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When I originally wrote Death Girl, this is the ending I wrote. I HATED it, so before I published it to the site, I changed it to the ending you just read. I like that ending better, but it's still not quite exactly right. Anyway, I thought I'd publish the original ending here, along with two alternate epilogues that I wrote. You can pick the one you like the best.

alternate ending

Maureen screamed. Trevor had shot Jared, but Jared was still standing. Half his face had caved in, and his skull had shattered, but he clapped again. Four short, sardonic claps. "Very good, Trevor," he said, but Maureen didn't know how he was talking. He didn't have a whole mouth. "Now, on with it."

"No, Trevor, no," said Maureen. "Please, let's just go. You and me, come on." She reached for him.

What was left of Jared shoved the pistol between her and Trevor. "Don't touch him," said Jared. Jared didn't look like a person. He was a mangled thing. Bloody and broken.

"What's going on out here?" said a voice from the hall outside the kitchen.

It was Trevor's father. Trevor whirled at the sound of his father's voice and fired immediately.

"No," said Maureen, rushing forward.

Trevor's father had fallen down in the hallway. He was bleeding, but he wasn't dead.

"Oh God, Trevor," Maureen moaned. One hand went her open mouth. One hand went to Trevor's shoulder, as if to comfort him. She thought she could stop this. But she wasn't stopping it, was she? She was going to die here.

Trevor turned to her slowly. "Maureen?" he said. "What happened? Did I...?"

From behind her, Jared's bloody hand pulled her arm off of Trevor. "Don't touch him," said the ruin of Jared's face. "If you touch him--"

"Dad?" Trevor said. "Oh, God, Dad, I--"

His movement was too quick for Maureen to stop. Trevor swung the gun up to his own face and pulled the trigger.

His blood spattered onto Maureen's face.

Jared's body crumpled to the ground, lifeless.

Trevor's fell into Maureen's arms.

Maureen sat down in the kitchen, her boyfriend's body in her lap, his blood decorating her skin. Distantly, she could hear his father sobbing Trevor's name over and over again.

She looked down at him. He'd stopped himself. He hadn't killed his parents. He was stronger than Gus Lee Perry.

original epilogue

The boy strode down the side of the country road, his jacket slung over his shoulder. He was whistling. He supposed he didn't have the right to whistle exactly. Things really hadn't turned out the way he'd wanted to this time.

For one thing, the body count was abysmally low. The teacher. The fat girl. Trevor. Still, a suicide was a nice touch. He liked suicides. Mass murder was infinitely more entertaining, but he was going to take what he could get. Plenty more fish in the sea and all of that.

Yes, not his finest hour, but he still felt fine. And so he whistled. Once, he would have turned over his actions in his head, trying to figure out where he went wrong so that he could correct his mistakes next time. But that kind of thinking belonged to a much younger man. He'd been doing what he'd been doing for so long, he couldn't remember how it had started. Maybe, sometime back in 600 B.C., he still would have been worrying about what he did wrong. He vaguely remembered that back then, he sometimes wondered where he came from and why he'd been put on earth to do such evil.

Youth, he snorted to himself. Questioning just made him feel sad. He didn't like sad.

A car was roaring up the road behind him, so he thrust out his thumb and paused. Shading his eyes, he saw the car slow for him. It pulled over a few feet ahead of him on the shoulder. He scampered forward, sticking his head inside the passenger side window as it rolled down.

"Need a ride?" asked the driver.

The boy grinned. "Don't mind if I do. Name's Dorian Fenn. Mighty appreciative you stopped for me."

revised epilogue

(feeling a bit nicer this time)

Maureen dumped her purse next to the hospital bed and plopped into a chair next to Trevor. As usual, she reached under the mess of tubes and needles to find his hand, and she grasped it. It had been a long time since the sight of him hooked up to all those life support machines freaked her out.

"Hey Trevor," she said. "How are you?"

Of course, Trevor didn't respond. He never did. He'd been in a coma for nearly seven months. He hadn't moved or blinked or coughed. The machines were breathing for him at this point. He was unconscious and unresponsive. But alive.

"Me?" said Maureen. "I'm good. I'm really good, in fact. I just got back from graduation. It would have been cool if you'd been there."

They said that people who were in a coma could hear you when you talked. So that was what Maureen did. She came, and she talked. Not as often as she used to, it was true. Those months right after Frances' funeral had been pretty tough. She'd been here three or four nights a week, then, just talking to Trevor. Now she didn't come as often, but she still came. She wasn't sure if it was for him or for her anymore. She only knew she felt like she needed to do it.

"But," said Maureen, "when you wake up, you'll catch up. I know you will. Because you're smart."

She hesitated. This felt hard. She wasn't sure why, exactly. She didn't know if Trevor was really there anymore. Sure, people said he could hear her, but the doctors also said that there was very little chance that Trevor would ever wake up. Maybe it was silly, doing what she was going to do. Maybe Trevor would really never know.

"I'm sorry I haven't been here in a while," she said. "I've been meaning to come, but...I guess I just felt a little guilty." She stopped again. "You know, Trevor, things between us at the end were less than perfect. You were having a lot of issues, and I don't know how much of that had to do with Jared and how much of that had to do with you."

Jared's body had been buried at the same time Frances' was. But no one had come to claim him. His father was apparently fictional. Maureen hadn't heard from him since. Nor was she scouring the papers for news of a second shooter with the last name Finnegan or something either.

"I do hope you know just how much you meant to me, though. You were my first love. And still care about you so much. If it hadn't been for you, I never would have moved on from being what I was. I got rid of my mass murderer files, you know? It seemed too weird after everything that had happened. I used to think I wanted to understand that kind of darkness. Now I know that I just want to keep it away from myself.

"You mean so much to me, Trevor. I wouldn't be here if you didn't. I guess that's why I felt like I had to talk to you first. I've been talking to his guy named Dave. He went to St. Catherine's. We have a lot in common. He's...nice, you know? A good guy. A simple guy. I...

"Well, he asked me on a date. And I haven't dated really, since you. And you and I never really got to properly have closure, because of what happened. So, I just wanted you to know, before I go on the date, that you mean a lot to me, and that I'll always care about you, and that just because I do this, it doesn't mean that I won't still come talk to you. It doesn't mean I'm abandoning you."

Maureen looked down at Trevor's hand, limp in her own. This really seemed dumb. But she was glad she'd told him. It was the right thing to do.

"So, that's what I came to tell you. I hope if you were awake, you'd be okay with it. I think you would."

She looked at his face through the tubes and wires. He was still Trevor underneath there somewhere.

"I think you are okay with it," she ventured. "If you could, I think you'd tell me that." And she somehow knew as she said it, that it was true. She squeezed his hand.

And slowly, but still firmly...

...Trevor's fingers tightened around hers.

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Copyright (c) 2010 Valerie Chambers