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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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The assent to Jennifer's proposal was rather halfhearted, but that was to be expected, given the circumstances. Melissa suggested they worry about things when they became relevant. It was as good a plan as any. No reason to dwell upon inescapable death, right? After all, who knew? Maybe they would get out of this somehow. Maybe they would be rescued at the eleventh hour, or maybe no one would notice them and they'd just be ignored until the finals. Then at least one of them could live. Almost certainly Melissa.

Melissa handed her half the lukewarm bread, with a vague apology. Jennifer took it, took a bite, then realized she hadn't replied. Swallowing too quickly, she coughed, then said, "Um, no, it's good. I never, um, thought I'd eat warm food"—don't say 'again'—"here."

That was an acceptable save, she supposed.

Melissa continued to discuss food. She said she'd kill for a home-cooked meal. Jennifer let the unfortunate figure of speech slide. Seemed she wasn't the only one who fucked up sometimes. Then Melissa talked about Starbucks and McDonald's, and Jennifer just had to smile some more.

"Um, yeah, that'd be really interesting," she said. "Lots of, um, potential for, um, drama and merchandising and stuff. And, um, yeah."

She lapsed back into silence for a moment, considering things. She was starting to come to a realization, though: every time she stopped to think, she remembered the smell. She was breathing the decaying particles of her dead classmates. The remaining chunk of bread in her hand didn't look so good all of a sudden, never mind the fact that she was still starving.

This was all fucking ridiculous. Maf wasn't here. Nick wasn't here. Bill Davis was dead. The message hadn't been delivered. It was time to move on. They'd find Nick somewhere, or leave a note or something, but for now, Jennifer was feeling awfully claustrophobic.

"Hey, um, Melissa," she said. "I know we, um, just got here, but, um, can we maybe... go somewhere else? I don't think, um, they're coming, but we'll leave, um, a note or... something."
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
Library Vee
Misty Browder drawn by Ryuki
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A Day Late · Hall of Mirrors