"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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dmboogie
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A Delicate Machine
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Cass had begun to regret every single bit of their thought process once Isabel had first come around the corner. Not a rare occurrence, though it usually wasn't prompted by a grim specter of death casually walking up them. For a brief moment, they had considered just booking it as soon as it became apparent that Isabel hadn't noticed them right away; but predators couldn't help but chase, slavering with sharp claws extended, when prey darted past their cat-slitted eyes.

Before the island, Cass had only known Isabel in the way that everyone in the girl's general vicinity knew Isabel. Popular. Not very nice. Which was a shame, because ballet was the purest form of aesthetic and Cass had never worked up the nerve to really talk to any of the school's ballerinas. Like, the goth chick seemed nice, but a very intimidating sort of nice? And also dead now, which brought them to the main point.

Heavily bandaged and covered with what looked like fresh blood, which unfortunately probably wasn't hers, Isabel definitely like the sort of thing Cass worried about when it was 2 AM and they were really thirsty but they'd have to go downstairs and pass pitch black windows to get a glass of water. Disdain and metallic edges combined to make you feel the need to apologize for having the nerve to breath the same air she did.

Jerry had been many things, but Cass hadn't been afraid of him, even after watching him kill Trav. Isabel managed to spark a mortal dread deep in their stomach just by standing there and greeting them. If Cass punched her in the face they wouldn't get away with just a sharp slap to the wrist. They'd just have to smile and nod, and be grateful that she hadn't killed anyone they loved, for even though Cass would never forgive her for causing Clarice pain by killing her boyfriend; that thought was born of exhausting principle and not driving anger. Selfish, but there was only so much blood they were willing to lose in a single day in the name of righteous fury.

"I'm... alive?" Cass said, not meaning to phrase it like a question but finding it difficult to keep a quiver out of their voice. It felt dangerous to leave it at that, like a challenge to make it very unambiguous, one way or another, so they continued "I was just gonna. Look around in there, y'know, but there's the... yeah..."
a tribute for the dead and dying

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The World's an Ugly Place, but I'm Still Afraid to Die · Art Therapy