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We Are The Sleepyheads; "People Look At Us And Think We're Doing Fine" [Topic Closed]
Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 07:48 AM (1,987 Views)
ZombiexCreame
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
Josie Vernon groaned and opened her eyes slowly, all of her senses coming alive at once. She found herself in a state of confusion, and the groggy sensation in her mind and limbs definitely wasn't helping. Slowly pulling herself up from the wet grass, the red-headed scenester peered around and blinked. What the hell? This wasn't the camp site that everyone in the senior class had been promised. Or was it? She honestly had no idea.. Her head was a mess. Running a hand across her face, (and accidentally smearing her carefully applied makeup) Josie shook her head and tried to collect her memories.

She was on a bus with Sierra. They were sharing Josie's iPod and listening to this obscure metalcore band, The Jekyll-Hyde Complex, and laughing about how the main lead singer sounded like a dying cat. And then... there was nothing. Her memory was patchy after that point, just vague recollections of an auditorium, some slain teachers, a video... After remembering that it all clicked for Josie. Survival of the Fittest, the collar around her neck, the black daypack at her side with the white numbers.

This was Survival of the Fittest, a game that she never asked to compete it; a game that she couldn't escape from; a game that would ultimately take her life at one point or another. She had a better chance of walking on water than winning this God forsaken game!

With another groan, Josie brushed her long red hair off her shoulder and glanced around. She appeared to be at the bottom of a steep hill, alone apart from the seagulls that flew around at the top of the hill. She could hear the sound of the sea... What was at the top of that hill? Josie decided, with nothing better to do, to go survey her surroundings at the top of the hill. Gathering her bags, she stood up and walked a short distance until something caught her eye. It was a person, a small person, with very familiar clothing... With her mind still frazzled from the sedation, Josie didn't immediately recognize her best friend. It took her a few moments to make out the sleeping body of Sierra, but once she did, Josie immediately ran to her side and began to shake her frantically.

She felt like the luckiest girl in all of SOTF. What were the chances that Josie and Sierra ended up in close proximity to each other? Perhaps it was because they were sitting next to each other on the bus? Josie wasn't sure, but she refrained from screeching in pure happiness. ...Not that Josie ever did anything of the sort. But sitting here in this terrible place with her best friend at her side, safe and unharmed, was really something to cheer about.

"Sierra? Sierra... Sierra, you need to get up."

As Sierra awoke and sat up, fresh tears sprung to her eyes at the sight of her friend. It was obvious that Sierra was very upset at what was happening. She was trembling all over and at a loss for words. Josie was at a loss too. She wasn't sure what to do or what to say. Should she force Sierra to stand and get them moving? Or should she comfort Sierra? Bringing her best friend closer to her own body, Josie ran a hand through her light hair, and with her other hand, brushed a stray tear away from her eyes. "Sierra, we can do this. Do you hear me? We're together, and that's all that matters." There was a silence that was broken only by the cawing of a seagull. Josie began again. "Let's... Let's make a promise. Okay?" She wasn't sure why but the idea of a promise seemed comforting to Josie. It was something that connected the two of them together. Sure, Josie and Sierra were already connected through friendship, but Survival of the Fittest could break friendships. Just like that video that was shown to them back in the auditorium, relationships could change with a mere blink of the eye.

"Let's promise that... no matter what... we won't die alone. Alright?" Josie's lip quivered for a moment, and she sniffed loudly to cover up any of the emotion that might have been dripping out of her eyes or nose. "Be-because... Okay, it sounds cheesy, but I w-wouldn't be able to go on without you, Sierra! I couldn't! So... Do you promise?" Josie held out her pinky to Sierra, and wordlessly, Sierra linked her pinky with Josie's. Josie smiled at the solidification of the promise, but another thought surfaced in her mind. They could always be together forever without having to play this wicked game...

"Or... We don't even have to play. No one's forcing us to participate in this, you know." Josie watched Sierra for a moment and waited for the idea to sink in. She had never really thought about suicide before this, but... It was the only forseeable way to leave this competition with her best friend. If she kept going, they would eventually have to be split up at one point or another. It brought hot tears to her eyes to think about leaving Sierra forever... But what if suicide solved that problem?

Sierra looked up at Josie and silently communicated that she understood. "Alright.." she whispered to Josie, her eyes downcast.

Without saying anything, Josie unzipped her daypack and searched inside for some sort of weapon or anything that could quickly usher them out of this competition; preferably a gun. Unfortunately, she found not a gun, but a slick card that explained the details of Mr. Danya's birthday party... What the fuck. Seriously? Unless Sierra and Josie planned on paper-cutting themselves to death with this, it was utterly useless. Returning the card to the bag, (she refused to throw it away; it could come in handy... somehow) Josie found another folded up piece of paper and realized that it was a map of the island that they were on. Unfolding the map, she examined it for a few minutes wordlessly. Josie was never great at geography, but by her surroundings alone, she assumed that they were by the sea. And, if they were where she thought they were, then beyond this hill was a cliff. Perhaps the Northern Cliffs? It was too vague to tell, but Josie could definitely hear the waves crashing and the cry of the seagulls... There was a definite possibility for a cliff. And a cliff was a hell of a lot better way to go than a god damn birthday invite.

