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The Cries of the Voiceless; PRIVATE: Mary Ann Warren and RJ Lowe. Approx. 4AM in the morning that will become Day 3.
Topic Started: Oct 2 2010, 04:09 PM (2,883 Views)
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[[Mary Ann Warren, continued from Sometimes Sanctuary Isn't So Far Away]]

Mary Ann had spent all night hiding, running, searching- it somehow felt routine after doing it for two days straight. Though she had yet to directly interact with anyone on this island, the girl simply could not shake the feeling she was being chased. Mary had run so long and so far that different locations became familiar, and she began to discern the relationships between them by distance and direction- though an advantage, this was no comfort to Mary Ann. She didn't want to get to know this place. She didn't want to be G108. She wanted to go home, where she only ran if she wanted to. Where she only hid if she wanted to. Where casual acquaintances were just that, and danger lurked only in their words.

Mary Ann stopped for a moment, and dropped the sword that still added weight to every step. Her wrists hurt like hell- every time it got unbearable to hold the sword she'd switch hands, but it became harsher each time as her fatigue increased and time between switches slimmed. More than once she'd considered leaving the damn thing, but being caught without a weapon scared her far too much to let her follow through.

Long story short, Mary Ann's nerves were getting to her. About 22 hours had passed since her last labored attempt at sleep, and her body was sore from the weight of her bags and her weapon. Mary Ann needed rest, but where? Everywhere she went that would have shelter, the voices of her fellow students had chased her away... and there was no possibility of going back to the houses in town. Not after what she'd seen. Mary Ann took care to hold her skirt underneath her thighs as she sat down on a stump several feet away. Her head pounded- she had Ibuprofen in her backpack, but was it worth wasting water?

Her headache pounded out a resounding "YES!" Mary Ann gave in- she knew that if she needed water later she'd hate herself for this moment, but that didn't matter. Not now. The water felt amazing streaming down her throat, cleansing the swelling feeling Ibuprofen always put in the back of her mouth- it felt a little too amazing, unfortunately. When she finished Mary Ann found half of the bottle gone. Damn it! Mary Ann wanted to cry- but she knew better than to make her headache worse.

As she looked around, Mary Ann found herself surrounded by stumps. Stumps, and... Oh no.

About twenty feet away, behind one of the stumps... a pair of legs.

Please be alive please be alive please be alive! She ran towards the legs, leaving her sword and bags behind. Please be alive. Those legs were the only thing important in the world, especially if they were still alive, if there was something she could still do for them.

It would've been better if they had just stayed legs- those were probably the least disgusting part of the body sprawled on the ground in front of Mary Ann. It was dark and extremely hard to see, but the stench hanging in the air above the body said enough.

For several seconds, all senses left Mary Ann's consciousness. She couldn't feel anything, she couldn't hear anything- not even her own thoughts. It was as though the universe and all life in it had frozen... until it started again. After those seconds of blackness, everything rushed to Mary Ann's heart and mind in bare moments- it was like in an action movie, where the hero makes a shot and everything slows down for a second to let the audience see the precision of the shot- but nothing about this was exciting, or cool, or worth applause from an audience. An almost disturbingly loud sob escaped the girl's throat as she dropped down to the corpse.

"Who are you?" She almost wanted to shake it when it didn't answer... no... no, not it. This was a girl's body. But the girl still would not answer. "Who are you... who are you... who...?" Mary Ann brought her knees to her face and wept for the girl who hadn't gotten the chance to hide.
Edited by Ella, Oct 3 2010, 11:20 AM.
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When was the last time Mary Ann had cried like this? She'd shed some tears here on the island, but only now had she dropped everything to have one long session of sobs. Mary Ann really didn't cry very often- being a teenage girl basically guaranteed some tears, but Mary Ann's life had generally kept her content and at peace- until now, of course. She straightened herself out and began to wipe her ey-

Light.

Someone had found her. "Shit!" Mary Ann didn't normally curse, but Jesus, was this a time to start muttering such foul things under her breath. Why did I make all that noise oh god oh god oh god-

Thud.

Something hit the ground. Whoever had the light must have dropped something. A weapon? Did that mean he or she wouldn't use it? Mary Ann hastily stood to view her visitor who still had not spoken or made any attempt to greet her. That doesn't make sense... if they were planning to sneak up on me they wouldn't have shone th- oh no.

