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The Long Road Home; semi-private; PM to join
Topic Started: Nov 23 2010, 12:04 AM (3,645 Views)
Solitair
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Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit that impudence and malice pass for wit.
[ *  *  *  * ]
"He is a pimp," said the voice coming out of Roland's television, "and pimps... don't... commit... suicide."

Roland Hayes and Vera Osborne sat on the couch in his living room, the light from the TV illuminating their confused and troubled faces as the credits rolled and the soft melody of Blur did its best to soothe their ears. For a minute or so, neither of them said a word.

Roland tried his best to compose himself, opening his mouth several times, each time pulling back words before he could say them. He furrowed his brow and closed his eyes, took a deep breath and asked, "What did we just watch?"

Vera groaned and shook her head. "I don't know. Bullshit, I guess."

He got up and turned off the TV, taking out the DVD and putting it back in its case. As he walked back to the couch, he chuckled to himself. "Yeah. Pretty funny, though. What was your favorite part?"

She smiled and looked at the ceiling, trying to think back to the parts of the movie she enjoyed. "Well... I got a kick out of Jon Lovitz killing people. That was kinda trippy."

"Yeah, that was fun. I liked... um. Geez." Roland crossed his legs, then uncrossed them again. "I dunno. The stupid dialogue. Can't get narrow it down any more than that." He sighed and shook his head again. "You wanna do something else? Wash the taste out of your mouth or something?"

"Nah," Vera said, getting up out of her seat and holding her hand out for the DVD case. "I gotta get back home and study. You should probably study, too."

Roland frowned and passed the case to her. "Nngh. I got math to do. Wish me luck."

"Good luck. And, um, sorry I subjected you to that," Vera said as she left for the door.

"It's fine," Roland said, laying down on the couch and reaching for a book that most likely had nothing to do with math. "I laughed my ass off. I ought to see more movies like that."

---

The month afterward, Roland felt like he was about to die. His lungs felt like they would never get enough air, his heart swung around in his ribcage like a recently-battered punching bag, he had at least five stitches in his chest, his mouth felt like it was lined with leather, and his vision got blurry from his pounding headache.

"Jesus, Roland, you look awful!" Max yelled from many feet away, hopping to his feet and sprinting towards Roland, leading him to the nearest park bench. "How long have you been running?"

"Dunno," Roland replied, his hand searching blindly for a water bottle. It eventually found one, raising it to Roland's mouth and squirting water inside. "Kinda lost track."

Max blinked and looked around, the expression on his face matching that of a man who just discovered that his house had flipped itself upside-down. "You didn't feel the need to stop at any time?" he asked. "You didn't pack a water bottle to carry with you while you ran, you didn't dress for exercise, and now you're about to pass out because you didn't have the sense to stop when you started to cramp up. Damn, Roland, I really thought you were smarter than this!"

Roland coughed, sputtering on his water. "At least I'm exercising!" he said. "You know how many times I thought about getting into it before, only to chicken out at the last minute?" His eyes met Max's, unwavering and unblinking. "I just decided to get it over with." He took another long gulp of water and wiped his forehead. "But you're right. I probably should have prepared for this more.

Max just sighed and shook his head. "You could have just told me you wanted to get in shape, you know," he said, looking up at Roland and giving him a good-natured smile. "You can run with me whenever you want. Just give me a call, alright?"

Roland nodded. "Yeah, okay." He tried to stretch his arms, only to stop suddenly and wince. "Ow. I'm gonna be sore tomorrow."

---

Weeks later, Roland held back sobs, holding his head in his hands after hearing the third announcement. Both of them were gone. The Activist Club had lost its first member, and though Vera was probably the most distant of the bunch, Roland still considered her a good friend. Then there was Max Neill, probably his best friend in the whole fucking school, and the student body president besides. And now he was gone, like he was nothing special. Max had a bright future ahead of him. Roland once told him he wouldn't be surprised to see Max running the country in forty years. Not anymore.

