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[Lili Williams continued from Prince of Nothing]

The most startling thing about waking up, when it was her turn to take watch, was how naturally she took her position by the door. She was poked on the shoulder until she finally stirred from beneath her sweater, got up, and shuffled over out of her room, sitting by the door-frame. She watched the pale blue sky light up with the rising sun, pastel pink shafts of light glaring through her glasses and imprinting bright yellow afterglow in her eyelids every time she tried to blink the light away. She finished the bread she had begun last night when she realized just how easily she had gotten up.

Stretching and yawning, Lili stood up from the door frame and walked over to the room where the boys were sleeping. Not wanting to look in, for fear of walking into something she wouldn't be able to walk out of, she knocked her knuckles against the outside of the door a few times, lightly rapping her bony hand against the wall.

"Wakey wakey," She whispered, voice crackly like a fireplace, "Here comes the sun, folks." Turning away, she marched back over to the door, swinging her arms back and forth with each long goose step. She held her head high. Lili had, in the hours she spent by the door, embraced her newfound loopyness. She found that her tendency towards more insane thoughts had been, ironically, exactly what kept her sane as she listened in the night to the rustling of grass and the shaking of leaves. Shadows passed in the early morning hours, moving from building to building. Lili was careful not to interfere. It was her job to protect, not to waddle off into the dark and leave her friends behind. After all, they hadn't abandoned her, even though they had every chance to and frankly should've left her in the building to be cut up an-


Stop shaking.

Breathe in. From the chest.

Hold it. Hold the air deep within.

Now breathe out.


Right, not wandering off. Exactly what she did, except for the period of time she spent meditating, eyes closed, listening to the sound of her own eight-fold breath as she shifted from yoga pose to yoga pose. Lili almost forgot that she needed to smoke sometime soon. Almost. The dull pain in her forehead, throbbing in the background yet ever present even as she meditated, and the occasional cough that arose from deep in her chest that tasted black like coal, kept her from forgetting.

So, as the bright light spilled over the horizon on the second day of her stay on Spiderland, she smiled, just a little, looking up at the wispy grey sky. Lili heard footsteps around behind her, inside the building, and figured that the others had woken up. Wouldn't be long now before they gathered and decided what to do next. After that, she'd have plenty of time to think.

Lili was stretching her arms out as wide as they would go, throwing herself back into another cycle of far-reaching and bone-popping and long, drawn out breaths, when the hidden speakers began to crackle to life.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~



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