Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Yu Hakusho
My legs are burning. The hounds are howling behind me. They're close.
I pick up the pace, lengthening my stride. I hurtle another fallen tree. The dogs are getting closer.
I'm running blindly, trying in vain to throw off my pursuers. I weave between trees and rocks, ignoring the gashes they open in my flesh.
I'm so tired.
I don't even know why this is happening. I don't know why they hunt me. I've done nothing wrong.
At least nothing to deserve this.
I break the tree line, pushing my limits. I can't keep sprinting for much longer. I know I need to at least reach the cliff. There I can finish it.
A hound nips my heel.
My hand lashes out of its own accord, calling on the flames that burned themselves out long ago. A small spark. It's enough. The dog gives a startled yip, falling back.
There! I see the cliff. Almost there...
I teeter on the edge as the dogs finally corner me, waiting for their master. I inch backwards until the slightest wind could blow me over the line and send me to the rocky canyon and the treacherous river below.
A man walks out from the deep forest. No. Not a man. A demon. A demon whose power over water had defeated me. Me and my flames.
But I wasn't defeated. Not by him. My pride wouldn't allow it. I'd die first.
He comes closer. I can see his eyes now. Ocean blue with silver flecks. Silver hair falls around his face and brushes his shoulders. A lithe body with pale skin that contained more power than first assumed.
That I had learned the hard way.
He was beautiful, to say the least. Why was that saying again? Evil always wears a beautiful mask? If it isn't a saying, then it should be one. At least in this case, anyways.
"Now, now little cat. Just come to me, it will be all over soon. I promise you," he crooned. His voice was smooth, soft, and silky. A voice meant for seduction and persuasion.
Too bad I didn't give a shit.
That was all I said. All that I could manage past my swollen and bleeding lip. His face hardened, some of the beauty slipping away, transforming into something harsher. Something more demonic.
"You will cooperate, little fire cat. There are ways to make you comply. This doesn't have to painful. Just answer our questions, and you will pass to the Spirit World easily."
Again he used that silky voice. Damn, I hated that voice. It was getting on my last nerve. My fear was still strong, but I tried to hide it. I let anger take control. Better to die angry than afraid.
"When hell freezes over, you lying bastard. I don't even know what you're talking about. What do mean "answer your questions"? I don't know anything, goddammit! Besides, even if I did know anything, I wouldn't tell you. You're going to kill me anyway, so I refuse to give you the satisfaction of anything," I whispered hoarsely. My voice was gravelly from screaming and my harsh breathing.
"You can't escape me. You're trapped. Why don't you make it easy on yourself, and give me what I want?" He was angry, and it gave me a petty sense of pleasure.
I tilted my head back slightly, silently defying him. I smiled grimly as I took the last step over the edge, spreading my arms like wings. It wouldn't be so bad. I would most likely die instantly when I hit the water.
I heard him yell "No!" or maybe it was "Dammit!", but I wasn't sure. I had surprised him, I knew. But I had told him I would rather die. It's not my fault he didn't believe me.
The air rushed past me as I fell. Then memories followed the example.
I saw my childhood. The three neighbor kids I would play with, who were they again? Oh, I remember, the girl was Keiko, and the two boys were Kazuma and Yusuke.
I saw myself and my band playing on stage, my guitar and my voice ringing through the darkness of a beach and the waves seeming to add to music.
Faces, names, places, events. Everything flashed before me.
I kept falling.
I could see the rushing rapids now. I closed my eyes and imagined one last thing.
A black candle in a dark room. The flame flickering like a lone lighthouse, trying to fight back the darkness. I focused on the small glow, taking comfort in it. Embracing it as I hit the water.
Cold. I was so cold. Then, I was...nothing. There was nothing but night.
And I still saw the candle.