"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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((Penelope Fitzgerald continued from Quickdraw))

Penelope sat inside one of the cells in the solitary confinement wards, the dusty and dimly lit halls only shown to her through a crack in the door left mostly closed.

The light peering into the cell told Penelope all she needed to know, the sun had risen. The announcements were soon.

Penelope hadn't bothered to seek any more people out after her encounter with Astrid, instead she had elected to sneak through the deserted halls of the asylum until she found a place she could hide to gather her thoughts. She had decided not to leave.

After all, Astid had been Penelope's friend. And her friend had tried to murder her.

A blistering ringing played on repeat in Penelope's ears. If one of her own friends was so broken and so easily convinced to kill by the situation they were put in, what did that say about everyone else? How could she seriously expect to gather allies that would agree with her plan to have everyone die in protest of the game? The only person she was sure she could convince was Sam. He loved her and knew her better than anyone else. He would understand.

And maybe, with extra help, Penelope could gather a large enough group that her plan would become feasible. A group united against the very ideas of killing others solely for their own survival and accepting their fate as victims of a terrorist attack.

Penelope jumped as the announcements blared over the PA system, nearly knocking her bag out of her lap. More deaths, and more killers that needed to come to their senses and repent. She hoped more than anything that Astrid hadn't become one of them after she left. She listened, gulping and suppressing the urge to start crying with every name that rolled off of Danya's tongue. Even if she didn't know these kids that died, they were like her, with their own friends and family that would miss them and their own hopes and dreams and little quirks and flaws that have been wiped from the world because of the decision of a terrorist group that nobody even truly understood the motivations of. Penelope bit into one of the calorie bars she had been provided, hands shaking. Some of the killers were names she had already heard before, she wondered if it were even possible to get them to cha-

No.

No.

Penelope eyes widened as she let her calorie bar drop into her bag, her hand tremors becoming too violent to be contained.

Sam was dead.

Sam was dead.

Penelope brought her hands up to ears, drowning out the rest of what the announcer was saying. This wasn't real. This couldn't be real. Sam was gone.

Sam was gone.

An ethereal ticking noise seemed to echo through the chamber Penelope was trapped in, drowning out the ringing in her ears. Her boyfriend was dead. The light of her life had been extinguished and been replaced with an unceasing, unflinching darkness that would not go away.

Penelope soon found herself putting all of her weight on her right side, only to come toppling to the ground, supplies scattering themselves across the floor. They had spent so many nights together, cuddling, talking, enjoying themselves. She thought they were going to be together forever. When Penelope was with Sam, she felt like she couldn't be stopped. That there was no way that anything could faze her. She could go through anything so long as Sam was there, if not physically then at least in spirit.

Sam was no longer here.

If there was any hope that she had left that she could make her classmates do the right thing, it had died along with Sam. There was no way she could change the minds of people who would willingly kill someone as harmless and sweet as Sam and not even feel a modicum of regret about it afterwards.

It didn't take long for the tears to start flowing, an ugly wail escaping Penelope's lips and echoing down the forgotten and blood soaked halls of the asylum. The island had never felt more desolate. There was nothing left. Nothing left for someone as pathetic and hopelessly outclassed as Penelope was. There was no way she could get everyone together with her and agree to a peaceful protest. There was no way she had any chance of surviving the events that had yet to take place. There was no way she would even want to survive them. She didn't want everyone else to die just for her sake. She would never be able to live like that. A shell of a life wasn't worth living, especially without the light that had illuminated the darkness for her.

She closed her eyes. She didn't want to be here anymore, she didn't want to be alive anymore. The hurting had just started, but she already just wanted it to end.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Penelope clutched her bag in front of her, hugging it tight in a vain attempt to feel like Sam was next to her again. She needed to go, she needed to be somewhere else.

She knew what she had to do.



Penelope sat on the edge of the connecting bridge, her legs hanging off the side. There was no point in continuing.

Penelope looked down at the water below her, before glancing back at the bridge, her bag containing all the stuff she had been given sitting in the middle of the road. She hoped someone else got some use out of them. She didn't need them anymore. Nobody needed her anymore. She just needed to die so someone else could live.

Penelope scooted closer to the bridge's edge, her skirt slightly caught on a rusty bolt before she yanked it loose. The sky was the deepest blue she had ever seen in her life, the water below looking unnaturally inviting.

Breathe.

Her instincts screamed at her to back away from the edge, to seek another option, but there was nothing left for her. She would not violate her principles. She would not kill. She would not stoop to the same level as Astrid. She would die here, and it was time for her to take her own way out.

Breathe.

She just wanted the pain to stop.

Breathe.

Make the pain stop.

Breathe.

Penelope inched closer to the edge, the wind blowing her hair gently against her face. It was now or never.

Breathe.

...

She closed her eyes. It would be easier if she didn't look. She just needed to lean forward and let go.

Lean forward.

Breathe.

And let go.

The air rushed past her as her body left the bridge.

Breathe.








Breathe.










Breathe.











Breathe.














Penelope gasped for air as she jolted awake, the ringing in her ears returning as the smells of the sea faded from her mind, only to be replaced with the metallic and musty scents of the solitary confinement wards.

((Penelope Fitzgerald continued in Haunted Reality))
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Desolate Dreams · Solitary Confinement