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Anthem for Doomed Youth; day six, open
Topic Started: Feb 9 2011, 08:31 PM (4,536 Views)
xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
[ *  *  * ]
((Acacia Salinger continued from Fairytale of New York))

What passing bells for these who die as cattle?

She had come to a place where she could hide. In their search for Alex they had traversed the island several times, but they had always gone around the Mountain. They had known that there were tunnels through it, but they hadn't wanted to waste time by getting lost in them. Now all she wanted to do was just that; waste time, try and live. She needed to find herself a task, only problem was that she wasn't sure what that task was. A tiny, irrational part of her was telling her that she would be hated now, that she would be universally despised for killing Roman who was, on the whole, well liked. And Danya hadn't said. He hadn't said why. Just:

"Roman Jackson was stifled in his sleep by Acacia Salinger, Othello style."

Those words were running over and over in her head. She'd almost hoped that John would get the blame, it was his fault after all, if he hadn't shot him them she wouldn't have had to-

Acacia was walking slowly down the tunnel, very slowly. There was a slow drip coming from somewhere, and unconsciously she timed her footsteps with it. She felt lonely; a sociable person by nature she had barely spent a minute alone since they had arrived on the island. It reminded her of when David had been sent off to Iraq and for the first time in her life she was without her older brother. And when they had come back from taking him to the airport, and her Mom had disappeared into the kitchen and her father to his study, she had stood in her room with the curtains drawn and the lights off. Darkness. Like now.

Who was she hiding from?

"What passing bells for these who die as cattle?" she murmured to herself. Her love of poetry was always a surprise to anyone who found out. It didn't fit in with their opinion of her, the diabetic, tennis playing, cheerleader. That was her role, her niche, within the school. She wasn't allowed to like poetry as well. Especially not First World War stuff written by English soldiers in the trenches, that was even further out of their expectations. But, since David rebelled and joined the army, she'd taken an interest in war poetry. "Only the monstrous anger of the guns." Guns! She extracted hers from her pocket. After what was nearly a week of not firing it, she was starting to think that she might never. She didn't want to. But nobody else needed to know that. "Only the stuttering rifle's rapid rattle can patter out their hasty orisons." She didn't even know what an orison was, had always meant to look it up. Never would be able to.

"It's so unfair," she added with a sniff, raising her voice and slapping a palm against the wall of the tunnel. It stung and she clutched it under her other arm, which was holding her Barracuda in a defensive gesture. Stopping shortly, she looked around in the darkness. It wasn't quite pitch black, she suspected there was an exit somewhere nearby, which was bad, she didn't want to go back into the daylight. This was her haven, she felt safe here, nobody could find her. And she was about as far away from the fucking beach as it was possible for her to be. "I've had so much shit. I've moved twice, across the country. My aunt's dead. My brother might be. I've got fucking diabetes." Her argument sounded weak, even to her in her current state of mind. A little voice in her brain countered her arguments. "I'm tennis captain, a cheerleader, my Dad's the Deputy Chief of Police, we live in a big house in the suburbs," she added in a whisper, and felt a momentary flush of hope before remembering that she would probably never see any of those things again. Her hand throbbed.

Once the pain had gone away, she continued walking and started to run her fingertips along the stone, less defensive suddenly. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered.

"No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells. Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs," across Minnesota, across America, maybe across the world, there were choirs singing for them and prayers being said for them. Though she had ruled out God when Julia had died, this was the final straw. All those prayers, and yet, they were no closer to being found. "The shrill demented choirs of wailing shells, and bugles calling for them from sad shires." She sniffed, suddenly, walking along in silence for a couple more minutes.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


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xylophonefairy
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[ *  *  * ]
As Thea came into view, the gun that she had been listlessly trailing along behind her was cocked and pointed at the girl, before Acacia had even thought about who she was. At a glance she might have appeared convincing, her stance was firm and her left hand steadied her right wrist, and there was a sudden concentration in her eyes that would have made her math teachers of yore weep with joy. But on closer inspection, her right index finger was hesitant on the trigger, barely touching it, and there was a faintly visible shake that her steadying hand wasn't quite able to control. Once Thea's face came into view she dropped the weapon, barely able to believe her luck at finding a friend just when she was at her weakest.

