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Last Days
If Alice were more inclined to bitter commentary, she'd have chastised Sandra. Of course Ty wasn't okay, he'd collapsed. Fortunately, mostly for her own sake, Alice kept her mouth quiet in duress. So no sassiness was to be found.

Unfortunately, Alice also froze in place and didn't move aside from letting her bag drop to the ground with a loud thud. She stared, eyes wide, at the blood-covered boy.

Was he going to die? Could Alice help? Should she? She took a step forward, then froze again. She was barely aware of the rest of the goings on, a sudden, frightening idea entering her head.

If he died...well, the game would end sooner, right? One less obstacle, and all. But Alice saw Ty lying there, muttering something too quietly for her to hear, and that sprung her into action.

She moved, pausing to pick up her bag, and scurried over to the collapsed classmate's side, where she knelt next to him. Unsure of what to do, she began checking his heart rate, holding her small left hand under his jaw against his neck like they did in the movies.

Let's Awaken, By the Day
The gunshots broke the tension, a surprise that made Blair's heart race.

As she jumped to her feet, spun in place, and faced their assailant, Blair found herself surprised that, initial fright aside, the sight of a girl with a gun didn't bring about a jolt of existential terror like she'd been expecting. Her breathing was quick, her hands shaky as she reluctantly raised them above her head, but she glared defiantly, as if daring Nancy to shoot her.

Because in a way, she wasn't sure Nancy could.

Oh, sure, she'd murdered people. With an axe or something, apparently, if her recollection of the announcement was correct. But Blair wasn't doubting Nancy's ability to try to kill her. But, for some reason, Blair didn't feel any more afraid of dying than she did any other given day. The fear was always there, and the clock speeding up didn't seem to change that.

So as soon as that blue-haired dork's voice trailed off, Blair blinked, a crazy reckless thing springing into her mind, and she moved. Letting out a yell, Blair ran forward and raised her shoulder, attempting to body-check the assailant.

In This Starless Night
Henry nodded enthusiastically at the offers, chipping in with 'yeah!' every so often. It seemed he'd successfully gotten people to a relatively trusting position maybe? Nobody seemed to be about to pull a gun onto him or anyone else, which was a plus when you meet people. Murdering makes for a terrible first impression.

Then Bryony (whose name Henry had been surprised to learn was also a plant name, like Lily or Hibiscus. Kidding! About hibiscus, not lily), spoke up. And Henry's heart sunk. He was the thief. He hadn't literally stolen from Bryony herself, but he'd stolen, and the victims could very well be screwed over by him. The poor girl looked so meek and unhappy that Henry felt a massive pang of guilt once again.

"Oh, that's horrible! Here, take some of mine." Right as he said it, Henry dropped the bag and set the staff next to it, before kneeling next to it and digging into the bag. He pulled out one of the untouched protein bars and held it up to her. "Here, my treat!"

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Last Days
Alice looked at Sandra in surprise. She didn't know Sandra much herself, but apparently they both knew Bryony. The other girl hadn't struck Alice as the type who'd be friends with Bree, but she supposed she didn't control her friends' lives. So she couldn't exactly complain.

Either way, she was more concerned about Lizzie's response. She definitely seemed prepared to blow up; there was a sense of instability, the way her voice changed when she'd talked about Nancy's victims. Alice couldn't imagine what it must be like to lose a loved one, or the feeling you'd get that you could, if you wanted, try to avenge the victim. Murder the murderer. Did that make things better?

Alice didn't know.

She opened her mouth to speak, possibly to confirm with Sandra or reassure Lizzie in some way, but then a man named Ty Yazzie stumbled in. Alice turned to look at him; he looked awful, and swear aside, she wasn't sure he was conscious, he looked so fatigued.

"Uh..." She moved to say something again, but looking at Ty again, she instinctively stepped away, towards the safety of the others.

Let's Awaken, By the Day
Blair rolled her eyes as the new person approached and her companions offered reassurances that they were friendlies. As for her, she stepped back, away from the intruder, and stood arms folded behind Noah and Rene.

Jennifer aside (she cringed at the memory), Blair's stay here had been really quite innocuous. She was fairly unharmed, after all. Nobody had attacked her. She had allies. She was just unarmed, but that could be managed. But the thing was, she had little faith in that continuing.

The girl's name escaped Blair; she was one of those weird wallflowery types. She briefly wondered if she had known Jennifer, and winced. Either way, not a big threat by herself, but if she was armed (though she had her hands clear and they were empty, so who knew) she was dangerous.

