she knows the pearly gates are no longer meant for her. maybe once, a lifetime ago, before her hands were stained the color of rust and broken promises - but now she would merely tarnish all that white into a murderous red. 

she thinks that when her breath finally stutters out in a string of coughs that sound like a broken piano, the war drums will still be beating in her ear. she thinks that she will grab the devil by the lapels of his black cape, and she will curse him for keeping his icy talons lodged into her back for so damn long.

she thinks she will go first. 

(she is wrong.)

she is wrong, and blood is pouring from a hole in his chest like a hurricane, a tiny pinprick of red that grows and grows and grows until it becomes him, until it is him. she cradles his face in her palms as bullets ricochet around them like a pinball machine, and she can’t see the freckles under the rust-colored dust. he spits apologies made of blood and guilt and sacrifice into the cold dirt, and she knows she will never paint again.

but when she does go - in the midst of another war, another battle, because they were never destined to be a people prone to peace - he is standing at the blackened gates with a crown of twisted iron, and he places a golden one atop her own head, and he tells her, 

‘welcome to your new kingdom, princess.’

—  the death of clarke griffin, inspired by x and x