Reason For Living

If one finds that life has no more to offer, is he obligated to carry on? If one feels that he is undeserving of life, must he be forced to finish it? And what if he believes that the world would be better off without his existence; should he be forbidden to desire the release of death? Many a person has wondered such things, most not able to draw a conclusion. In fact, Frisk had been tormented by those very questions, her being of the majority, without a glimmer of an answer. Though one day when her deepest fears became reality, she found herself face to face with them once again. But this time, she couldn't put off her response. She found no reason for living, so was she required to continue her futile life? The time had come, where she would finally have to make her decision. However, whether her choice was wise or foolish, that judgement is left to others. Her friends, her enemies, and you. (Entry for "Press Start to Join: A Gaming Writing Competition")
(Revised as of 4/3/17)


3. Chapter 3—The Pursuit

"EDMUND!!" she shrieked, not considering her child's sense of hearing. "NO!!" 

Over the top of the fence Frisk viewed the tip of the knight's staff, bobbing over and under the barrier's horizon. She couldn't see what occured behind the scenes, the wooden barricade impeding her line of sight.

"STOP IT!!" she screamed, although she had a feeling it was already too late. "LEAVE HIM ALONE!! PLEASE!!"

She pounded her fist on the fence, as if doing so could get the monster to spare her husband, and also as if the monster couldn't already hear her pleas. Frisk leaned her body up against the wood planks, by and by ceasing her vain beating. She only cried, right then and there behind her own backyard. She joined in with the sobs of her infant, as she hugged him closely to herself. She soon dropped to her knees, and continued her fit.

She had lost her best friend. The only human that loved her beyond measure, and the only human to whom she returned the favor. Edmund was gone; in that very moment Frisk had become a widow, and Clement was without a father. No, she hadn't beaten him into his untimely death, but Frisk was responsible. And right then and there she convinced herself of that fully. If it wasn't for her and what she had done as a child, the creatures of the Underground wouldn't have sought revenge, and Edmund would still be alive.

Though as she knew that everything, all of this chaos, was her fault, she found it in herself to rise up from the ground. As much as she was able to cry, the quantity that she wept would not bring Edmund back. She hated that fact, and her mind initially rejected the thought. But the only love she had left in this world, the baby boy in her arms, was now her priority. She would mourn for her husband later, as much as she wanted to do it right now. Clement was not safe here, and maybe if she ran as fast as she could, and hide as much as she was able, she could escape this disaster and possibly find a haven. So as her weary legs and sprained ankles carried her and her child across the street, she advanced with this new mindset. 

All around her she could watch the downfall of her town, the place she had lived in since she was a little girl. Houses charred down to ashes, buildings crumbled into mere shambles, and people running and screaming, cowering in terror, or lying motionless. And through all of this she ran, tears streaming down her face, and the same thought whacking her in the mind. 

I did this. This is my fault.

Frisk had thought that she had somehow been redeemed. Even as nightmares continued to haunt her sleep, her life had turned out better than she could have ever expected it to be. She had found a friend that didn't believe she was insane, and then ended up marrying him just five years later. The couple had found a home to live in beyond what they thought they could afford. And after they had miraculously raised enough money to purchase the house of their dreams, they then raised a child together for the past seven months.

Frisk would have never thought that she would live to be so happy, to be this content. Her entire life she had believed that she was nothing, a useless waste of space. The memories of her experiences in the Underground plagued her mind, as she recalled all the creatures she had killed. To her there was no more that life had to offer for her; this existence was more than she deserved.

First arrived sadness, and when people only accused her of being prideful and stupid, then came depression. And along with depression came thoughts of death, and then soon the longing for death.

She would never forget the day she had promised herself that she wouldn't live to see the next morning. She had constructed a plan to allow her recompense, to finally give her exactly what she deserved. How she would travel up Mount Ebott one more time, and search for that damned chasm. How she would let herself fall down arms outreaching, accepting of whatever may come. How if the fall didn't end her life, as it hadn't when she was ten, she would continue through the Ruins and into Snowdin and even on through Waterfall if she must, until someone finally recognized her. Frisk would be reported and captured, and then no doubt executed. Undyne would exact that revenge that she sought for years as of then, in whatever way she felt the filthy human deserved.