So Blair stood quietly, and waited. She didn't want to start something, not yet. This whole time, she'd been stressing over her imminent mortality. But that wasn't going to make her give up and off herself.

Fuck that.

In This Starless Night
Suddenly, it seemed people had coalesced around Henry like some sort of strange film; as he fell, he somehow caused others to appear. Silly, of course; they'd just been there before, or had been attracted by the noise. But as Tara called out to him, and Bryony approached (he didn't even notice Bridgette, to be honest), Henry pulled himself up, using the staff as support.

"I'm alright. Sort of, kind of, I mean, yeah. I didn't break anything. Hopefully." Henry extended a leg and rotated his ankle, then repeated with the other ankle. He didn't appear to be injured. "Yup, all good."

He glanced over at Bryony first. She looked oddly familiar, but that could be a totally false memory. "Hi. Henry's the name. Pleasure." He waved with his left hand, since his right hand was gripping the bo staff as he used it to support his weight for a moment. Then he glanced at the other girl.

He didn't believe he knew her beyond having a strange surname, but she was an odd person from his recollection. Not fun odd, but more reclusive and avoidant. "Hi to you too, I guess." Henry smiled, then glanced back at Bryony. He opened his mouth to speak, but then looked over at Tara.

Then he glanced back at Bryony. "So, ah, hello." Oh yeah, he needed to fish sometime. Or well, he'd like to. And now he had a giant pole, perfect. Not to consider where he'd gotten it, or how his original fishing buddy was who-knows-where. Not dead, thankfully, or a killer.

Henry grinned. "Would either of you know where I could get a lure, a bobber, and/or some twine?"

Let's Awaken, By the Day
For fuck's sake, of all the times they could be serious and mopey. She was just...trying...Blair's grin, forced as it kind of was, shriveled into a look of annoyance.

"Hey, listen, that's not the point. It's not like it'll matter anymore. I'm just telling you because...I dunno, I guess if it's down to just us somehow then I'm willing to take one for the team. Or something. I don't know, but like..." Blair furrowed her brow and stood up.

"I don't want to die, for God's sake, but if anyone here can win, it's not going to be me. Right? Why should I, I mean...I'm fucked either way, right?" Blair exhaled, and then cleared her throat as the rattling in her breathing accentuated her point.

"As for a plan, I don't have a clue. Wander around? We're decently well-armed, or I think we should be. If someone fucks with us, we can at least fight back, you know." She started pacing across the sand.

In a rare moment, all of Blair's confidence died, and she didn't know what to do. She kept walking back and forth, glaring into the ground.

Last Days
"Why?"

It came out surprisingly aggressively, a demand for information. Alice paused, and lowered her head. "Sorry, but...why Nancy?"

Alice looked between Keith and Sandra. Keith had seen another boy be murdered. She wasn't sure of the context, though, but he didn't give any reason to be suspicious. Lizzie and Sandra's positions were even more ambiguous, but since none had appeared on the announcements, she felt safe in the assumption they were all basically good people. At least, good enough to not be murderers.

Nancy, though..."She's killed, uh, three people now? I don't know for sure, but I don't think she's...safe to be around. The announcer said something about an axe, too."

Alice brushed an errant strand of hair from her face. "Why are you looking for her?" There was a sneaking suspicion of Alice's, but she wasn't sure she wanted to announce it. Still, it was important that such a thing be brought up. Lizzie was probably reasonably smart. She surely didn't think Nancy was friendly. Either she wanted to talk Nancy out of killing, ride her coattails to survival, or...

She bit her lip and clasped her hands nervously.

Let's Awaken, By the Day
Blair sat down in the sand a few feet from Noah, also facing the sea. It was a pretty view, the way the water was reflecting the golden light in dappled waves. How poetic, perfect for her.

"I don't think I've ever told anyone at school that I'm dying."

It came from nowhere, appearing in full surround sound as suddenly as Blair had thought it. She hadn't ever told anyone about the CF, though it was certainly possible Miley had told someone. Little brat. Blair wondered about her family for the first time in a while; would they watch her die? God, she hoped not. It was the old 'remember me as I was, not as what I became' thing.

"I have cystic fibrosis. You know what that is?" Blair looked at Noah, but continued without waiting for a reply. "It's a genetic disorder. A protein that affects sodium channels isn't synthesized. So when I get sweaty I lose a lot of salt, for one. But the protein also helps break down the mucus in your lungs, and since I don't have the protein my lungs are full of gunk."