"Let's see what's on top of this hill," Josie told Sierra, plucking up both of their daypacks and throwing them onto her shoulder. With a map in her left hand, she used her right hand to grab Sierra and pull her into a standing position. "Come on."

It took a few minutes for the two girls to climb the hill and arrive at the top. And as Josie had surmised, there was indeed a cliff before them. The vivid blue ocean glittered wondrously beneath the light blue sky, and if the two girls weren't standing here and contemplating suicide, it would have seemed very picturesque for Josie. But alas, here she was, staring ahead with a fresh sheen of tears in her eyes. Nothing in her life had ever seemed so serious, so morbid, so terrifying... She just wanted Sierra to give Josie a gap-toothed smile and yell, 'Juth Kidding!' But no... Josie wasn't that lucky. It was time to face reality.

"Are you sure you... wanna do this?"
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ZombiexCreame
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
Josie's eyes were frozen on the view ahead of her. She didn't want to look over at Sierra or down at the rocky crags beneath her. That would just summon more tears to spring up in her eyes. She could not cry anymore. It just wasn't her style. Sniffing loudly and facing the wind which was strangely cold and biting, Josie tightened her fingers around Sierra's hand and grit her teeth. Should she start a countdown? Three, two, one, SPLAT. Both dead in a matter of seconds.

It was hard to deal with, honestly. What would it be like? Falling through the crisp air with her best friend, only to smash on the rocks below. Her bones would be reduced to dust, and her blood would flow into the ocean before them. Josie had never been forced to experience pain, so she was very nervous about this. This was hard! Suicide was something that she had never considered in life. She didn't even have time to contemplate life after death or write a suicide note. What if she went to Hell, while Sierra went to Heaven? Josie had no freakin' clue what to expect. And the more she thought about it, the more she didn't want to kill herself.

She felt so conflicted.

And when Sierra admitted that she couldn't do it, and she didn't want to die, a wave of relief passed over Josie that caused her to shutter and take a staggering step away from the cliff, pulling Sierra along with her She forced a weary smile and gave her friend a quick hug. "I don't think I can do it either." Josie pulled away and looked down at her daypack. She remembered her birthday invite. "I don't think I have a snowball's chance in hell of making it far in this game, but I don't want to go yet. I think if we stick together, we should be okay. Our classmates are scared just like us. We just need to keep our guard up."

Josie spread open her map and examined the island. Where should they go? The island was fairly large with a lot of places speckled throughout the area. There was bound to people everywhere, but... Maybe they should head somewhere that's a little less open than a cliff? They were sitting targets up here.

"Hey, Sierra." Josie turned to look at her. "Wh.. What did you get? As a weapon, I mean... I didn't get anything good, so let's hope you did."
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Dawson Demarke: School Cafeteria♥
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ZombiexCreame
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
Josie watched for a moment while Sierra dug through her things in search of her weapon. She lowered her emerald eyes onto the map that remained stretched out before her and placed her fingers onto the crisp paper. An entire island... An entire island full of liars, sadists, killers, and psychos. Josie let her fingers trail along the edge of the island, tracing paths that she imagined the pair taking. She was barely paying attention to Sierra as her mind wandered.

Wandering was a simple turn. In fact, it was really puking up whatever things that it could, and Josie was left to deal with them. Memories kept popping up in her head like blooming flowers. Songs that she remembered hearing, people that she remembered talking to, regrets. Oh, lord. Regrets.

Why was I such a boring person?

An entire island full of the lost, the sobbing, the confused, the innocent. But nothing was so black and white. There wasn't good and bad here. There were just varying shades of bad. Sure, she dressed like she was full of personality! She dressed like she was vivacious and interesting and colorful! But underneath all that hair-dye and doll makeup, Josie was nothing without Sierra. She could barely bring herself to talk to other people. She had very few allies. What a waste of seventeen years. She didn't do anything! Listened to a few CDs, painted her nails a few thousand times, ignored people, laughed with Sierra... And this was why Josie was alone, while Sierra had Omar.

The Kubler-Ross model. Josie remembered learning that in psychology. Lord knows why she was remembering it now, but she was. She made flashcards for it, and flipped them in front of her eyes, begging for the information to leap into her head. She was terrible at memorization. And then after one week, KA-CHING: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

Could you go through the five stages of grief for your own life? When you aren't even dead? And if so... "What stage am I on?" Josie asked out loud, neatly folding up the map into a small square. She didn't even realized she had said it, so wrapped up in her thoughts. Sierra was examining her little canister of pepper spray.

Pepper spray and a birthday invite. It was so funny Josie almost wanted to laugh. Maybe she already bypassed denial, anger, and bargaining? She sure as hell couldn't bargain with anyone. Who? God? Danya? She was done with being angry. Denial was a joke. So maybe depression... But Josie didn't feel depressed. So maybe she was in denial? Or maybe she bypassed Go and went straight to acceptance!

"Guns aren't lawful
Nooses give
Gas smells awful
You might as well live."


