hated more than herself in the world, then that something would definitely be the alcoholic beverage on the table. She hated how easy it would be for her to commit herself to consuming it’s like, and inevitably stop caring about reasons not to remain on the path.
Rise hated alcohol with a passion. And yet, the intoxicating mixture involving the stuff sat right on her table, waiting to be consumed. It was an easy way out. It was the /only/ way out that she could think of that didn’t have the same finality as death.
“Stop being a coward.”
No answer is given, nor did she expect one. She alone sat in her darkened apartment this evening. An apartment that is far too large for her lonesome. Only the lingering, heavy musk of her pet bears and goat in the air reminded her that she need not feel so alone. As another scent – one that should’ve faded long, long ago – drift in, and began stirring memories of a brighter time with a more human companion, Rise scowled and snatched up the bottle. And with teeth filed yet strengthened by what some might call mad science, she pulled the cork free, only to spit it off into a corner.
Just one sip.
Just one spit and it would all go away. She wouldn’t have to worry about what people thought of her anymore. She wouldn’t have to keep putting up the tough girl act that earned her a modicum of respect out of those that clung to their hatred of those born outside the realm of the Land of Lightning. She wouldn’t have to be forced to keep living with the knowledge of being a mere twisted shadow of he /real/ Rise Shirokiri – or whatever the glass was her host’s original name.
With just one sip, everything could be undone.
As the almost intoxicating scent wafted freely from the confines of the freshly open bottle, Rise practically burned a hole in its side with an intense glare. She lowered it to chest level, hands slowly but surely beginning to tremble, but held it aloft she continued to do so for a small eternity. Though infamous for anger – for holding onto grudges and rage with a tenacity that would put some infamous berserkers to shame, the fire in her eye does begin to dim, and even change all together. She licks her lips, desperation now taking root.
Then, the bottle is brought closer… and closer… and closer… until finally, all that kept it contents from consumed was a simple twist of the wrist. In few a seconds, everything she had been working towards under the false security in identity, and all the friendships fostered over the years would cease to have meaning to her.
Ignoring both the door slam and the dogs next door barking obnoxiously in response to the noise, Rise nearly destroys her key in the process of sealing her apartment. Fortunately, this does not turn out to be the case, and soon after, the petite woman is well on her way down the road. Although well used to the nippy nights of Kumogakure’s fall, the Shirokiri hunches over, hugging herself tightly.
Tonight had been the closest she had come in a long time to destroying everything worthwhile in her life. And if the fumes of several smashed bottles of sake did not fade by the time she returned to the apartment, then tonight would be the last night of her stay in it. In fact, this night might be the last /anyone/ stays there should such be the case. After all, despite her own misgivings about her continued existence, there were few extremes the entity known as Rise Shirokiri would be unwilling to go to let off a little steam!