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Everybody's Changing; B091 Start - THREAD CLOSED
Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 07:29 AM (3,644 Views)
ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Dominic had awoken some hours earlier, curled on the broad stump of what he suspected had earlier been a magnificent old-growth ceder. Surprisingly, his first thoughts had been of the tree - some deep part of him angry at its sacrifice. Rapidly, however, he was reminded of where he actually was, as the black eye of a camera turn to track his movements. Since then he had wandered in a daze, unable to wrap his mind completely around the concept that he, Dom Stratford, was actually in Survival of the Fittest.

It was incomprehensible. That students would kill each other, that such a thing was even real, that he had been picked...he had roamed silently around the stumps and logs for what felt like several hours, trying to understand, moving slowly through stages of wishing he were dead, wishing for a student to kill him, and believing with wild abandon that he might somehow be able to leave the island. He had occasionally glimpsed other students, but had hid from them, desperately fearing conflict.

As time wore on, however, he became numbed. For lack of anything else, he was quietly sticking his anti global-warming stickers onto trees within clear view of the cameras when he noticed the bulky shape of another student standing some distance away.

He hesitated. So far he'd stayed away. But - sooner or later, he was going to have to see someone, right? And maybe they'd be willing to find a way out with him. And then - they could find others, others who would help, and...and maybe...

Before he really knew what he was doing, he was loping towards Philip, suddenly filled with a wild hope.

"Hey! Hey, you!"


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Dom's somewhat desperate forward flight was halted as the figure - now recognized as Phil Ward - pointed at him with suspiciously...pointy fingers. That looked more like claws then fingers. For a moment of frantic hope, he found himself holding his breath and waiting to wake up - this had to be a dream. The next moment though, he sagged, and stopped in his tracks, recognizing the blades that were protruding from the larger boy's fingers. The hope ran out of him like water, leaving only a faint and hopeless despair that was all too familiar.

He was no stranger to bullies. He would always remember the downbringing of Monty Pondsworth, but as amazing and strangely hypnotizing as it had been, it was one moment of very, very few. He'd been shaken down for money more than once, but it still struck him as bizarre that here, on an island, in the throes of a deadly game, there was still a hierarchy of teenagers.

Bizarre, but somehow...comforting? It felt as familiar as pulling on his old hoodie, and he felt himself automatically slump into himself, reaching for his bag. The rations were tossed quietly in Phil's direction, before he set the pack back down and shrugged one shoulder, still not looking Phil in the face as the bully advanced. "That's all I've got. I guess the weapon was supposed to be the stickers. Or something."

He hesitated, unsure of what to do next, but was almost instantly interrupted by the sound of a branch snapping. Sucking his breath in tightly he turned, almost tripping over himself in his effort, mind suddenly filled with pounding thoughts of panic, thoughts of oh god oh god I am going to die I am going to die I AM GOING TO DIE.

"Who's there?"


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Dom barely had enough time to start to squirm backwards before Phil had him by the scruff, fingers painfully tight over his collar and neck. He couldn't stop himself from yelping, scrambling to stay on his feet and failing miserably as Phil shoved him backwards. He landed hard on the ground, head snapping back and rebounding off the ground hard enough to make him momentarily see stars. Reflexively, he started to curl into a ball as Phil continued to taunt him.

With the boy's final comment, Dominic looked up - and jerked back just in time to avoid a claw across the face. The movement overbalanced him again and he toppled for a second time, unable to crawl away as Phil sunk a kick into his side. Tears squeezed involuntarily out of his eyes, chest heaving as he struggled not to cry. He had barely been physically bullied - he was generally inoffensive enough to avoid the worst of the angry teenagers, and the simple feeling of another human being inflicting pain - deliberately, at that - was enough to make awkward sobs start to force themselves from his throat. As Phil stomped away, he curled a little tighter around his aching ribs, tears, snot, and dirt mingling into a smeared mess over his face.

He barely moved as the flashlight bounced off his back, uncaring. Repeating in his head, now, was the slow and painful realization that this was it. This was how it was going to go. He wasn't strong - he wasn't the fittest. He would never be. The island would be where he would die, surrounded by students who were suddenly realizing they could indulge their wildest urges.

Part of him wanted to join him, screamed for blood, cried out to be allowed to be the bully, for once. But he knew he couldn't. That person...that person was not him, would never be him, could never be him. He would be the victim, the same as the tiny animal victims he had cared for so many times. Sometimes they'd lived.

Sometimes they'd died.

He was going to die.

Beyond shame, beyond embarrassment, beyond caring, Dominic Stratford buried his dirty, tear-stained face in the dust and cried. For himself, and for all the students, and most of all Dominic cried because he was going to die here, and that was just the way it was going to go.
Edited by ifnotwinter, Aug 10 2010, 12:29 AM.


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
With his face in the dirt, body curled protectively in on itself, Dominic had no real concept of time. His ribs hurt with a dull, bruised pain, his chest feeling tight with the effort of the wracking sobs forcing their way out of him. He bit his lip, trying to hold them back but they burst from him with greater force, making him keen softly into his palms. He had no idea what to do, where to go, how to handle this. No option presented itself. There was no solution. He would lie here, he knew with certainty, crying until some student finally put a bullet in his-

A sharp crack echoed across the felled forest, stopping Dominic's breath in his throat. For long moments he didn't dare breathe, not moving as he heard Phil talking to himself in a confident tone. Had that been a gunshot? Phil didn't have a gun, did he? Was it someone else? His breathing sped up, crossing the line into hyperventilating as he frantically navigated the pathways of his mind. Should he stay? Should he go? What was going on? Who was shooting? How was this happening, why was this happening, why God why was this happening to him?

