Hello, people. My exams are over and I’m back. Feel free to scream with joy and shed tears of happiness. *Senses you staring at the screen incredulously* I’ll come back when you’ve composed yourself.
Meanwhile, you can read the previous parts if you haven’t yet, or if you have, move on to this one.
I knocked on the door of our motel room, tired from walking all the way because I was unable to hitch a ride owing to my absence of knowledge of the Hindi language. I could hear the TV blaring from inside, deafening Al’s already impaired ears. I banged on the door.
After a few minutes of kicking the door and calling out my stupid comrade’s name, the TV finally stopped screaming gunshots and the door clicked open.
“Do I know you?”
“Mrs Alice Douchebag. Charming as ever,” I said pushing him aside and slumping down on my bed.
“So, did you get it, Spruce-tree, or were you too busy swaying in the wind and letting birds make their nests on your branches?”
I tossed the canister of potassium chloride right in Al’s face. He caught it before it almost smashed into his nose. “You’re getting rusty, Spruce-tree.” He turned the plastic canister around in his hands. “I hate to say it, but well done, my student.”
“Did you do your job or loiter on the bed watching TV all day, sloth-king?” I looked first at the soda cans and empty potato-chip packets littered on Al’s bed and then at Al.
He indicated the green plastic bag on the bedside table which appeared to be filled with some round things. Beside it was a small glass bottle with a metal cap. I looked closely at its label. ‘Botulinum Toxin, Type A’. A syringe was placed beside it.
“You got botox too? Don’t you need a medicinal permit or something for that?”
“Ah, well.” Al grinned. “I have my means.” He appeared to be blushing a little.
“Oh dear god,” I rolled my eyes. “You are a walking billboard of flirtation. Who was that girl with such low standards anyway?”
“A young intern at the cosmetic clinic,” Al smiled smugly.
I shook my head. A proper casanova, Al was.
“So, what’s the plan now?” I said.
“Why’re you asking me for plans? Dude, you’re the-”
“If you say I’m the protagonist one more time, I’m gonna shove that potassium chloride right down your throat.”
“Well, potassium chloride is lethal only if it’s injected, so-”
“See? This is what I mean. You know about poisons, so you’re gonna have to tell me how we give it to the Creator.”
“Okay, so the first thing we’re gonna try is the botox since that’s the easiest,” said Al. “We just need to sneak in a drop of it in her drink or her food and it’s goodbye for our beloved Creator,” he said. “We have a lot of that to spare too, so there’s a high chance it’ll work. But in the very unlikely case that it doesn’t-”
“We’re gonna use the potassium chloride?” I said hopefully.
“Well, no. Potassium chloride is gonna be our last resort since it needs to be injected.”
“Are you telling me,” I said, getting up slowly and looking Al severely in the eye. “That I went to that school, got interrogated by a jerk of a lab assistant, almost got caught, devised an impromptu escape plan and walked all the way here for a ‘last resort’?” I gripped his shoulders hard near his neck.
“Easy, tiger. Look, I told you I’d do it. You were the one who wanted to be a hero.” He pushed my hands off.
I punched Al in the face. “If you’d risked yourself for that stupid white powder, you’d certainly have used it first. But now that I’m the one that did it, you’re just gonna take it for granted because I’m the ‘Protagonist’ and I’m ‘supposed to do these things’?”
Al punched me right back. A sharp pain shot up my jaw. “Quit your baby-whining, Spruce. Don’t you see the impracticality of it? Don’t you see that Plan C is just as important as Plan A?”
“You make me sick, Al. You think you’re so smart, with all your poison-knowledge-”
“Well, I am!”
“-And your lectures on practicality. Plan C is nothing. It’s a backup of a backup. The only thing worse is-”
“You,” Al said, eyes full of hate. “The only thing worse is you. I’m trying to devise a plan that’ll actually work and make Rennie’s sacrifice meaningful, and all you care about is how you and what you did is not the most important thing right now, because you’re so stuck-up with being the protag in our world. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, dude, but you’re off the throne here.”
“You’re not the one who’s on the throne either, Al. So stop acting like that. Stop acting like I don’t have a say in what we do,” I shot right back.
“You would have a say, if only you weren’t stupid.”
“I would if you weren’t so snobby. Screw you, Al.” I picked up my backpack and walked out of the room, slamming the door behind me.
“Screw you, jerk,” Al shouted from behind the door.