She could've been wrong (oh god please be wrong), but... anyone else probably would've attacked or something by now (you don't know this place, it could be anyone)... she slowly staggered towards the figure. The lights were blinding her, but she could see that it was a large, tall person, probably male- (still could be anyone, please be anyone but-)

R.J. Lowe.

She'd almost forgotten about him in all the confusion of this ordeal. She remembered their time together, not long before the end of school- passing notes in algebra and the library, rides home from school on the motorcycle, that night at the movies... how could he be here? Though on the other hand, a large part of her was glad to have found not only a familiar face, but the most familiar of them all- and the rest of her hated that part with a burning passion for wishing such a fate on that face. At this point, she suddenly grew a self-consciousness she hadn't felt in what seemed like forever- Oh god, I must look like hell right now. She could practically see it now- her clothes covered in sweat and dirt, dark rings under her eyes, red blotches from all the tears shed over the past couple days- a tiny part of her tried to convince her that, knowing the nature of this game, he'd just be happy to see her- oh, right. The Game.

He couldn't possibly- I mean, she could never even dream of doing- doing that. But then again, if Danya had been right, there could only be one winner. Even if they were the luckiest- even if it came down to just them- Great, more tears. Come on, don't cry... don't cry, you'll worry him. He's just as scared as you are... Right. As bitter as it was, she had to be happy to see him. Nothing would change the situation, but surely there was no harm in trying to be happy for only a minute, right? These were the thoughts that ran through the head of Mary Ann Warren, as she continued to stagger, open armed, towards the first reminder of home she had found here. Welcome home, Mary Ann.
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Mary Ann had no idea how long they stood in that spot. It could have been minutes, hours- but that didn't matter to her. In fact, she didn't want to know- for only when they broke the safety of that embrace would they have to return to reality as the bloodthirsty island wanted it. R.J. must have known this as well- perhaps that was why he kept his arms wrapped tightly around the girl, silent sobs shaking both their bodies.

What had he seen? Mary Ann had already seen death... surely, he had seen it too. Nineteen dead... no, twenty, actually. Well, counting that one she'd seen... was that girl over by the stump one of the nineteen or was she new...? That would make twenty-one if she was... but then again, she hadn't seen anyone die on the first day, so if it was like then there would be around nineteen she hadn't seen... So twenty-one plus nineteen- thirty- no, forty exactly. By her own probably flawed calculations. How many of those forty had R.J. seen?

Mary Ann hated thinking of all those people that way- numbers. One number getting picked off every hour. Probably because she was one of them herself- girl number one hundred and eight. Those words echoed through her mind, making cold, empty sounds as they bounced off of invisible walls in her brain.

Both were finally beginning to calm down. She pulled away- careful to keep the unity of their arms intact- to look at his face... or at least try to. If there had been more light, she would have tried to find clues in his eyes, to decipher the horrors he could not explain to her. She reached a hand towards his face- "I'm sorry."

For what? She wondered. Though nothing about their predicament was through any fault of her own, that was the only phrase in her mind that seemed appropriate. I'm sorry we're here. I'm sorry I couldn't help that girl, or that young man who fell into the water. I'm sorry I can't help you... Empty apologies joined the numbers in her mind.

"I... in my bag. I think I have a notebook or something... if you need to..." But even then, writing took time. And they only had so much time... "But... this is fine too." She moved closer again to take in the last seconds of warmth.
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A sudden coldness came over Mary Ann as R.J. left her, even if only briefly. She wrapped her arms around herself as she silently watched him retrieve his bags, approaching him again when he returned to find the book. She started to reach out to find it herself- but he was already rummaging through the bag. Don't find don't find don't fi- crap. Seeming to know exactly what they were, he tucked them away quickly- but Mary Ann had caught him anyway. Oh well, not like he meant to. She knew better than to start a distracting argument when she wasn't even upset with him, especially right now- but that didn't stop the burning feeling that had spread across her face. Focus.

R.J. found what he was looking for and sat down with Mary Ann quickly following, tenderly resting her head against his leg as she kneeled on the ground next to the stump. She watched as letters, and then words appeared with the movement of his hand- YOU. KNOW... I know what? She suddenly remembered how much she hated being watched while writing. however, so she turned her head away until she felt him stop writing. What do I know?

