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Somewhere That's Green; TOPIC CLOSED
Topic Started: Aug 27 2010, 09:59 AM (1,643 Views)
Danorum
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Using <3 as a punctuation mark since 2012 <3
[ * ]
"Oh come on, you love camping!"
"Mom, everyone in that school hates me. Can't I just hang out with my real friends instead?"


Deidre was one of the last students to get on the bus. She awkwardly clutched her sports bag as she headed to the back of the bus to sit down in one of the few unoccupied and unsaved places, feeling the eyes of her peers say "Why did she bother coming?" and "I thought she got suspended or something?"

Not that she cared anyway.

"Deidre, I know for a fact that most of your friends are in Miami."
"Well, someone needs to keep Hubert and Marissa company!"
"That's what their boyfriends are for. You're going."


Throughout most of the ride, she was listening to her iPod - hours of nonstop metal and classic rock. She was turned to absurdly high levels, and she saw the boy next to her look over at her a few times. But whatever. If he wanted her to turn it down, he could've just asked. She would've done it no problem. But nobody on the bus really talked to her too much, not even to ask to turn down her music.

Not that she cared anyway.

"So if I can get a boyfriend, I don't have to go?"
"Somehow, I don't think that's gonna happen in the next two days, honey."
"Geez, you're so mean sometimes!"
"I get it from you. Come on, Deidre. I need a few days to myself, and you love camping. I'll make you some cookies and you can share with some of the other girls. All good girls love cookies."


The playlist started repeating itself. She turned off the music and noticed how dark it was getting. Her watch read 8:46, meaning it had to be close to ten. She couldn't really figure out how to reset it herself. She was far from skilled with technology. She could've just asked the guy next to her - he seemed smart enough to figure out something as simple as a watch. Just a tap on the shoulder and a small question could've been enough to fix the stupid thing.

Not that she cared anyway.

"Selfish, selfish! Alright, if you really need the break, I'll go. Especially for you."
"Liar, you just want the cookies."


----

Deidre woke up on a bed of moss and twigs, her head pounding. Holding a cold, dirty hand to her ear, she rummaged through her bag to try and find any aspirin her mom may have packed her. After pulling out a map of an unfamiliar place, a first aid kit she had never seen, and a bat with a nail hammered into it, she quickly realized that this wasn't her sports bag. Snapping back into reality, she looked around for the slightest hint of a campground. Nothing but stumps, fungus and rocks.

This was really happening. She really was on Survival of the Fittest.

What she knew about the game was only what she was forced into watching by her friend Karen. Instead of a horror movie marathon, Karen had made Deidre and her other friends watch seasons two and three of the supposed "game." It was violent, horrifying, and as she would soon discover, very real.

At first, she felt fear. Horror. Helplessness. She was curled up, gasping for breath between sobs, cold sweat dripping from her forehead. Whispered cries of "Dear God, why?!" escaped her lips from time to time. After getting all her tears out and regaining control of her breathing, all her emotions turned to anger. Picking up her bat, she started to pound on a nearby patch of mushrooms, the colourful caps flying in every direction. With a stunning shriek of pure rage, she kicked the stems from their earthy resting place.

It felt pretty good, all things considered.

No longer feeling fear, nor anger, she failed to feel anything at all. She slumped over on a stump, staring blankly into the trees that should have been standing in front of her. What was she thinking? She didn't know. What would she do? She didn't know. Would the others try to kill her? She didn't know. She didn't know. She just didn't fuckin' know.

Looking down at her bat, still awkwardly clutched in her hand, she asked herself one more question:

Could you kill them if it meant going home?

...That question would be answered in due time. But she was gonna make clear that this game's G054 had just started.
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Jennifer Perez continued from Shelter From the Storm))

The endless expanse of fallen trees was not that far from the old bar and the residential zone, though the journey felt like it had taken a long time. That was not a bad thing. Jennifer was in no hurry. She had moved with as great a degree of stealth as her brightly colored clothing had allowed, and took several rests. She had moved when the world sounded normal, ducking into cover whenever she heard sounds that could belong to people, or when the ambient noise went silent. She did not want to deal with another group. Another bout of high-tension, armed paranoia was the last thing she needed.

