You follow as Steven walks away, turning at the last second.
“There’s a farmhouse on the other side of the woods where we can call for help,” Steven says. “We’ll send someone back for you.” Meredith just nods, her face already slipping out of view in the growing snowfall.
The storm is blinding. All you see are Steven’s feet in front of yours, trudging through the woods. The wind whips at your ears, your nose and ears stinging. Every few steps your coat gets caught on a branch, the sharpened points slicing through your coat and drawing blood, the drops forming a trail right behind you.
Right to you.
After what feels like hours, you reach a clearing. In the distance, pinpoints of light glow through the storm.
“That must be the farmhouse,” Steven says, trudging up to the door. You follow.
Around the side, light pours out of the barn. The door must be open. You step in, finally wiping the ice from your eyes, and gasp in horror.
Strung out from the roof of the barn, listless as tobacco leaves, are bodies. Beneath each one is a bucket, their blood dripping slowly, deliberately into it. Drop by drop.
Steven bolts, his screams piercing through the storm. Just as you’re about to do the same, you notice one of the bodies is still moving. Is looking at you.
She wants to tell you something, but she can barely get the words out, straining to be heard over the howling storm and Steven’s cries. You creep closer, trying to listen but the screaming suddenly cuts short. The wind suddenly dies.
The barn door closes.
You know you should leave, should run, but you’re frozen. You have to hear what Meredith is trying to say. Have to know her dying words.
But, as the meat hook rips through your back and out your chest, you realize she isn’t saying anything at all. She’s laughing. And as you’re raised beside her, the knife cutting into your throat and you blood slowly draining, Meredith composes herself, though she can’t stop chuckling.
“You selfish prick,” she says. “Real friends hang together.”