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Where There Is Fire, We Will Carry Gasoline; Private thread. Trust me, it's worth it.
Topic Started: Oct 11 2010, 02:03 PM (1,273 Views)
Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
((Albert Lions continued from Milk of Human Kindness, permission from Clue has been granted))

Christ almighty, what kind of sick place was this that didn't even have a Pizza Hut? Al shuddered to think. The very idea was just so... unamerican. Hours, he had been wandering, but nothing edible was in sight. There were barely even signs that civilization had ever been here. Granted, these trees didn't just chop themselves down, but that didn't really count. Lumberjacks weren't really civilization. Not that he'd ever say that to a lumberjack. They're big and they carry axes.

"You know, you have bread and water."

"Oh, come on," Al objected, "That totally doesn't count."

"It's something, Al. Better than starving, at least."

"You sound like my mother, dude."

Dougal shrugged. Not much he could really reply with, Al figured. So on they went, Al idly dancing through the field of dead trees and stumps, when he noticed something up ahead.

Wait, no, not something. Someone. Maybe they knew their way around this place.

"Hey!" he shouted at the distant figure. "I'm lookin' for something to chow down on! You know where I can find something?"
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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Namira
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Null sheen.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Kris continued from Clap For The Killers))

Where…?

How long had she been here? Stumbling along with no destination, no direction? Kris was alone but for- she was alone. Since that building next to the sawmill… it seemed like days, it seemed like minutes. It seemed a distant memory, it seemed close enough to touch and taste.

Taste…

Her mouth tasted of blood. She could feel it there, welling up between her teeth, on her tongue… Kris raised an arm and wiped her lips with the back of it, tried not to look at the bright crimson stain it left behind on her skin. It didn’t help, the taste remained. She wanted to spit, but shied from the idea. Kris was afraid of what would happen if she did.

That sounded bizarre, when she actually thought about it closely. There was blood, if she spat, it would get rid of it, right? A nameless, senseless fear gripped her to consider it. Kris tried to shove it out of her mind and ignore the foul taste. Tried to get a sense of where she actually was. Stumps, the corpses of trees… they stretched out before her in every direction. The ground was… it was… odd?

This isn’t…

Kris blinked. That was ridiculous. There was nothing up with the ground. Just dirt and whatever random branches had snapped from the trees when they had been felled. bones. Blinked again. Completely ordinary. Just dirt.

Dirt… that was exactly on Kris’ level, wasn’t it? Probably above her, even. She’d wanted to shoot at those guys back in the building, wanted dearly. Her threats hadn’t been so empty when made. There was the hope that they would flee, of course, but within that, the hope that they’d stay; the hope that they’d give her the opportunity to pull that trigger. At the thought of that… of firing, of seeing the blood spurting once again, to see somebody drop to the ground, screaming in agony…

Something smiled… at what? …Where?

Kris shook her head. Why did her eyes feel blurred? Everything seemed so indistinct. She needed an anchor, something to clear her head. Something…

Click click click click…

Something came rattling towards her, rolling across the bones branches. Kris frowned and looked down at it, cocking her head to one side for a few seconds, as if not quite…

“N-no… that’s not… that isn’t…”

I’m lookin’ for something something to to to chow down on!

S-skate!?

You yyyyyou know where Iiiiii can find somumumthing?

The skateboard crumbled. It was rotted, decrepit. The tape was peeling and the wheels were cracked. It fell apart before her eyes. Kris looked up from it and she screamed. There were bones amongst the tree stumps, far as they eye could see, bleached white, intact, splintered off, merest fragments. Kris tried to turn around, flee, but her feet caught in them and she went clattering to the ground with a crash of gravedust. And all the while, she kept screaming…

Ddddead. Murrrrrrrderrrrr.
Edited by Namira, Oct 11 2010, 02:58 PM.
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Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"

Okay. Okay, what.

Clearly, something wasn't quite right here. The shrill cry of the banshee off in the distance caught Al so off-guard, he nearly lost his footing. Holy crap, this girl could yell. He looked around, but no one else was in sight. So... what the heck was this girl's deal? "Y'think maybe she's seeing things or something?" he asked.

"Search me," replied the apparition. "Just try not to ge-"

"Hey!"

"Or, just keep doing what it is you do. Whichever."

"Hey, hold on a minute! I'm not gonna hurt you or anything like that, really!" Quickly, he began to approach. If she was hurt, he had to help. It was only right. "C'mon, you okay over there? If you need any help or anything, I can-"

Before he could finish his sentence, before he realized there was even anything in the girl's hand, like a crack of thunder, a loud bang tore through the air.
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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Namira
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Null sheen.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Everywhere, they were everywhere. Bones, the grave. All over her, all around her, on top of her, suffocating her with the taste of corpses. Kris screamed again and she desperately spat out what was so defiling her mouth. With it, came that same tang of blood that she'd had before and suddenly, Kris had the feeling that she'd made a mistake. A clear thought, cutting through the confusion and the malaise before primal fear once again swamped her.