Then there had been the bang. It had been early in her journey, and it had come from the direction that she saw, looking at her map, seemed to hold the sawmill. It was a place Jennifer had already decided to avoid, and the noise simply reinforced that idea. It had also driven her to ground for half an hour. If somebody was out there throwing around grenades or shooting a rocket launcher, she wanted no part of it. The whole thing was just too much. She wanted to be away from people. Wanted to be at home. Wanted to be doing something stupid and mundane, loitering at the Promenade, window shopping, spending time sitting in the park and staring at the night sky. Anything but this.

There was no anger left in her. That had bled out, as it so often did, once she was alone. She didn't like the situation she was in, but she just couldn't bring herself to rail against the heavens or Danya or anything like that. What would it change? What would it accomplish? Nothing.

The one thing that was worrying to Jennifer was that her priorities were not complimentary. Avoiding people was all well and good, but it would make finding a specific person very challenging. She also didn't know how long she'd have to track him down. He was one of the few genuinely good people she knew, one of the few who were everything she pretended to be. Much as she hated to admit it, that probably meant he wouldn't last that long out here. The sort of person who worried about total strangers in a car crash was not the sort who would be able to kill his classmates. Maybe not even defend himself or bring himself to believe that anyone would kill. Remaining optimistic was the worst possible thing someone could do out here. It was a perfect route to death. It meant trusting the wrong person at the wrong time. It meant getting shot in the back.

That was not a fate Jennifer wished on anyone. Not even Clio Gabriella. The video back in that auditorium, after... no. She couldn't think of that. Anyways, the video had been a perfectly illustrative example of the follies of trust. Even those you thought you knew, thought you could follow anywhere, could turn around and kill you with no hesitation. It was a clear lesson. It gave her pause. Made her wonder, made her hate herself for doing so. Someone who worried about strangers... Could he hurt someone? Well, yes. Clearly yes. Hadn't that been the cause of the situation where they'd met? But only by mistake. And anyways, it didn't matter. Jennifer was not going to win. She was not going to be able to kill her way to the top. She was going to die here. If she was betrayed, that would not be a pleasant death, but then, could any death be pleasant? It didn't seem like it. It was a risk worth taking. There would be no happy ending for her, for her few friends who were here. They would all be gone, soon. Nothing but flesh and bones, rotting in the sun, being picked clean, inside and out, by animals and insects. With the size of the class, it would be a miracle if the whole island didn't contract terrible diseases a week in. There were going to be a lot of corpses.

She looked at her hands. Something so simple. A part of her body. More than that, a part of her. The same hands she'd had her whole life, the ones she'd used to hold a doll when she was five years old, the ones she'd held a pencil and a needle and a magazine and a bottle of beer in in the years since. When she died, when she ceased to exist, it was likely her hands would still linger for a few days. It was strange, imagining being parted from them. And what was death, anyways? Heaven? Hell? She couldn't believe it. Had never been religious. Now didn't seem a good time to start. Then what? Nothingness? She couldn't even consider nothing. Could only picture black, or white, or emptiness, but emptiness was not nothing; it was an absence of something. There was something that could fill emptiness. Nothing could fill nothing. No, death was an eternity without anything, even the ability to know how long had passed. No thought, but no thoughtlessness, either. She simply couldn't imagine it. That made it terrifying.

And now, Chris knew. Chris, and probably someone at the sawmill, and probably a dozen others by now. They had experienced it. It held no more mysteries for them. Was that something to be envied, or pitied?

Jennifer was no longer happy being alone. She needed someone, anyone, to shake her out of her state of mind. She needed something to distract her, to force the unpleasant thoughts away, to pull her back down to reality. Was this the start of going insane? It sure felt like it. She'd thought all these things before, of course. She would often think about the world, even at home, but meditations on death were easier to shake off, to disregard, when the likelihood of ceasing to exist was far away. She'd always planned to live forever, on some level. To live until she was at least eighty, and at eighteen, that was close enough to an eternity. Her short life felt like, well, a lifetime. She had done, seen, experienced so many things, and it was just a beginning. Only now there would be no end. Now there would be nothing. It was only a matter of time.

