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"Eh," Acacia said noncommitally in response to Thea. "Bloody inlanders, I spent half my childhood in the sea and it never did my skin any harm at all..." She pinched her cheeks as though this proved her point. Then, Charlie was the first of them to notice that they were being observed. Acacia rolled onto her stomach and squinted at Mary-Ann standing at the edge of the beach. The girl didn't frighten her much, even though Acacia had no way of knowing if she was crazy or if she was armed or if she had some kind of irrational hatred toward cheerleaders (it was fairly common). She'd made a point of being more wary of people she didn't really know, but a mixture of tiredness and Thea's unconcerned response made her feel relaxed.

Also, more people was good. More people to get shot while she ran away. Eyes darting around, Acacia tried to seek out potential escape routes. The path that went to the bridge was too obvious, but the woods weren't far away, and she'd had an idyllic enough childhood to have a rudimentary knowledge of how to climb a tree; an older brother had been useful for that part of her education as well. Then there was the sea, choppy and dangerous looking; it might not be just their collars killing them if they swam out too far. This was the kind of surf with riptides and swells and the other things her brother's friends used to sulk about in her living room when it was too dangerous for them to swim.

Acacia picked up a fistful of sand and started to clump it together to form a rudimentary sandcastle. A leaf, she presumed it had been blown off a tree in the nearby woods, was perched jauntily at the top in place of a flag. Why was it that in books and films and TV programmes there was always someone to provide a little red flag to top the sandcastle with? Nobody in real life carried flags around for those moments, nobody on beaches sold them (though, now that she thought about it, that was a good idea - she could sell them for a dime or something, little kids would fall over each other trying to buy her little flags. The downside of that plan was that she would have to move somewhere near a beach, which was the one thing in life she had always known that she wouldn't do.

Glancing at Thea's waving, Acacia decided to join in, hoping that it wouldn't freak out the girl, that someone she barely knew was now waving at her like a madman. Toning down her waving, Acacia looked at her sandcastle as the briefest of gusts of winds caused it to crumble, the leaf fluttering away from her capture. Her tired, clumsy hands tried to catch it, her fingertips just grasped the leaf as it disappeared in the wind. Trying not to convey the unusual feeling of upset over her leaf, Acacia bent her head forwards and started to rebuild her sandcastle. Carefully, this time. She glanced up at Mary-Ann again, moments after she stopped waving, and decided to say something. She didn't want the new girl thinknig she was mad over the loss of a leaf that was never hers to begin with.

"Hey!" Acacia called, her voice carrying on the breeze. "You alright?" she didn't know how else to start up a conversation.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run

v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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The Use of Common Sense is Authorized · The Beach: East