Dust |UNDERTALE|*For Press Start to Join: A Gaming Writing Competition*

do you wanna have a bad time? (MASSIVE SPOILERS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED)


12. Of Death and Dust

Sans turned, and he ran. He didn't stop to think, to wonder about the consequences as he ran further and further into the dark forest. The human's shrill, insane laughter echoed through the trees, chasing him, mocking him. Sans refused to turn around, fearful that if he did, he would see a small child at his heels, clutched a sharpened stick in their hands, poised to strike.

Sans ran under he could hardly feel his bones. His breath puffed out in short, heavy gasps, and he tripped, falling forward into a deep pit of snow-

-and collapsed on bright, rocky ground, crying out as his kneecaps smashed against the pebbles. He leaned forward, and pressed his head against the ground. Sans screamed, in anger, in sadness, in fury, at the ground. Hot lava stung his face, but he welcomed it, he relished it, anything to take the burning pain away.

Tears burst at his eyes, and he felt himself convulse. He pressed his hands to his forehead, his body wracked with sobs. “papyrus!” he finally screamed out an audible word. “papyrus, please! you can't be- you can't d-die...”

His eye lit a bright blue, uncontrolled by him, but provoked by his emotions. “you c-can't be dead, papyrus. papyrus, please, no, not papyrus!” The earth rumbled around him, stones glowing a bright blue as they were lifted high into the air.

And he stood, stumbling in a haze. His vision blurred around him, he might have dropped the rocks, maybe not. Bones erupted from the ground, but then everything faded from a rocky orange color to a cool, calm blue, Sans could see his reflection for a second, but he didn't stop to look around. Everything was blurry, and it was a bright white, so blinding-

Sans stretched his arms out in front of him, fully expecting to hit soft snow, but then his vision cleared, and he found his fist hitting against a large purple door.

He knocked twice, weakly, on the door. “hey, uh-”

The door creaked open, casting shadows against the snow. Sans stared in amazement as the dark room was opened to him.

“hey,” he croaked again. His throat was raw from screamed, but nevertheless he spoke. “are you in here, uh, lady?”

He traversed through the room, stepping over a small field of grass before coming to a second large purple door, identical to the one behind him. The door groaned as Sans pushed it open, and he let out a strangled gasp as he stepped into the room.

Nearly stepping on the dust scattered over the ground.

Sans fell to his knees in front of it, tears threatening to spill over his eyesockets. With trembling hands, he shouldered off his jacket, scooping the dust up with it. He cradeled the jacket close to his chest.

“i'm sorry,” he murmured, repeating it again and again. “was this you? i'm sorry, i'm sorry, i'm so, so sorry.” Sans walked, unsure of where he was going, but he followed the path down the long hallway. The dark purple floor eventually changed into a warm birch wood.

He numbly stumbled up the stairs, and into the large room. He headed left first, and was greeted by three rooms, stretching down the hallway.

He opened the first door, stepping into the red tinted room. A lamp, still glowing, stood in the far corner of the room. It cast shadows across the child's bed, the dresser, the carpet.

Sans walked across the carpet, crossing the room to pick up a picture frame. Gently setting the sweater down on the bed, he looked at the frame, gently wiping the dust off it.

To Sans' surprise, King Asgore was in the picture, standing in the back. In front of him were two young children. One looked like the King, wearing a bright green and yellow striped shirt. Next to the kid was a human child which looked startlingly similar to Frisk, but they wore a shirt identical to the other child, and their eyes were open, a dark, dead look staring right through Sans

And to the King's right...

Of course, Sans had only heard stories of the Queen, the woman who ran away to places unknown, not to be seen again.

“was this you?” Sans whispered, picking up the jacket again. “was this your family?” he turned the photograph over so her wouldn't see the Frisk lookalike staring into him. With his free hand, he took a handful of dust and gently sprinkled it over the photograph. Turning away, he left this room for the next, the middle of the hallway.

This room was a cool blue, a complete opposite of the child's room. A diary sat in the middle of a desk, open. Guilt burned in Sans, but he went over anyways, looking in at the pages.

Helpfully, 'TORIEL'S DIARY' was emblazoned on the top of the page. A few lines were circled in the middle of the page.

“why did the skeleton want to make friends?” Sans murmured, setting the sweater down on the desk. “because he was feeling bonely.” Sans suppressed a chuckle for a minute, and then burst into hysterical laughter, collapsing on the ground in a mess of laughter and sobs. When he finally stood up, he read a few more jokes before he covered them with a bit more dust, scattering it between all the pages before shutting the book.

“toriel, huh?” he said softly, struggling to keep his voice steady. “hm.”

He left the room behind, trying the final door before finding it locked. Sighing, he turned around to head to the other end of the house, bypassing the crackling fire and the armchair, heading into the kitchen.

A butterscotch pie sat on the stove, old and stale.

“did you make this?” Sans said. “it looks good. i'd probably eat it. y'know, if it wasn't old.” Sans spread some more dust over the pie. “i hope you enjoyed the pie, toriel.” Murmuring another apology, Sans left for the armchair next to the fire, allowing the heat to warm him up.

“i'm just going to assume this was your chair, then,” he said, looking to see only a few handfuls of dust left. He took the rest of it and sprinkled it all over the chair, over, on the seat, on the armrests. “i mean, you were the only on here, weren't you?”

As soon as the last particles of dust were gone, Sans broke. He sank to his knees, grief welling up in him.

“i'm sorry!” he wailed, staring at the carpet. The warm fire cast long shadows across his figure. “i failed, i'm sorry, I fail everyone. gaster...” he mumbled, though he knew his apologies would be unheard. “i'm sorry, i-i couldn't do it. i failed you, i failed everyone, it's all my fault, i couldn't do it, and now, because of me...” he took a deep gulp of air. “toriel, tori, the queen, whatever, i'm sorry.” A few grains of dust slipped over the edge of the chair, falling on to the top of Sans' outstretch hand. “i thought- i don't know what i thought but m-maybe this human was alright, they were friendly, but they killed you tori, they're killing everyone, they killed p- p-” he broke down in sobs. “they killed my brother, they took everything i cared about away from me, it took you...” tears slipped over his face, splashing small droplets in the carpet.

“...it killed papyrus...” he sobbed, clutching at his chest.

“...it's dangerous, it's insane, and it's all my fault. i'm sorry, i'm so, so, sorry.

Sans sat up, pulling his legs up to his chest. Sobs wracked his body and he rocked back and forth until he was numb. His tears had dried, his grief gone.

He stood up, eyes narrowing.

The fire may have been warm, but he couldn't feel anything.

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