Loop
rating: +49+x

*shatter*
FLASH

I'm lying on the floor, in more pain than I've ever felt before. I guess this is what it feels like to have a bullet in your gut. The pain is a constant but everything else is fading: I must be losing blood fast.

Wait - how did I get here? The last thing I remember was the break-in, that little guy turning around as they ran, the gunshot… and Angie gasping, clutching her stomach, and collapsing in a pool of her own blood.

ANGIE! Where is my wife?! There, standing where I was when she got shot, she looks as shocked as I am. She rushes over to me, not even paying attention to the furniture in her way. The old oil lamp falls off the end table, hits the floor…

*shatter*
FLASH

The pain is gone, and I'm back on my feet. But I was just… oh God, Angie's on the floor bleeding, like she was before. I've got to help her, I try to get over to her, to help her, stop the bleeding, something, ANYTHING. My elbow brushes the old oil lamp, it falls…

*shatter*
FLASH

FUCKING OW! I'm back on the floor, but at least Angie's okay. What the Hell is going on here? First she's dying, then I'm the one dying, then her, then me again - and nothing else is changing at all! Angie runs over to me, bumps the table, knocks over that old lamp…

*shatter*
FLASH

Switched again? How? It doesn't matter - I have to help Angie. I rush over, knocking over a table on the way…

*shatter*
FLASH

I'm the one dying again, but Angie doesn't look like she's any happier. She looks so confused, so scared. She looks at me, at her stomach, at the lamp. Wait a minute - why is that lamp in one piece? I remember now, when that little slimebag shot Angie in the first place, I ran over to help her, but I knocked that lamp over on the way. I didn't see what happened to it, but I heard it break.

She picks the lamp up off the table, barely able to hold it her hands are shaking so badly. She lifts it up above her head, throws it down…

*shatter*
FLASH

Standing and healthy again. I look out the door, see the two thugs running, not ten feet from where they were when they shot Angie. The lamp's back, too - does it rewind time or something? What the Hell is going on? How does some random oil lamp I bought in a store as a decoration somehow rewind time, and how do Angie and I keep getting switched?

No time to think about stuff like that. I know how little time Angie has: I could feel it when I was the one on the floor. There's no way an ambulance could get here in time, even if somebody else called them the instant they heard the shot. The only way to save her now is for me to be the one that dies. I grab the lamp and hurl it to the floor…

*shatter*
FLASH

It worked - I'm back on the floor. I see Angie reaching for the lamp, try to tell her that it's all right, tell her to let me go, but it's too late. The lamp falls…

*shatter*
FLASH

I grab the lamp, look down at my poor Angie, and tell her I'll save her…

*shatter*
FLASH

*shatter*
FLASH


*shatter*
FLASH

We've been married almost twenty years - known each other twice that. Childhood friends, highschool sweethearts, always together. Everybody pretty much knew we'd end up married. I've sworn to myself ever since I was a kid: I'd always protect her, no matter what, even if it cost me my life…

*shatter*
FLASH

So why won't she let me?

*shatter*
FLASH


*shatter*
FLASH

I wonder if this thing ever runs out of juice? If it does, I hope it's while I'm the one down…

*shatter*
FLASH


*shatter*
FLASH

At this point, I'm pretty sure that if whoever's down dies before the lamp breaks, it won't switch us again. I just need to keep it in one piece long enough that I die before Angie can take my place…

*shatter*
FLASH

I grab the chimney, and wait. Watching her suffer like this, watching the life drain out of her without doing anything to stop it, it feels like my heart and soul are being ripped apart, but I have to wait as long as I can. If I delay the switch, it should put me closer to dying when we switch, and maybe Angie won't have time to switch back…

*shatter*
FLASH

DAMN. All the way back to when the lamp broke the first time. Delaying isn't going to work…

*shatter*
FLASH

I apologise to Angie for letting her suffer so long last time, and beg her to just let me die, let me save her…

*shatter*
FLASH

Angie begs me to let her die, let her save me…

*shatter*
FLASH


*shatter*
FLASH

I think I may actually be starting to get used to the pain - the physical part, at least. They say a person can get used to anything, but nothing dulls the horror of helplessly watching the woman I love dying slowly on the floor. I HAVE to save her…

*shatter*
FLASH


*shatter*
FLASH

By the rest of the world's reckoning, it was only a few minutes ago that we were cleaning up after dinner. Then those two thugs, bold as brass, just kicked in the front door. The big guy started grabbing whatever he could, while the little one ran room to room. He was probably looking for us, since he stopped when he found us hiding in the kitchen, pointed that gun at us, and ordered us into the living room…

*shatter*
FLASH

*shatter*
FLASH

We watched as they tore apart our home, grabbing whatever caught their fancy, and smashing a lot of what didn't. While the big guy was all business, the short one kept coming back to threaten us. The little rat giggled every time he made us flinch by jabbing us with his gun. That sick fuck must get off on hurting people - I saw the look on his face when he turned, gun in hand…

*shatter*
FLASH


*shatter*
FLASH

Maybe if I could kill myself somehow before Angie could smash the chimney again, I could break the cycle on the right side. The problem is I only get a couple of seconds…

*shatter*
FLASH


*shatter*
FLASH

Nope, that didn't work, either. Can't convince Angie to just let me die - she's obviously as set on saving me as I am on saving her. I'll find some way to kill myself in time…

*shatter*
FLASH


*shatter*
FLASH

How many times have we gone back and forth? I haven't exactly been counting, but it must be hundreds. Or thousands…

*shatter*
FLASH


*shatter*
FLASH

I don't remember my name. I don't remember who I am, where I grew up, or much of anything else that happened more than a minute ago by the rest of the world's time. We've been going back and forth for pretty much as far back as I can recall - years, at least. All I really remember clearly is that I can't let her die…

*shatter*
FLASH

*shatter*
FLASH

*shatter*
FLASH

*shatter*
FLASH

*shatter*
FLASH

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