And then a scream, electric, cutting through the air. As with the gunshot before it, Dominic froze, the single thought repeating itself in his head being simple, just one word.

Who?

Phil was running. He could hear the crashing noises. Phil was running away and he was here, and someone was screaming. Someone was being hurt. Someone was being hurt, maybe killed, and here he was, crying behind a stump. Pathetic. Utterly pathetic. He was a useless, cowardly waste of space. He knew it. There was a girl being murdered and all he could do was sit and feel sorry for himself.

No.

The clarity of the thought was almost terrifying. Time seemed to slow as his body, seemingly without input from the brain, unfolded itself, pushing up from the ground. Fingers grasping at a nearby branch, half-rotten but better than nothing. Toes digging in, sending him forwards, running, branch out in front of him. The scream. It had come from right...

There.

Dominic threw himself behind the stump like a pudgy, dirty avenging angel, tears and dirt mingling on his face in a disgusting mask, rotting tree branch held at the ready and eyes wild. Still crying, tears carving down the brown tracks, still breathing too hard, hand still shaking on the wood, but for what felt like the first time in his life, Dominic Stratford was standing up against the bullies.

The only problem was, all he could see was Tiffany.


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The entire tableau seemed frozen in front of Dominic's eyes. William Hearst stood there, gun in hand, staring at him. Tiffany was in the act of scrambling away, mouth open as she screamed something he couldn't understand. But she was scrambling towards William like he was her savior, which - which didn't make sense because he had a gun and there had been a gunshot and he had shot his gun at someone and maybe killed them and why was Tiffany trying to be with him? Was she playing too?

The thoughts swirled in his head, confusing, frantic, the net result making him stand stock-still, staring at the two people in front of him. Dominic Stratford, who never did anything without a plan, had no idea what to do and no thoughts currently coming. His thoughts just kept returning, over and over, to the gunshot and the boy in front of him. Tiffany was so near, now. So near to the gun. Was that the plan? Was the boy going to shoot her? Had he already tried?

No. He couldn't let that happen. He was going to stand up to the bullies, he knew he was. He had to. This was his chance to shine, to be someone other people would be proud of, to protect people the way he had protected his little sister Abigail for so long. He raised the chunk of wood, taking a deep breath.

He could do this.

He took a step forwards. The wood was heavy in his hand, time oozing past as slow as cold molasses. He could feel every grain against his fingers, could feel the dampness on his cheeks, the tight-clenched knot of his stomach. Everything was all at once too clear and too blurry, too bright and too dark.

He could do this. He knew he could. He had to. He had to fight...

(unbidden, worming its way into his head and nudging past his other thoughts; Abigail. Holding his hand and smiling at him. Big brother, who made the monsters go away. Big brother, who told his little sister to never ever fight other people, that violence was not the answer)

He could do this.

He could.

He couldn't.

Dominic dropped to his knees, the makeshift weapon falling next to him. Raising his hands above his head, feeling new tears start down the tracks of the old ones, he stared up at William Hearst, voice breaking and stuttering as he tried to speak.

"Please - please, don't. Not her. Not - you can. You can - you can kill me. If you have to. But let her go, please, God, let her go." Better him than her, his mind repeated, over and over. This is the real way to win. To beat the game. Save another. Go in her place. Go in her place.

"Please..."

Anguish in his voice, his eyes, but, unwanted, invasive, behind the rush of everything else

if there's anyone listening, please, please

I don't.

I don't want to die.


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The seconds before William dropped his gun by his side seemed to tick by as slow as years, floating past in limbo as Dominic stared down the barrel. Flashes of memory, old regrets flickering past his mind's eye like a camera set on fast-forward, blurring colours and emotions together. The things he'd wanted to do. Plans. Ideas. Faces smiling, smiling like...like Tiffany, smiling at him, from William's side, a smile like everything was going to be okay again.

Please. I want everything to be okay again. Barely paying attention as the tall boy stuttered apologies, as Tiffany comforted him, Dominic remained standing. Old words in his ears, from years long past, Abigail with her long hair. Dominic's fingers in the thick dark strands, weaving them into a braid. Abby watching him with big eyes, Dom? Is there such thing as God? Trusting him to tell her the truth and Dominic, hands stilled on the long plait, telling her softly I don't know.

Kaylee says there is.
Testing him just a little. Wanting to see him give her the answer, not take it second-hand from a friend. Wanting a real answer, not just the quiet uncertainty.

I think. Picking up the brush and bending his head to his work, I think there's something more to the world. A higher power. I think things happen for a reason, and everything always works out in the end. Maybe that's God and maybe not, but I think you have to decide for yourself.

Little Abigail, not so little now, nodding. Accepting the answer. And Dominic believing it because that was just how things went until he woke up on some godforsaken island with someone pointing guns and firing them and please, please, if there is a God - I've believed. I've believed and I've not fought and I've let things go and I don't regret because everything happens for a reason but I don't understand this. And I don't see how there's a reason for this and I. I believed. And I don't want to die, goddamn it, "I don't want to die!"

The sharp words in the still air startled him back, eyes flying open as he saw that Tiffany was already setting off towards the woods, William just standing and staring at him. Try as he might, Dominic couldn't remember what had been said. He couldn't remember the last moments, but the clarity of Abigail's question seemed more real than this graveyard of trees.

He didn't know what to say. There was nothing he could say. This was all wrong. And he didn't know how to fix it, but he did know that he couldn't stay and that was when he backed up a step, almost tripping over the driftwood, and fled. Desperation and sand hampered his steps, but he didn't notice. Each footfall was a question, repeating over and over in his head. But not Abby's question, this time. His own.

Why?

((Dominic Stratford continued in If That Looking Glass Gets Broke))


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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