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((Posting before Conrad with R.C's permission to leave.))

“Huh? Hey, where—Isabel, wait!”

But she was already gone.

It kind of ruined the point of gathering everyone when people were already leaving the group. But Isabel said she might rejoin later. Clarice supposed that was something. She'd just have to hope no-one got to Isabel in the meantime. There were a lot of people who might take issue with Isabel out there. And even if she was a bitch, she didn't deserve to die for some petty words.

Isabel couldn't have put Clarice's view better, though. The longer they waited, the longer people had to snap and turn into the killers that Survival of the Fittest produced. But most of them didn't just start that way. If it was that easy, most of them probably would have already killed someone. Right now, people would be scattered, lost and scared.

And the sooner she acted, the sooner she could stop anyone from dying.

“It has to be done now. Before people have time to panic,” Clarice said. “I'm sure right now no-one wants to play. And there's just no time for subtle. By the time we think of something 'subtle' a good chunk of our classmates will be dead, and the others really will be playing.”

She looked between Conrad, who had yet to say anything—she was sure he'd follow her, though—and Maria—much less sure, given that they'd barely ever talked. She nodded her head at the bell tower.

“I'm going for it. If you don't want to come, that's fine. Hide or something. I'll come back if it goes okay. But I gotta do this while there's still a chance it might work.”

At which point, she started off on a brisk jog towards the bell tower. She could just see it in the distance.

((Clarice Halwood continued in 人生の曲.))
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The Calm Before the Storm · Northwest Cliffs