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Mary Ann had no idea how long they stood in that spot. It could have been minutes, hours- but that didn't matter to her. In fact, she didn't want to know- for only when they broke the safety of that embrace would they have to return to reality as the bloodthirsty island wanted it. R.J. must have known this as well- perhaps that was why he kept his arms wrapped tightly around the girl, silent sobs shaking both their bodies.

What had he seen? Mary Ann had already seen death... surely, he had seen it too. Nineteen dead... no, twenty, actually. Well, counting that one she'd seen... was that girl over by the stump one of the nineteen or was she new...? That would make twenty-one if she was... but then again, she hadn't seen anyone die on the first day, so if it was like then there would be around nineteen she hadn't seen... So twenty-one plus nineteen- thirty- no, forty exactly. By her own probably flawed calculations. How many of those forty had R.J. seen?

Mary Ann hated thinking of all those people that way- numbers. One number getting picked off every hour. Probably because she was one of them herself- girl number one hundred and eight. Those words echoed through her mind, making cold, empty sounds as they bounced off of invisible walls in her brain.

Both were finally beginning to calm down. She pulled away- careful to keep the unity of their arms intact- to look at his face... or at least try to. If there had been more light, she would have tried to find clues in his eyes, to decipher the horrors he could not explain to her. She reached a hand towards his face- "I'm sorry."

For what? She wondered. Though nothing about their predicament was through any fault of her own, that was the only phrase in her mind that seemed appropriate. I'm sorry we're here. I'm sorry I couldn't help that girl, or that young man who fell into the water. I'm sorry I can't help you... Empty apologies joined the numbers in her mind.

"I... in my bag. I think I have a notebook or something... if you need to..." But even then, writing took time. And they only had so much time... "But... this is fine too." She moved closer again to take in the last seconds of warmth.
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The Cries of the Voiceless · The Felled Forest: North