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Bridgette kept away from him and Keith, and Joshua couldn’t blame her. Their interaction had already been thick with uncertainty, but the addition of Keith – whom Joshua was ashamed to say he didn’t really know all too well, all things considered – and his distressing behaviour could throw them into any manner of situations.

Keith began to shake, his hands tightening together like a vice as tears stained his cheeks. A muttering of curse words broke the silence, followed by a much louder cry. His words cut through the air like knives, each of them causing Joshua to inwardly flinch and send a surge of ache into his heart.

It hurt to see a classmate in such pain.

Not wishing to potentially distress Keith further through his sheer presence, Joshua opened the distance between them, backing away so that he, Keith, and Bridgette formed a haphazard triangle. As he did so, he realised that he had to take a stance now. To fully commit himself to the role he knew he needed to take from the moment he’d awoken, by vocalising it for them all to hear.

“We are not going to die. I’m going to make sure of it.”

As the words left his lips, Joshua realised he’d never been more sure of anything in his life.
Version Seven:
Tristan O’Hara
Dorothea Rodriguez
Ariana Simpson

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State of Shock · Electroshock Therapy