It was part of a poem she remembered reading about in ninth grade. And, for some reason, it resurfaced in her head with all the other puked up thoughts of grief and past memories. It reminded her of how close she was to suicide, but how far as well... Or maybe that poem WASN'T so similar to her situation after all! Sure, gas smelled awful now, and perhaps you could avoid it to some extent... But what about LATER? Someone could burn her to death later, and there wasn't anything she could do about it. But alright, sure. You might as well live because you might die tomorrow. And if Josie hadn't figured it out already, she had avoided suicide, most likely never to re-attempt it. Those feelings that she felt, and that fear that welled up inside her was too intense to ever experience again.

Clunk. The can of pepper spray rolled and hit Josie on the head with a small sound. Josie was jarred out of her thoughts and stared down at the foreign object with dinner-plate eyes. What? Oh, it was just Sierra's pepper spray. "No, Sierra, you should keep it." Josie picked it up and held it out to her. "My aim is no better... Besides, I have a..birthday invite." Josie's voice cracked on the word 'birthday.' She would never see another birthday again. SURPRISE! She gave Sierra a crooked smile as she leaned over and grabbed the card from her bag. "See? I'm personally invited!"

But Josie's little bad joke about Danya's birthday didn't make Sierra feel any better. In fact, she looked like she was about to cry. She was holding her old blanket around her neck and breathing its familiar scent. No doubt it smelled like home... Even Josie could recall the warming scent of Sierra's house. And, of course, what she would give to be there rather than here. But what the hell could she do? "Yep. I'm definitely in acceptance." "Sierra, come on. We can, uh, go.. down the hill, and... Maybe we could find people?" There was a silence. Josie was shitty at comforting people. "Put that old thing up, and let's go! Um..."

She mentally writhed around desperately for something to say. There were invisible hands in her head, flailing around for something to do or say. She could imagine these hands with their cartoon voices. "Josie needs something to say! Something to say!" What else comforted Sierra? Josie surely couldn't... And then it popped into her head. Josie didn't want to admit it, but Sierra would probably feel better with... Omar... at her side. Damn Omar! There was nothing wrong with Omar, in fact, Josie liked him to some degree. He just came between Josie and Sierra, and Josie wasn't used to that. But now was no time to be jealous. It would be a good idea to find Omar. He would stick with them. Maybe if he got a decent weapon, he could protect them. With a sigh, Josie looked over at Sierra and folded her arms. "You... want to go see if we can find Omar anywhere..? I'm sure he's already looking for you, but..." Her voice trailed off, her green eyes staring at the breath-taking scenery behind Sierra. Beasts loose in paradise.
Edited by ZombiexCreame, Aug 23 2010, 10:03 PM.
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Dawson Demarke: School Cafeteria♥
♥Soon to come: Francis Scodelaris♥
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ZombiexCreame
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
Josie smiled when Sierra re-accepted her tube of pepper spray and pocketed it. "I definitely think you should keep it with you. If we get separated or something, you might need it." There was a brief pause as Josie thought over what she had just said. If the two of them got separated, Sierra would be armed, while Josie would... not be. Once again, the comical thought of Josie slicing open someone's neck with a card surfaced in her mind. She giggled to herself, but when she caught herself doing such a thing, she masked it with a cough and one of her 'famous' jokes.

"But don't worry, my dear Sierra. If we get separated, I'll be perfectly fine. Sure, this mere card won't do much for me, but..." She smiled a bit wider and made quite a show of rolling down the sleeves of her shirt. "I have the Gun Show at my disposal. Hah!" Josie clenched the muscles in her arms and a tiny, tiny bump popped up on each arm: her guns. "The last thing that will go through anyone's mind will be my fists of pure STEEL!"

Josie didn't pride herself on her sense of humor or anything, but it was a bit of a defense mechanism for her. She was hoping it would make Sierra laugh or cheer up a bit. And, to be perfectly honest, her little display of 'strength' did make her feel more confident. She could never really imagine punching anyone and actually dealing some legit damage, but one could dream, couldn't they? ...Or maybe she was just delusional.

Josie nodded at Sierra and shouldered her bag when she asked about finding a house after they located Omar. "Yeah, sure. It would probably be a good idea to hole up somewhere and think of a plan... I'm sure Omar could think of something," she assured her friend. "I'll bet Omar has some really badass weapon! You have your pepper spray, I have my muscles, and Omar will have, like, a tank or something. We'll be unstoppable," Josie explained, more humor leaking into her voice. She felt sort of ashamed at herself, really. Here Sierra was, crying her eyes out, and Josie couldn't even stop and tell herself to quit making lame jokes. It probably wasn't even making Sierra feel better.

"Okay. I need to be serious Josie for a bit." Taking a deep breath, Josie threw her arm around her best friend's shoulder and pointed down the hill. "Let's head down there and start looking for Omar. And..." She paused as she felt her gag reflex trigger. It was a sure sign that the next thing she was planning to say was definitely going to be cheesy. "...we're in this together, alright? Let's go." With a smile, Josie turned around and walked down the hill, her very best friend in tow.

((Josie Vernon continued in It's hard to walk tall when you're small))
Edited by ZombiexCreame, Sep 18 2010, 01:53 PM.
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