"Do you know what you did?" A voice floated up to me from down the stairs.
"I was saving people. I had no choice." That was Ben.
"You always have a choice, and you murdered her. A poor innocent little girl, dead. All because you wanted something and she was in the way." The voice was very similar to Ben's except rough and sinister.
"It wasn't like that. He was going to kill all of them, I had to stop him." Ben's voice cracked.
"You lie," The other voice rose to a yell, "You wanted to save yourself! You could care less about the girl! You are turning out just like I predicted, a monster."
Ben's sobs could be heard from where I was standing at the top of the stairs. I was hit with conflicting emotions, one part of me felt upset that Ben was going through this but another part felt that justice was being done, that this was what Ben deserved. I was locked in place unable to move because I wasn't sure if I needed to help him.
All he'd ever done for me is end my life.
"I'm not a monster. I'm not."
"Well, here's your chance to prove it. Hurry and make a choice otherwise all those children . . . poor innocent children will drown," The voice laughed, "Only you can make the choice to save them, but you'd have sacrifice thi-"
A loud bang interrupted his sentence and pulled me out of my thoughts. That sound was one I recognized. Another child had died, another me. The murderer had struck again.
"See . . . I told you Ben . . ." His words faded and the entire building vibrated violently.
When the vibrations had stopped, I was still standing at the top of the stairs.
"Do you know what you did?" It was that sinister voice again.
"What is going on!? Not this again! When will it end?" Ben was yelling at no one now.
"You always have a choice, and you murdered her. A poor innocent little girl, dead. All because you wanted something and she was in the way." A deep chuckle followed that sentence.
"I didn't want her to die. I'm not a monster. Please, just let me go."
It was replaying itself over again. The whole scene over again. Ben was in a loop, reliving his greatest sin forever. He deserved it. I turned to the door and as I went to open it I heard the other voice again and it stopped me cold.
"Well, here's your chance to prove it."
I spun around and ran down the stairs two at a time. Ben pulled himself out of the chair as I got into the room. Blood and brain matter splattered all over my face as the shotgun's loud bang echoed in the small room.
This time the voice said something different, "Who are you . . . " and the walls began to vibrate again. Everything blurred together and when it has all stopped moving I found myself at the top of the stairs again.
"Do you know what you did?"
I didn't wait to hear Ben's answer. I bolted down the stairs and entered the room. Sitting in the middle of the room were to chairs. In one sat Ben, completely untied and able to move, yet he looked trapped. He looked as though he didn't want to move.
In the other chair sat a younger me. I ran to myself as tears filled my eyes.
"It will be okay. I'll get you out." I couldn't help but notice how terrified I looked. I looked like I knew what was coming, I looked like I wanted a mother that I'd never had.
"NO!" It was Ben. "Not her, save them first." He nodded behind me.
I turned to see three large clear vats of water, each one filled to the top and then covered with a heavy metal plate. Inside each of those containers was a child struggling to breathe. My heart flew to my throat as I turned to the younger me and then back.
"I'm sorry." I ran to the vats of water and gripped the heavy metal plate. Just as I had begun to get it sliding, two strong hands grabbed my wrists and pulled me away.
"I won't let you ruin this for me! Where did you come from?"
Time seemed to slow as I was pulled away from saving those children. They were in such agony that they didn't even notice that I'd been pulled away. I watched the air bubbles slowly filter from their mouths and felt a piece of me die as they struggled against the heavy metal plates. I pushed against my captor in an attempt to get over to them; to save them before their life left.
The hands were strong, to strong for me. They pulled me farther back until I could see the two chairs again and realized that there was only one option.
The only way to save those kids, would be to kill myself. At that moment, everything that Ben had done became clear. He had been given a choice, and I was the necessary sacrifice. No other options were available except the one that killed me. I felt tears fill my eyes as I tightly closed them.
"BEN! SAVE THEM!"
"I know." ,was what he said, followed by a loud bang as my younger self's head exploded.
"You're both monsters." The hands loosened their grip as the walls began to vibrate again.
In a few short moments, I stood at the top of the stairs once again.