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Ty stopped. Mostly, Clarice felt relief. Though there was a tinge of dark disappointment somewhere in there. Outwardly, she let out a long breath.

She looked down at Conrad. Lying on the ground, arm twisted around. She looked at him while Ty went to help Harold. Not really moving, just watching. What did she do now? What was she supposed to do? Conrad wasn’t just her boyfriend. He was one of her oldest friends. They’d been around each other since they were little.

She couldn’t just leave him, could she? Not after all that.

Ty said something to her. It took a few moments for her to realise what.

“I’m fine. It’s dealt with,” she said shortly. She looked back at him, then at Harold. At the bleeding hole in his chest. Any hesitation she felt melted away.

She looked back down at Conrad. This time, there was nothing on her face but disgust. He’d made it clear how he intended to play this game. And it wasn’t something that Clarice would have anything to do with.

“We’re leaving.” She stared at Conrad for another long moment, then turned away. She grabbed her bag and moved it over to where Ty and Harold were, putting it down long enough so that she could sling one of Harold’s arms over her shoulders before grabbing it again. She gritted her teeth to stop herself yelling—any pain from her shoulder was secondary to moving Harold—but she knew she wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long. “Saw a gurney on my way in. That can help us.”

With that, she started to lead Harold out of the room.

She didn’t look back at Conrad.

((Clarice Halwood continued in This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe.))
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By the time you hear the next pop, the funk shall be within you · Solitary Confinement