It was a complex plan, but a symbolic one. 

Whichever way it happened to turn out in the end, the intent was suicide all the same.

All Frisk had wanted was to die. 

Truly she would never forget that day, for it was that Monday afternoon at school when she had met someone. Someone that intrigued her, for when this boy had asked to sit with her at lunch and struck up a conversion on his own accord, she suddenly didn't feel like dying. And when she had made that same promise to carry out her plan the next day, and the next, and the next, for nearly a week, she found herself alive and well the following Monday. 

Edmund was her reason for living, for he was the only reason she was alive. He hadn't even known what she had planned to do that normal-looking afternoon, but that didn't matter. For it was because he had thought she was the nicest and coolest person he had ever met that Frisk never kept that promise to herself. Somehow, she felt, she had been given a second chance. Although the memories of the past still lingered in her mind, they had decreased to the point that she wouldn't even remember them until that next night. She felt forgiven, not by the monsters of the Underground, but by Life itself. As if the universe didn't hold her responsible anymore; she hadn't the need to torture herself about something that seemed all well and over.

But just a few minutes ago that all had changed, for what her nightmares had warned her of suddenly became reality. And at the cost of many lives thus far, including Edmund, her very desire to live. 

The images of turmoil and death whisped in her vision, as Frisk bolted down the streets and past the attacks on her fellow citizens. How badly she wished to apologize to these people she had lived with, to ask for forgiveness from the lives that were about to be torn apart. They didn't know that she was the cause for all of this, but maybe it was best that way. Any apology she told would never save a single life, nor would it save her child's or her own. So attempting not to gaze at the doomed souls that lay before her, and with her heart ripping in two at the ones she did see, Frisk still ran to safety.

At least, she hoped it would be safe. 

Her eyes were set on her destination. Across the city she could view the beginning of an ocean of trees, where she knew a forest to be. The monsters had no reason to journey into it, for there were no humans that dwelt there. Perhaps that wasn't the most sound of thought processes, but there were no other places in the town that were any safer. And any haven that meant to shelter from danger would never withstand the force of creatures such as these. There would be no defense; all anyone could do was hide, and there was no better place to do so than in a cluttered wood. 

As the trees came closer and closer, and freedom grew nearer and nearer, Frisk felt that nothing could get in her way. Neither the multi-substanced bullets that whizzed by, nor the pictures of mayhem that occurred in her peripheral vision, nor the monsters that crowded the streets, intent on destroying what they felt had been stolen from them. Nothing could falter Frisk's intention.

Nothing but a slight bump, a mere shoulder collision with an unidentified figure, and a call. It was not the mention of her name, but somehow Frisk knew that the hail was to her. 

"Hey, you!" 

This, of all things, stopped Frisk in her tracks, and caused her to slowly turn around to find the bearer of those words. It indeed was a monster; there would be no argument. A warrior dressed in armor, scratched and blemished all about its parts. An eyepatch strung around its head, covering its left eye The figure pointed in Frisk's direction, a glowing spear weld in its other hand. But steadily the index finger was lowered, as the monster seemed to be recalling, or perhaps recognizing.

However Frisk didn't need any time to recognize her caller; her identity was no mystery, nor was it anything to be contemplated for even a moment. 

"Heh!" the monster scoffed. "What a coincidence!" She walked toward the human, but Frisk only backed away. "I thought I would have to scour the entire town to find you!"

Around them an audience had been attracted, as many other creatures, and some humans that had survived this long, looked on in curiosity.

"You haven't changed a bit!" the warrior continued, smirking at the terror on Frisk's face. "Except that you got a lot bigger..." She eyed the screaming child in the woman's arms, and gave a sneer. "And got busy, did you?!"