She took a breath, suddenly filled with fervor to tell them everything. "So I've stayed home from school a lot because I get lung infections and pneumonia a lot, and I cough and wheeze and have shit stamina. And eventually I'll die of that, probably in the next decade or two." She laughed, a sudden bark of mirthlessness. "I mean, even if I went home from here, I'm gonna die. Pretty fucked, right?"

She laughed again.

Last Days
Alice was all too aware that silence and insecurity didn't get much done, but she didn't know what else to do. She was scared, of course, but it was more than the circumstances; she was always quiet and nervous. So standing around uselessly was almost second nature to her in this sort of situation.

Keith started what could've been a tirade, an angry note on her inability to contribute. Cowed, Alice didn't move to respond until after a voice called out. A 'Lizzie Luz' to be exact, a name Alice wasn't familiar with. Searching for Tyler Yazzie, a name she was also only tentatively knowledgeable of.

Still, she didn't seem hostile, or at least she said she wasn't. Alice wasn't sure what one's word was worth here, but it was better than nothing. If Lizzie thought she could attack a group of three, the element of surprise didn't mean much difference. So Alice was willing to go with it for the time being.

"Uh-huh. It's Alice, Sandra and Keith. We're ah, also not...playing?" She turned to face Lizzie's presumed location. "I mean, we don't want to hurt you, or anyone, really..." Alice's voice trailed off, and she found herself focused on her feet again.

Once more, she took comfort in silence and insecurity.

Last Days
((Alice Baker continued from Down the Rabbit Hole))

It was beginning to feel like Alice was doing laps to and from the asylum and the church, since those were the only places she'd been. Still, the asylum had seemed fairly populated, in a manner of speaking, when she'd last been there. So it was possible her friends would be there.

She felt odd now that she was accompanied. Alice wasn't exactly a loner, but most of her prior interactions had involved anxiety or fear, and a quick departure from the scene shortly afterwards. Keith and Sandra seemed innocuous enough, though.

Plus, it broke the rather grisly routine she'd found herself in. Wander, find people, become frightened, flee or be calmed before leaving, listen nervously to the announcements in preparation for the dreaded words; that Bryony had died.

Because really, of all her acquaintances, Bree was the priority, her closest companion, the one person who she knew well enough that she wanted to protect. They'd been friends since childhood, and if Alice was going to find a friend to be with, she'd want it to be Bryony. Of course, actually protecting Bryony would be basically impossible. What tools did she have besides her physical body, weak as it was? She'd left the pieces of bunting in the church, after all? But her companionship would hopefully be enough.

Standing around in an abandoned asylum with no plans was discouraging though. Alice simply said nothing, pondering, while the other two spoke.

In This Starless Night
((Henry Spencer continued from Forget About What I Said))

Well, they'd looked up for a little while.

Henry had hung out with the others until the morning. Thankfully, they gave him a ration of food and water when the rest of them ate that night, which was kind. He wished he had more food for himself, of course, but he'd make due. Better something than nothing. He'd even slept better that night than the one before. Waking up was the problem.

Jae.

Jae had killed someone. A guy, named Samuel Howard, whom Henry didn't know. Jae was...Henry cared about him. He wasn't always nice, and he had a temper, but he was a good guy at heart. Henry really liked him, and if Jae wasn't with Hazel he might've asked him out or something. He was scared Jae would die here before he could tell him that. But instead, Jae'd murdered someone. Beaten them to death, apparently. Not just Henry's worst nightmare, but the photo negative of it.

Henry didn't understand how it could happen.

All his life he'd watched horror, but even the gnarliest slasher movies with mundane, 'sympathetic' human killers, he'd found murder to be an alien thing. Not something a 'real' person did, but a philosophical zombie, existing to bring about death like a psychopomp or something. But it seemed Jae, Oskar, Brendan had all murdered. Isabel, Nancy, and even the mute girl from the comic shop Kimiko had all killed two or three people now. It was unfathomable that they could do that to someone. These were people he knew, and they must've known their victims.

Even then, he had to wonder if he was better than them, after what he'd done.

When the announcement had played, the group had listened in quietly; it wasn’t like morning announcements at school, where everyone chatted and whispered and gossiped over the teacher’s voice. Of course, said his logical side; this wasn’t just some school announcement. Every word mattered. Every name.

When they’d said Jae’s name, Henry reacted like sodium in water; violently. He’d been splayed out on the ground, but he bolted upright and then was on his feet a moment later. In a split second, tons of thoughts flooded him, but one thing was certain.

