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[Originally posted by Mimi]

After awhile, a stark silence taking the place of begging and the dull 'schlick' of blade pulling from flesh, leaving Summer alone with her own shallowed breathing and the mechanical hum of the cameras lining the hallway, each with their glassy eyes focused solely on her, waiting to see what she'd do next. Every ounce of her being shook from the adrenaline, the fear, the anger. The excitement. She was positioned over Naomi, left arm still cradled against her stomach and her right still white-knuckled against the handle of her spear which had yet to dislodge itself from Naomi's shoulder blade following her final thrust. It felt like she hadn't moved in forever, lost in her own head as she grasped at fleeting thoughts, absently staring at the gore at her feet without truly acknowledging it. Her knees were rattling violently against one another, her legs struggling to support her weight the longer she stood. Somewhere in her rational mind, she knew she should run, get away from the scene, find somewhere less open, but the longer she stood staring at what was left of Naomi Bell, the more clouded her mind became. She could feel herself becoming light headed, dark spots in her vision making it hard to focus on anything. She swallowed hard, biting back the feeling that she was going to pass out before letting the handle of her spear drop to the floor and gingerly following suit, using her good hand to brace her descent and folding her legs underneath her rear as a cushion. Even seated on the ground, she found her balance unstable, rocking back and forth, cradling one arm in the fold of her stomach while using the other to block out the light passing through her eyelids.

It only made the whirring of the cameras louder, ringing through her ears and shaking her skull as if projected from a microphone.

"Shh," She whispered harshly, using the balls of her hands to block the noise, sending shrieks of pain through her left. She had to think. And she couldn't think when they were just buzzing

"So fucking loud,"

Relax.

Take a deep breath and relax.

Namaste.

Like in yoga.

She shook her head violently, palms retreating from her ears and embedding painfully into her eye sockets.

She'd be on the announcements, like everyone else who killed someone. They'd call her a murderer, congratulate her for picking off the competition, for felling the mighty Naomi Bell. Everyone would know what she did and they'd hate her for it. Miles, Mara, Francis, all of them. Miles' cousin was dead because of her. She could say it was an accident, or tell them Naomi attacked her and she had to defend herself. But who would they believe? Not her. Not when Naomi was involved. 'Naomi would never do that' they'd say. Not Naomi, she didn't have it in her. Not the girl who died begging for her life. And then they'd come after her, try and take her out for Naomi. They'd kill her for what she did.

She bore her long nails into her forehead, leaving painful impression in the exposed skin. The pain helped her think, kept her focused, helped her release some of the frustration ripping through her body.

As much as she envied the kids who died early and saved themselves from the game, she didn't want to die. She was already lost to the game, unable to die blissfully ignorant of what happened here. If she got to the end, she'd be allowed to go home. You just needed the one kill and Mister Danya would let you go home if you won. But what would be waiting for her back home if she got there? Angry rioters? The judgement? All the things they'd call her, say about her. Was it worth going back home to? She wasn't cut out for this, not some child soldier who could fight off someone like Theo or Katarina. Naomi hadn't expected what happened to her, but everyone would know now. They'd know who she was and what to expect with her and could do whatever they wanted with information like that.

She could feel the frustration boiling inside her once more, all the what-ifs and counter points assaulting her all at once. She felt as if she was drowning in her own thoughts, unable to wade through them and latch on to a single one. She ran her hands down the length of her face, nails leaving a bright red trail behind them before disappearing into the amalgamation of smeared mascara and blood, all of it mixing together like some disgusting war paint. Pain echoed one more through her crippled hand, the dangling nail sending sharp pains through her entire arm each time it caught against her face, bending backwards and side to side. She'd had enough of it. Enough of the pain and the confusion and the buzzing cameras.

Her right hand formed a protective cocoon around her L-shaped ring finger, almost soothing to a degree as it held the broken nail in firmly in place before

crack

She let out a violent, pained gasp, voice catching in her throat as fresh ears formed in her eyes. She needed the pain gone, it was the only way she'd be able to concentrate. Removing the cocoon, she looked at her handiwork, the angle less sharp and obstructive, appearing similar to a boomerang in shape. It was the only break she allowed herself before grabbing the nail and ripping it from the quick in one fell swoop, taking a fair bit of her nail-bed out with it and letting out another guttural groan before replacing the cocoon, savoring the warmth and applying pressure to dull the pain.

