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[Arthur Bernstein continued from Self Doubts and Hurricanes]

It had been a very quiet day from then on.

Arthur knew that Coleen wasn't the most talkative of people, but he didn't think things would be as silent as they got. When he had caught up to her after leaving the shore the previous day, she was already well on her way back in the direction she had come before. Arthur had said hello, gotten a small "Hey" back, and the two went on their way together. When the time eventually came for the two to find somewhere to hide out, they settled on the gym building. The interior was not untouched: a mirror had been shattered prior to their arrival.

Arthur remembered only a few other things of note from the night before. He had eaten some of his crackers and drank a few gulps of water before walking around the gym, looking at the different equipment that had been left lying around. At one point, he picked up a medicine ball, walked over to a weightlifting bench, and put it down on the headrest, walking off for a little while longer before he returned to his makeshift cot to sleep. He soon found that medicine balls made awful pillows, rolled the ball off to the side, and went to bed in silence. He did not remember his dreams that night.

The first droplets of the day's light from the windows in the ceiling were what woke him up the next morning. He rose from the bench gradually and yawned, stretching his arms out widely to his sides. He scratched at his face as he looked around the room, confused, for the first few minutes until he saw his bag on the ground and remembered where he was. If he had been facing one of the many mirrors in the room, he would've seen some of the color drain from his face. Instead, he stared deeply into his hands, unsure what to do next. Arthur's stomach decided for him - he soon became overwhelmed with hunger pains. Clumsily, he reached for his bag, pulled it close by the strap, and fished out a loaf of bread for breakfast.

His thoughts, dazed and confused, had yet to take the shape of words in his head. Instead, he felt only discomfort in his own skin, stretching his limbs out the furthest they would go, over and over and over, until they felt like they would rip from their sockets at any second. His eyes found a camera in the corner of the ceiling, pointing at his face. With two fingers, Arthur gave a little wave in its direction, and turned his eyes toward the floor as he ate.

Then, he heard shifting somewhere behind him, and remembered he was not alone.

"Morning," he said, turning to face his roommate.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~



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This Be The Verse · The Gym