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So as a couple of you know I got into a nasty little bike accident today and jacked up my hands. Upon some further inspection they are more injured than I thought so I'm probably gonna be out for three days or so while they heal. Go ahead and skip me in the warehouse this posting cycle.

Twists and turns
((Ciel deserves a whole pie for helping me with this. ))

Nick let Simon squirm away from under him and run out, paying almost no attention to him as he fled. He pushed his palms against the cold concrete and got to his feet, never taking his eyes off of Clio.

He shuffled towards her, trying to get a better look. The fact that Teo seemed to be looking at her as well proved to him that she was in fact more than a hallucination of his own creation.

“Gabby,” he called out to her. Uttering the little nick name gave him an odd heavy feeling in his chest. He swallowed the feeling down.

“You shouldn’t talk to her like that,” he warned Teo.

She’s a lot of things and she’s certainly beautiful but I don’t know if cute is one of those things.

“You can’t say that she wouldn’t hurt us. You can’t even say that she doesn’t want to hurt us. You don’t know that.” He bit his lip and stared steadily at her. His face and tone were unusually serious.

“I don’t know about you, but she never let me know her enough to make that sortta call, not to say I didn’t try my best to find out what sort she is.”

He reached down to pick up his discarded weapon but was stopped by her scream. Nick stopped and stood back up.

She pointed the gun at him. He raised his hands, palms open and facing her, but his eyes never left her face.

“You can’t shoot us both, Gabby. The second you pull that trigger whoever’s left standing is gonna to take you down.”

Looking at her now he didn’t feel the same as he had when he’d looked at her in the past. After they had broken up they didn’t see each other around much. She might have been his only ex that he did stay friends with after. Whenever he did managed to catch a glance of her at school he usually felt a sharp sense of regret, but in the past month or so he’d hardly thought of her and now that she was in front of him now, that blade was much duller. She wasn’t everything that he wanted. Clio was beautiful and smart and mysterious, yes but she was missing something. What he wanted was-

-----------------------------------

“Mmm, something sweet!”

Nick looked down at the pie the waitress had brought him. The little shop was bustling with people but he, Jessica, Josie and Alex had managed to find a booth right next to the window. While they waited he had been watching Jessica from across the booth as she looked outside at the first few summer fire flies. The waitress put down the single slices for Josie and Alex and put the pie between Jessica and Nick. She went ahead and put one plate in front of Jessica and was about to put down the other in front of Nick when he stopped her.

“No thanks. One’s good.”

“You sure?” she asked incredulously.

Nick took a slice out of the pie, slapped it on Jessica’s plate and went to town on the rest of the pie left in the tin. The waitress stared wide-eyed for a moment before walking away.

Jessica cut a small piece with her fork and tried it. A cautious smile pulled at her lips.

“ ‘S good?” he asked, mouth full of pie.

“Y-you, um, you’ve got,” she pointed to her nose. “A little pie… here, “she said, giggling.

He picked up a spoon looked at his warped reflection trying to clear his face. Once he was clean he laughed and picked up his fork again.

“Thanks. That happens a lot. One time I walked around for part of the day with toothpaste on my eyebrow. I’m not even really sure how I did that. Am I okay now?”

“It’s fine now. W-what about me? I don’t have stuff on my face, do I?” she asked, her hand going up to her cheek.

“No,” he said warmly. “You’re perfect.”

CHARACTER OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 10
Alrighty so I think I got this narrowed down.

First one I'd like to nominate is Alice Blake from Sister Grimm. I hadn't really read much of Alice until I came upon Death at a Funeral and after that I went back and read her up from her start. Sister Grimm has a really nice, detailed way that she writes about what's going on with Alice but I don't feel like I get bogged down in the details. I find her very very funny in a subtle way and at the same time she feels really well rounded. She wants to find her girlfriend, but she's not above thinking of herself for a while. She's straight forward and realistic and I think she's really entertaining so I'd like to give it up to Sister Grimm.

