Chapter Forty-Three: Sliding Grip:

They were all falling away. Kiko still held on. She tried to get Mariko to do the same.

“Stay with me,” she’d say. Her fellow prisoner would nod. But it didn’t look like it was going to hold.

Drag. Drag. Drag. Drag.

It’s getting harder to breathe. Still Kiko won’t give up. As long as she can keep her head above she has a chance. Survival came first.

“Why don’t you just give in?”

She gritted her teeth. “No!” His laughter her ears.

“I admire your will to hang on. I almost want to shake your hand. Almost. It’s quite annoying.” This back and forth goes on daily. Both of them are sick of it.

“I won’t give in.”

“You might as well.”


“You are so annoying.”

Drag. Drag. Drag. Drag.

More keep coming. Some try to stay above. Others already end up drowned. Kiko still hung on. She tried to get Mariko to do the same.

“Are you still here?” Kiko asked.

“Yes,” the other woman said. Kiko breathed out.

“Good,” she said. They try to get back to the others too. Her words were starting to get weak. How many were left now? She’s lost count.

Drag. Drag. Drag. Drag.

It’s going to be another hunt tonight. She can’t stop it at this point. The energy just wasn’t there. Kiko had to stay above if she wanted to get home.

But they were not alone tonight.

Drag. Drag. Dra…

“Ah. They’re already here,” he said.

“What?” Kiko asked. She looked out through the black and red waves. Two shadowy figures stood at the other end of the park. Kiko could hear her hear pounding against her chest.

“Oh no…” she murmured.

“Oh yes!” he said. The cycle began again. But Kiko still will not submit. What is going to happen next?