He had to find Jae.

So he ran. But he didn’t have the decency to leave the group normally, apparently, because before he could find words, he had picked up Nate’s bag and quarterstaff and made a run for it. He’d stolen from them after all, and hadn’t even had the decency to apologize on his way out.

That bothered him a lot, for some reason. Of course, thieves don’t apologize for their crimes, generally. But he wasn’t a criminal, or so he felt. He was desperate and couldn’t afford to slow down and think about what he was doing. So he betrayed the trust of people, once more. The consequences it could have on them might trickle down onto other people. They might run out of supplies themselves, and steal from someone else. Or worse.

Also he left behind his whip in the process. That also made him sad.

Of course, Henry had no clue where Jae had done his…activity. So he figured he’d search the island from the bottom up, travel out and look through the rest of the island. The docks seemed a reasonable place for that plan, so he walked there. By mid-morning, Henry was walking along the piers, bag over his shoulders, staff held in both hands like an oversized baseball bat. It was ungainly and probably useless for a weapon, but it'd do. Not like he had something else.

Lost in thought, he wasn't paying much attention to his surroundings. So he tripped on a loose piece of wood and fell prone. "Ow..." He grumbled, standing back up.

Forget About What I Said
Henry fumbled the protein candy bar thing as he caught it, but it didn't hit the ground so all was good. He devoured it quickly, talking between bites.

"I didn't catch their names." He said, then swallowed. "It was...that one chick with the crazy hair?" Gesturing vaguely in what might resemble dreadlocks if you were reading his mind. "She had like a big gun? I dunno what kind. She and that girl she's dating were the ones."

Henry felt bad lying, but it was pretty embarrassing to have freaked out and fled his friends. Covering up for that felt like the only way to ensure he got any help at all. So he had to go with it.

"Thanks again guys. If you don't mind me sticking around for a little while..." Henry smiled sheepishly. He adjusted the whip still slung around his shoulder. It seemed Nate was heading off, so he figured he'd follow them for a time.

All in all, things were starting to look up.

((Henry Spencer continued in In This Starless Night))

Let's Awaken, By the Day
((Blair Moore continued from Early Morning in the Garden of Good and Evil))

Their campsite was still mostly intact when they returned from the hunting lodge. The night there had been a quiet one, despite Noah and Rene's best efforts to cheer the trio up. Not that they weren't funny; Noah had some great lines and Rene's commentary was enjoyable. But the issue was that the atmosphere was so oppressive and paranoid, and Blair was starting to stress out.

For one, she was getting sick. Like, legitimately sick. Her chest was starting to ache and feel clogged, and her nose was beginning to run a lot. She wasn't sure if she'd get better; without meds, she might be rendered helpless by a crippling case of pneumonia. Even if she did get better, that assumed Blair would survive long enough to recover from whatever ailed her this time. Great. Blair's head hurt, too.

And then there was the anxiety. When they heard the announcements of the previous day, it seemed shootings had been added to the list of causes of death. More beatings and stabbings (Bradley Floyd was an ass, but did he deserve to die? Maybe? Fuck) and a girl got shot. Mitch dying caught her off-guard-he committed suicide too, which doubled the whammy.

Caedyn was still alive though. Typical.

Well that wasn't fair to think. She didn't want people to die. But in a way, it was a good thing for her when they did. Jennifer aside, she'd been relatively okay, and so had her ramshackle company, but other people were in constant danger. She wasn't exactly removed, but she felt safe enough. If fitness meant outlasting by avoidance, good enough for her. If someone with a gun came by they were fucked, though. Wait, no, Rene had a pistol or something. So she could probably depend on them to keep her alive if need be.

But what about Blair alone? She was reliant on Rene's gun and Noah's Sawlaska Whateverthefuck 3000. What if something happened to the others? There was the very real chance she might outlive one or both of them, and if she was unarmed...

Anyway, this whole thing was shite. And to make matters worse (or possibly better) Sandra was nowhere to be found. On one hand, no corpse, but on the other, no sign of the other girl. Maybe Blair had been right about her running off? If so, that was a hell of a time to make a lucky guess.

Blair wiped her nose with her hand, and cleared her throat, having just recovered from another hacking fit. She straightened herself, looking down the beach both ways. Then she gazed out at the sea, with the sun rising into the sky. It was probably around early morning, maybe 10 am? Who knew. She hadn't been left with so much as a watch.

"No sign of her." Blair said loudly, trying to catch the attention of the others. "I think she really did split."

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Blair Moore if you please! : D