She wanted to smash her head against something, to hit something hard, drive the thoughts away with pain. She kicked a log with all her strength, but it was old and rotten, and crumbled and splintered and flew every which way, but did not even grant her a hint of agony. The movement did throw her off balance, but she instinctively flailed her arms, managing to stay upright. Her body was made for this, to keep itself intact. Only her traitorous mind desired to damage herself.

And then, she paused. She had been walking while thinking, though she had not realized it. Walking without watching where she was going, in a daze, a haze of thoughts, not registering anything at all. The world was silent. The sun was high in the sky. Around her, as far as she could see, were stumps and fallen logs. Grass and tangled weeds grew everywhere. Some fungus dotted some of the stumps. And up ahead, a good ways ahead, was a figure, sitting and staring the opposite direction. A person. Someone she knew? She was too far away to tell. Right now, though, she would take anyone. Anyone to provide a distraction. Jennifer picked up her pace, stumbling slightly as she made her way through the weeds and across the loose rocks and branches, her feet occasionally crushing dry plants and threatening to upset her balance. She was closing quickly. Wait, better to say something now, right? Better not to surprise someone dangerous. Even if it could be a relief. Even if the adrenaline rush of a life or death struggle could be just the right thing to carry her away from her musings. She had to be strong. She had to be strong for everyone else. Her family. Her friends. Easier to remember now, with another person in sight. Easier for her to pull herself back together. It was an interesting revelation. Jennifer wanted to stay herself, and she had thought that other people imposed false selves on her. Now, though, she wasn't sure. When she was alone, she wasn't sure she was anyone at all.

"Hello," she called softly, pausing about twenty feet from the person. A huge girl. Someone she'd definitely seen around. Someone intimidating. Didn't matter. At the moment, anyone was a blessing.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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Danorum
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Using <3 as a punctuation mark since 2012 <3
[ * ]
"Huh?"

Deidre was still trying to piece everything together when she saw a tiny, spiky headed figure not too far away, making her presence known with a concise 'hello.' She didn't look like she could be a threat at all. But then, everyone out here could have a gun. But of course even then, it looked like the recoil would kill the poor girl if she tried it.

The question Deidre was really asking herself right now was "Do I pick up the bat and charge?"

The answer was easy.

"H-hey there," she stammered, collecting the few thoughts she had. There's no way she was gonna beat down this helpless-looking mouse of a girl. "I'm Deidre. I don't think we've met before, have we?" Getting introductions out of the way was definitely a good start. Despite the large grad class and the four years in high school, Deidre knew very few people.

Setting her bat on the ground, she stood up from her wooden seat, preparing herself to ask her next stupid question: "You... You aren't "Playing," are you?

Deidre was never very good at getting her priorities straight.
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The girl spoke. It was not a conclusive response, not a greeting or a threat. A nothing. The sort Jennifer uttered all the time herself. Reassuring, somehow. No prepared speeches. No eloquent greetings. Just the girl. The girl and the bat.

Well, okay, the fact that this huge girl had a bat was somewhat intimidating. Then again, could Jennifer really talk? She was armed, too. Probably more usefully than that girl. When a heartbeat passed without any further comment, she nearly went for her icepick. Just for defense. Just to catch the bat if the girl swung it at her. But no. That would escalate. That would be the worst possible thing to do here. She had to bring the tension down, not ratchet it up.

And then, the words. The real introduction. The release of fear. Jennifer could smile about how foolish she had almost been. And, better still, they had never met before. It made sense. Of course she hadn't known Deidre's name. And Deidre didn't know hers.

"I'm, um, Jennifer. Perez not Romita."

It had become a mantra over the years. Why she clung to it now was beyond her. Who cared if someone mistook her for Romita now? Being thought promiscuous was the least of her problems.