Second one is Hayley Kelly. I've always like Hayley, she's tough and she's a bit of a partier but you can tell she really does care about others demonstrated by her care of the group in White Knight Nightmare and also in her determination to find Kyle. I also really liked her kill post and the one leading up to it, I think Holly does a good job of writing what her characters are going through internally and the rationalization and argument in her mind abotu whether or not to kill and what that meant to her was a good insight into the character. Thumbs up.

Lastly I'd like to throw in a vote for Dominic Stratford. I just want to give this boy a hug and make him some soup. He's sort of gone off his rocker a bit as of late but I think the way that his break from reality is writen is so heartbreaking and beautiful that he's one of my favorites.

It wasn't intentional but it looks like I nominated three female handlers so this nomination post is offically going out to aaaaaaaalll the laaadddies.

The Waiting Room Bar and Grill
Sally leaned back on the pool table until she was lying down. She stretched her arms out and sighed. Her hair spilled all over the green felt and over the edge of the table.

“Mmm, yes. Jealous,” she said as Charlotte made her way to the bar with the Russian girl. She looked at them at the bar, upside down. “I’m very jealous, aren’t I? Who wouldn’t want to spend more time on that island? I’m surprised they don’t open a resort. Though isn’t it just so funny, hu? I saw the show you put on, Char.”

She continued to look at the world upside down, smirking and playing with the charm around her neck.

“That the last thing a girl like you experiences is being penetrated? Long, hard pole though the middle? No wonder you need a drink, that thing went deep.”

Time Is Not On Our Side
Isabel slipped off of the tree stump and onto the floor; her back now leaning gratefully against what little was left of the tree. Her sleeves were still half pushed up, leaving some of the black scribbles visible. Her one hand was still resting on the end of her trumpet. She closed both eyes.

“Sharpie usually lasts a little longer than other pens. If I don’t use soap, and honestly, where would I find any, it’ll maybe last 3 days. Past that, maybe enough people will be gone that I’ll be able to remember the killers by memory. Or I could just keep retracing over the faded names. I’ll figure it out later.”

"I don't know about you but I'm pretty fucking tired right now."

She opened her right eye to look at him just in time to see him let out a very satisfying looking yawn.

Oh no, no, no, no

She couldn’t hold it back. Isabel opened her mouth and inhaled deeply letting a huge yawn escape. She put up her right hand with fingers outstretched to cover her mouth.
“Me too,” she pushed out around the tail end of the yawn. "Guess we better find a place to sleep for a while. Nothing good’s gonna happen for us if we’re wandering around this place like zombies. Dun wanna pass out in the middle of a Mexican stand off or something."

Gradually she stood up and took her bag and trumpet up with her.

"Let’s look around for somewhere that might be safe. Well….safe as one can be taking a nap on murder island."

Why is this happening to us? Why are so damn unlucky to end up here? Why

Why?
--------------------------

Why do…..
--------------------------

Why do birds, suddenly appear? Every time you are near?

Albuquerque, New Mexico: 2003

The old song sounded tinny as it leaked softly from the office speaker, wherever it was. A young girl was seated in the waiting room of Heart Hospital of New Mexico with a plastic waste paper basket in her lap. Her eyes watered and she clutched her orange bucket tight, her fingers curling over the lip.

Oh god, please not again.

The taste of her own mouth was nauseating. She tried not to think about it, but that only made her focus on it more. She spit into the bucket hoping it would help, but to no avail. A strong contraction somewhere in the bottom of her torso pushed up and repulsive, wet, squish resulted from a new deposit into the orange basket falling on top of what had been regurgitated earlier.

She panted, wiped her mouth with her sleeve and swallowed. It hurt so much; her eyes filled with tears.

“What’s your name, honey?”

She looked up. A waiting room attendant with a clipboard was standing over her with a sympathetic smile and a cup of water. Shakily, she accepted the plastic cup and took a small sip.

“….Isabel Guerra.”

“Well hello, Isabel. Are you here all by yourself?”

She nodded. Isabel reached into her bag, pulled out her red wallet, slipped out a white card with a blue cross on it and held it up to the man.

