Log:Return of the Creep
As she lay dying, Maria Guadalupe Orzibal y Hargreave gazed upon the charred face of the man who loved her. A bastard child, orphaned and unwanted, The Widows took her in and raised her because that's what they do, but Nolan had loved her by choice alone. They shared no blood, had no forged bonds of gang or family, and for that she was his, heart and soul. Dying beside him wasn't her plan or intent - he was supposed to live and be free - but TB and a demon or two decided that for them, and so, all things considered, dying beside him - with him - seemed right. It was the best ending cursed lovers could get in a story like this. And so as her life bled out of her along with the warmth inside her onto the cold, muddy ground, she was content.
And then she woke up.
That place. Always that place. This was the third time she'd died only to wake up here. No, that wasn't right, was it? It was the fifth. She'd killed herself the first night after waking up here that first time, then again with the help of two others a few days later. She was ahead in the death contest, at least, and every time she woke up here, in this bed and in this room. In these clothes. It was always the same, like a reset button was pressed.
That first time she found it strange and fascinating. Was this the afterlife? If so, which one? Something gnawed at her, though, told her that she had not actually been Esmerelda Cortez, but simply worn her like a suit or costume. It was curiosity and a bit of boredom that led her to sharpen a steak knife on her concrete floor and slit her wrists in her bathtub that evening. She did it the right way, along not across, because it wasn't a cry for help or attention. She woke up in bed again the next morning. That same bed, in that same room, in those same clothes.
A few days later, when others doubted her story, she agreed to let one of them kill her while another watched. She actually killed herself - all he had to do was hold the knife as she impaled herself while kissing him in front of his lover. Said lover was motivated enough to kindly twist the blade and cut short her death in thanks. She woke up in bed again the next morning. That same bed, in that same room, in those same clothes.
Then she was a synthetic person named Ramona, on the Noc, and at one point she let a patron of the brothel she worked at 'kill' her and actually shut herself off. Six! Six deaths, she'd forgotten that one. She woke up here, alone for a time, and then her boss rebooted Ramona and she returned to that life, that story, until it ended with her and Declan blowing up the station by making its core go critical. She woke up in bed again the next morning. That same bed, in that same room, in those same clothes.
A theme was forming.
And then she was Lupe, or Bella, and she died, and here she was again. It was safe and comforting, the only stable thing in the madness and chaos of her existence, even though it was vulgar and freakish and obscenely decorated. It was like her, and it felt right. But this time something was off. She was off. She felt like Lupe, or Bella, not whoever actually lived here, and that frightened her. After being Ramona, her second 'life', she relaxed a bit, became a little more likable and friendly, but was still very much The Creepshow. This time, however, it didn't feel like taking off a costume. She still felt like the orphan girl from Prosperity. Was it because she'd lived almost a year in that life, unlike the two short weeks on the island and a couple months on the Noc? Maybe she'd gone a bit more native with all that time inside the costume. Or maybe she liked being Lupe, or Bella, and didn't want to let her go.
That scared her shitless.
She'd liked being Ramona. Ramona was sweet and friendly and kind. She'd had a fucked up early existence as a snuff-puppet sexbot, sure, but Ramona had moved on and was trying to live her best synthetic life. She had friends on the Noc. She had a father-figure. She had a romantic interest. It was disappointing when Ramona died and she woke up here again, but it wasn't devastating. It was a costume she'd enjoyed, and maybe it helped her grow a little in this place. But that was all.
Upon waking up this time, she feels devastation. Heartbreak. She felt like she was this costume, her best fit yet, and instead of a fitting end, content, she was here again.
She woke up in bed again. That same bed, in that same room, in those same clothes. While her lover, Nolan - or Declan, really - was waking up in a panic and running to her room even at this very moment, she was not.
The Creepshow curled up and wept.