Heyyy, hhhold on a minute! I'mI'mI'mI'm not gonna hurrrrrt you ooooor anything lllike that, rally!

What ultimately emerged from her mouth looked a little pathetic really. Just a few drops of blood, watered down by saliva, spattering tamely onto one of the bones scattered across the ground between stumps. Kris almost relaxed, then did a double take of such huge proportions that it would have been hilarious, but for the utterly horrified look on her face. The bone was no longer a mere section of skeleton. It had transformed. It was a skull, complete with the blood dripping down its brow. Was it her, or had the fluid become thicker, redder?

Kris knew it wasn't just her.

C'mon, you okay over there?

The grinning skull, the bleached white surface now streaked with fat runnels of crimson, twitched. The damn thing was moving. Kris watched, sick with fear, as the head cotinued to shift around on the ground, then actually departed from it, lifting itself into the air. Almost instinctly, Kris' hand went to her side, drew her pistol. She felt that familiar feeling of the gun's teeth grasping at her palm, latching on, grafting to her, and it... was a comfort. The skull lifted itself higher in the air, now all but covered in crimson, yet Kris was now undaunted, because she had something of her own. Kris saw the dark, spiked tendrils of the weapon weave their way into her hand, her forearm, bonding to her and far from recoiling... the girl gave a full and broad smile. The gun in her hand, the black tentacles burrowing into and emerging from her skin, they looked right. They felt right.

Belonging.

If you need any help or anything, I can-

Kris was still smiling when she pulled the trigger and blew the levitating skull into a million tiny pieces.
Edited by Namira, Oct 12 2010, 05:53 PM.
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Stark
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"GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!"

Oh man, oh man, oh man, that hurt. It hurt like, like... like getting shot in the gut. There wasn't really an appropriate analogy, no witty comparison, nothing. Getting shot in the gut felt like getting shot in the gut and absolutely nothing else in the entire world. Getting stabbed in the gut? Maybe? Probably not, all things considered. No words really came to mind at all, in fact, save for OH JESUS GOD IT HURTS, and even those he couldn't articulate. Just guttural screaming, crying, and then more screaming when that was done. The wind knocked out of him, he clutched the fresh hole in his abdomen, stumbled back, slipped, and fell flat on his ass, bruising his tailbone in the process. Not that he noticed, of course. Gunshot wounds have a way of distracting you.

The Mosby Scale rates pain on a scale of zero to ten.

"RRRRRRGH OH GOD, oh god, oh god..."

This was at least a solid eighteen. Bare minimum.

"Dougal..."

That's eight degrees of pain more than Al could take and still remain conscious. As blood leaked its way out of his stomach, everything around him went white. When he came to, he was standing in the middle of the ocean. The island was gone. Not a hint of land anywhere in sight. Just... ocean. In every direction, ocean. Al half-expected to turn around to see the burning wreckage of the Kahana, before it occurred to him that, wait a second, he was standing. On the surface of the freaking ocean. That couldn't be right. Liquid didn't work that way unless you were Jesus or had inflatable shoes or something, neither of which was the case. He spun around to face the only other soul standing there in the middle of the clear, blue sea.

"Dougal?"

"It's over, Al."

Over? What was over? Lost? It couldn't be over! They can't just end on a cliffhanger like that! How did Locke die? Who the heck is Jacob? Where did the Island go? Wait, no, Dougal doesn't watch Lost, that couldn't b- oh. Ohhhhh.

Wait, no, that couldn't be right, either. "Hold on, that can't be it! I got too much to live for! I never got to do open mic night at the Improv! I never finished Persona 3! I never even got to find out what Moxie tastes like! MOXIE, Dougal! You know how important that was to me!" It was clear from the look on his face that he was livid. He really wanted that Moxie.

"Yeah, well, what about me, huh?" Dougal interrupted. "What about the family I'm never gonna see again? What about Annabel? It's not just you, Al. Everyone on that island minus one is losing everything they ever cared about. Think about that for a second."

For a second, Al thought about it. "Right. Everyone minus one. And y'know what? I'm one person. Yeah, that's right, I can count to one. So why not me? Answer me that, Casper."

"Al. Let's be honest. Do you really think you have what it takes to kill? Even when you've got no other choice?"

There was an extended pause, before Al sheepishly replied, "Um.... maybe?"

Dougal said nothing. Just stared through his glasses, lenses opaque through the glare of the sun. Al could pretty much tell what look he was getting, though. He'd seen it before.

"...Okay, probably not."

Dougal smiled, walked up to Al, and draped his arm over his friend's shoulder. "Look at it this way. You don't need that kind of guilt on your shoulders. This is for the best."

"...Yeah. Yeah, alright, I think I can live with that."

The freckled youth patted Al on the back, then began to walk. "Good answer. Now c'mon, let's get going."

Al motioned his hand over the top of his head, making a quiet whooshing sound. Really, Dougal? Dude, come on. Sure, they were dead and all, but have a sense of humor about it. Then again, this was Dougal he was talking about. And really, Al had never minded befo- wait, going where? Heaven? Was that why...