The whirring of the cameras died down as she sat clutching her fingers, everything feeling far less abrasive and overwhelming. Their eyes were still fixated upon her, a hungry audience lapping at her insanity. Not insanity. She hadn't fallen that far. She was still capable of rational thought. She knew once that she was on the announcement, people would come for her. It was unavoidable. Naomi's friends and family would want her dead. She knew that. She also knew she wouldn't be able to do much with just her spear and or the grenade she stole from Brandon.

She glanced at one of the cameras on the wall.

She had to be their favorite, give them everything they wanted and win the kill award like Kat had. She had to get something better to protect herself with and just survive until the end.

She had to make them love her.

Needed to make them love her.

Her eyes darted from the cameras to Naomi. She was long dead and Summer feared that what she'd done hadn't been good enough, even getting hurt in the process. She had to top whatever Kat did and make sure she won. It wasn't too late, it couldn't be.

She had to if she wanted to survive.

Summer got to her knees, timidly making her way over to Naomi, or rather, what used to be Naomi. It was the first time she'd actually seen her face, her body still warm as she rolled it on its back. Bloody strands of her blonde hair stuck to her face, but otherwise she looked deceptively peaceful. Pretty, even. Summer hated her for so long, had wished her gone for so long, but for some reason looking at her this way made her sick to her stomach, even more so when she thought about having to use her to win an award. She tried to tell herself it was poetic irony, Naomi being used to help Summer win the same way Naomi had used so many others. Even past death and her shut eyes, Summer felt as though Naomi was looking right through her. Judging her.

"Don't look at me," she whispered, angrily grabbing Naomi's bag from the ground and pressing it against her face. She didn't want to have to see her.

Summer swallowed hard, once more glancing at the cameras as if to make sure they were still watching before grabbing her dropped spear, holding the handle at the end nearest to the blade.

Naomi's body was a mess of torn fabric and open wounds, each still shining with dark blood. It was hard to say which of them had been the killing blow, if it was any of them at all or if she'd just bled to death.

Her hands shook violently as she cut away the fabric of Naomi's sweater and undershirt, exposing her bare stomach underneath. The puncture wounds seemed somehow worse without the fabric around them, haphazardly strewn across her body. The anger behind them was obvious, almost tangible. Summer tried to steady her hands as she pressed the tip of the bladed edge against Naomi's stomach, pushing it deep inside and pulling it down in a shaking line. She could feel Naomi's skin succumbing to the sharp blade, parting for her with little resistance.

She had to win. She needed to be their favorite.

She tossed her spear to the side, still fighting back the shaking. Her throat tightened, already resisting as she swallowed back bile trying to force its way up. One hand pressed against her mouth, just in case, while the other delved inside Naomi. She clenched her eyes shut, disgust evident on her face as her hand explored the wet warmth, before pulling out a handful of something she had no desire to see, bits of Naomi sliding past her fingers and trailing behind.

They'd love her.

She could hear the camera zooming and panning, but she still kept her eyes clenched tightly shut, the hand over her mouth migrating north and plugging her nose, although the strong scent of protein was already lodged deep into her subconscious.

She brought her other hand, full of soft insides, to her mouth in a swift motion, trying to push it in all at once. She tried to chew, face twisting in disgust, lasting only a few moments vomit forced its way up, the spit and bile mixing with the blood and organs in her hand as the other raced to try and cover her mouth. Even still, she tried to keep chewing, choking on her vomit as bits slipped past the cracks in her broken fingers.

She had to make them love her.

But she couldn't do it, no matter how hard she tried. She dropped her hands and re-positioned herself on her hands and knees, letting everything that needed to come out out.

For a long while, she stayed there dry heaving, surrounded by mixtures of vomit, blood, and innards, and unable to get the smell of protein from her nostrils.

The cameras still whirred behind her, never taking their glassy eyes off of Summer Simms.

She hoped it had been enough.
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