This was instantly proved correct, as Deidre inquired about whether or not Jennifer was playing. That caught her by surprise, and then tripped her up. Playing? Playing what? Did she mean killing? Talking like this whole thing was just a fucking game? It set her on guard. Made her wonder just how stable Deidre was. Almost made her turn tail and slip off again, like she'd been doing this whole time. But no, the girl had set the bat down while talking. It clearly was a question born of fear, not malice. It was not pleasant, not polite, but the time for niceties was gone. This was sheer survival.

At least, it was for Deidre. Jennifer had to keep herself herself, though. So she didn't snap back, didn't give a curt reply. She started walking towards Deidre, smiling.

"Um, I don't think it exactly counts as playing. More like, um, well, murder, I guess."

Wait. That had come out all wrong. It made it sound like that was what she was doing. Fuck. This whole scenario was not going how she'd hoped. She was walking closer, grinning, icepick maybe visible behind her back, talking about murder. Maybe being herself was a mistake at this precise moment, because she was not eloquent or particularly good at communicating what she meant.

"Um, uh, not that I've killed anyone, or, um, or would ever want to. I don't. I, um... I'm just sort of scared and I've been alone for a while. I just want to, I don't know, um, not be alone for a minute, but, um, I can leave if you want."

What a disaster of a speech. She'd messed up about as much as possible. She'd tipped her hand, fumbled her introduction, and possibly made herself seem insane. This was just getting better and better. Maybe she should run. It wasn't too late. But no. What would that accomplish?

It was just too confusing. Too much to deal with. Her emotions were all over the place. She just needed to sit down and sort herself out.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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Anderson
Survivor
[ *  * ]
((Bill Davis continued from Shelter From the Storm))

Bill Davis wasn't exactly hiding in the underbrush...it's more like he was making his way carefully through the knocked-down trees, trying to find his own way through the bits of brush and cut-down trees without either tripping or making a racket to attract people. The result had been slow slogging for quite some time...slow but steady, and it beat the other option of fast-but-failed in his opinion.

Approaching the two other kids, Bill opted not to charge in shooting...as popular as that must have been so far, he decided against it: It usually backfired, with the charger winding up dead...and dead was something that he did not plan on ending up being, at least not yet.

Rather, Bill chose to lower his gun (while keeping it visible) and wave to them. If they chose to run, he'd follow another path...but for now, he could use a situation where he wasn't alone.

Even if I must eventually betray them...I'd rather not be totally alone.

"Hey there! Je...Jennifer, right?" And some guy he couldn't recall the name of. Hey, one of two was better than none.

Lowering his gun further (but obviously not dropping it), Bill tried to offer a reassuring smile.

Just be cool, just stay calm, and this will end well. Nobody will die yet, and you might get some allies in the process.
Characters:
David Anderson (deceased)
Tyler Franklin (deceased)
Bill Davis (not dead yet...but soon!)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Before Deidre had time to respond, the situation became even more complicated. A boy called out, and Jennifer spun to face him. This had the unfortunate effect of clearly revealing to Deidre the icepick in the rear band of Jennifer's skirt. Combined with her lackluster introduction, she was afraid she really was going to look like a psychopath, and a bad liar to boot.

Those thoughts vanished as the image of the boy in front of her clicked. Bill something-or-other, his name was. Big guy. Tall, heavy, muscular. Football team. One of Maf's teammates. Someone who could maybe help her find him, help her say her little goodbye, or whatever it ended up being. Normally, the association would've been enough for her to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Normally, Bill would not have been holding a large gun.

Jennifer knew nothing of guns, but she suspected that rifle sorts were more dangerous than pistols. She'd seen how erratic people got here. Carla's departure had shown her clearly that weapons did not make for level heads. All it would take for everything to end would be for Bill to decide to kill her. It was really that simple. A tug of the finger on the trigger, some sort of internal process, the expulsion of a large piece of metal. Curtains.

Not quite how she'd imagined her life ending.