Memories of the night before still weighed heavily on Roland's mind, the night when Sarah finally spilled her guts and let everyone in on the big secret. Roland drank it all in, more than willing to take a leap of faith for Sarah's sake. Then Kimberly had to piss all over it by walking out on them. He responded by flipping her off; he was sure she saw him do it, but she just stormed out instead of reacting. What really set him off, though, was what he heard Dutchy say in response.

"'Bless Kimmy?'" he shouted. "She threatens you and you bless her? Christ, Dutchy, what's wrong with you?" He glared at another of his friends, a friend afflicted with Stockholm Syndrome. "Yeah, I heard the two of you talk last night. Are you that much of a pushover? Are you that much of a sheep? Fuck Kimmy, we don't need someone like that with us."

He turned his head to the open door that Kimberly used to exit. "Good riddance, bitch!" he yelled, before getting up and slamming the door behind her.

That was the night before. Now Roland's words stung him almost as much as the announcement did. His outburst probably hurt Dutchy quite a bit, and now he needed to mend those wounds. He agreed to sit with Dutchy while Sarah and Bridget searched for supplies.

"Dutchy, I'm sorry about what I said. I know how hard this is on everyone. I shouldn't have blamed you."
WickedIcon: i just launched a baby wearing a denim jacket and a bowler hat across a hospital, through a window, killing several patients, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment, and finally coming to rest on the body of a presumably dead clown
WickedIcon: this is the best dollar i've spent in several years

chitoryu12I have yet to find gay sex that involves the men punching each other. I must not be on the internet enough

Turning Pages: Read some books along with me, why don't you?

V4:
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V5:
Arthur Wells: The Artist ... ... ... ... ?
Rose Matheson: The Sprinter ... ?
Ilya Volkov: The Wrestler ... ... ... ... !
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Solitair
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Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit that impudence and malice pass for wit.
[ *  *  *  * ]
It wasn't a blessing after all. It was just Dutchy's Icelandic way of saying goodbye. Roland grimaced and looked away from Dutchy, embarrassed at the faux pas he committed in the heat of the moment. "Aw shit. I'm sorry, man. I didn't..."

He didn't mean what he said? Bullshit. He meant every word. He hated Kimberly then, and he still did now. He'd lost patience with Dutchy for just a minute then, and he'd made Dutchy fear him. It wasn't a nice feeling at all.

"I'm sorry," he said again, sitting down on the couch next to Dutchy. "I was just worried about you. We're a team, you know? We gotta stick together, and Kimmy wasn't... she wasn't being a team player." She was also out of her mind, but Roland neglected to mention that to Dutchy.

He sat in silence for a few more minutes, trying to think of something else he could do or say. What he ended up thinking of made him feel even more empty inside. His thoughts turned to his sister Lily; he desperately wondered about her, hoped she was doing alright. He hadn't heard her name yet, which was good. He hoped she'd found some people to team up with, some people she could help, who could help her. If she had to spend this much time out there alone... Roland didn't know what either of them would do then. It was a miracle he'd met so many of his friends immediately after waking up here. Was Lily equally fortunate?

"Christ," he sighed, slumping forward in his seat. "I hope she's okay. I hope they're okay." He wanted to run out and find her, wanted to run out and help Sarah find supplies, wanted to do anything. But the team had a plan, and he forced himself to follow it, no matter how much it killed him inside.
WickedIcon: i just launched a baby wearing a denim jacket and a bowler hat across a hospital, through a window, killing several patients, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment, and finally coming to rest on the body of a presumably dead clown
WickedIcon: this is the best dollar i've spent in several years

chitoryu12I have yet to find gay sex that involves the men punching each other. I must not be on the internet enough

Turning Pages: Read some books along with me, why don't you?

