AN: Look, another Fatal Frame vignette by me! This is a Crimson Butterfly one, on Sae's thoughts after she was killed and after the Repentance came. It's sort of long winded, I know. And it gets sort of weird at the end. I apologize for this.

The sensation of falling was… odd. It was like my entire body had suddenly become weightless and I was dancing free, like a butterfly. I prayed that the ritual had gone well, but something told me that this was wrong. Yae hadn't killed me; I was hung. The same way that Itsuki had committed suicide. The cowards way out, though I can't help but feel that it was my fault. Our fault. If Yae and I hadn't tried to run off, maybe Itsuki would never have felt like that was the only way out. But still, that wasn't right. He was planning to do that long before…

                It was then that I realized how far my thoughts had wandered. Was this what it was like to die? But then again, wasn't I already dead? I had been hung, like Itsuki. And yet I was still alive, I was still thinking, floating through the air, falling down down into the abyss. Cold air wrapped around me, slowly pulling the butterfly feeling away from me. I knew something was wrong. If only Yae had stayed and finished the ritual!

                Why had we run? The ritual was wrong, Itsuki had said. And I believed him at the time. He had gone through it with Mutsuki and had failed; his love for his twin was too strong. There was no resentment between them. And when Akane was forced to kill Azumi, she acted as if she had killed part of herself. Her father had to craft a doll that looked like her twin for her, to help pull her out of her depression. I never did find out what happened to them after that.

                But was the ritual wrong? That was the question that was burning in my mind, and I couldn't answer it. Two people needed to suffer, yes, but the rest of the villagers were kept safe. And wasn't that what was important? Everyone lived for the sake of the village. Everyone had a job that they needed to perform so that the village would benefit and prosper. Ours was to keep the Hell Abyss quiet and satisfied so that the time of the Repentance never came. Was that wrong?

                Before I could answer my own musing I was jerked abruptly from my thoughts. Something was here with me, falling, and I began to wonder if we were really falling at all. 'We'? I tried to reach out, tried to open my eyes, to find whoever else was down here with me, but my body refused to obey. Of course, I was dead. At least my body was. Was it that your mind stayed alive after death, contemplating the meaning of your life and death? This would change the customs and rituals of the village drastically if it were known, but I couldn't do anything to alert the priests.

                "Must-be-free-bound-can't-see-can't-must-free-must-can't-bound-must-free!" I couldn't tell if they were words or thoughts, but I realized that whatever was falling with me wasn't dead. Or maybe I wasn't dead. Or maybe I had gone crazy from falling – I hadn't been blinded. What if I had accidentally seen what was in the Hell Abyss?


                I decided to ignore the voice. A Kusabi had been sacrificed only a few weeks before the elders had decided that Yae and I needed to go through with the ritual. A decision that changed everyone's life. I can still remember my father's face when he came to see me after I was caught. He had been so… disappointed. I remember that he had gone through the ritual with his own brother, his twin. If he could do it and continue to live a prosperous life, then why couldn't we?

                Yae, why did you run away? Why didn't you come back for me? Confusion welled up in my heart along with another emotion, one that seemed to cut away at my heart. There was so much for you here. Everyone loved you, even Chitose. She's lost both her brother's now; what is she going to do without us? Without you? You had everything waiting for you here but you threw it all away at the chance to escape with me. You threw it all away for a chance that I might live.

                But don't you see Yae? I would have lived forever after the ritual, forever with you. I would have been a butterfly, protecting the village. You wouldn't have lost me. But now you have.

                Yae, please come back. Please finish the ritual.


                Everything stopped. For one painfully moment I couldn't feel anything, think anything – I was truly dead. And then… I was rising. Faster and faster, my world was starting to spin out of control, I opened my eyes and they obeyed me, I looked up and saw light, a bright light, and it was coming towards me so fast I couldn't scream, I couldn't think, I didn't know what was happening but the light-

                ….  And then there was nothing but darkness. And anger, burning anger that rushed through my body. I had never felt any emotion like it before and it was… incredible. Suddenly furious at the world for what it had done to me I lashed out, killing anyone I could find. I laughed as people tried to foolishly avoid me, hide from me, or even take their own lives before I could. Those were the worst, the ones that tried to commit suicide. I dragged out their end the longest, keeping them in a state of half-life, forced to endure the pain of their mistake.

                When I found Chitose, however, I hesitated. She was hiding in a closet, knees pulled to her chest and whimpering. The bell that Itsuki had given her so that she would never be lost was chiming faintly every couple of seconds as she shook with fear. I knew that I should kill her, that it would be the kindest thing to just take her pain away, but I couldn't make myself do it. I had known and cared about Chitose in life. I couldn't kill her now. She was too… important to me. In fact, if I could I would have taken her far from here, so that she could live a life free from this hell.


                "No, I won't kill her. I won't kill Chitose!" She looked up, fearful, and saw me. Knowing that my presence only scared her, I fled, seeking sanctuary at the Kurosawa mansion. The same spirit, the one from the Hell Abyss, was following me. The spirit of the failed Kusabi. Following me and telling me to kill.

                "No, I won't. I won't kill her." I repeated the words to myself, pacing around the grand hall. With every step I took the Kusabi was there, breathing down my neck. I could feel its influence growing in me, changing and twisting my thoughts. It was angry, it was hateful, it wanted everything to suffer and die but it needed me to do so. "No. I don't want to kill. Please, don't make me kill. I don't want to kill. Please."

                It ignored me though, and soon I felt lost to it. I understood why the ritual needed to be performed. This was what was hiding, lurking in the depths of the Hell Abyss. This was why Yae needed to kill me, needed to turn me into a butterfly and set me free, forever protecting the village from this evil. Briefly I wondered what had happened to the rest of the sacrificed twins, if the butterflies had survived the evil that now plagued and infected the town.

                And yet I hadn't killed Chitose. A random thought, fact, act, and still it gnawed at me. I wanted to protect her. Just like Yae wanted to protect me. Those feelings, were they wrong? Was Yae wrong for trying to save my life? Was I wrong for wanting to protect Chitose? Was the ritual wrong? Thoughts screamed in my mind, thoughts that I couldn't silence or satiate.

                Was I wrong?

                Was Yae wrong?

                Was the ritual?

                Hopeless and confused, I broke down sobbing. I needed answers, I needed Yae.

                "I don't want to kill anymore… please Yae, please come back…"