The beat of rain upon the land, broken teardrop in my hand
rating: +8+x

It was a warm month, but Iris felt cold. Mostly because of what Marion Wheeler, the women next to her, had told her, but also because they were huddled together in a large ice box.

"Alistair Grey?"

Marion nodded, the very movement precise and methodical. Iris got the feeling that this woman wasn't someone to mess with, based on the silver pistol hanging on her belt.

"Yes. Him."

"So, why do you need me again?" Iris flipped through the sheaf of papers Marion had given her, the documents Marion had written and collected from the survivors of Alistair Grey. Iris shivered.

"We ended up.. taking care of him." Marion said. Or repeated. Iris didn't… remember?

"So.. why are we in the icebox?"

"Ice repels the thing. Standard procedure whenever I blow it to hell."

"Why does ice repel it?"

"I have no fucking clue."

Iris nodded thoughtfully, and continued reading the document. The things in there seemed eerily familiar, yet foreign. Iris flipped a page, and saw something at the top of the page she did not understand.

She held out the document to Maria.

"The fuck is this?!"


Four Hours Ago

Iris walked through the rain, a large brown overcoat covering her body. She broke out into a jog, the mud splashing under her feet, getting onto her shoes and onto her arms and body and legs and she is reminded of the sight of the little girl she had tried to save, of how the mud covered her mixed with blood and she-

A thunderclap ringed through the sky, disrupting Iris' thoughts. She mentally pushed them aside and continued jogging. Iris was visiting her parents, estranged, which which hadn't gone so well because she had just found out they died two years ago.

Iris had no idea how to feel about that, so she didn't think about it. Right now, she was walking to her inn, because for some odd reason her parents decided to live about ten miles from the civilization and one of her carriage wheels had broke.

So she walked.

Iris looked back at the house behind her. There was a new family living there, one who had informed her about her parents. They seemed nice. Iris didn't care.

When she turned back, she saw a man emerging out of the woods. A man with a grey coat, black hat, and an eerily familiar face. He held a bag, one with metal studs on grey leather. It seemed horribly expensive. Her head began to hurt.

He approached, and Iris felt.. tired. No, was she tired? She was just.. what?

Iris' mind felt muddled, and suddenly, she had no idea where she was. Or why she was here.

"Hello, ma'am. My name is Alistair Grey." He smiled, his teeth perfectly white, a small white scar on his lip, somewhat-long hair peeking out of his hat.

"..Hi." Iris gripped her bag tightly, ready for a fight. Grey simply smiled.

"How are you on this pleasant day?"

"I'm good."

He stared, with a creepy smile etched onto his face. He looked vaguely familiar…

Iris continued walking, ever so often glancing behind her to make sure he wasn't following. Grey stared at her, but didn't follow. Something about that man…

Iris walked a little bit faster, but before she got any farther the splitting pain in her skull erupted, making her lose her balance.

She tumbled onto the ground, head hitting the rocks. The man walked forward, laughing.

"You.. can't run from me, Iris."

"How-How the hell do you know my name?!"

The man smiled.

"I'm your brother."


Iris' head ached. She could feel a trickle of blood running down her head, but she had no choice but to keep running.

She risked a glance behind her.

Alistair Grey was floating above the ground, his face locked in a smile. Most noticeably, it didn't have a mark on his face after Iris picked up a steel beam and hit him.

She decided to run faster.

Iris threw a few branches behind her, hoping it would slow that.. thing it called her brother, but she was sure it was a futile hope now.

A sudden crack filled Iris' ears, and when she turned she saw Alistair Grey's head split open like a watermelon. A few feet to his left was a woman with a silver pistol clutched in her ebony hands. Another gunshot rung out, and the woman yelled.

"Get the fuck outta here!"

Alistair Grey crept towards Iris, who was desperately trying to process this entire incident. The woman was furiously reloading, Grey getting closer and closer, and then.. darkness.


"I said, what the fuck is this?" Iris snarled at Marion Wheeler.

"You wrote it down before Grey erased your short-term memory. Now, put down that damn gun."

Iris looked at her hands and saw Marion's silver pistol.

"..Shit. Sorry."

Iris didn't remember grabbing the gun, nor pointing it at Wheeler. This seemed to be happening a lot.

"Iris, you wrote here that.. this thing is your brother?" Wheeler asked.

She shrugged. "I don't even remember writing the fucking document. Tell me what the hell is going on before I kill you." Iris spoke coldly.

The other woman laughed.

"Read the document, Iris. And you'll know how we killed it."

Iris looked up.

"Killed?"


Marion stood over Iris, paper in hand.

“Quick, write.”

Iris was still in shock.

“W-What? Write what?”

“Write everything that you remember for the last, say, twenty minutes.”

“What the hell did we do in twenty minutes?”

“We killed your brother.”


"Shit! Iris, where the fuck are you?!" Marion Wheeler was not having a good day. With this fucking kid running around trying to be a hero, and trying to get her killed, Marion was quite mad.

Alistair Grey trailed behind her, laughing.

"Marion. I don't know how you're immune to me, but don't worry. I'll rip you apart personally." He smiled.

"Fuck you!" Marion pulled out her gun and fired at the man.

Iris ran out of the woods to see Marion firing at Grey.

"Hey!" Iris pulled out her camera, but before she could do anything Grey waved his hand, and the world went dark.


"Iris?"

"Yeah, Tommy?"

"Can I, uh," Tommy hesitated, not sure if his request would be accepted. "Can I explore the ice box in the basement?"

"Yeah, sure, go ahead." Iris smiled, then continued reading her book. If she wasn't thinking about her father, who was currently in a Union hospital with a gunshot wound, or if she wasn't also thinking about her mother, who was currently drunk in a bar four miles away, she would've known that the stupid ice box in the basement had a lock on the outside but no lock on the inside.

Tommy ran downstairs.

Ten minutes passed, then thirty, then an hour, then two hours, and Iris began to worry.

"Where the hell is he?!"

Iris ran downstairs, where she could hear screaming and crying, and she undid the lock and pulled Tommy into her hands, not noting that his skin had a bluish taint or that he was ice-cold, and she whispered to him that it was all going to be okay.


Iris awoke in the forest. Marion was reloading while Grey was moving towards her, his face riddled with bullet holes.

Iris stood up unsteadily, and grabbed her bag. Ice clinked around inside as she crept towards Grey, getting ready to throw the bag onto his head.

She got behind him, and Marion screamed.

"Now!"

Iris dumped the ice onto his head while Marion shot at Grey's head. He stumbled backwards, with Marion following.

Alistair Grey fell to the ground, a lifeless body now. Marion put two more bullets into his skull, then smiled at Iris.

"Well, we did it."

Iris looked at Marion, and then her brother, and began to weep.

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