V4:
Spoiler: click to toggle


V5:
Arthur Wells: The Artist ... ... ... ... ?
Rose Matheson: The Sprinter ... ?
Ilya Volkov: The Wrestler ... ... ... ... !
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Solitair
Member Avatar
Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit that impudence and malice pass for wit.
[ *  *  *  * ]
Roland just sat there, looking over the room as he tried his best to relax, to try to calm down before all of the stress building up inside him burst out and made him do something he'd regret. Dutchy leaned against him, probably to try and get some more comfort out of Roland. It just made Roland tense up, and try to subtly scoot away from Dutchy. He didn't like being touched like that, but he couldn't think of a way to tell Dutchy about it without hurting his feelings. So in the end, he didn't get far from Dutchy, instead letting him lean on him and trying to swallow his pride.

Dutchy asked Roland about the map. It took a moment for Roland to figure out what to say in response. "I... I don't know, man," he said, just deciding to be on the honest side about it. "Someone probably did see it, but it's anyone's guess as to whether they'll be able to use that information or not, and I really don't think they can do it quickly." Dutchy was so earnest and eager in revealing the map to the cameras that Roland felt awful having to reign in his expectations. "We might as well go with Sarah's plan while we wait for them to figure it out."

He looked up at the ceiling, trying not to think about anything that happened to anyone else. It didn't work. "Is... is there anyone else you're worried about?" he asked Dutchy. "I was just thinking about my sister."
WickedIcon: i just launched a baby wearing a denim jacket and a bowler hat across a hospital, through a window, killing several patients, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment, and finally coming to rest on the body of a presumably dead clown
WickedIcon: this is the best dollar i've spent in several years

chitoryu12I have yet to find gay sex that involves the men punching each other. I must not be on the internet enough

Turning Pages: Read some books along with me, why don't you?

V4:
Spoiler: click to toggle


V5:
Arthur Wells: The Artist ... ... ... ... ?
Rose Matheson: The Sprinter ... ?
Ilya Volkov: The Wrestler ... ... ... ... !
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Solitair
Member Avatar
Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit that impudence and malice pass for wit.
[ *  *  *  * ]
Dutchy thought he was brave. Roland didn't know what to say to that? Could it really be true? When Roland thought of bravery, he thought of people holding the line in battle, risking their lives to fight off an overwhelming threat for the sake of saving someone or something else. He thought of people speaking up against injustice when the consequences for doing so were severe and life-threatening, possibly becoming a martyr for a cause.

He didn't think that simply being able to endure a hopeless situation counted as bravery, especially when he wasn't doing anything else. There was nothing unique about what he was doing. Dutchy actually admired him? They were almost completely in the same boat! The only real difference between them was who they were before they came here. Dutchy was sheltered, almost idyllic in personality, whereas Roland was more hard-edged and cynical. But it didn't really make any difference, did it? This game was so monumental, so destructive, that it was like a megaton bomb detonating in a crowd of people. It didn't matter whether they wore clothes or armor, they were all doomed.

Roland couldn't look at Dutchy afterwards, nor could he bring himself to say anything. His mind raced with possibilities of what could be happening to the other people on the island. He thought of Lily, one of the most ill-prepared to survive this game. It was truly a miracle that she lasted as long as he did. He thought of Rashid and Harun, two more members of the activists club that he hadn't heard anything about since that wretched briefing. God willing, they found people they could depend on, if not each other.

Most of all, he thought of Sarah and Bridget, wishing he'd spoken up before and requested that he and Dutchy had come along with them. True, they wouldn't bring much in the way of weapons, but at least they'd be together. They wouldn't be torn apart with anxiety, the thought that they'd never see anyone from the other group again.

Roland didn't even think it made sense from a safety perspective. If Sarah and Bridget got into a firefight and Roland and Dutchy were with them, they'd be liabilities, but the boys wouldn't be any safer if they were alone and Maxwell Lombardi ambushed them in this house.

That was the thing about waiting alone. It made people restless and second guess their team. He couldn't take this anymore. How long had it been since they left? Half an hour? A full hour? Two? Did they run into any complications? Was it just taking them a long time to find supplies? Now that he thought of it, what were they looking for anyway?