Her face broke into an honest smile for the first time since Roman was shot, and she stowed the gun away in her pants. The corners of her mouth wobbled suddenly with an urge to cry that she suppressed, not wanting to burden Thea with her problems quite so soon after meeting her, not wanting to scare her away with her tears. Sniffing, her face now a confused mixture of emotions, she leant her back against the tunnel wall, feeling able to let her guard down for a minute.

"Yeah," Acacia said softly in response to the statement. "Same, I mean, you too," she added with a faint laugh, feeling a little giddy. "Who'd have thought we'd last this long?" she said rhetorically after a beat. She'd thought, after she and Roman had left Thea at the Hall of Mirrors, that she would never see her, or Autumn, or any of them again, and had worried over that for part of the next journey they had taken. It had seemed to her that every goodbye here could possibly be a goodbye forever, in fact, probably would be. Acacia scratched her elbow.

"What have you been up to?" she asked conversationally.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


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xylophonefairy
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[ *  *  * ]
“Mostly telling off classmates who think they matter,”

Acacia smiled, widely. Two days ago, was it really only two? whatever, a couple of days ago, when she had last seen Thea, the girl's manner had annoyed her. What was is she had said to her? "We're all equal here." She'd been so irritable about it, and then her and Roman had scurried off into the wind without asking if any of them had seen Alex, or even how they were, how they were holding up. Stuck in their own little world, they had run off; Acacia's stomach turned and her hands tingled with the memory of what she had done. She focussed instead on Thea's story, small bits of which made sense. She'd heard about James, his name had been one of the ones to light up in her brain as it was read out. It was the worst part of every day, the list of the dead. Which of your friends have died today?

The arm around her shoulder was a comfort, and Acacia began to feel herself weaken. The wall she was trying to build was starting to crumble away. She knew that she had done the right thing, but it was going to take time before she would fully accept that. Time she almost hoped she didn't have.

"I didn't mean to kill him. Well, I did, but it was to help him. He was dying, anyway. I had to save him, he looked so small, so weak, he wanted me to, I'm sure he did! I didn't want to have to kill him, and if John Smith wasn't already dead I would be on my way to kill him myself" Acacia said in a sudden rush of mixed emotions, sadness, guilt, anger. Still her stomach, devoid of food, kept churning. If she didn't eat soon, the last lot of insulin would kill her before too long. There was a little tiny part of her that didn't want to eat, didn't want to live. This would be the easiest way to go, she would fall into a coma and silently slip away. Perhaps that was why she had managed to avoid going crazy for so long, the knowledge that she had her own unique way to kill herself if the time was right. She had control over her own life. A life that Roman had given up for her, and she wasn't going to have allowed him to die in vain.

In fact, she was going to win. She needed to get home to explain to the Jackson parents why she had done it. She needed to be sure that they had forgiven her; only then would she ever be at peace. And if she had to kill every last person on the island to do that, then, well, perhaps she would just have to. She looked at Thea, saw concern in her friend's eyes, and faltered.

I will have to kill you at some point. But not now. I still need friends.

"I'm sorry about James," she said in a small voice that entirely hid her new frame of mind. She wasn't quite sure if she believed it herself, and hid her face by twisting gently out of Thea's grip and crouched down over her bag, looking for something to eat. She took a slice of bread, the crust, and folded it in half with precisely seven haribo sweets in the middle. She sat back against the wall and looked at it with an expression that read mild curiousity. Actually, she was feeling the gun against her thigh and wondering if she would be able to fire it.

"I've got a haribo sandwich!" she said, with a small amount of real excitement mixed in with the fake, just enough for it to appear genuine to anyone not watching closely. She took an experimental bite, and chewed thoughfully, before shrugging. "Bit crap if I'm honest, needs more sweets."
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


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xylophonefairy
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[ *  *  * ]
"I already injected some, need te eat after otherwise my sugar will drop to minus ten and I'll explode or something," Acacia said conversationally, as usual, unable to take her diabetes seriously when someone else was. That had always annoyed her doctors, who had thought she didn't understand her condition and they explained it over and over again until they were blue in the face. Even though she had never had a complication, and hadn't been admitted to hospital for it since she was diagnosed as a toddler. "Insulin goes with food, or in this case, haribo sandwiches. Which I don't think could possibly be considered food by any stretch of the imagination." But something Thea had said had struck her. She'd only brought two weeks supply with her. How long had the previous series lasted? It had to be about that long. But with her levels so all over the place she was using more than she usually would to try and keep it steady, and all that running required a lot of eating.

And she'd thought that cheerleading camp was hard to manage.

