"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Oh no.

She was stitching up this stupid boy and--ugh, it was the kind of thing she'd been tricking herself, the entire island, telling herself she didn't have to worry about, and now it came up, here of all places, when she was already halfway through this boy's arm--

Mizore had seen it back in Saint Paul. The short-term boyfriend who'd called her sister a "nip". The old mayor's aide who'd refused to be treated by her father. The sneering parents at school who'd called her five-year-old drawings "Jap finger paint". Whoever this Jonathan Blake was, he was racist--not the loud, obnoxious kind, thank goodness, or she might have yanked the needle out of his arm right then, but the kind who flinched away from her touch a little too much (yes, even though I'm sewing his arm up) and made slimy fake conversation full of fake expressions like "I dare say", which really was something that no one except Brits and people pretending to be Brits said ever.

So now she had to make polite conversation with someone who was clearly like "yug, a Jap" in his head, which was annoying, but maybe he was redeemable, he probably just had crappy parents or something, and it's not like I'm going to start being uncivil on the island now, when I've gotten this far without being shot.

"I've been painting…pictures." She said, lamely. It was hard for her to talk now that she was this far in the stitching; even irregardless of the fact that this guy was a random racist, she needed to concentrate. "Place is--a memorial. Not going to--kill people. Not going to wander around doing nothing like a wanker either. So I--paint. After a few more days, nothing of us is going to--be here. But something will."

There. That seemed like a good enough explanation that had the added benefit of being true. Take that, racist Jonathan Blake.

Except being racist was kind of a worry, not even just an irritant, because perhaps Raidon and perhaps Julian would come looking for her, and one was a Jap and one was black and both were killers and that could be a problem. And Jonathan Blake had a gun too, she could see it when she twisted her head to see the upper part of the tear across his arm. It was where he could reach it, once his arm was no longer in pieces. So that was troubling.

Troubling.

She'd resorted to violence before. And Jonathan Blake already seemed to be in enough pain not to notice.

Be careful.

She pushed the needle in, a little harder, a little faster than necessary, just to make Jonathan go "Ah!" like he did, close his eyes. A moment's butterfly eye-flutter was all she needed. The gun was by her foot; she could put her fingers around it without looking. Best not to be looking while she did this. Best not to give him any clue.

She would have flung it into the forest, if she had time. If she could risk making any noise. Instead, she pocketed it, making sure it didn't clatter against Julian's pistol. Two guns in my sweatshirt pocket.

She would have to throw them away when she got the chance.

A mutter, a murmur, as Blake opened his eyes. "Sorry about that."

He nodded. Seemed to understand. There were tears in his eyes, and Mizore didn't feel satisfaction.

Instead, she finished sewing up his arm.

Done.
--------


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

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Riddles Of Monsters · The Woods: Inland