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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Claire's words had stung Autumn, that was certain. The girl's voice crescendoed into a scream, an order to stop talking, to stop tearing her words and delusions into pieces. She pulled her weapon loose, and Claire tensed, ready to stop any conflict before it properly started. She didn't pull the trigger, though. It seemed Autumn still had enough self-control to avoid making a fatal mistake. Even while she pointed her gun, it was clear that she wasn't about to start shooting so easily.

And then she decided to question Claire, to try to turn things around and hurt her, perhaps. It wouldn't work. Autumn wasn't worth the thought. After what Claire had been through these past few days, Autumn's madness ranked as hardly even an irritation.

"I lost people," Claire said. "Everyone has."

She didn't feel any need to spill her personal pains and losses to Autumn. The girl was probably insane. She wasn't a friend, wasn't someone Claire could rely on or confide in. Everyone who fit that description was gone. Maybe after this, at home, she could talk to her parents about it. Until then, well, Aislyn was gone, and no one else fit the bill.

It was becoming ever clearer that there was nothing here for Claire, no reason to linger. At this point, she simply had to extricate herself from the situation in a manner that left no windows for Autumn to shoot her in the back. As a start towards this, she took a small step backwards, increasing the distance between herself and the other girl by a few inches.
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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I Was a Teenage Hand Model · The Key