It was imperative that she was more careful from now on. She needed to keep to a more regular timetable of eating and injecting, like she had done when she was younger. Chewing slowly on a bite of sandwich that only contained bread, and was thus somewhat more palatable, she tried to calculate it. Three meals a day, so three short acting shots a day plus a long acting overnight, and she had... how many left? She didn't want to look, just in case the answer scared her. At any rate, there was nothing she could do about what she had consumed now. She just had to keep on going. Still, it was probably best to appease Teah but giving some kind of answer.

"And it'll be fine," she continued when she had swallowed. "I brought two weeks worth." And I've used a week and a half already. No, she didn't actually know that, some days she'd hardly used any, mostly when they weren't eating, there didn't seem much point in using it, not the short acting stuff anyway. Quick, change the subject. She meant what she said. I WILL be fine. I WILL survive.

"What's your plan?" Acacia said after a moment's silence. "Mine was to help Roman find Alex, and we did that. I like having something to do." Other than killing everyone. "Anyone you're looking for?" she asked hopefully.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


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Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
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xylophonefairy
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[ *  *  * ]
"Perhaps," Acacia replied, her eyes staring quizzically at the wall in front of her. Her brain was attempting to clink into gear and think of some way to make this little experience fun. The bitchy side of her brain that was normally docile and sleeping was starting to wake up, the way it only ever did when she was in cheerleader company. And yet for once it didn't bother her in the slightest. She'd already lost the one friend she had made on this island and she wasn't going to make that mistake again. She wasn't going to let herself hurt any more; far better to hurt others and live longer because of it. Finally, Acacia found that she was starting to realise what this game was about. It's about living for as long as possible. "Or we could have a bit of fun tormenting him?" she suggested, raising her eyebrows and cocking her head to one side as she looked at Thea. Then, without seeking approval, she called out to the boy, Joe Rios he said his name was? Acacia was pretty sure she'd never met him before, or if she had, she hadn't been paying attention.

"Hey!" she called out to Joe, putting on the best 'friendly' voice that she could manage in her current mood. She crouched down as she spoke and slowly put her gun into her bag, positioning it carefully so that the handle was close to the opening of the zip and she could grab it quickly if she needed to. Or if she wanted to scare Joe Rios off if he started to get annoying. She glanced up as she did this and spoke to Thea in a low voice. "What've you got, anyway? I figure if he gets irritating we should wave scary guns and things at him until he fucks off back to whatever hole he crawled out of," she said, a little surprised by the spiteful nature of her words, anad choosing to ignore that feeling.

She raised her voice again.
"We're unarmed too," she said, looking pointedly at Thea and grinning, who had fortunately been just as docile and unarmed looking as Acacia hoped that she looked. She shined her torch in the direction the voice was coming from, a little spookily seeing as he was still just out of sight. "Where are you?" she said, a little confused. The tunnels seemed to magnify everything.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
[ *  *  * ]
This was looking promising, admittedly she hadn't quite decided what they were going to do with Joe once he got to them, she was envisioning that shoelaces and guns would be heavily involved in one way or another. But then, he went and ruined it all by apparently chickening out and running away. It was nice to have that kind of effect on people.

"At least we scared him," Acacia compromised, trying to follow him with her eyes as he disappeared. She scratched her nose and crouched down to retrieve her gun from its carefully positioned spot in her bag and stuck it back in the waistband of her jeans. By now she felt naked without it, it was her primary protection, her way of scaring people off, even if she had no intention of actually using it. Not yet, anyhow.

“Guess I should eat some of these horrible carbs too. What I wouldn’t give for some proteins or some veggies.”

Laughing, Acacia agreed with her.
"I know, right? I never thought I'd crave a carrot quite so much. Especially here, night vision would be awesome!" No need for torches, being able to sneak up on people in the dark and smash the back of their head in with a piece of flint... She glanced up abruptly, where the torchlight was dancing off the walls, and watched it for a while. It was strangely hypnotic.

Suddenly she noticed that there were three torches. Her, Thea and... Who? Acacia leaned past Thea to try and get a look at them, but the contrast between torchlight and the shadows was too great, and she swung her torch around to the person, trying to figure out. The first things she came across were Charlene's breasts, and Acacia stifled a giggle. It was a bit of a joke that you could often see her breasts coming into a room before you saw the rest of her.

