"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
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The entire tableau seemed frozen in front of Dominic's eyes. William Hearst stood there, gun in hand, staring at him. Tiffany was in the act of scrambling away, mouth open as she screamed something he couldn't understand. But she was scrambling towards William like he was her savior, which - which didn't make sense because he had a gun and there had been a gunshot and he had shot his gun at someone and maybe killed them and why was Tiffany trying to be with him? Was she playing too?

The thoughts swirled in his head, confusing, frantic, the net result making him stand stock-still, staring at the two people in front of him. Dominic Stratford, who never did anything without a plan, had no idea what to do and no thoughts currently coming. His thoughts just kept returning, over and over, to the gunshot and the boy in front of him. Tiffany was so near, now. So near to the gun. Was that the plan? Was the boy going to shoot her? Had he already tried?

No. He couldn't let that happen. He was going to stand up to the bullies, he knew he was. He had to. This was his chance to shine, to be someone other people would be proud of, to protect people the way he had protected his little sister Abigail for so long. He raised the chunk of wood, taking a deep breath.

He could do this.

He took a step forwards. The wood was heavy in his hand, time oozing past as slow as cold molasses. He could feel every grain against his fingers, could feel the dampness on his cheeks, the tight-clenched knot of his stomach. Everything was all at once too clear and too blurry, too bright and too dark.

He could do this. He knew he could. He had to. He had to fight...

(unbidden, worming its way into his head and nudging past his other thoughts; Abigail. Holding his hand and smiling at him. Big brother, who made the monsters go away. Big brother, who told his little sister to never ever fight other people, that violence was not the answer)

He could do this.

He could.

He couldn't.

Dominic dropped to his knees, the makeshift weapon falling next to him. Raising his hands above his head, feeling new tears start down the tracks of the old ones, he stared up at William Hearst, voice breaking and stuttering as he tried to speak.

"Please - please, don't. Not her. Not - you can. You can - you can kill me. If you have to. But let her go, please, God, let her go." Better him than her, his mind repeated, over and over. This is the real way to win. To beat the game. Save another. Go in her place. Go in her place.

"Please..."

Anguish in his voice, his eyes, but, unwanted, invasive, behind the rush of everything else

if there's anyone listening, please, please

I don't.

I don't want to die.
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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