“Here. Lemme call someone.”

The attendant took the insurance card and turned to his clipboard, scribbling things in a quick, steady manner.

Isabel pulled out a chunky Nokia phone and pressed the call button. She waited.

Click.

“Dad?” she asked in a rather pathetic voice.

“Oh hello Isabel, how’s it going?”

“Dad, I need you to come get me. I’m at Heart Hospital. ”

“The hospital? But, where’s your mother? If she took you there she should be able to drive you back home.”

“She’s out of town for a few days visiting abuela, she’s gonna be back tomorrow. I know you’re busy packing because you’re leaving, but please? I don’t feel good.”

“Wait, wait wait, she left you alone? “

“It’s was only for a few days,” she responded, her tone becoming irritated.

“…..What exactly is so wrong with you that you ended up at the hospital, babe?”

“I don’t feel good. I’ve been throwing up for the past two days. The neighbor came over when she kept hearing the noises and dropped me off here at the hospital on her way to work. I think I have stomach flu.”

Empty air filled in the silence.

Why do stars, fall down from the sky? Every time you walk by?

“Dad?”

“I can’t believe it; you really expect me to believe that?”

Cold icy shock hit her. If she hadn’t been in such a state of surprise she would have thanked that at the very least, she was slightly less nauseous.

“W-what do you mean?!” she blurted in a panic. The attendant looked down at her.

“The neighbor heard you throwing up while you’ve been alone. You’re mother and I are always commenting on the way you look and now you just HAPPEN to have the stomach flu? It seems far more likely to me that you’ve taken our comments a little too much to heart lately and the neighbor caught you and now you’re using this whole stomach thing as an excuse so that your mother doesn’t find out you have an eating disorder.”

Isabel started at her phone like it had grown tentacles.

“I…..have…NEVER. I would NEVER.....Why would you-” she sputtered.

The man with the clipboard looked down at her and placed a hand on her shoulder. She jumped like someone had electrocuted her and shrugged away from his touch. He retracted his hand and knelt down at her level.

“Sweetie?”

She looked down at the phone. The call was still running. She pushed the call end button and looked back at the man.

“Yeah?”

“Do you have a legal guardian or relative coming for you?”

“…..no. I gave you the insurance card. Just tell me what the deductable is and let me see a doctor.”

Just like me, they long to be, close to you.

The Man-slut, the Cocktease and the Lover
Ethan’s hand slowly followed the curve of the sleeping girl’s cheek down to her neck. With his other hand, he trailed his fingers up the side of her smooth leg, coming to stop at the pleated hem of her skirt.

The soft glow of the discarded rod on the floor threw an alien light over the two bodies. Gradually, the thumb of his right hand slipped under her chin, forming a half circle around her neck. A hollow wind noise sounded through the tunnels, but the warmth between the two of them made the space seem oddly womb-like.

Amazing. If I wanted to, if I just applied a little bit of pressure… She’d slip away, literally beneath my fingers with nothing but the rocks and the lizards and the darkness; all lucky witnesses.

The hand around her neck didn’t move, still resting feather light against her slender throat. His fingers played on the boundary between exposed thigh and the underside of the fabric, the tips running along the edges.

Could I though? We are underground where no one would see…..she might not even wake Duncan if she couldn’t scream. I wouldn’t, there’d be no point to do it now, but could I? You need to be able to think like that to win. I’m already thinking like that so I guess that means I’ve got what it takes. That boy on the video certainly could. Just to prove to myself that when the time comes and I go up against someone I do have history with, I won’t hesitate. Could I?

The hand moved slightly upward under the skirt, the other tightened slightly around her neck.

Suddenly he felt a hand and a body roll into him. In shock he drew back his hands from Feo, turned and saw it was Duncan. He shook his head and sighed.

Jesus. Just him.

He sighed, wrapped his arm around Feo again and put his head down. Soon he heard Duncan hit the cave wall and yell.