She was laughing nervously again, stepping sideways. Deidre behind her, Bill in front. Deidre had seen the icepick, knew that Jennifer wasn't entirely stable or coherent at the moment. There was a very high likelihood of this going poorly. Had she been an outsider, a third party, perhaps she could have talked them down, could have explained. As the focus of their attention, there wasn't a chance. Her palms were sweating. She was glad she hadn't set her bags down yet. Glad she hadn't gotten comfortable. Being with people seemed so overrated, now. It was just too much.

Her laughter abruptly stopped. Everything seemed clear. She could hear a cricket chirping, somewhere. Feel the breeze from the sea tugging at her clothes. Watch Bill's chest rise and fall with his breath.

"I'll just be going," she said. "I still need to find somebody."

The tension was running high. Then again, maybe it was just her. She wondered whether she was the escalating factor in this situation. The others seemed calm enough, but she'd done too much wrong for them to possibly trust her. She'd fucked up fairly brilliantly. The stress had her hands shaking. It took conscious effort to keep them from drifting to the back of her skirt. That would be a fatal mistake. She felt like she was about to burst from nervous energy, like she had to run, run and not look back. But not quite yet.

"Bill, if you see Maf, tell him to keep an eye out for me, please. I'll try to check at, uh..." She couldn't remember many of the landmarks. Only the sawmill, where that horrible explosion had come from; the residential zone, where she'd already seen there were too many people; and some sort of carnival, with rides and a mirror house. That last one gave her the creeps, but it also seemed least likely to have a large group hanging around.

"I'll check by the house of mirrors. I'll try to go by every day or two."

They hadn't shot her or beaten her to death. That was good. Maybe her speech had given them some reason to trust her. She couldn't chance it, though. She had to get moving, get out of here, regroup and try again. It was the only reasonable choice. Maybe she'd be lucky and they'd find Maf, and tell him. Maybe not.

Did it even matter in the long run?

She inched her way to the side, and, after a few quick glances, took off again, the bags and icepick thumping awkwardly.

((Jennifer Perez continued in Spelunking))
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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Danorum
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[ * ]
Shiiiiit, girl you gotta get outta there!

It was unquestionable that being in SOTF would mean Deidre would run into her fair share of psychos and sociopaths, but she really didn't envision her first encounter to be with two of them. The meek looking girl turned out to be a giggling lunatic with an icepick, while some other person she didn't know was waving to her with a gun in hand. All in all, the experience was one big, enormously terrifying eye opener of what to expect.

Run. Now.

Jennifer had already left, leaving her with the gun toting (possible) maniac. This, Deidre thought, was not the best situation. Gotta run. Now. And quickly.

With one quick, but somewhat clumsy motion, she swooped down for her weapon, and ran in the direction opposite Jennifer. Wherever she was going, she wanted to be far away from any other students. The less she saw, the less likely it was she'd get hurt. Or hurt them. Bag in one hand, bat in the other, she dodged her way past the stumps and the once-green trees, and out of the forest.

((Deidre Paul continued in Dirty))

((Apologies for holding people up. My incompetence will not go unpunished.))
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Anderson
Survivor
[ *  * ]
Bill looked as the others ran off and sighed.

Well, having the gun out might not be the best move, but it beats getting shot first.

The bit of introspective didn't leave him feeling too much better, but it was a bit of consolation against being stuck alone for that much longer. It still made him growl just a bit in frustration, but...

I'll deal with this. I'll get by.

Bill shook his head and waited for a few moments as the girls ran off. Chasing after one of them was just asking for trouble if one or the other had a gun, so he let them get a bit of a head start before continuing his cross-island sojourn.

Back into the woods, I guess...

While he might be attacked in the woods, that was also true of just about everywhere else here. In the end, though? It didn't really matter, and if he was lucky, he might at least find somewhere to lay down where he wouldn't get surprised.

Or back toward the town or...ah, hell, I'll figure it out when I get there.

With that, Bill began walking again...

((Bill Davis continued elsewhere))
Characters:
David Anderson (deceased)
Tyler Franklin (deceased)
Bill Davis (not dead yet...but soon!)
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