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Little Boy
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Dutchy sat at the edge of the couch, staring off at the wall. The entire house had gradually worked its way to a deathly silence since the abrupt departure of Kim the night before. Sarah and Bridget had gone off in search of something, whether it be supplies or allies, Dutchy didn't know.

I should know. They told me, but...

But he had forgotten. It wasn't important, whatever the case. Dutchy wasn't integral to the success of the mission, and for that he was glad. He wasn't stupid. He realized the state he was in, and he realized the utter uselessness he would have been had they trusted him with anything. The others were keeping their heads above the water. Dutchy was content to drown.

Roland entered the room, the strong boy looking a little worse for the wear. He'd been left behind to guard the fort while the girls went out.

And to guard me...

Dutchy cringed back slightly as Roland sat down next to him. He'd grown angry last night with Kim's departure, so angry that Dutchy had momentarily feared his friend would strike him. He would have apologized for what he had done, but by the time he'd regained his senses from the verbal thrashing, Roland was already upstairs. It had worried him and kept him up almost the entire night.

It wasn't so much the prospect of Roland still being angry with him, but more so the idea of Roland... leaving.... and being angry with him. At one point hearing a creek upstairs, he'd convinced himself that Roland was sneaking his way out, to leave the group just like Kim. Dutchy had stayed awake for a good two hours, keeping an eye on the stairs. Not to reprimand him if he left. Simply to apologize.

Exhaustion eventually took him, and Dutchy didn't dream. It was a blessing, given the circumstances. When he had dreamed, it was always of home, of St. Paul, of warm food and his mom smiling happily as he bounced through the door. It was as horrible as the hours awake, knowing he would never return to it.

For all his initial optimism, Dutchy's hopes were shattered. The announcements had been ripping apart his mind, name by name. Even rescue, even some escape, what solace was there in that? His friends were dying, innocent people were dying. How could he be who he was, past the game? Dutchy had died the second he had stepped foot on the bus.

The announcements brought little comfort, as always. More were dying. Hermione Miller was dead. So was Craig Hoyle, and so was Vera Osbourne. Dutchy had known many of the kids listed on the announcements. Even in his groggy state however, this one struck home. Vera was the first killed whom Dutchy had been close friends with. A fellow activist…, an amazing artist. Gone. Dutchy could still picture her smile and struck his fist against his head to knock the image from his mind. Hermione Miller had always seemed to be in his class. She wasn’t the brightest, even Dutchy could see that. But it didn’t matter. She was energetic, she was fun. And who could forget Craig? He was one of the gentlest kids Dutchy had ever known, and a fellow comic lover to boot. Dutchy had smacked himself again at the thought of Craig lumbering through the hallways, a Minnesota Vikings jersey tight on his large frame. He couldn’t bring himself to remember anymore. It was far too painful.

Dutchy had barely realized Roland had been talking. It was rude and he chastised himself for it. He felt slow in his thoughts, slow in his movements… as if the entire house, his entire life were now submerged in icy cold water. Brushing his blonde hair out of his face, he turned to regard Roland.

“Bless… no. No vertu blessuð. That’s how they say it. Goodbye.” Dutchy whispered, seemingly straining to say every word.

“I’m sorry. I won’t do it again. And an- what she was doing, that night. I- I don’t know. If- if, if it would have hurt you, I would tell you. I don’t want to hurt you Roland. Please, believe me. I won’t do it again, okay?”

He tried to smile, but knew he had made a horrible attempt. He was suddenly shivering, suddenly very cold. It didn’t make any sense.

Since when did this place have to make sense? Since when did the world have to make sense? People die every day. Maybe this is rational. Maybe I’m the one who doesn’t make sense.
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Oswaldo Marx --> "Chicks dig scars? Yeah, I'm calling bullshit." --> Cicada Nights
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"My dick did the Mexican Hat Dance and I had to suppress the moan that wanted to escape." - Casey

NOTE TO SELF: Burns on the left side. LEFT SIDE.
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