Carter's footsteps echoed as he neared the center of the hall. Whether it were man or beast following him didn't quite matter as his body hit the floor and the weight of the other soul bared down on him.
The sound was familiar. It surprised him. The tearing could have easily been from a letter or parcel...a shred paper perhaps...torn and crumpled. The pain was the only thing he had to tell him that it was own skin being ripped apart.
There was another quart of blood being dumped upon the floor, and sound of shredding fabric.
Carter 's face held a confused expression the entire time, unable to fight back.
Was this a blade? It must be.
At last the attacker drew back the blade. Unhitched Carter from their side, and dropped his now worthless body to the floor.
Carter felt the impact on the back of his head. A searing headache overtook all thought as he lay alone down, the atrium, soiled with his own blood.
The only sound came from his gurgled sobs as he cried and choked up blood.
Carter had many near-death experiences, but until this point had never laid in such physical pain, and awaited nothing but his own death.
His open chest heaved as he sobbed.
His body became cold with the floor, and he took in a shaky breath. His body convulsed as he began to seize. And with one last movement, of his fingers closing to his hand...Carter ceased to move. He stopped mid breath, and three seconds later, his heart beat its last.
It was painful, and slow. But the thing that had hurt him most was being alone, in his final moments on the Ministry floor.
"What will you say when Matthew asks about his mother?"
"The truth. We were kids together. She was my best friend, my conscience, and my confidant. The kindest most beautiful woman I ever knew. It was true love, what we had. I nearly married her. If there was ever a girl for me she was it."