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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Rhory took the cigarette from Kimberly. Kimberly smiled, just a little, as she set the pack down next to Rhory and dug in her pocket for her matches. She'd found the lighter in the first aid kit by now, of course, but lighters had no fucking class. She still had plenty of matches. Good thing, too. You could never tell when something'd need burning.

She withdrew one of them. Her matches had blue heads. They came from a box advertising some restaurant she'd never get a chance to eat at. Probably overpriced shit anyways, since they gave out real wooden matches. She lit Rhory's cigarette like they were lovers in an old black and white flick, then just sat down, inhaling the secondhand smoke. She let the match burn down until she could feel its heat on her fingertips, then let it fall to the ground. Who gave a fuck if she started a fire in this wasteland? The flame died in the dirt, though.

This sudden camaraderie should have been strange. It should have been awkward or uncomfortable. Minutes ago, Kimberly and Rhory had been locked in a mortal struggle. Now, the other girl felt almost like a friend. It was probably because Kimberly understood her, at least, she could project an understanding onto her actions. She could imagine that she and Rhory weren't so different, could believe, for just a little while, that someone else on this island felt what she did, wanted what she wanted, feared what she feared.

Kimberly had always wanted to be different, but being different wasn't any good if you did it all alone. Hypocritical, but what the fuck? Not like it mattered anymore, right?

Rhory had dropped the knife. Kimberly considered offering it to her, but then decided not to. It had been implicit, and Rhory had dropped the weapon. It wasn't hers to carry, so Kimberly picked it up again, wiped the blade on the bottom of her jeans, and slid it back into her boot. She shifted positions, hugging her knees to her chest with just her good arm for a moment, looking out over the field. She couldn't see any corpses.

Her shoulder was flaring up again. Had it really been a week since Kris put a bullet in her? She'd kept things clean and disinfected, had paid absolute attention to that during the past seven days. She was pretty sure the actual laceration had healed enough not to be in immediate danger of infection or damage from torn stitches. The little chunk of metal in her shoulder just loved raising a fuss every time she had to move quickly or perform strenuous physical activities, though.

She glanced over at Rhory, at the girl's damaged hand. Funny.

Kimberly was smiling again.

Rhory's cigarette was almost gone, so Kimberly lit her another.

When Kimberly started walking, the sun was past its zenith and heading west. Any clouds that had been in the sky had burned off in the heat. It was probably a damn fine day in Saint Paul.

She had her things all together again, pack slung across her back, riding on her good shoulder. It was time to get moving.

Funny. Every other time she'd left someone, she'd been happy.

She was already walking, though. No stopping now. No turning back.

Kimberly stopped and turned back.

"Hey," she called. "Hey, Best Kill.

"Good luck."

((Kimberly Nguyen continued in Seeking))
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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and you may say to yourself, "My god, what have I done?" · The Felled Forest: North