"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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MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She had no idea whose blood was on the couch.

((Coleen Reagan, continued from With Blood and Rage of Crimson Red))

Once upon a time, the room had probably looked nice. That was the story of this entire island, probably (as well as everybody stuck on it). Apart from the ruined couch, there were also several chairs arranged around an upended table, one of the legs missing. Holes perforated the plaster and paper of the walls, signalling either a firefight of kind involving an unknown number of people, or a really poor interior decorator who just couldn't decide where to hang the paintings.

She smiled a little at her own joke. She needed it. She needed a touch of laughter after the very worst day of her life. It all began with the discovery of Cameron's body, a foregone conclusion that came with some closure as well as a healthy dosage of shock and pain. Arthur's death followed, pursued by a nauseating hatred for Alessio. She had to comfort a dying Lizzie and watch her introduce the end of her life to the waves, then had to break down her companions when they came to check.

But the day didn't have the courtesy to end there, never to hurt her again, for the night was a sleepless one of wandering and avoidance, never daring to turn on her flashlight to avoid bringing attention to herself but being distrustful of the dark and what it could hide. Sleeping in the open was asking for death, a waste of everything she had done so far. Having to be strong for Lizzie, for Ty, that stuff sapped nearly every last ounce of strength she had left. Coleen didn't want to be strong for anybody else anymore. She desperately wanting to curl up in a dark hole... pretending she was on that dusty old woolen couch in Cameron's basement, screaming her frustrations of the day into a musty pillow that reeked of mothballs while BB droned on about why they should all listen to some weird bassist duo from Antarctica for inspiration.

But all the same, she wanted to live afterward. Unfortunately, there was one final cruelty from the day long dead, one that played out just a few hours prior when she was skulking around the building's perimeter.

"Arthur Bernstein met with some foul luck when he ended up being shot by Coleen Reagan. His own ally."

No.

"Arthur Bernstein met with some foul luck when he ended up being shot by Coleen Reagan. His own ally."

That isn't what happened. That wasn't what happened. She replayed the sentence in her head a few times to confirm that they were the proper words in the proper order to create a proper sentence, that somebody's name just sounded like hers, that the terrorist on the other side of the speaker wasn't tragically mispronouncing 'Alessio Rigano'.

She did it. They were trying to say she killed him.

"LIARS!" She remembered screaming, her throat cracking in the same instant and popping in a loud squeal. She didn't care who had heard her, who saw her hysterically kicking the exterior wall of the asylum. In that moment, anybody who approached her would have been liable to get an earful as she force-fed them her heart. But nobody approached, and there was nothing but the sun afterwards to base time off of. She would never be sure when she pulled herself from the grass after throwing herself onto it, cursing at anybody she could think of and any faceless being behind her personal hell but once she was done telling them all to go fuck themselves, the sun had warmed the island considerably.

She was tired.

Coleen found herself pulled back to the asylum as if magnetically drawn to it but in truth, where else could she go? Seclusion wasn't what she was looking for; she knew there would be plenty of kids near or inside the asylum. When she was outside for too long, though, she wanted to have the closure of the walls knowing that if she stayed within them for too long, she might feel trapped and seek the outdoors once more. It came off as an abusive relationship to her, between her and the creaky, dark old building. It always wanted her back and she would always come back to it, no matter how unkind it would eventually be.

This room, torn apart as it was, would have to do. It was still the best this place had to offer.

She clutched the spear and sprawled on the couch, ignoring the bloodstain. It was dry by now. If it wasn't and some got on her dress, that wouldn't matter either.

Everybody already thought she was a killer.
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