After several minutes, he stopped, shining the unapologetic light over the page that suddenly held new information- You know that I would do anything to see you go home safe, right?

Mary Ann's stomach dropped- she didn't particularly know what that meant, but something in her mind assured her that it didn't mean anything good. Her face twisted into a judgemental wince before she regained control of it- after that, all she could do was slowly nod, waiting for new words to confirm her fears.
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Bam. Bam. And Bam.

Though not spoken, those words hit Mary Ann like cannonballs, one by one, each no less shocking than the one before it. Not necessarily painful the way a real cannonball would feel- just lots and lots of impact.

So many thoughts ricocheted through Mary Ann's mind like bullets on steel walls- it was too difficult, too dangerous to find just one and catch it. But damn if the poor girl didn't try anyway.

The most shocking part, it seemed, was how much trust and care he seemed- that he had invested in her. As much as she cared for R.J., Mary Ann knew how mortally expensive such trust was here. Maybe one would fuck around saying those sorts of things at home- but not here.

I love you.

That was something she'd only ever heard from parents and grandparents before- but of course, the context was gravely different here. So what did she say? She'd seen enough movies and sitcoms to know you have to respond to such a confession. But then again, this wasn't like those sorts of things you see on TV. Wait, no, this was EXACTLY the sort of thing you see on TV. Literally. But still. The genres didn't cross much. Or did they? She'd never watched this show before. Focus! Right.

So how would she answer? Obviously, the conventional answer would be to say she felt the same, as when her parents and grandparents said it. But did she feel the same? It didn't feel right to say that without meaning it after everything he'd just confided in her. What do I do what do I do what do I do... She looked back to their times at the simpler setting of Bayview Secondary School. All she had wanted at the time was a friend, someone to spend time and share thoughts with- and he had given her that without once being asked or instructed to. She smiled to herself, but quickly turned it back down when she remembered where she was. He certainly wasn't looking for a friend though. They had only just met when he asked her on their first date- not that she wasn't totally thrilled anyway. He was one of the first people who had ever taken any particular interest in her, romantic or otherwise- and the first she had given a chance to explore that interest. Besides, it was certainly clear by now that the feeling behind it was genuine.

So really, the complicated part was that her feelings for him held multiple facets. Before R.J., Mary Ann had never had a close friend, let alone any sort romantic attachment. In a lot of ways, she was as clueless when it came to matters of love as she was with matters of friendship- if not moreso. Actually, scratch that. Definitely moreso.

"I... um... well, I care about you a lot. That's for sure. But... well, I've never really loved before, so... well, I guess I don't know how yet. Or something." She felt that burning feeling in her face again. "I'm sorry."

But there were more important matters at hand- there was definitely a reason he was saying all of this. Though his words were sincere, there was no way in hell he could be saying all that because something good happened- obviously already a given considering the whole "you have a 274:275 chance of dying" thing, but still. Something morbid and ugly lurked behind the urgency of these words.

"But I will stay with you. I promise. I'm alone without you, and I've done more than enough being alone here."

And that settled it, really- she knew that regardless of her feelings, no one else was going to help her get through this like he would. What mattered now was the getting through this part.
Edited by Ella, Oct 7 2010, 12:50 AM.
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"That's fine. Just being able to tell you is all I need. That you'd stay is more than I could've hoped for."

That was reassuring. Mary Ann wasn't surprised, really It was just like him to be a gentleman, always patient and forgiving of her inexperience; especially useful now that she knew she wouldn't be getting much more experience with this sort of thing in her life- Don't think that way. He's promising to help you out of here, so the least you can do is match that confidence. Yes. There would be more movie theatres. There would be more motorcycle rides.

The next piece of information was more urgent, but not necessarily unexpected given the context. ...rather than when it's announced in the morning. Now those words worried her. Thousands of gruesome images rose in her mind; and despite attempts to sweep them away with optimism, she knew that whatever he said next, it would have the most dangerous impact of anything expressed during this conversation. Remaining close, she braced herself.

"Go on. I'm ready to hear it."
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He killed someone. Approximately forty dead. More to die in the coming days.

We are responsible for one of them.


A wave of numbness had washed over Mary Ann's entire body, leaving her blank and alone with her thoughts.