“Duncan, I’m not that kind of girl. If you wanna do that, dinner first. So for this place, it means go catch a fish or something and we’ll talk.” He replied drowsily.

His eyes flew open when from far off, he could make out the sound of footsteps.

"You hear that?"

Kaitlin Anderheim
I'd like to put in a bid for Miss Kaitlin.

The Man-slut, the Cocktease and the Lover
((Ethan Kent continued from All That I've Ever Known))


Ethan slowly awoke from his slumber. After the day he had, the boy had fallen into a sleep of the dead, deep and dreamless. At first he wasn’t quite sure where he was. Another question he asked himself was who was the owner of the warm body he was currently holding to his own? Despite the nightmarish situation he was coming to remember, Ethan couldn’t help a little grin.

I’m going to be so incredibly pissed if this is Duncan.

His hand roamed over the gentle silhouette of curved hips, leading to a warm, toned stomach. His hand continued up, brushing carelessly over her breasts, stopping finally at her face.

The eerie green of a glow stick on the floor provided a little bit of light in the dark tunnel; enough for them to see but not enough to attract attention. Ethan, Feo and Duncan had escaped the sawmill and found their way into the tunnels where they decided to set up camp for the night. It was rather tense the three of the sitting around, sharpening sticks with rocks since they had been dealt unfortunate “weapons” if one would even call them that, but somehow he and Feo had ended up sharing body heat and this made him smile.

He stroked her cheek lightly.

Short hair looks good on you.

It was amusing to him that they were like this, knowing all the while that he’d kill her if he had good reason and that she’d probably do the same. He settled back down comfortably into his previous position by her and threw an arm over her hip.

Once we get down to it, your hand and your hair are going to be the least of your concerns, girl. If not by me then by someone else, cause I’m going to win.

All That I've Ever Known
Ethan looked on, bemused as Feo woke and promptly hit the floor. She stood and started screaming at him.

His eyebrows knitted and a frown tugged down on his mouth. He grabbed the arm of her raised fist and gripped it firmly in his hand.

“Lower the decibels, woman!” he shouted above the ringing that still lingered in his ears. He tightened his hold on her wrist and pulled her in close, looking down on the girl from above.

“Second,” he said in a smoother, though still noticeably annoyed tone, “English is the language I know, so we’re going to stick with that and if you don’t like it I can toss your narrow ass off a god damn cliff. Are we good on point number two?”

He let go of her wrist, pushing her backwards slightly.

“Moving on to your other query, well that’s just the grand prize question, isn’t it? Far as I can tell we were all on track to jump those guys when some guy I couldn’t see ran up, screamed something and tossed an explosive at your feet. I’m not counting that as my fault, but I guess I can see your point. I really should have factored in screaming assholes with C4 or whatever into my plans. My bad on that one,” he finished, the sarcasm acridly coating his words.

Having finally noticed the other member of their group had reappeared, Ethan turned to look at Duncan. He cocked his head to the side and looked at the shirtless boy.

“I…..I’m not even going ask. Lack of shirt aside, I’m with you on getting out of here. I don’t know where scythe boy and Cisco ran off to and I’m sorry to say your little cuddly creatures called jail break when the blast knocked over their tank so let’s not stick around.”

Ethan picked up his bag and slung over one arm, then picked up Feo’s and slung it over the other.


((Ethan Kent continued in The Man-slut, the Cocktease and the Lover))

The age poll!
I'm 21. Creepy pedos don't want to take advantage of me anymore T_T

Character of the Month #1: August '10
Congrats to you and a big plate of warm fuzzies, Mimi! You really do a great job.

Time Is Not On Our Side
Isabel seemed to snap out of her fear induced trace when Dave called out to her. She closed her eyes for a moment, took a breath and opened them again.

“I’m fine,” she replied sternly. She wrapped up the rest of her sandwich and shoved it back into her bag.

“Not hungry anymore,” she said while digging around inside the bag again. Soon she found what she was looking for, a pencil case. She opened the case and pulled out a black sharpie marker. She originally bought the marker so she’d have something better than pencil to sign year books with.

