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Accidental Acrophobia; CONCLUDED
Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 06:04 PM (5,400 Views)
ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The world did not feel right.

Winsome Clark, had woken partway through Danya's talk, head still reeling from the gas. It had obviously affected her more than planned, as she had no more than faint recollections, sparked through with gunfire and the memory of bloodspots on her fingers, curling like a red worm over the life lines of her palm. She'd drifted, though, in the peculiar fog of drugs until finally the darkness had swallowed her again.

And now, she was awake. She had opened her eyes only once, and almost instantly squeezed them shut again as the light stabbed painfully through her optic nerves. But it had been long enough to remind her that something didn't feel right about where she was lying. It was harder than ground, and scratchy, painful through her clothes. And maybe it was just the vertigo talking, but it felt almost like it was moving.

She shifted, trying painfully to roll over, but two things stopped her. One was the realization that her legs were slipping over the edge of something, with no reassuring ground beneath her toes. The other was a sudden stab of pain as something sliced into her midsection, through her pale blouse and biting into her belly.

Winnie let out an involuntary cry of pain, scrambling upright and opening her eyes. What she saw was enough to make her fling herself flat again, clutching at the surface with both arms regardless of the multitude of tiny scratches opening on her skin.

She was in a tree.

At least ten feet up, she rested on a massive, broad branch. Her pack was on the ground below her, but she had barely given it a glimpse before squeezing her eyes shut again. The branch was long enough that she could lie full-length on it, and only just wide enough for her body - the edges of her skirt floated out in the air around the tree. What was under her, though, and making her hold herself stiffly off the wood, was a massive blade.

The hook sword was nearly as long as her, and the edge had caught on a knot, rising just far enough to dig into her stomach. The cut wasn't particularly deep, but it was long, and even as she delicately eased herself off the steel blood began to drip down to the forest floor.

A desperate whimper escaped her throat, and she clenched her eyes shut. The slice burned with a dull, throbbing pain, the scratches on her arms and face echoing that, and already her arms and legs complained about her tight grasp. Shoulders heaving, she buried her face in the bark, and cried.

Far below, her pack sat in a solitary drift of leaves, red droplets of blood collecting over the zipper and soaking in, leaving a dark stain.

A single camera observed the scene, silent and unconcerned, while the red lights of others blinked from the trees.

For Winsome Clarke, Survival of the Fittest had just begun.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(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
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Winnie hasn't relaxed her grip by the time Ricky Fortino - recognized only because she had occasionally entertained brief fantasies about him - wandered under the tree. She knew, in some far off and rational part of her brain, that she didn't have to be holding quite so tightly, but the rest of her brain was screaming at her that if she so much as moved a muscle, the tree would fling her off, down to the unforgiving forest floor. So she didn't respond, terror closing her throat more effectively than a gag.

And not moments after him came James. He didn't appear to notice her right away, but soon enough was calling out, generally sounding panicky. She ignored him, pressing herself a little closer into the branch. Terrifying as this was, she couldn't help but start to appreciate her precarious position. In the tree, no one could get her, right? Maybe she could just stay here. It was kind of peaceful.

James was saying something. She risked a tiny movement, allowing her head to come up, and realized....oh god, he wanted her to JUMP?

The thought startled her enough that she spoke without realizing it, voice shrill with stress, cracking in the middle. "You want me to what? Are you crazy? I am not doing that!"

Her grip tightened another iota, and she pressed her cheek into the rough bark, dull anger filling her at the ridiculousness of the request.

"There is no way - no way - that I am jumping. Go find a ladder or something!" Stress was shaking her usually painfully shy personality, letting her lash out without any embarrassment. She barely noticed Raine's arrival, preoccupied with securing herself firmly to the wood below her.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(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
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
James was shouting at her again. James was shouting at her, and there was a whole crowd of people, and she was in a - a gosh-darn tree on some disgusting sick idea of a game-show that had to be a joke, it had to, it couldn't be real, and she didn't understand anything that was going on apart from the fact that she really, really wanted to get down. She curled herself into her branch and did her best to ignore them, concentrating on improving her grip and keeping herself anchored securely to the tree.

But he was still talking to her. And then, oh, miracles of miracles, she opened her eyes enough to see a close up of the wood, rough, covered in tiny beads of sap, but just out of range, just enough for her to see was oh heavens, a hand. James' hand. He was reaching for her...she couldn't see what he was standing on but it had to be a ladder or some kind of thing like that. Carefully, she began to inch herself forwards, the motion dislodging the sword and sending it spinning down to earth.