Frisk's eyes widened, as she hugged Clement closer to her. She didn't speak, for she had nothing to say.

The empress stopped advancing, and Frisk found herself cease her backward movement. "Would you care to tell our audience what it going on?" she teased, gesturing to the people that surrounded them, some standing still, and others gathered along the walls of buildings. "How this is all your doing?"

And when Frisk turned her eyes away, unable to respond, the warrior only laughed, portraying her pointed teeth. "How about how you came to our home and killed dozens of us! Anyone that had the guts to stand in your way!"

Tears continued to pour down Frisk's face, as she reluctantly gazed at her fellow humans. A few bore looks of shock, some of confusion, and others ones of terror. There would be no more deceit; they all knew now. But she couldn't bring herself to apologize, perhaps too ashamed to utter a word to the lives she had condemned. 

"And now," the cobalt-skinned monster declared, jabbing her weapon in the woman's direction, "you're going to know how it feels!" She inched forward once again, and Frisk knew to recommence her own backward movement. "Once I'm through with you," she proclaimed, "I'm going to destroy everyone you ever loved!"

She lowered her spear ever so slightly. "And I'm going to start with your kid!" 

Frisk would waste no time; it had gone too far. In the blink of an eye she was running, faster than she had ever moved before, and faster than she ever thought she had the ability to move. Even now the leafy sea of green came closer at an entirely quicker rate, and before she knew it said sea had enveloped them, both her and Clement. 

In an instant every monster that had viewed the monologue was already underway to following after Frisk. But their leader extended her arm.

"No!" she commanded, as they all turned to her.

"But Undyne—" spoke a slightly injured Whimsalot.

Though before she could hear what her soldier had to say, the empress raced to the forest into which her rival had disappeared, shouting behind her, "She's mine!" 


Trees and shrubs whipped by, and Frisk dodged every one of them. Low-hanging branches and peskily-placed twigs swatted her in the face, but she endured the pain. In her arms she held her little boy, who was still crying his eyes out. As was his mother too, but she tried to conceal her sobs. Behind her she knew Undyne was following, the clanking of metal sounding in her ears. If Frisk ever had a chance of losing her, she would need to keep as quiet as she could, and that would mean calming down her child as well.

Even as she dashed in and out of the way of the wooden pillars, Frisk cradled him closely to herself and shushed him. "Shh sh, it's okay baby. It's all okay."

But truthfully, it was not all okay. Nothing was okay. Everything was awful, completely awful. Humanity was falling apart at the seams, and his mother was the cause of it.

But he didn't know that, and maybe Frisk could get him to believe that everything was indeed all okay. That he would be back home before he knew it, and that his father would be there to greet them when they returned. Frisk secretly wished that she could be this easily deceived; she wanted to believe that too. She desired to forget everything. All the terror she had induced, and all the revenge she had implanted. She didn't want to remember. She barely wanted to carry on. The only thing that kept Frisk running was the baby in her hands, and the intent on saving his life. But if it had been merely her sprinting through the woods, she would have stopped in her tracks right there. Living was again useless to her, just as she had believed as a child. And there would be nothing to bring her out of this conviction. Her desire to live was gone, as dead as her Edmund. 

Time moved quickly, and the rattle of armor was but a distant memory. Although Frisk hadn't stopped advancing, she felt somewhat safe. Clement had soon composed himself, the sounds he made being sharp inhales, the aftermath of his crying. Frisk had calmed down as well, the only sound out of her being her breath, which was not at all as quiet as she wished. But that was her nerves taking over, and she knew that there was nothing to be done about that except to wait it off. 

"You can't hide from me!" 

Frisk froze where she was, tracking down in which direction the voice had originated. But as it had been just barely heard, and seeing that there wasn't a soul in sight, she deduced that her assassin was nowhere near. 

"I will find you! You and your child!" 

The sound truly did carry, but Frisk wouldn't stall to mull over this fact. She traveled in the opposite direction of Undyne's voice, making sure to avoid treading upon any twigs or dried leaves. 

