everyone and their mother is writing burnt zacharie so yeah

this is my first fic and unfortunately it’s not very good because I’m in that stage where I’m anxious writing new characters

so i guess that’s why i killed a character (it’s a comfort zone at this point)

The wheezing is horrible, like the merchant’s lungs are halfway filled with chunks of plastic that roll and rattle around with every sudden breath. It made the batter jump ever so slightly in his skin the first time. With each subsequent attack he had managed to suppress that physical anxiety, and yet that only caused it to build further and further until it felt like a solid fleshly plug in his stomach. 

The batter prolongs the inevitable for as long as he can, even though each unpleasant noise Zacharie makes hammers in his fate harder and harder and there’s no way that he doesn’t understand that, but nevertheless he remains in the same silence as the puppet. 

The batter has steadily prepared himself for the moment and the second he smells the first hint of tar and sees the first wafts of smoke and hears the first help he’s got the bat in both hands and raised at the ready. 

A scrap of hesitation pulls at his head and hands, reminding him of touches of a clandestine nature and conservative kisses that he’d tried to block out because they were nothing but the most petty of distractions. The memory of the odd and sometimes forced camaraderie that has been built tugs at his hands and the end of his bat and begs him stop what are you thinking, you can’t do this, you can’t.

But he does. 

The first strike cracks the mask; the mask that’s already near been liquefacted by the sheer volume of tar and smoke pouring from its empty holes and the extant cracks made by the burning heat that had been radiating from the merchant’s body. 

The second strike breaks it in half down the center and sends it flying in two directions as the merchant careens back. The third and final strike finishes the job. 

Zacharie’s face splits like a rotten piece of fruit, leaking juice all over the ground when he finally falls. The batter had never had the opportunity to see the merchant’s blood before, but he assumed and hope it had been nothing like this: black and rancid and splashing in fetid pools on the concrete. 

Black pools are fare more reassuring because they confirm, affirm the deed. 

He swings the bat clean, letting the blood splatter on the ground. He’s then left with a sprawled, blackened, bloodied corpse and nothing more. 

And with nothing more to be done he may as well satisfy lingering suspicions, so the batter squats down next to the corpse and eyes it carefully. If only to fill his curiosity on the nature of the merchant’s face—warped as it may now be. 

His eyes were milky, even now. They were so clouded in white that he could hardly make out the pupils. They could have been marbles if not for the barest outline of an iris. Sightless—perhaps. If so, then he admires the former merchant’s cleverness. The choice to hide his face because he could not see the face of others; achieving equality and maintaing a hand on power, even if through deception. 

The merchant’s face is slack in death and veritably expressionless. It’s not frozen in some look of horror or fear. He knew it to be coming, understood that the batter would not shirk in his duty even for the sake of a valuable companion. 

The batter knows there are things that he could have said and briefly wishes that he could have said them. He could have spared a quick goodbye, a kind reassurance, an apology. Anything. 

But it’s far too late, and there’s now nothing more to be said.