"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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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
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With his face in the dirt, body curled protectively in on itself, Dominic had no real concept of time. His ribs hurt with a dull, bruised pain, his chest feeling tight with the effort of the wracking sobs forcing their way out of him. He bit his lip, trying to hold them back but they burst from him with greater force, making him keen softly into his palms. He had no idea what to do, where to go, how to handle this. No option presented itself. There was no solution. He would lie here, he knew with certainty, crying until some student finally put a bullet in his-

A sharp crack echoed across the felled forest, stopping Dominic's breath in his throat. For long moments he didn't dare breathe, not moving as he heard Phil talking to himself in a confident tone. Had that been a gunshot? Phil didn't have a gun, did he? Was it someone else? His breathing sped up, crossing the line into hyperventilating as he frantically navigated the pathways of his mind. Should he stay? Should he go? What was going on? Who was shooting? How was this happening, why was this happening, why God why was this happening to him?

And then a scream, electric, cutting through the air. As with the gunshot before it, Dominic froze, the single thought repeating itself in his head being simple, just one word.

Who?

Phil was running. He could hear the crashing noises. Phil was running away and he was here, and someone was screaming. Someone was being hurt. Someone was being hurt, maybe killed, and here he was, crying behind a stump. Pathetic. Utterly pathetic. He was a useless, cowardly waste of space. He knew it. There was a girl being murdered and all he could do was sit and feel sorry for himself.

No.

The clarity of the thought was almost terrifying. Time seemed to slow as his body, seemingly without input from the brain, unfolded itself, pushing up from the ground. Fingers grasping at a nearby branch, half-rotten but better than nothing. Toes digging in, sending him forwards, running, branch out in front of him. The scream. It had come from right...

There.

Dominic threw himself behind the stump like a pudgy, dirty avenging angel, tears and dirt mingling on his face in a disgusting mask, rotting tree branch held at the ready and eyes wild. Still crying, tears carving down the brown tracks, still breathing too hard, hand still shaking on the wood, but for what felt like the first time in his life, Dominic Stratford was standing up against the bullies.

The only problem was, all he could see was Tiffany.
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matt mckinnon


inside leg to outside hand
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lydia hausen


move past move on move up
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lexie diaz


light it up burn it down


(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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Everybody's Changing · The Felled Forest: North