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When she exhaled, it was from the center of her forehead. The air entered through her nose, or her mouth, whichever way it went, but it left through somewhere else entirely. As she stretched, she let another of those breaths go, air surging from an unknown space, when the speakers started speaking in their silvery tongues. She knew it was coming, but it still caught her off guard just how harsh it sounded coming from the walls, the voice of Danya bouncing off of the cracked walls of the dorms. A slight echo came from down the hall; the speakers in the rooms had turned on as well, Lili reckoned. If she hadn't woken the two boys up earlier, they'd be awake now.

To say that she hadn't been expecting people she knew to be included in the list would be a lie. Lili just didn't expect there to be so many. Rea, Scarlett, both of them gone on to different worlds. She stopped stretching, placing her hands instead on the insides of the door frame. She closed her eyes, trying to recall the faces of the dead. The faces appeared in her mind, vividly, almost too vividly, before Lili opened up again. Nobody she had ran into had died, at least. She didn't wish death on anyone, not even Eye-patch, or Kaitlyn, or the other Lily, despite how they treated her. None of them had turned out killers, either. The people she knew that were killers, well, it didn't surprise her what they'd done. She'd leave it at that.

But one detail from the announcement set her on edge. The second she heard the name, her brain started to put the pieces of the puzzle back together. The details lost in her dreams rose back up to the surface, a mixture of guilt, paranoia, and disgust. She looked over her shoulder, back at the inside of the building. Neither Ben nor Maxim had left their room yet. Good. Lili reached down to her bag and opened it up again, reaching inside with both hands, tying the two stark white shoes together by the laces. Her hands started to shake again as she breathed rapidly, exhaling not from her mind's eye now but from her open mouth. Lili couldn't stick around any longer. Zipping the bag closed, she held the shoes in one hand and slung the sack over her shoulder with the other, taking her first few steps out into Spiderland from her temporary home.

Was it home? Lili had dreamed of home, and she knew that she could never go home again. Her walk broke into a jog, which gave way to a sprint out into the daylight, the shoes dangling at her side, carrying her away like the winged boots of Mercury as armies of Legionnaires came crossing over her mind's Rubicon separating meditative calm and full-blown panic. Wind rushed over her, between her teeth and the gap where a tooth would be as she ran down towards the bridge, not daring to look back, to see someone running after her, not Ben, not Maxim, and certainly not while she was in this state, not with the shoes, those cursed things, dangling at their sides, the answer to the previous day's question still ringing between her ears.

Whose shoes?

Su's shoes.

[Lili Williams continued in Breadcrumb Trail.]
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~



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