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DetectiveArcher
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Lieutenant Obvious
[ *  *  * ]
The ground beneath Petra’s back was hard, despite the copious amount of rain it had absorbed over the last few days. Looking past her would-be saviors, she stared at the grey skies, blinking as small droplets of water splashed on her face. At least it wasn’t pouring like before.

I wonder if this is it. Am I really dying? Swallowing hard, she did her best to come to terms with the prospect. As an 18 year old girl about to graduate high school, death wasn’t something she’d given much thought to. Sure, everyone died, but that was later in life, once you’d accomplished all your goals and made your peace with your loved ones. The thought stung. As the world took turns sliding in and out of focus, the bleeding girl wondered if she was content with her familial relationships.

----------

It was a bright day, sometime in late spring. She was wearing her yellow sundress. She liked the dress, it was very pretty. A young Petra Elizabeth Andrews was doing her best to entertain herself, playing in the front yard. She’d been sent out to amuse herself while her parents quarreled, not for the first time, in the relative sanctity of their bedroom. They may have grown to despise each other, but they could still agree that it was best not to let their daughter hear the squabbles.

With no one to play with and a very inactive imagination, the child quickly grew bored. Faced with nothing to do, it was a small leap for the girl to decide that she wanted to know what it was that her parents spoke about when they thought she was out of earshot.

Slowly creeping towards the house, the impish child grasped and gingerly turned the brass handle. Carefully opening the polished wooden door, mindful of the gently squeaking hinges, she stealthily slipped down the hall towards the sound of raised voices.

Pressing against the whitewashed walls of the hallway, the curious girl crouched down and perked up her ears. Her mother and father carried clearly, even through the securely shut and locked door. Barbs were flung back and forth, insults and regrets. The girl didn’t quite understand many of the cutting remarks, but managed to pick out the idea that they were meant to be hurtful. Petra couldn’t quite remember everything that was said, but did manage to pick out one of the few agreements her parent’s came to.

“If it weren’t for Petra I wouldn’t even be here anymore!” Her father normally wasn’t a man quick to anger, but his now his voice was filled with barely checked rage. The saddened girl pictured her usually kind father breathing smoke.

“And wouldn’t I be glad?” Her mother shot back. If Father was breathing smoke, Mother’s words were chipped out of ice. “You’re right about that, though. If it weren’t for our daughter you would be long gone. I’d see to that.”

Not wanting to be around the razor edged words any longer, Petra strode back down the hall, not bothering to hide her steps. Her parents never seemed to notice she was there.


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I guess not. She decided, her heart sinking in her chest. Every important interaction with her parents held a small piece of that same moment. The divorce had been especially hard. No matter how many times they’d assured her she wasn’t, the nervous girl couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d been at the heart of the issue. Dwelling on the matter, Petra realized that she couldn’t remember the last time she’d told her parents she loved them. Or the last time they’d told her the same. I guess it can’t be helped now. Besides, I don’t really have anyone to blame but myself. Mom, Dad…I’m sorry.

Her head swam. The shadows of the jungle seemed to grow longer and deeper, darkness slithered on the outskirts of her vision. Dead. What did that really mean? What was waiting for her? Weren’t you supposed to see a tunnel with a light? The bleeding girl didn’t see anything. At least there were people next to her. At least she wouldn’t go alone. The small comfort made the athletic girl smile.

Even in the face of death, when helping her ran contrary to their best interests, the three hurriedly moving figures were doing their best to save her life. The game suddenly didn’t seem as all consuming as she’d once imagined.

Straining her eyes into focus, Petra took a better look at the people around her. She didn’t recognize the two good Samaritans, but was more than grateful for their efforts. Nice people, they would have made good friends. And Heath…she wasn’t sure about Heath. What he was saying to her sounded sort of romantic, if poorly delivered. Just bad timing.

Sounds began to loose their edge, softened as if they’d been wrapped in thick cotton. Sleepy. A nap would be good. She told Heath so, her slurring words the only sound that seemed to have any weight. “I’m gettin’ sleepy. I’m jus’ gonna…jus’ gonna rest my eyes, k?”
Maybe the night seems so dark because the day is much too bright.

v3 Characters-
Petra Elizabeth Andrews, Morgan Green, Edward Sullivan

v4 Characters-
Ilario Fiametta III, Roy Archer, Riley Flynn, Olexia Kovacs
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