Roland needed to do something to keep his mind off those things. He rose from his seat and walked to the door. "Dutchy, I'm going to stand guard for a bit, alright? Think you'll be okay on your own?"
WickedIcon: i just launched a baby wearing a denim jacket and a bowler hat across a hospital, through a window, killing several patients, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment, and finally coming to rest on the body of a presumably dead clown
WickedIcon: this is the best dollar i've spent in several years

chitoryu12I have yet to find gay sex that involves the men punching each other. I must not be on the internet enough

Turning Pages: Read some books along with me, why don't you?

V4:
Spoiler: click to toggle


V5:
Arthur Wells: The Artist ... ... ... ... ?
Rose Matheson: The Sprinter ... ?
Ilya Volkov: The Wrestler ... ... ... ... !
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Solitair
Member Avatar
Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit that impudence and malice pass for wit.
[ *  *  *  * ]
Roland didn't get any sort of answer out of Dutchy, unless dejected silence counted as an answer. He sighed and moved back to the foor. "A'right, man, try not to dwell on it too much. I'll be out here if you need me.

He reached his hand toward the doorknob when he heard a knock at the door. His hand leaped back as he looked around for his harpoon. Once the guy on the other side said he was unarmed, though, he decided to open the door a crack to see who stumbled in on their awkward moment.

All he saw was just scared and nervous guy standing outside, as unarmed as he claimed to be. A smile of relief crossed Roland's face as he opened the door and stepped outside. "Hey man, nice to see some company at last," he said, extending a hand for this Joe Rios guy to shake. "I been going stir crazy in there with Dutchy. Not that he's a pain to be with, we just wanna be with our other friends right now." The enthusiastic note drained out of his voice. "The four of us are trying to escape, but I don't see any reason why we can't team up with you!"

A loud sound, one that sounded like ceramic or glass breaking, made Roland immediately turn back to the door and abort his talk with Joe. "Jesus!" he shouted as he fumbled with the doorknob, finally bursting back into the room and haphazardly searching for the cause of the noise. The third room he searched, the bathroom, proved to be the source; he saw the broken mirror and his injured friend and lightened the skin on his face by a few shades.

"No no no no no no no no no no," he mumbled, rushing back into the living room to frantically search it for his daypack, and search his daypack for the first aid kit, and the kit for the roll of bandages. Once he finally got them, he hurried back into the bathroom and did his best to press and dress Dutchy's grievous forehead wounds. "Dutchy, Dutchy, what happened?" he asked in a panic. "Who did that?"

"I'm fine Roland, just fine. No I don't know what happened. Weird huh? It was there when I got there. I've been upstairs all alo- Roland I'm fine, no what are you talking about? There's a crack in the mirror? That's strange. That's really weird."

Roland started to hyperventilate before forcing himself to calm back down and lift Dutchy's head up to get the bandages underneath it. As he put pressure in his bleeding forehead, though, his fears drifted to more serious head injuries, namely.... concussions. His sister Lily would know the telltale signs of a concussion and what to do about it, at least in basic, but she wasn't here, was she? If Roland wasn't careful, Dutchy would become another Marcus Roddy, falling asleep into a void of consciousness forever, becoming a glorified body waiting for Roland someone to finish the job, whether the act be merciful or quite the opposite.

And the kicker? All evidence pointed to Dutchy hurting himself.

Right then, he was glad that Sarah and Bridget weren't around. He was feeling pretty fucking mutinous right about now.
WickedIcon: i just launched a baby wearing a denim jacket and a bowler hat across a hospital, through a window, killing several patients, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment, and finally coming to rest on the body of a presumably dead clown
WickedIcon: this is the best dollar i've spent in several years

chitoryu12I have yet to find gay sex that involves the men punching each other. I must not be on the internet enough

Turning Pages: Read some books along with me, why don't you?

