Isabel was just hanging there like a broken doll. Her heart still beating, still alive. The possibility of her acting alone did change with this view. She couldn't have put herself up there without help. Could she? But before I could do anything, Muriel had jumped up, drawn her sword and slashed...
The flash of metal was much higher than expected, not aimed at Isabel, but at the rope supporting her. She'd grabbed Isabel's hand on the way up and slowly brought her down. Muriel looked at me with a question in her eyes.
What to do now...
Her blood was still flowing from the two cuts in her wrists. Down the street... The cuts were along her arm instead of across it. But they were not directly on the veins, but slightly next to them. So she'd bleed and keep on bleeding, but not die really fast.
She felt incredibly faint and weak. Even paler than she was before. I knelt next to her, brushing her cheek in disbelief and shivering at the cold feel of her skin. She opened her eyes.
For the first time in all the time I'd known her, her eyes appeared normal. Not that of a clever mind but of a truly little girl. But she'd seen much, done much and it showed. At least there was a spark of life in her left.
She spoke weakly, softer even than a whisper.
"Amy, I'm sorry."
Crystal tears rolled on her cheeks as she raised up her left arm slowly, drops of red falling to the ground from her wrists. It was only then that I realized she had something on her wrist. A bracelet. A bracelet with a blue moonstone set in silver. Muriel wanted to hold her wrists but I pushed her arm away.
Only touching Isabel as little as possible, I removed the bracelet and looked at it. It was the twin sister of the one I was wearing. Where did she find this? She wasn't wearing it the evening before and it didn't fit her either, it was set to the size of my wrists, strangely enough.
I was, momentarily, surprised it hadn't fallen off her wrists while she was up there, but that wasn't important right now.
Isabel was dying.
But not of her own free will...
Had she been punished?
I looked at Muriel, who'd looked at my other wrists with curiosity. "I'll explain later, do you think they injected her with something?"
Muriel took a long look at Isabel and shook her head. "No... I think she's always been like that, it's a rare disease where the blood never stops flowing. Whoever did this to her knew what they were doing."
"Is there a way to save her?"
Muriel looked at me with a really serious look. "Only one, she's lost too much blood already."
"Only one? You mean... Turn her?"
This was a horrible choice to make, let her die or make her a vampire. She'd done much but did she deserve to die? I didn't know. I wasn't supposed to be the judge or executioner of her life. Muriel didn't look very happy with it either. I guess she felt the wrongness of all of this.
We couldn't make her a vampire.
She had done too much to give her ever-lasting life and her body, her age, should never be a vampire. Always a child, it was wrong.
"No. We're not turning her."
Muriel nodded, she didn't appear glad or relieved, she just agreed with me. She was kneeling next to her on the other side and sat there like a statue, looking down upon this creature with so many mixed feelings.
She had been the executioner of many lives but she'd never seen such a punishment. Her method was quick, not meant to last but to take life swiftly. There was no justice in the torturing of souls. She knew this whole situation was wrong, despite Isabel being a creature of darkness, she didn't deserve a torture like this.
She looked at me with a kind smile in her eyes. "She will fall asleep and die painless."
Moments passed in silence.
Isabel softly spoke her last words. "Goodbye, Amy." Words spoken as soft as the rustling of leaves in the soft summer breeze, as soft as the tides rolling in by the ocean, as soft as a drop of blood falling on the floor.
Her face changed, becoming almost serene with peace, as she flowed away from life. Her clenched fists relaxed, slowly, her fingers red with the pressure they'd felt. Her left hand was empty, but her right hand held a small piece of paper, colored red at the edges by the blood seeping into her fist.
We almost felt how her spirit released and floated upwards through the alley. That moment of passing when the weight of your heart just tells you that it is done.