"Dougal, wait a sec. Is... is this why you stuck around? I mean, you coulda just gone ahead anytime, right?"

He stopped dead in his tracks, or whatever your feet make on the surface of the ocean, turned, and offered a wry smile. "It'd be a pretty dick move to just let my best friend die alone, wouldn't it?"

Touche, Augustus. Touche. And so, the two marched off silently into the sunset.

"So, you think they got a Pizza Hut in heaven?"

"Al, you play your cards right, and I'll bet they've even got Moxie."

Sweet.


B151 ALBERT LIONS - DEC-

"Wait, can we put that on hold a minute?" Al asked, turning on his heels and starting back in the opposite direction. "I gotta go take care of something."

"Take care of what?"

"Just some unfinished business!" he shouted back over the horizon. "Shouldn't take more than a minute!"

"Heh," Dougal muttered under his breath. "I see what you did there. Ghost humor. Take your time, man, take your time..."


A million miles away, on an island in the middle of nowhere, Al hadn't been out for more than a few seconds before he awoke in a violent coughing fit, blood spurting from his mouth. The pain came rushing back all at once, and god, did it ever hit hard. Still, he came back here for a reason, and with his friend's words echoing in his mind, he was determined to do what he came to do, however much it hurt. "W-wait... Kris, right?" He knew where he'd seen her before now. She was the skater chick from his algebra class. Nice girl, as he remembered. The kind of girl who's got plenty to live for. His lips curled into a smile, a stark contrast with the blood dripping from his chin. "I-it's not your fault, Kris. I get it... you just want to go home. T-there's nothing... nothing wrong with that..." More coughing. More blood. Everything was starting to blur together. He couldn't even make out her face anymore. But he had to keep going. "I wanted that too... but it wasn't gonna happen, no matter who got to me first. So it... it's okay... I forgive you." Faster and faster, his consciousness was fading. "You don't need that kind of guilt on your shoulders. Just... promise not t-" Even more coughing. Even more blood. One more sentence, Al. Close your eyes. Focus. You can do this. "Promise... not to lose... I'll be... pulling... for..."

No more coughing. No more blood. He didn't have any left to bleed. He sped up his own demise to force out one final speech, and he couldn't even finish, even though he'd come so close.

Still, it was just enough that he could go out smiling.

B151 ALBERT LIONS - DECEASED
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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Namira
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Relief. Shattered skull. Nothing but shards. Safety. Over.

Kris’ smile didn’t fade as the report of the gunshot died away, her pistol giving her a welcoming pulse, as if in reassurance. She could feel herself calming down, her heartbeat steadying. The spectre had been dealt with, the SIG-Sauer had seen to that. The skater watched with a sort of idle curiosity as the spiny tendrils emerging from her weapon thickened slightly, then lengthened, creeping their way up through the flesh of her arm burrowing in and out, in and out. There was no feeling of intrusion or pain, just like a natural extension of herself…

They had reached her elbow now, Kris’ entire forearm suffused with snaking, barbed little vines that she regarded with a pleased smile that…

W-wait... Kris, right?

Kris jolted and reeled back, as if struck a blow by some invisible force. The smile vanished, replaced with a trembling pair of lips. Kris began to shake, pupils dilating. Beneath her feet and all around her, the field of bones was fading, fading away…

Kris, right?

The coiling tentacles on her arm drew back from the crook of her elbow, and then dived straight into the meat of her forearm. This time, it actually hurt and Kris let out a strangled gasp as blood began to well up around where the tendrils were burrowing into her. At every place they disappeared into her body, it began bleeding. Kris grasped at the vines, tried to tear them away, but they were immovable, almost grafted to her.

Kris

The world… disintegrated. Night and the moon gave way to bright dawn, the bones vanished, the odd mist burned away instantaneously. Kris found herself standing amongst tree stumps, but on mere dirt, and instead of a shattered skull at her feet, there was…

Albert Lions sprawled on the dusty ground, just barely sitting up, somehow managing to smile through the blood streaming down his chin. He choked out words, conciliatory reassurances that fell dead in the air. Kris heard Al, but what he was trying to say didn’t register, not properly. She dropped to one knee.

“Didn’t… didn’t know it was… didn’t mean to… the skull,” Kris couldn’t muster a voice louder than a murmur, and all the attempted excuses rang false. Awake all night, not exactly lucid, frightened of a levitating spectre… none of them were real reasons.

Somewhere, she’d known that it was Al there.

“I’m so… I’m so fucking so-“ Kris stopped. Al wasn’t breathing. A smile was on his face, and he wasn’t breathing. The skater wore an almost comical look of surprise as she looked at the dead boy, then she let out a sound that was something between a sob and a laugh.

Kris stood up, turned away from the body, and set off walking again.

The weight of the gun in her palm was a comfort.

((Kris continued in Lean On Me))
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