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“Hey, I called dibs. Call dibs. Whatever.”

He didn’t want to think. He didn’t want to focus too much on what he was saying. Obviously he wouldn’t accidently say anything wrong because seriously who did that but his replies weren’t going to be the greatest. He knew that. He didn’t care. The two people right in front of them weren’t ones he knew personally and likely wouldn’t so it didn’t matter if they didn’t think much of him. He just needed to not think. That was what he was valuing right now. And it’d be simple. Simple enough. He knew that he was thinking but so long as it was surface details like this? It’d be fine.

“But nah. You can stay. I’ll go. Figure out someplace else to stay, or something.”

Scout asked something. His name. That was simple enough.


And then she asked him about Clarice.

And everything came crashing back.

The image of Mr Graham getting shot and the thought that Mrs Barks had likely died and the game and the island and Nancy sending the axe swinging into Clarice and the blood on the floor and on the axe. It all came back. It was there. And it was real. It wasn’t the people on the pictures standing off with one another. It wasn’t the man in the picture covered in blood that he could easily scroll away from. It was real. People he knew. Faces. Faces that he’d never see again. Maybe if he was lucky he’d get to see Clarice one more time but he didn’t want to count on it. He knew he’d be let down.

Because that was how things worked. You hope for something, and it gets taken away from you and you scream and you cry and the world has its fun from getting it’s rise out of you. Quote Seneca. Somewhere in the BCE.

Wait, no. He just needed to not think about this. Have fun. It was the top thing on the list, so it was what he had to do. There was a question. He could distract himself from it.

“I saw her… earlier today, yeah. In the bell tower.”

He looked away. Down.

He remembered something. One of the few good things his parents told him. Frequently he forgot, and whenever he did, his parents would always get stern at him and tell him to look people in the eye when he was talking to them.

“She got an axe sent through her arm before she went out of sight. I don’t know what happened after that.”

He knew that if they were here, his parents wouldn’t be very pleased right now.
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Two Mules for Sister Sara. · Crematorium Chapel