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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The world did not feel right.

Winsome Clark, had woken partway through Danya's talk, head still reeling from the gas. It had obviously affected her more than planned, as she had no more than faint recollections, sparked through with gunfire and the memory of bloodspots on her fingers, curling like a red worm over the life lines of her palm. She'd drifted, though, in the peculiar fog of drugs until finally the darkness had swallowed her again.

And now, she was awake. She had opened her eyes only once, and almost instantly squeezed them shut again as the light stabbed painfully through her optic nerves. But it had been long enough to remind her that something didn't feel right about where she was lying. It was harder than ground, and scratchy, painful through her clothes. And maybe it was just the vertigo talking, but it felt almost like it was moving.

She shifted, trying painfully to roll over, but two things stopped her. One was the realization that her legs were slipping over the edge of something, with no reassuring ground beneath her toes. The other was a sudden stab of pain as something sliced into her midsection, through her pale blouse and biting into her belly.

Winnie let out an involuntary cry of pain, scrambling upright and opening her eyes. What she saw was enough to make her fling herself flat again, clutching at the surface with both arms regardless of the multitude of tiny scratches opening on her skin.

She was in a tree.

At least ten feet up, she rested on a massive, broad branch. Her pack was on the ground below her, but she had barely given it a glimpse before squeezing her eyes shut again. The branch was long enough that she could lie full-length on it, and only just wide enough for her body - the edges of her skirt floated out in the air around the tree. What was under her, though, and making her hold herself stiffly off the wood, was a massive blade.

The hook sword was nearly as long as her, and the edge had caught on a knot, rising just far enough to dig into her stomach. The cut wasn't particularly deep, but it was long, and even as she delicately eased herself off the steel blood began to drip down to the forest floor.

A desperate whimper escaped her throat, and she clenched her eyes shut. The slice burned with a dull, throbbing pain, the scratches on her arms and face echoing that, and already her arms and legs complained about her tight grasp. Shoulders heaving, she buried her face in the bark, and cried.

Far below, her pack sat in a solitary drift of leaves, red droplets of blood collecting over the zipper and soaking in, leaving a dark stain.

A single camera observed the scene, silent and unconcerned, while the red lights of others blinked from the trees.

For Winsome Clarke, Survival of the Fittest had just begun.

marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}

phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}

(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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Accidental Acrophobia · The Woods: Inland