Isabel rolled up the sleeve of her shirt and started writing on her left arm. The first name, “Omar B.” was scrawled on her arm with one tally mark by the name. Next, “Alex R.” with one tally and “Reiko” with two tallies. When she reached “Ivan” she turned her arm over and wrote on the underside, “Janet” next. She hurried to write down the names and mark their kills.

Alex was mentioned again, she turned her arm back over and added a tally to his name. She moved to her other arm at the mention “Rob. J.” and finally “Kris H.” with two tallies. Isabel had skipped a few and struggled to try and remember them, “Collin F.”, “Jackie B.” and turning her right arm over she finished with “Staffan.”


“It might be a good idea to keep track of who’s playing and how deadly they are,” she said to Dave, feeling her odd behavior was in need of an explanation. “A piece of paper might get lost or damaged in the next few days, but this way I’ll have the names with me no matter what.”

When she was finished she stuck the market in the waist of her skirt under her shirt, sighed and held out her arms. They were covered with writing and tallies. Only one day had passed.

“Our class has some major aggression issues” she said in dismay. “I’m surprised Roland didn’t get credit for his work back there.” At that she took the marker back out, uncapped it and wrote Roland’s name on a little patch of skin left on the underside of her right arm.

“It’s really stupid, my mom used to yell at me for writing on myself. I guess it doesn’t matter now. Now that I think about it, depending on how long we last, I don’t know if I have enough skin.”

Isabel stopped and looked awkwardly at Dave for a moment, then away from him at one of the trees.

I said “we” instead of “I.” “How long WE last. I shouldn’t delude myself into thinking this guy and I will stick this out to the end together.

“Anyway....” she started again, “Looks like we’re safe from the danger zones for now. You know, maybe this Danya guy is mad he never made it as a comedian so he kills kids. Sort of how like Hitler kind of failed at being a painter. He certainly thinks he's funny.”

Isabel put her hands on her head and shut her eyes. She and Dave hadn't stopped running from the moment they woke up and now that they had stopped the weight of being tired had caught up with her.

Twists and turns
Nick swung his weapon as Simon charged at him, but the other boy went low instead of high and was on course to smash into his legs. In shock, Nick dropped the blade which went skittering several feet, finally stopping by Teo. Though the attack had caught him off guard for a few seconds, he regained his fighter’s composure and pushed his legs back a few inches before the collision of bodies. When the impact finally came he let Simon push his lower half back, falling forward onto the other wrestler and pinning him underneath. The two hit the ground with a soft “thud.” Things seemed to be moving at hyper speed. Somewhere in the middle of it all a voice had been speaking the whole time, but the man’s speech was a buzz in the back of Nick’s mind. Fragmented pieces managed to fight their way through the din to his consciousness.

19 killed….

Nick landed on Simon and scrambled to get a hold of him. The blood was rushing through his body, his heart was beating faster.

Remove his collar….

He was struggling beneath him. He took his arms and managed to entwine them into Simon’s legs, or leg as it were. The prosthetic was pierced by a crow bow bolt.


Our femme fatales, Clio Gabriella….

Clio?

He looked back, searching for his fallen weapon and saw….

Clio.

A beautiful face broke out from the darkness; she was scared and holding her bag up to her stomach. It was almost as if the act of saying her name was what made her appear.

The pair had dated for a few months at the beginning of 11th grade. He had always been fond of her, but it sometimes seemed like there was something between them that he could never overcome, a wall he could never climb over to get to her. After a while she had simply drifted away. She stopped talking to him. She ran through his fingers like sand. It had hurt him to some degree. It wasn’t that he was so deeply in love with her, but what bothered him like a splinter in his mind was "why"? Why had she done it? He never did anything that he could think of to upset her. He got over it fairly quickly and moved on to others, but the question had always nagged and looking up at her, he wondered.

Is it really her? Did I go crazy? Am I just imagining her because the voice said her name? She killed two people, but she’s just as pretty as I remember.

