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Aimless; Day 4: Night. Open
Topic Started: Dec 9 2010, 11:47 PM (2,251 Views)
MurderWeasel
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((Isaiah Garvey continued from Late Dawns and Early Sunsets))

Time passed. It was all that could really be said. Isaiah wandered the island, seeking some sort of purpose. He was feeing lost. Scared. He'd been fine in the heat of the moment, perfectly content to stand by as Alex and Jimmy had their encounter. It hadn't meant anything. They'd gotten hurt, but that was all. They'd heal.

Only, it was like the cell tower. Almost everyone Isaiah had met there was dead, now. And what of Alex and Jimmy? What if Alex had decided to turn around and cave his opponent's skull in? Isaiah simply had to trust that this hadn't happened. He had to trust many things, lately. He found himself increasingly unable to, though, found it becoming ever harder to stay optimistic. His goals were vague. He had not found the boy from the beach. Hadn't seen anyone familiar. He had just been walking. Now, in the dark, he was standing on a golf course, watching the rolling greens all around him. Trying to avoid the smell of death. There were a lot of corpses around here. He'd seen at least three, though only from a distance. He'd muttered a prayer for each, but not tried to bury them. Here, the ground would be far too hard for the process to be at all practical.

And then, there had been that announcement. Some girl had caused serious trouble for Danya and his men. Thing was, they'd handled it, quickly and efficiently. Ruthlessly, too. It was worse than there never being anything. It was a glorious glimmer of hope, instantly taken away, replaced with a crushing show of force. If anything had tested Isaiah's faith so far, it had been that announcement.

He sighed. Scuffed his shoe into the grass. Inhaled the cool night air. Stared skyward. Out here, you could see all the stars. You could look all the way into space, see the night with a clarity foreign to Saint Paul, to New Orleans. Even here, in the midst of this insanity, there was beauty. It was all the affirmation of God's presence Isaiah needed.

He smiled, and sat down on a slope. Maybe later he could find a sand trap to shelter in and get a little sleep. For now, though, he was going to enjoy this moment. It was as noble a purpose as any.
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MurderWeasel
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Enjoyment went out the window in a hurry when some girl turned up with a gun and pointed it straight into Isaiah's face. As far as things went, this was a pretty bad surprise. Especially since she seemed really high-strung, twitchy and nervous and, oh, hey, probably racist too. What a surprise. Yeah, black guy out minding his own business until you drop in, clearly he's gonna cut you up and rape your corpse or something. This whole situation was really getting Isaiah pretty steamed, which was probably not the best thing given that he now had to grovel his way out of being shot on really shaky pretenses.

"Woah," he said. "Hang on just a sec there, please. I'm not gonna hurt you. I don't want to kill you or anyone else. I don't have a weapon, and if you don't feel comfortable having me around, say the word and I'm gone. I'd just really appreciate it if you didn't shoot me."

Was that sufficiently conciliatory? He had to hope so. It was fascinating how quickly a situation could go way, way south. Fascinating how quickly the sparks of faith in his classmates' general sanity and good intentions could once more be threatened. And then another sound Isaiah had heard clicked, several seconds belatedly, and he tried to glance around without moving his head, searching for the interloper. Someone over there, some guy. Just great. More people to come mess up his night.

Smile. Try very, very hard to look nonthreatening. Pray for the best.
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That either went very well, or very poorly. The girl calmed right on down. That was good. Then she glanced around, saw the other guy, identified him as Ricky Fortino, and completely flipped again. Went on and on about a trap. Got very, very indignant. Then she cursed at him and left. That was mostly bad. Isaiah wasn't really too optimistic about the girl's chances if that was the way she reacted to things. Still, she hadn't shot him. That had to count for something. If anything, she'd seemed more worried about Ricky.

Ricky. Where was that name familiar from? Isaiah knew he'd seen the guy around, seen him at parties or something, but somehow the name was just sticking in his head.

And Ricky was cursing up a storm, too. Lovely. Said she was probably crazy. At least they were in agreement on one thing. Ricky then decided to go off and do his own thing for a while, alone, and Isaiah just nodded and said, "Sure."

Nothing else to do, really. Ricky was off sleeping or something. Isaiah was almost tempted to go after the girl, but that probably would end in him getting shot. Besides, as he glanced over at Ricky, he could see the boy off in the distance a little, looking all too comfortable. Had he fallen asleep? If so, then it was Isaiah's job to hang around and make sure nobody murdered him in his sleep. It wasn't much, but it was better than nothing. Maybe Ricky'd even be grateful enough to cover a shift later. It had been some time since Isaiah got any rest.