As the minutes flew by once again, there was no sound to be heard. Nothing but the inhales and exhales of mother and son. During this Frisk wondered where she and he would spend the night, if anywhere at all. Undyne was not going to stop searching for them, no matter how much they hid. This was how they were going to have to live, keeping themselves discreet from the world, so as to not be destroyed by its new inhabitants. Frisk would raise her son on her own, and they would be forced to live off the land far from anyone.

Though as she pondered all this, she realized that she really would need to hide from everyone. Not only the monster world sought to demolish her, but the human race now knew that she was responsible for this turmoil. Those that had found that out and survived would surely tell others, and the word would indeed spread that the crazy girl that had gone on and on about killing monsters under Ebott had been telling the truth.

Frisk was aware of this, that she couldn't be to be seen my anyone, neither monster nor human. She was the enemy of every being on this earth; perhaps she deserved to be destroyed. The world didn't seem to accept her anymore, but she had to continue to live. This creature of darkness she was, the scum of the earth. This would be who would raise the child in her arms. She couldn't do this, not without Edmund. Frisk yearned for him to be there with her, reassuring her that everything was going to be alright. But no, her husband would not return; he was dead, and he was never going to come back. Frisk was all alone, left to take care of their child. What if she couldn't be the kind of parent he needed? What if no matter how hard she tried, he turned out to be just like her? A killer, and mistake, the spitting image of his mother. Frisk didn't want it to be so. She didn't want Clement to be anything like her. She wanted him to be better, a something in this world. That was what he deserved. But this wasn't possible now. He was forced to stay with her, for on his own he would surely die. He would be dubbed the son of the destroyer of humanity, and there was nothing Frisk could do about it.

She didn't deserve to be a mother; she didn't deserve Clement. And he certainly didn't deserve her. 

The thoughts clouded her mind and soon her vision, yet she kept out of the way of the trunks and branches. But suddenly, a sound broke her mental bubble. The crackle of leaves, as if someone had trod upon a whole pile of them. Frisk stopped where she was and listened, for perhaps another noise to track down.

Yet surely enough the crunch of dried leaves made itself known, alongside the dark profile of a figure not too far from where she stood. Frisk concealed herself behind a tree, allowing herself to peek from the side. Only to view what she had seen before: a shadowy figure. But even without the faintest idea of who it was, she knew one thing for sure: it wasn't Undyne. 

Nor could it have been mistaken for her at all. Not only was this monster not clad in armor, but was built very differently. Its chest was much bigger, and its limbs much thinner. But that was all Frisk could make of it. It didn't really matter to her who the figure was, or even what it was; she just didn't want it to find her. 

However, Clement wasn't aware of their intention. It could have been the darkness of the forest, or maybe the eerie gloom over the trees, that caused a chill to run up his spine. For just as his mother had ended her examination of the monster, he started to whimper, and then soon broke out into a crying tantrum.

Frisk winced at the sound, and immediately tried to calm him down. But no matter how closely to herself she held him, or how much she silently consoled, the pathetic sobs persisted. 

"Hello?" came a voice, which she could only guess to be that of the unknown being. "I—Is someone there?" 

Frisk frantically shushed the boy, rubbing his bald head with her hand. She felt her shoulder grow wet, as Clement's tears gathered on her shirt. 

Why now? she asked the universe. Why of all times now? 

There was no way they could keep discrete from the monster now. They needed to run, lest they be discovered, and eventually captured. 

As Frisk stepped out of her hiding place to make a run for it, the voice sounded again. 

"Excuse me!" 

Her head whipped around to see, although she had the mind to sprint away promptly thereafter. 

"I'm sorry, I—I didn't mean to—"

Nothing further was said. Nothing but Clement's wails. The woman stared at the monster before her, and it did the same.

Frisk was appalled; he hadn't changed at all. 

"H—Human?" he spoke. " that you?" 

Frisk wanted to cry. She couldn't believe her eyes. She had thought that no one else in this world cared about her. But she had forgotten one person. 


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