Nick stopped moving and gaped at her, trying to figure out if she was real.

The Waiting Room Bar and Grill
Sally ran her fingers through her hair and sat up on the pool table as she watched the feed. Her nose crinkled up when the footage of the boy being stabbed and ripped open with the chain saw played against the wall. Two little figures in the distance ran from the violence and off screen.

"Honestly, does no one know how to kill the spares?" she asked in exasperation.

"It's you..."

"Hmm?" Sally turned to look at the voice and found it had come from a familiar looking girl. The one from the shack on the island.

"Speaking of spares," she said, tilting her head downward. "Oh, the commie girl from the hut. The LOUD commie girl from the hut. I really thought that slip up of yours was going to get you killed, but it seemed Philip Ward had more important people to deal with. Not that it mattered, I mean, you are here. You prolonged your life by just a few extra minutes, but I would say it was worth it. You at least had the honor of being killed by someone much hotter than you."

Sally heard the new boy at the other end of the bar order a drink from the bar tender. She put on her sweet face and waved to him. "Could you be just my best friend and get me a cosmopolitan? Thank you, babe," she said in a sing song voice.

Time Is Not On Our Side
The woods were so quiet. It seemed like forever since she had been somewhere quiet. The mirror maze she had woken up in was a dark, screaming nightmare with yells and howls bouncing off the mirrored walls like the reflections and the fair was a twisted warzone of blood and whack-a-mole. In the forest, though, she could almost pretend for a second that they had made it to their camping trip. Isabel and Dave had just wandered off from the main camp grounds, probably looking for wood for the campfire or the bathroom or something. The only thing that broke the illusion were the cuts marring Dave’s skin and blood on his clothes.

“You don’t have to talk about anything if you don’t want to. I think we’re in pretty much the same boat. My best friend’s got plenty of other people she can band with, never really was on any teams or clubs and I never had a boyfriend,” she said with a shrug. “Though I have to say, it’s nice you’ve decided on the ‘waiting till a douche bag murders my ass’ method rather than the ‘chainsaw-to-the-gut’ method, for my sake anyway.”

His parents will be proud to see he didn’t play the game. I bet they’re watching him. Not like me. I bet my mom doesn’t even know I’m gone yet. She’ll notice in a week when there’s a huge pile of dishes in the sink.

An angry, squishy, grinding noise rumbled through Isabel. She frowned and looked down at her stomach.

“My stomach is trying to eat itself,” she mumbled.

She spotted a tree stump a few feet and way. She sat down, pulled up her bag and unzipped, trying to feel around inside for her smaller back pack. Once the second bag was unzipped she moved her hand, hoping for the feel of plastic.

Don’t tell me these guys took my lunch!

Isabel was relieved to pull out a plastic wrapped sandwich. She unwrapped it and savagely took a bite, but stopped mid-way and looked up awkwardly at Dave.

“Cho wan some?” she asked through a mouthful of sandwich. “S’ chicken pesto.”

Isabel swallowed her food and ripped the roll in half, extending the other half towards him.

“It’s good. I made it myself.”

A shrill electronic noise cut through the silence and the tree tops rustled with the sound of frightened birds taking flight. After the noise had died down, the next was the sound of a slow applause.

"Kids, I have to say that I'm truly impressed with your first day showing”

Hearing his voice was like having a bucket of ice water poured on her head. She shivered but the feeling didn’t go away. Her free hand gripped the edge of the tree stump until her fingers turned white.

No.

The Waiting Room Bar and Grill
The flawlessly shiny surface of her blood red heels took the first steps into the bar. The heavy wooden doors of the bar yielded unusually easily for the little blonde girl, allowing her to enter the establishment. She was slightly paler than she typically was, but other than that, she was exactly as she had been, better in fact. Her expensive Anthropologie dress was spotless and her Tiffany charm necklace glittered from around her neck under the dim lights. The girl smiled a little and pulled at the necklace, or perhaps better referred to as a choker.