The night wore on for a time. Isaiah turned the name "Ricky Fortino" over and over in his head, trying to puzzle out just where he'd heard it. Had it been recent? The more he thought about it, the more sure he became. It was pretty certain that no one had asked him about Ricky. That really left only one option.

As he contemplated, he became increasingly sure that Ricky must have been on the announcements. After all, Isaiah hadn't really been paying attention to them. He'd been trying to pick out the people he knew well and the ones he'd already met on the island. Some of the other names had grabbed his attention, and one of them had come up again and again. Someone whose name started with an R. Killed three people or something, including that Cyrille girl.

Ricky?

The girl had been scared. Really scared. Accused them of laying an ambush. All that panic had started when she saw Ricky. When she mentioned his name. It made sense. Ricky was a murderer.

In a flash, temptation was there, lurking and grinning. A killer, eh? Well, there was always the path of the sword. Time to go back and purge the sinners, right?

Wrong.

If Ricky had killed—and really, he couldn't be certain at all, but it did make sense—then he needed help, not more violence. Help was in pretty short supply right now, but Isaiah would provide what he could. Ricky had asked to be left alone, but that had been a long while ago, maybe an hour or so. Could have been any amount of time, really. Hard to keep track at night. Didn't matter. What mattered was, Ricky was asleep.

Quickly, quietly, Isaiah made his way over to the boy. Stood above him, looking down. He didn't look like a killer. Didn't look like a hardened murderer. Were looks deceiving at times like this?

Didn't matter. What Isaiah had planned, well, it wouldn't hurt. Hopefully, it'd help either way.

Looking down at Ricky, Isaiah quietly mouthed the words.

Father, forgive us for our sins. Please watch over us, the killers and the killed, the violent and the innocent. This all must have a purpose, and though I cannot see it, I place my trust in you that this is all, somehow, for the best. And protect Ricky, whether or not he killed, because he can't be blamed. In this situation, who can?
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The first indication Isaiah had that anything was wrong was the abortive profanity screamed out by the boy beneath him. It was at this point that the rashness and presumption of his actions really hit home. What was he doing, praying for this maybe-killer? Wasn't like he held responsibility for this guy's soul. As the kick hit Isaiah's leg, sending him stumbling for a second and causing him to give out a sharp exhalation, he realized that maybe now wasn't the time to second guess himself or get caught up in regrets.

Right now, there was basically only time for one thing: acting on instinct. Ricky was freaking out. If he was a killer, he'd be armed and dangerous. The most important thing was to keep him from getting his hands on a gun of knife. Hold him down or something, then talk this out like civilized individuals, apologize for violating his privacy, then split ways and never speak of this again.

Isaiah could dimly make out Ricky grabbing for something, and lurched forward, trying to grab him stop him, prevent this awful misunderstanding from escalating any further.

The blow (blows?) came surprisingly. Isaiah wasn't really sure how many times he was hit. Wasn't sure of much of anything, not after whatever-it-was smashed him across the forehead with an awful crack.

A voice, far away. Something wrong. Balance messed up.

He staggered backwards a few steps, unable to even tell if more blows were coming, unable to see if that... person he'd been dealing with was still there. Then the ground wasn't where he was expecting it, and he was falling, flailing, rolling, tumbling, and the world was blackness.
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Time passed. It was all that could really be said. Isaiah lay at the bottom of the little hill, fading in and out of consciousness. He hurt. All over, he hurt. Memories and dreams came and went, flickered by, always forgotten when lucidity returned. Throughout, a single burning question: Had he made a mistake?

He had been so sure of himself. So sure he was doing the right thing. After all, what purpose could God have possibly intended him for if not to help those in need? Really, though, had he actually accomplished anything at all? He'd buried some guy. Helped a couple people feel better. Was that really a difference? Did it matter?

He blinked. A voice rang out from on high, and Isaiah strained his ears, trying to hear the Lord's message, momentarily exulting in the rightness of everything, able to forget his pain and situation.

Turned out it was just the morning announcements again. He stopped paying attention. He knew what they were saying.

More killing. More death swirling around them, turning them to sinners one by one, stripping away their humanity. That was... bad, right? Isaiah was pretty sure it was bad. His head hurt. That was what hurt the most. No, wait, that wasn't true. His leg hurt the most. He blinked. Forced his eyes to focus. Something was wrong with his leg. It was bent in a weird way. Hurt a lot, too. He couldn't move it, but that didn't really mean anything because he was finding it awfully hard to move any of his body. Eyelids worked fine, at least.