The sudden slip of the steel startled her, and she bit back a shriek as it plummeted down. All she could do was cower deeper into the bark, all the bravado of fear deserting her as she desperately chanted "Oh god I'm sorry I'm so sorry are you okay please be okay I'm so sorry I didn't mean to..."

She probably would have continued speaking as well, if the feel of someone tickling at her hand hadn't started her. She glanced sideways, expecting to see moss or leaves.

She didn't.

"Oh. Oh no. Oh no, no no no nononono...."

The most gigantic spider she had ever come face to face with was sitting right in front of her, quietly clicking its pincers. It was massive, and hairy. It was black and brown and red and bizarre looking. Eight curious eyes stared glassily at her. One dark leg twitched. Six of the eight legs were resting on the branch, but two were resting delicately on the back of her hand.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!"

Winnie didn't waste any time. Shrieking incoherently, she flung herself at James' hand, half shimmying down the tree, half using him as a ladder, wrapping her body around him as much as possible and gasping for breath as she tried to put as much space - and man - between her and the obviously carnivorous arachnid.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(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
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The only thought going through Winnie's head as she wrapped herself around James was the panicked, hysterical repetition of spider spider spider o god spider o god tree o god spider O GOD. Clinging as tightly as she could to the boy under her, she squeezed her eyes shut so as not to see either the massive height she was still dangling from, or the monsterous spider that she one-hundred-percent positively knew was still on her. Probably preparing to sink its massive fangs into her. Ignoring the various shouts and cries going on under her, Winnie tightened her hold, deciding in an instant that she was not letting go come hell or high water.

...which, as it turned out, was a good decision. Because the next second there was a fresh burst of screaming from below her and she felt James sway backwards, the force of gravity tugging at her human anchor. The scream bursting from James' mouth echoed her own as she felt them toppling, and for scanty half-seconds, saw her life flashing in front of her eyes. This was it. She was going to die on Survival of the Fittest, not from shooting, or stabbing, or being blown up, or even cannibalized - no, from falling out of a tree.

How lame was that?

Before further thoughts could be percolated, however, they reached the ground, James' body taking the brunt of the impact. He squirmed under her, coughing into his sleeve like the fall had knocked the wind out of him - which, she reminded herself, it probably had. But they were on the ground. And she was safe. Overcome with relief, she dropped her head back down onto his shoulder and relaxed her grip slightly, still loathe to completely relinquish her grip in case of unexpected falling.

At least, until she heard James stutter a hello, and realized just what she was doing.

She was on a boy.

She was on a boy.

She was lying on top of him like - like some common Jezebel, and - and they were touching and she could feel his skin and oh this was not good. Not good at all.

She barely had time to think about it, pure instinct making her leap up and push herself off of him, backing up until she hit the tree that, ironically, they had fallen from. Oh god she had been on him and she had been lying on him and her shirt was cut so he could see her underthings and-

-her shirt was cut?

Winnie looked down, and saw for the first time the long, shallow slice that ran across her belly and across her left breast. Although it had mostly stopped bleeding, there was still a sluggish oozing of bodily fluids, and her stomach was liberally streaked with red, much of it now on James as well.

Oh.

I'm bleeding.


What little colour had been in Winsome's cheeks drained in an instant, her eyes unfocusing as she leaned against the tree for support. Her breath was coming ever faster, in tiny hyperventilating gasps as she frantically tried to keep a hold of the situation - and unfortunately, failed miserably. Between the tree, the spider, the fall, and now the blood, her mind gave up trying to comprehend it all and simply shut down, sending her crumpling down to the base of the tree in a faint.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(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 Quote Post Goto Top
 
ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Winnie regained consciousness slowly.

Unlike the first time, she was fully aware of her situation. She remembered the tree, and the fall, and James, and then looking down and seeing all the blo-ohhh, god, okay, not a good thing to think about. And now she was...on the ground, she decided, given what things felt like under her, and she was still dizzy and there was bark down her skirt and twigs in her hair but she just could not bring herself to get up.

Her chest hurt. All across her torso where the hook sword had bitten deep, the long, shallow slice burnt like fire. She curled around it, ignoring the hands and lightly accented voice that seemed all around her, turning her face over into the ground. It was dirty and disgusting, but it was less embarrassing than having to look up and see everyone who had seen her make a total fool of herself.