Sauntering over to the board of pictures, she tossed her blonde hair over her shoulder and looked up. She scowled at the red X placed over her face. The bartender holding the red marker shrugged at her and she returned an irritated look.

She walked over to the area of the projector and leaned against one of the pool tables, watching the feed. Playing on the wall was the image of Cyrille’s last, struggling moments of life, begging Gary to find her love and deliver her last thoughts of love and the beret she held so dear.

“What an ugly fucking hat,” she scoffed.

All That I've Ever Known
((Sorry it took a while. Promise I won't take that long again!))

Ethan walked a few paces and saw the trucks parked near the sawmill a few feet ahead. He walked slowly, still shaken from the explosion and trying to balance the weight of the girl in his arms. When he reached the nearest truck he put her down as gently as he could manage in the bed of the truck.

“There. Safe from dirt and scorpions and whatever the fuck else crazy shit is running around here. If dynamite boy or the guy with the scythe look around they probably wouldn’t see you in here.”

His back was killing him. Ethan could still feel where the work bench had slammed into his back as if he was still leaning on it. The cotton feeling in his ears was still there, but getting better. Ethan walked back to his bag and picked it up. On the way back to the truck bed he saw Eleri’s bag as well and dragged it back with him, dumping both bags near the truck which contained the girl.

You know…..how much help is this girl going to be? True she’s hot and true I could score sympathy points with her, but maybe I should just steal her bag and leave her here to die. I know there’s nothing good weapon-wise in there, but she’s got extra food and water. Though if someone sees me carting around an injured girl, they’re going to assume I’m a safe guy. They’re going to assume that I’m not playing this game; I’m a hero who can be trusted. Yeah right….heroes.

Ethan looked at the truck. If they were going to survive they needed something. He put his hands around the old license plate of the car and tugged. It didn’t budge. He jammed his foot against it, kicking and kicking. Finally it came off. He held it up and looked at the bent license plate.

Guess I can use this to sharpen some sticks. How fucking sad. Sharpening sticks.

The mummer of sounds drifted to him through the invisible muffles on his ears. Much to his dismay, it appeared that Cisco and the other boy had survived the blast. Ethan threw the two bags into the truck bed and crawled in after them. He pulled Eleri’s body so that she was all the way inside and crouched down low.

Twists and turns
More crashing and yelling swept down the hall from somewhere further inside the darkened warehouse. A figure suddenly came down the hall way; out of pure reaction Nick took a few large strides forward and swung his weapon.

"S-s-stop! Don't shoot!"

He stopped his three blades all perilously close to the boy’s chest.

“Dude, you shouldn’t run around screaming like that.”

Why was that my first reaction? Why? I almost buried a metal rod with all kinds of pointy sharpness right into him. Because that girl….it’s a game of death. People are going to go around killing each other. Maybe I don’t have a choice, or maybe that’s all I have. Live or die. I want to live. No one can blame me for that.

"Nick?"

He looked past the nervous boy and squinted at the new figure that had arrived.

“Hi Simon,” he said, now with only the slightest touch of his usual cheerful greetings.

“Uh hu, we're on wrestling together..." he said in reply to Teo.

No one would blame him for killing, it was all very understandable. Either kill or wait to be killed. It was simple. The rules were explained. The rules don't care about you and the rules say that you must kill. They had to kill, but just because they had to kill, that didn’t mean they still couldn’t be civil about it. No mutilation, no excessive pain, no taunting, respect any last request.

“Yeah. Let's take 'em out,” he croaked out through his dry throat. "We’ll take this guy first, give Simon a head start. Cause he’s a friend."

Time Is Not On Our Side
((Isabel Guerra continued from Break Up and Break Down ))

Isabel’s legs ached from all the walking, but the more distance they put behind them and that chainsaw-mutilated corpse, the better. Even if her legs had been in ten times the pain they were in now, she wouldn’t have told Dave. She wouldn’t want him to think that she couldn’t keep up; Isabel wasn’t going to be dead weight to anyone.

"Hey, Hold on a second, I need to do something about my fucking knees."

