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((Clarice Halwood continued from This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe.))

Clarice didn’t remember the rest of the day.

She supposed she must have found her way to a bed somehow. Or Ty led her there. She must have been more exhausted than she thought. All she knew is that she woke up in a bed and thought, for one moment, that it was all a bad dream.

It wasn’t. Instead, she had been curled up in a bed that was sitting in an office. Nevermind the musty sheets and the fact that the wound Nancy had given her was both painful and itchy, she just wanted to keep sleeping. Normally, she couldn’t get out of bed quick enough. There was always so much to do. But what did she have to work towards here?

But once she was awake, getting back to sleep was an impossibility.

Ty had kept watch near the door the whole night. Fuck, she’d just passed out and hadn’t helped him with that. Had he been awake all night? She would have apologised, but something held her back from doing so. Maybe bitterness from yesterday. Maybe just tiredness.

They’d left the room soon after. Left the asylum. Clarice didn’t know where they were going, and she was sure Ty didn’t either. She’d shoved some food into Ty’s hands. She ate, too. Although food tasted like sawdust in her mouth. Maybe that was just leftover dust from the asylum clogging everything up.

They were walking across the bridge when the announcements hit. No words had been shared beforehand, none that weren’t necessary, but they both came to a halt once they heard the crackling of the speakers turning on.

The announcements came and went, and silence returned.

She could at least remember the faces of almost everyone on that announcement, even if she’d never had much reason to interact with them. Some of them were difficult to imagine as killers. Some of them it was hard to think of them as dead. But there were names that stood out.

Maybe parts weren’t a surprise. Like Nancy. Like Barry. Like Harold.

But Clarice couldn’t reconcile the imagery of murder with Kimiko, with bowling with her the times that Bradley didn’t ruin it, hanging out with her and Irene. Couldn’t process that Abby, the girl who’d been so kind, who’d loved animals and cooed over Grommit when Clarice was walking him, was gone.

But at least there… she knew what to feel. It was not so with Conrad.

Conrad was dead. Killed by none other than Isabel. The only double killer. The girl who Clarice had decided there wasn’t time to hold a petty high school grudge against.

Conrad killed Harold. He didn’t deserve to die. He did deserve to die. She hated him, and yet Conrad had been her friend, her boyfriend. She’d left him there and he’d been killed. It was her fault. But it was his fault for attacking Harold. Guilt. Disbelief. Anger. Grief. A tiny tinge of dark satisfaction.

Clarice didn’t move. She looked at Ty for a moment, and remembered him twisting Conrad’s arm. Conrad had that big halberd. He couldn’t have used that with that broken arm. Probably couldn’t have done much at all.

Clarice quickly looked away from Ty, staring off at the water that was sparkling in the sunlight.

Everything looked so peaceful. Beautiful, even, with the ocean right there. Clarice couldn’t help but take a few steps closer to the edge and glance down. She didn’t see any bodies. It all looked like a regular island, if she didn’t look too hard at the asylum in the distance.

The fuck was she supposed to do?
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In A World Of Shit · The Connecting Bridge