What does this mean?

He was a killer when he held me. He was a killer when he promised to take me away from here safely. When he told me he loved me.

He became a killer before I could ever have hoped for a chance to find him. And he will be a killer when we leave.

This is the truth, and nothing can change it.


But the other person- She looked at the page to check- Eva- she shot first, right? That's self-defense, even in the real world he wouldn't be... but it's still killing. It's wrong.

But not here.

Was this what those forty children had thought of as their breaths grew scarce and their last grains of sand slipped through the cracks? Mary Ann rubbed her temples in an attempt to bring her mind further into reality, but she still didn't know how to react. She didn't want to cry, or scream, or stomp her feet- what would even come of it if she did?

She noticed that R.J. still looked at her, waiting for a response- and that was what finally convinced her body to release several streams of tears, shamelessly leaving damp trails on her face.

"I-" She became self-conscious once again at the sound of her voice breaking- "I'm still too scared of being alone to leave... I just wish it didn't have to be like this, you know?"

She buried her face in his leg, once again allowing herself to cry without restraint. During those miniscule morning hours, the only sound that could be heard in that barren field of stumps was that of Mary Ann's futile sobs.
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A crackle emerges from the darkness, followed by a dreaded but all-too-familiar voice.

"Do you kids know what makes Uncle Danya happy?"

What... no... go away.

The second day of our little competition saw twenty-one students bite the dust.

Twenty-one.

You know what that makes total? Forty dead.

Forty dead. Could've been thirty-eight if you'd bothered to do anything, huh?

Invisible walls emerge, covered in blood.

Forty dead, child. And you're next-


Mary Ann awoke with a start to find herself alone and surrounded by stumps. It was light out- Jeez, when did I fall asleep? Her senses returned, along with a cramp in her neck, which she rubbed gingerly with the palm of her hand-

Paper.

A piece of paper sat on the stump where she remembered her companion should have been.

"Dawne Jiang, Rose Codreanu, Tobias Elwin and Raina Morales- BY REIKO... Eva Lancaster..."

It took Mary Ann a full ten seconds to realize these were the names of the recently deceased. So she must have been the one... A chill made its way through her body, making her limbs shake as she counted the names.

Twenty-one new deaths. For a split second, Mary Ann found herself excited for predicting correctly- but crushing shame immediately punished her. Must've jinxed it or something. Though she knew that couldn't be the case, she decided not to use math for a whil- rustling.

She turned around to find RJ on another nearby stump, a map spread across his lap- noticing that she'd awoken, he waved.

She took the invitation and approached with a bittersweet smile. "Morning." She noticed both of their bags several feet away, neatly packed with their weapons sitting almost innocently on the packs of their respective owners.

"Guess we can't squat here forever, huh?" She kneeled behind him, resting her chin on his shoulder to view the map. "I think we're right around... here." She pointed towards the north of the map, and then motioned the area around it- "I've already been around here a couple times... I've just been kind of wandering."

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After several seconds of thought, R.J. had pointed towards a bunch of buildings on the map- the town.

Mary Ann still dreaded a return there- but she shook it off. I'm safe now. She nodded and went towards the bags. R.J. motioned towards the sword she'd been lugging around- "Oh, thank God-" She gladly accepted. "Thanks."

And that was that- everything was ready to see them off... except for one thing. "Wait a sec." Someone was still here... someone she needed to say goodbye to.

She returned to the body she'd found when she arrived- more light and a rational inspection revealed it to be Amber Whimsy. Mary Ann knew of the girl- they'd had a couple classes together junior year- but really, she'd just been a face to her. Either way, Amber clearly hadn't gone peacefully. Dried, brown blood covered her torso, her face still contorted in pain over the wound. Mary Ann's eyes began to swell again- No. No more crying.

If nothing else, she owed Amber peace with this world. Carefully, Mary Ann picked up some soil from the ground next to her and sprinkled it over the wound in her chest, adding more until the blood was no longer visible. "Good luck." Her work was done here. Mary Ann returned to her waiting companion.

"Let's go."

She took his hand and they approached the rising sun- no longer alone, and no longer afraid.

Good luck.

[[Mary Ann Warren and R.J. Lowe continued elsewhere. END OF THREAD.]]
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