“Sure, no problem. We need a break anyway. I think we’ve made it far enough that we’re safe.”

Isabel sank down and sat with her legs sprawled out in front of her. In her hurry she had taken off into the forest with Dave, not paying any mind to the bushes and saplings on the forest floor. Little scratches and cuts marked the bottom of her legs above her socks.

“Shoulda worn pants,” she sighed, watching the clouds though the tree tops.

She lowered her gaze to Dave and saw him spraying the gash on his knee. Isabel folded her legs underneath her and scooted closer to the wound. She sucked in some air through her teeth. Isabel surveyed him properly for the first time since leaving the fun fair. He did indeed have his fair share of injuries. Now that she noticed them, she felt a little bad for not having gone a little slower.

“Roland sure did a number on you….,” she said softly.

She pushed herself up, grabbed her bag and tugged at the end of her skirt. Isabel stuck her hand into her pack and fished around inside. She pulled out a hair tie, haphazardly bunched her hair up together behind her head and snapped the tie around the mass. She wiped her forehead with one of her overly long sleeves and lastly, picked up her trumpet.

There it was, he asked for her name. This time she couldn’t pretend she didn’t hear it; it was silent except for the sounds of an occasional bird.

My name? Maybe I should just tell him I’m girl 105, that’s what it says on my bag. Can I trust him? Seems sane, no weapon that I could see. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t just try to beat me to death. Why am I so superstitious about names? I should lie; I should tell him a fake name, not like I haven’t done it before in my regular life. But what if we run into someone and they yell out my name or something? That Roland guy knew me and he was the first one who found me. Then he’d be really pissed. If he found out I lied.

Leap of faith

“My name…..is…..Isabel,” she said slowly, finishing with a sigh.

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? Yes it was.

“Dave Morrison. Nice to meet you,” she said with one hand occupied by the trumpet and the other on the strap of her bag. Her mouth tugged slightly at one side into a half smile. "Okay, Dave. Are we looking for anyone for you? Heartfelt reunion with a best friend? Building up a posse of guys from your sports team or club? One last chance to be with the girl of your dreams?"

Break Up And Break Down
Isabel heard noises, people shouting inside the cloud of smoke.

"Stay here. I'll go check to see what's going on. If I'm not back in a few minutes..."

She had finally psyched herself up enough to run into danger and now Roland was telling her to stay back? She thought about pointing this out until she heard the rev of a chainsaw from somewhere in the smoke.

“Yeah, you do that. I'll stay here,” she said cautiously. She turned back to Dave and shook her head while mouthing the words “NO WAY.” As much fun as rushing into the unknown with low visibility and a person with a chainsaw running about, she decided she’d just wait to see if Roland saved whoever he was rushing in there to get.

The smoke started to dissipate, some of it heading their way. She coughed a few times and rubbed her eyes. Isabel saw Dave angling to get a better view and got on her knees, going up just enough to see what was going on.

What she saw was Roland’s sword cutting through some boy’s throat like it was troublesome piece of steak. She gasped and fell back, now sitting down. Another boy came forward with the chainsaw she had heard earlier and ripped into the boy, spewing blood and bits all over the fairgrounds. Isabel squeezed her eyes shut and turned away, but the image was burned into her mind. It was a still moment of blood spilling out of the terrified boy and pieces of intestines clinging to the roaring blades of the chainsaw.

“Oh my god. What the hell? What the hell?” she muttered. “Was he not dead enough or something?! Did you want to be really REALLY sure!?” she screamed.

"We gotta get the fuck out of here."

She opened her eyes and saw Dave looking back at her. She turned to look back at the carnage, but found herself sick at the thought. Isabel searched to make sure they had a clear shot out. They did.

“Absolutely,” she said, picking up her trumpet and bag.

“You lead, I lead, whatever. We can figure it out when we’re not in danger of getting stomach in our hair.”

Isabel pushed herself up, swung the bag over her back and took off after Dave towards the exit.

Worst fair ever.

((Isabel Guerra cotinued in Time Is Not on Our Side))