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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
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Bryony waited patiently for the other girl to collect her scattered clothing, rubbing her arm, the trickle of blood already having slowed to a few beads of crimson stubbornly clinging to her. Now that she was at the water’s edge, she could just about see the colours and shapes of her clothes on the sand. Her shoes there, her sweatpants over there, her hoody a few feet away, lying in a heap.

More importantly, she could now actually see what the girl looked like. The brief moment of hope that it would be someone like Alice or Sandra was quickly extinguished as soon as she started walking back towards Bryony. She didn’t recognise this girl at all, not even to the point of being able to guess what her name was. It wasn’t someone she could trust implicitly. She didn’t know whether she was friendly and amicable, or angry and rude. Or worse.

Right now, Bryony simply couldn’t bring herself to care anymore.

She took her glasses back from the girl, mumbling a ‘thanks’ before putting them back on. She blinked twice as her vision cleared and everything came into focus. She could see her surroundings so much better now, able to see the path leading up from the stone-coated beach, and up to the top of the cliffs surrounding her on both sides, the very top of unidentified buildings poking up above them.

Bryony considered the girl’s question. It would be so easy to lie. It was a question she had lied to so many times before, after all. But as she felt her lip wobble and her eyes grow damp again, she realised that there was no point. She wasn’t okay, and anyone with half a brain could tell that she wasn’t.

“No… No, I’m not…” Bryony said. She didn’t take her clothes back from the girl. Instead, she turned round, walked forwards a few steps, and sat down in the surf, numb to the cold water washing over her. She could see now just how far away she was from even getting off the island proper. There were huge outcrops of rock dotted out in the water, far further than she’d managed to reach. Even further out was a huge metal bridge, her gateway to escape, far enough away that she’d probably have drowned before passing under it.

“I’m… I’m going to die here. I’m going to die and no-one’s going to care. All of my friends are here, and they’re all going to get… to get… killed too… and then sooner or later it’ll be me and I’ll disappear without doing anything of any worth in my life, because I’m just so useless and I just… I just…”

Bryony sniffled and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, before wrapping her arms around her knees and breaking down into distraught sobs.
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