"Please." Her voice came out small, and squeaky, and she just wanted to dig herself a hole and curl up forever. Or maybe go back into her tree.

"You can just...I want to. Be alone right now."


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(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 Quote Post Goto Top
 
ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Head nestled in the dead leaves, mulch, and stony dirt of the forest floor, Winnie felt her cheeks burning hot enough to roast any passing earthworms. Why were there so many people? She just wanted to be left alone long enough to collect her thoughts and find a way to salvage what was left of her dress. Her fetal position, although originally borne of panic, was proving itself all too useful as she slowly realized exactly how high her dress had been cut.

The majority of the skirt, tastefully past her knees, was intact. But just above the waistband and slitting high into the bodice it gaped open, revealing skin - why oh why had she not worn an undershirt like usual? - and just a hint of a beige bra, obviously designed for practically over originality. Wiggling herself a little further over onto her stomach, she couldn't hold back a gasp as dirt ground itself into the wound.

But she couldn't turn back over. James was there, James, who was a boy, and Ricky was there, and someone else who sounded like a boy too, and Thea Kairos who wasn't a boy but could be just as bad. And Raine, of course, but she didn't mind Raine as much. Although she didn't want Raine to see...well, she didn't want any of them to see her womanly parts, no matter how small or insignificant they might be.

Clutching the tattered shreds of her dignity around her, grateful for the masses of red hair hiding her equally fiery blush, Winnie cleared her throat and spoke as clearly as she could without lifting her head. "I am quite fine, thank you very much." Her voice was still coming out squeaky, and she cursed it violently in the privacy of her own mind.

"Please, just...I would like to be alone. Please. I don't." Oh, no, and she was starting to stutter, the tears trying to return now that she was safely on the ground. "Just l-leave me a-a-alone, pl-please. I-I can't..."


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(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 Quote Post Goto Top
 
ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Despite Raine's soothing tone of voice and attempt at kind words, Winnie's mind had been quite firmly made up the moment she had plunged out of the tree. She had suffered embarrassment enough already, and quite frankly, she didn't care if she was getting dirt in the wound or not. She was going to die anyway - no not thinking of that now not thinking of that now - so it didn't matter. And she would not expose herself in any way. She changed position slightly, making doubly sure that her front was pressed into the ground, and discreetly crept a hand backwards to try and tug at the hem of her skirt.

But then, o heaven of heavens, her luck suddenly changed because Thea Kairos, one of the girls Winnie had long watched and admired from afar, alternately feeling desperate for that life and feeling glad she had her own because that life would lead to sin, to bad decisions, and she knew well where that led. And Thea had barely looked at her, seemed untouchable, seemed like she'd never notice girls of Winnie's stature and status...and yet here she was, offering up a shirt. One of her own.

She took it carefully, still guarding her body from view, and managed to squirm into the shirt, covering the ruined bodice of the dress. It took some doing, and each time the abused skin stretched over her ribs she squeaked softly, hating the pain and what it meant...but eventually she was decent again, covered fully. Wrapping around herself, she turned for the first time since falling from the tree, and faced the group. Covered in dirt and twigs, blood and leaves, she wasn't exactly looking her best, especially with the blotchy combination of pallor and blush that her face had adopted when she noticed just how many boys were here now.

Her eyes closed for just a moment, the pallor disappearing as the blush rose anew. Struggling to stand up, she tried to keep her eyes on the ground, arms wrapped around her middle. Wanting to apologize, but completely tongue-tied.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(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 Quote Post Goto Top
 
ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((I know it's closed, just wrapping up Winnie so there's no inactivity))

Winnie had no idea what was going on.

She'd been balanced with some difficulty, still light-headed, just before everything had erupted into total chaos. There had been people appearing out of nowhere, and shouting, and suddenly James had been waving a gun around and she'd rather considered fainting again, just so that when she inevitably finally died of shame or a bullet wound she would already be lying down. But the screaming was escalating and no one was making any sense and the second she saw everyone's attention was focused elsewhere, she clutched Thea's shirt around her and ran.

Stumbling through branches and thickets, tearing her skin on thorns, tears of exhaustion and panic clouding her eyes, Winsome Clarke ran for life, not knowing the direction, and no longer caring. All that mattered was getting away, come hell or high water, and she ran on, feet pounding the ground, deeper and deeper into the woods.

((Winsome Clarke continued in Day of the Dove))
Edited by ifnotwinter, Oct 27 2010, 10:48 PM.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(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 Quote Post Goto Top
 
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