She watched in horror as the Celryn placed a sharp, aluminium knife against her mother’s neck. She watched as they drew it across, drawing a thin line of blood. Then again, and again, and again, gradually deeper and deeper, so as to draw out the suffering. Anna bit her lip, unable to look away.
“Don’t let the universe die, Anna,” said Angie with her dying breath. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Mum,” said Anna, but it was too late. She saw Angie fall to the ground, her eyes open and unseeing, her hands clenched to stop herself from crying out with the pain.
Anna forced herself to watch as the same thing was done to her father. The tears were flowing freely from her eyes, and she bit her lip so hard that it bled.
“I’m sorry, Dad,” she said softly.
“For what?” he replied, wincing at the pain, but smiling too. “I love you, Anna. You keep that promise – for me.” And Anna smiled too.
“I will, Dad,” she said, and with that, she looked up at the dawn that was breaking over the garden, dispelling the last few stars.
“Goodbye,” she whispered, and her father fell to the floor.
Anna closed the video box – because now it would close it easily – and buried her face in her hands, praying that this had been the right thing to do. Praying that she would be able to keep her last promise to her parents.