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Alice wasn't sure what to add. Comforting her companions seemed an insurmountable task, with her shyness being only one factor in the way. She was numb, true, but her numbness was almost a shield, a persona she'd adapted to protect herself from despair.

To lower that mask was dangerous. She had to be strong, especially when others were weak. Not weak, that was a callous term, but vulnerable. Bryony was vulnerable, her gentle soul susceptible to the horrors of this damned place. Still, Alice couldn't bear to see Bree on the verge of breaking down. She had to say something.

"It could've been self-defense. Kaitlyn was going to play a game, it said. Alba might have just been protecting herself. I'm sure that's what it is."

Alice smiled weakly and reached out to Bryony to put a comforting hand on her friend's shoulder. "She's not a bad person, I'm sure. You have good taste in friends, after all." An attempt at a joke, to ease the nerves. Danger could be anywhere, but Alice thought they were safe for now. "We should keep looking for her, though. Where to now?"

It occurred to Alice that she was talking much more than she usually did. Normally, she was somewhat quiet, preferring her art and music and stories to conversations. Oh, to be home again, and drawing, or writing, or playing her cherished violin..

No, wistfulness got her nowhere. Strength and courage would have to be her tools. She needed to be supportive while she could. That was how they'd make it home.
V5: Cut Short

V6: Broken Down

V7: Unprepared
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Tea Party with Death at Dawn · Crematorium Gardens