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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
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[It's hard to walk tall when you're small --> Ema Ryan]

Maybe leaving the dysfunctional group at the bridge behind had been a bad idea. Setting off into the felled forest, Ema had been cautiously optimistic, and confident that she'd continue to do alright at reading the map. After all, she'd made it all the way through the swamp without getting lost, right?

Well, it was right that she hadn't gotten lost in the swamp. But she'd had a river to follow, she'd had daylight to show her the way, and she'd only really had one direction to travel. For all the foliage, the swamp hadn't been particularly overgrown, so keeping to one heading hadn't been particularly hard, even if actually moving forwards had been an effort. Not so with the non-felled forest. Navigating a field of treestumps had been easy, but it only served to make Ema less prepared for the journey through the trees that had yet to be cut down.

With the setting sun on her back, the first few hundred metres hadn't been so bad. She kept an eye on the position of the sun, she made sure she wasn't going around in circles, and she kept up a brisk pace, covering ground rather quickly. Unfortunately, by the time the sun had finally dropped below the horizon, she was still amongst the trees. Not yet realising there was also a compass in her daypack, and making occasional detours every time she heard the slightest possibly-human noise, Ema quickly found herself hopelessly lost in the woods. Being familiar with the legend of Slender Man, even though she knew full well he wasn't real, that was not a good place to be.

---

By the time she made it out, the last of the evening twilight had gone, and the only lights left in the skies were the stars. Thankfully, there was no longer a leafy canopy to obscure them for the second leg of Ema's epic trek. Even with her aching feet crying out for rest, the determined girl made a point of not stopping, and not taking the shorter route past the Grounderskeeper's Hut and the Mansion. Originally, the plan had been to head for the Mansion itself, but a long walk's worth of thinking had changed Ema's mind, and she'd decided instead to aim for the beach - yes, on the very opposite end of the island to where she'd started.

And so, keeping to the more rugged eastern coastline of the island, Ema took the long route, with her mind maintaining that even a short break at a beach, given the circumstances, would be a fantastic means of rest and relaxation, and a morale booster... her feet were having none of it, replying with the rather primal response "Aching, aching, aching, ACHING NOW, HAVE YOU NOTICED? STOP WALKING."

But eventually, much to the relief of her tired lower-half, the fatigued young lady hit the final tree-line, and could see her destination. Her brain told her "Finally, I was worried this would take until bloody morning...", whilst her feet didn't change their tune at all, "We're here now. CAN WE STOP NOW?". But Ema willed herself on for a few more steps. As much as she would've loved to have lain down to sleep until the sunrise amongst the trees, something was bothering her. Perhaps it was just waves, and the evening darkness conspiring with her tired eyes to deceive her, but Ema could have sworn she saw shapes moving in the water. Just who the hell would be swimming at this hour?

Cautiously, she broke the cover of trees, creeping in spite of the soft sand underfoot, and approached slowly. Two people, apparently, and close together. Didn't look like the violent kind of close together, so probably the intimate kind. Ema would've backed away at that decision, headed back to the trees and remarked to herself how romantic it was to swim in the ocean together by starlight, ignoring the death and disaster going on all around. She would've, if she hadn't recognised one of the voices. Unmistakeable.

"...Hayley?"
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

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Sorry, Mom. Sorry, God. · The Beach: East