V4:
Spoiler: click to toggle


V5:
Arthur Wells: The Artist ... ... ... ... ?
Rose Matheson: The Sprinter ... ?
Ilya Volkov: The Wrestler ... ... ... ... !
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Solitair
Member Avatar
Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit that impudence and malice pass for wit.
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Alright, my pretties, time to clear out! I'm going to do a slight bit of GMing to save Roland, hope you don't mind.))

As soon as Roland heard that voice, he turned around. Logically, he should have been scared shitless by the sight of a guy armed with a knife standing close enough for his unarmed ass to breathe on. But several thing prevented that.

First, the asshole with the knife had the voice of an officer who only got his job because daddy pulled some strings. Roland doubted that even Dutchy would get scared of that shit.

Second, the guy was rail-thin, sixty percent of Roland's weight at best. If he really tried, Roland could snap this pencil-neck, needle dick son of a bitch over his knee.

Third, Roland's anger had risen far too high to allow for any other sort of emotion to butt in. He glared hard enough to boil stones as the knife guy backed down immediately, seeing how he got the wrong idea about Dutchy. Roland barely noticed what he said, trying his hardest to keep himself from doing something he might regret. One more complication-

"No, really, what the hell is going on?"

Roland moved his hands faster than he ever thought he could, grabbing the harpoon he discarded when he saw what became of Dutchy and pointing it squarely at knife boy's face. "Get out!" he shrieked, the fury in his body making the harpoon's wicked point tremble inches away from soft, vulnerable skin. "Both of you fuckers get out before I cut you open!"

It wasn't long before both of the fuckers had indeed gotten out, and Roland was left alone with Dutchy again. He could still hear Dutchy mumbling incoherently, and to his horror, he thought he could hear Dutchy's voice getting quieter. Roland pinched Dutchy's cheek hard. "Stay with me, Dutchy. Stay with me. Don't you fall asleep now, don't you fucking dare!" Dutchy asleep = concussion = Marcus Roddy = finish the job = NO! Not to Dutchy. Not to him or Lily or anyone else. Never!

He had to get back with Sarah and Bridget, had to get back with them and do SOMETHING else! They couldn't stay here anymore, had to get out before another pissant with a knife showed up. In a series of rushed, deliberate motions, Roland hefted his daypack onto his shoulder, then hefted Dutchy's onto the other shoulder. He did his best to fit his harpoon into his bag, as long and sharp as it was, making it stick up a couple of feet above his head, then moved to do the same to his abandoned tennis racket before he reconsidered. Who gave a fuck about a tennis racket at this point? Honestly.

He got himself geared up, then reached down and pulled Dutchy up. "Come on man, come on. NGGGGH! I don't, I don't think I can carry you. You gotta walk. Come on, please, come on. Oh god oh god come on." Thankfully Dutchy had a clear enough mind to get up on his feet and start walking, even if his balance faltered and he tripped over his own feet from time to time.

The two of them were all set to leave when Roland realized that Sarah and Bridget would be coming back to that house to get them. He sighed and looked in his bag for a scrap of paper and something to write with.

Five minutes later, the two of them started a slow, difficult trek away from the house, Roland encumbered with goods, and Dutchy addled by his self-inflicted injury. They left behind them a roughly scrawled note on a table, a quick, impatient message directing Roland's comrades to another place entirely.

((Roland Hayes and Dutchy Ayers continued in Make Your Own Kind of Music))
Edited by Solitair, Apr 24 2011, 03:42 PM.
WickedIcon: i just launched a baby wearing a denim jacket and a bowler hat across a hospital, through a window, killing several patients, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment, and finally coming to rest on the body of a presumably dead clown
WickedIcon: this is the best dollar i've spent in several years

chitoryu12I have yet to find gay sex that involves the men punching each other. I must not be on the internet enough

Turning Pages: Read some books along with me, why don't you?

V4:
Spoiler: click to toggle


V5:
Arthur Wells: The Artist ... ... ... ... ?
Rose Matheson: The Sprinter ... ?
Ilya Volkov: The Wrestler ... ... ... ... !
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