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Alice turned on the camera, and zoomed, and stared.

She sat on the rocks, as far away from Brock and Sarah as she could without looking suspicious. Perched on a rock, knees to her chest. She had strapped him down, taped the gun to him, stuck his fingers to the trigger. She was trying not to imagine how he'd wake up, taped down, ribs clutching his chest, helpless, with the barrel of the gun near his mouth.

How cold must you feel when you know you're going to die?

Alice didn't want to think about it.

Sarah dumped the canteen of water over Brock's head. He came up groggy first, then alarmed. Sarah beamed at him, talking cheerful nothings, nothings, she's going to kill him, she's going to kill him.

And Alice didn't know what to do.

The moral thing, she knew, to do, was to stab Sarah in the back. Free Brock. Give him the sniper rifle. Make him her protector. Not that he would be grateful to her for knocking him out, but maybe…

No. There was no way that she was going to look like some kind of player-killer. She was too uncertain. Brock would leave her. She would be someone else's fodder. Sarah, at least, wasn't leaving her to the wolves.

Because I'm an important part of her delusion.

There was something unsettling about that.

And there were no weapons for her anyway. Her whip wouldn't kill. Sarah had the gun. And unless Sarah had gotten a passable weapon as her first draw--well, no. There was no way she was going through Sarah's bag.

That would break everything.

Sarah winked at the camera. Safe. I'm safe.

And maybe she would never be safe on the island again.

She made an effort, a concerted effort, to listen to Sarah's babble. Typical American inanities.

"So lets play a little game. How about I never? Should I go first?"

Alice pulled a close-up of Brock's wide-eyed grotesque amusement. Contrasted it with Sarah's beaming face. It was comic.

How am I good at this?

"I'll go first. hmmm. I never kissed a girl."

What would people say, if they found her like this? Filming a kill on another girl's orders? Letting a murder-torture-pass right before her eyes? She wanted to think it wasn't torture--Brock wasn't being hurt in any way, just tied up. With a gun to his head. But the tension was terrifying, and with the lens to zoom in, she could see Brock's stiff hands, stilted breaths, and his fear--the Soviets sleep-deprived their prisoners. The Americans in Guantanamo threatened prisoners with dogs. Torture isn't pain--even I can take pain. Pain is mechanical, bearable.

This is torture. The waiting, the helplessness, the ache of stiff ribs, the needing to move, to piss or to breathe, but being scared, scared of the cold, of punishment, of death, the hope somehow that you can escape if you just last long enough, just follow the rules. Follow the rules. You've been a good girl. You've never questioned. You can go home now…

The sinking lost hope. You can't go home again. That was torture.

Sarah was leaning into Brock's face. Terrifying intimacy. Alice zoomed. She was good at this. This was mechanical. This she could do.

Brock, I don't want to see you die.

Alice's heart fluttered wildly in her chest.

"Have you?"
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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