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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
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Bryony absent-mindedly watched the gull for a few moments more, watching how it preened itself and silently gazed upon its domain, eyes like glass, unblinking. It was interesting to watch, but in the end, little more than a distraction as she waited for Alice and Sandra. She was waiting for the sound of their arrival, ears alert and ready for anything that might suggest they had woken up.

So of course, when Alice greeted her, Bryony showed how prepared and alert she was by jumping in her seat and yelping in surprise.

As soon as she turned and saw who it was behind her, Bryony shut her eyes, and breathed in deeply. She held the breath for a few seconds, before exhaling through her mouth, and letting out a small, soft laugh. She shook her head, a flush of red colouring her cheeks, and shuffled up to give Alice some more room. She considered apologising for her startled reaction, but decided against it. She doubted Alice could blame her for being jumpy. Not whilst they were still on the island. Not after what had happened yesterday.

“Hey,” Bryony replied. A tiny smile appeared on her face. She hadn’t felt like smiling, not exactly, but Alice’s was infectious. It always had been. It was warm and gentle, like the first rays of the morning sun, and it always made Bryony feel safe and at home, when home itself couldn’t feel that way.

“It… It is, yeah. I didn’t, um… I never really thought there’d be anything I could describe on this island as, um, pretty… But here we are, I suppose.”

Bryony sighed, and looked down at the ground.

“It does kinda make me wish I, um, had my sketchbook though…”

The crackling sound that signified the announcements cut through the quiet like a hot knife through butter, sending the seagull flapping off out of sight. Bryony’s head snapped up instinctively at the sound, catching sight of Sandra as she did so. She didn’t want to hear these announcements. She didn’t want to. She didn’t care how important they might be, she didn’t need yet another reminder of what had happened yesterday. The scene was as clear as if it was happening in front of her again. She could feel the rain on her skin, the salt tang of the sea breeze, her throat tightening as she processed what had happened to Bridgette

She got a distraction in the form of Sandra, but she couldn’t exactly say it was a welcome one. Clearly, her friend had had her own name on the list that she had been hoping desperately to avoid. Bryony watched as Sandra knelt down, opened up her bag, and pulled the pot lid from it. The only movement she made was a small gasp, as Sandra wound up and launched her weapon off the side of the tower. It hung in the air like a discus, then, like the seagull, it too disappeared from sight.

Slowly, Bryony looked down at the floor again. Last night, she had felt as though this would finally solve all of her worries and issues, that everything would be solved in an instant now that she had found her two best friends, that somehow the universe would give them a bit of a respite, no matter how brief. Now though, it just felt like a tiny stepping stone, the first rock in a causeway meant to span the entire ocean.

People she cared about were still out there. People she loved had already died. And that was just her; Alice and Sandra had people of their own to look for and look out for and weep about when their names appeared on the announcements. It had been days since she’d last seen Alba, and there had been no sight nor sound of the other girl. Was she safe? Was she injured? Had she forgotten about Bryony by now? She-

Oh God. Had Gary gone on the trip as well?

Bryony felt her breath catch in her throat as she desperately tried to think back to them all setting off for the science museum, but it was like trying to grab hold of smoke. Cochise might as well have been an alien planet, and the events there little more than a beautiful dream. She couldn’t remember. She couldn’t remember if Gary was safe and sound back home, or if he, too, was fighting for his life like the rest of them were.

She looked up again, looking first at Alice, then at Sandra. She could feel tears sparkling in her eyes. She wanted to say something or do something, something meaningful, something that would solve everything in a few short words, or at least something that would help in their current situation. But she had no idea what that might be. She had no clue what she was even supposed to say right now.

So Bryony said the only thing she could, the thing she said whenever she was in a situation like this.

“I’m sorry…”


"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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