Lord, what did I do to deserve this?

He snorted. That was self-indulgent. Why would God single him out for punishment? He, who had done his best, tried his hardest? It made no sense. He was no Job. It was simple... what was it again?

Didn't matter. This was it. The end. Isaiah was pretty sure of it. With all that pain, he wasn't walking away. He'd just close his eyes and smile as the Lord brought him home. Peaceful. Serene. Easy. Calm. Yes. No better way for it to be.

He closed his eyes, laid back, and waited to die.





Time passed. Isaiah didn't die. He was probably still dying, certainly. His head beat out his leg in the pain contest after a while. Yet, for all that his body ached, he still lingered in it. There were spots of blackness from time to time, momentary lapses of consciousness, but they did not bring sweet release. No, they were a source of sheer, unadulterated terror. Isaiah had a very, very specific set of expectations for the afterlife. Sure, a few details could be wiggled around, but it was a light place, a good place, a happy place. God probably wasn't some old fat white guy with a beard. Probably couldn't be described, even imagined by the limited human brain. He would be there, though. He had to be. Wasn't that where that whole tunnel thing came from? You moved down a tunnel, yeah? Towards a glowing light?

There was no tunnel. There was nothing except pain and periods of nothing. The nothing scared Isaiah. It hinted. It nibbled at the back of his mind. Whispered to him. It wormed its way into his brain, telling him that there was no heaven, oh no, it was all a trick, the atheists were right and the joke's on you and you're gonna die. He couldn't think like that, though. Couldn't doubt. Maybe... maybe it was a test. Maybe this was all to make sure he had true faith, strong faith. Yes. A test of faith. It had to be.

The seeds of doubt had been planted, though. Perhaps they had been alive in his mind all along, since long before his injury, since long before his class had been kidnapped. Perhaps they had been sown the first time he refused to go to church. The phase had passed, to his father's delight, but maybe the questioning never had. Was that why this had happened?

But, if that were true, if his doubts held any merit at all, then this was just a mistake. He'd startled Ricky, Ricky the maybe-killer, and he'd been beaten, and now he was going to die.

The end.

That wasn't right. That couldn't be right. He had to stay strong. Keep his faith. It had lasted him this far, right? His whole life, faith had grounded him, kept him strong. But how strong was faith that required constant renewal, that led him to be so overt, quoting the bible all the time? Wasn't true faith the ability to be strong without nudging yourself, without externalizing it?

He didn't even know anymore. Couldn't think straight. Just started crying.





Time passed. Isaiah eventually stopped crying. Ran out of tears. He was starting to suspect that maybe he wasn't dying. Maybe he was, though. His leg wasn't just broken; it was also bleeding from several large gashes. Actually, he was bleeding a lot. He'd caught up on something when he rolled down the hill. It was hard to see. The world was blurry. His eyes refused to focus. What a pain.

Couldn't this be a little quicker?

He had dim half memories of seeing Ricky at some point. Had it been when he fell? Somewhere in the past? Minutes ago? Seconds? Time was losing all meaning. All he knew was that Ricky was now gone. Everything was gone. His hat was gone. It had fallen off somewhere in the tumble. He could see it lying on the ground. The sun was up now. The golf course was beautiful. Weird beautiful, but still beautiful. He coughed. Spat. Either there was blood in his spit or there was blood in his eyes.

He coughed a few times. Tried to move. Got his arms working. Hobbled into a squat, and immediately fell over.

Goddammit.

...

That... cursing wasn't good, right? Even when you were dying? There was... wasn't he supposed to ask forgiveness or something? There were... there were words for this situation.

He couldn't remember them.

What were they? There was... surely there was a verse to quote here. Some bit of biblical wisdom to help him through this?

He was lying on his face. How had that happened?

Why was he upset?

Something he had to do.

Something important. Something... what? Things were getting less clear. Less focused.

Forgiveness. Someone would forgive him? He had to forgive someone? God? Something.

His head didn't hurt so much now. Leg didn't hurt much either.

There was a brief flash of clarity, of fear. Still no light. Didn't matter. He could beat this, right? Stand up and go. Power on. Invoke the Lord's might for safety and security. Just do it. Somehow. Any way. Anything it took. Anything.

He couldn't move.

He was scared.

If there was a God worth believing in, though, he was sure he wouldn't care.

Something to do.

Just...

B111 - Isaiah Garvey: DECEASED



Time passed.
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