A coal-colored arm shot forward and wrapped around Anja’s throat, crushing her trachea. Anja gasped for air, but scratching at the arm proved useless. She abandoned getting her windpipe free to reach for her sword.
“You’ll never beat me,” the demonic voice said.
“C…c…c…” Can’t breathe…
Anja banged her hand on the door, reaching for the handle. She simultaneously struggled to get her belt off her torso, to activate the holy light. She felt darkness nearing. Her sight narrowed as if the curtain on her existence began to close.
“You couldn’t save him before, you can’t save him now,” the voice said.
As if in her final moment of life, Anja saw her entire relationship with Sal from start to end. All the good, the scary, and the forgotten. All of it resurfaced in a flash before her mind’s eye and punched her healed heart.
“We miss you, Anja,” Sal said through the demonic voice.
No! Dante, HELP! she screamed internally.
The driver’s door opened. “…hungry for? We could—”
The demon vanished.
Air gushed into her lungs. She exhaled cries and crumbled in her seat, rubbing her sore throat.
“Whoa, whoa, what happened?” Dante said.
“I saw…” She strained to tell and abandoned the story for a one-word summary.
“Here?” Dante glanced at the back seat.
Anja nodded and reached for Dante as he offered his arms for her.
“You just can’t catch a break, huh?”
“No more,” Anja whispered. “I want it to be over.”
No more torment, she thought.
This has to end. Now.