"Hey, Charlie!" Acacia said, waving with some enthusiasm, before remembering that Thea had mentioned something about Charlie choosing Alex's side over hers, and faltered, wondering if in solidarity she should be a bit more stand offish. But it was hard not to be a little bit happy to see her tennis partner (even though since Acacia had made captain they had never quite regained the level of friendship they'd had before). Acacia glanced at Thea and shrugged, trying to convey the fact that she was on Thea's side with her eyes. "Why're you hiding in the shadows? Hair dye gone wrong?"
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
[ *  *  * ]
((Yay for posts with no speech!))

Acacia's eyes widened at Charlie's sarcastic tone, partly out of surprise, partly out of, well, something else. She was confused, torn between happiness to see her friend alive, and disappointment at finding her in a bad way, and thinking that she might well make a good ally, except for the fact that she had apparently been stabbed by none other than the person that Thea was so upset with. It was a complicated feeling to have, hence why she remained still, and stared at her beam of light, which had fallen to the floor. Thankfully, Thea put in a response.

“Did you kill her?”

Looking up, Acacia leaned fowards to look at Charlene, trying to read the expression on her face as Thea asked the question that she hadn't even thought of. People dying had become so commonplace, twenty or so a day. Back at school one death would have reverberated throughout the community for weeks, there would have been funerals held in the school gym, memorial services, flowers, people crying in the corridors. It would have been the worst thing to happen to them all ever, even if it was a nobody that she'd never heard of, Acacia was pretty sure she would have cried. And now all that happened was that she remembered their names and didn't think about it. This wasn't the real world. If this was the real world, she would have spent all her time crying.

Or perhaps there was a time and a place for crying, and this simply wasn't it.

She might have judged Charlene for shooting at someone, but in the circumstances, she couldn't do it. After all, which of their names had been read out on the morning announcements a few hours previously? Specifically, read out on the list of the killers, next to the person she had been travelling with for several days. Lots of people had seen them together, how many of them would have thought that she was heartless for killing her friend? Did she have enemies now in people she'd never spoken to? She could have just left Roman to die on his own accord and then John Smith would have gotten the blame and the hatred and the guilt, but it wouldn't have mattered because he was dead too.

Well, Acacia mused to herself, her fingers drumming lightly on the handle of the gun stowed in her jeans, if you're going to be a killer now...

There was a time and a place for thoughts like that, and this wasn't it. Acacia awaited Charlene's response.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
[ *  *  * ]
((Sorry for holding things up, I did give the offer to skip me! I've finally managed to get on though))

As Ricky entered with his drunken gestures, Acacia looked nervously at Charlie and Thea. It hadn't been very long since James' death, and even though Ricky, whom she'd always gotten on well with, probably wasn't intending to cause Thea any upset, the fact was that in this situation, he needed to be stopped. And fast. Irritation boiled inside her, there was nothing she hated more than a drunk jock. They were never aware of what asses they could be once alcohol got into their system. The thing she hated most was the assumption that, because she was a cheerleader, she would sleep with them, which was only occasionally true. Acacia prided herself on (usually) abstaining from one night stands.

Adrenaline pumped through her system as she realised how easy killing him would be. Her thoughts were starting to run away with her. This was what happened with Roman, and she was regretting that one already. Still, it couldn't hurt to provide an... incentive to leave them the hell alone. Her fingers drummed harder on the handle of the gun that was still stowed away in the waistband of her jeans. After a momentary pause, her fingers closed around it and almost in slow motion she drew it out to point squarely at Ricky's chest. There were barely two metres between them, Acacia was pretty sure that even at this short range she couldn't miss. Not that that was important because she didn't need to kill people. They were doing a pretty good job of doing that to themselves.

You know that's not enough...

"You... you need to leave us alone now." Acacia said, trying to keep her voice as steady as she could. Her eyes were drawn to the end of the barrel, and she followed the line of sight towards the boy she'd talked to on numerous occasions, would probably even consider a friend. They would chat in class and at football games and parties and stuff. They got on well provided they were at the same level of sobriety. She hated drunk jocks even more if she wasn't drunk herself. But she felt nothing. This didn't seem real, ever since she had killed Roman, nothing had felt real. It was only a game. "We might have put up with your shit in high school, but this is a different kind of world. You're gonna have to die some time, and I don't want to be the one behind it," she added.

Perhaps she would wake up soon?

Acacia looked to Thea and Charlie for backup, somewhere in the back of her mind having a feeling that they were armed, they had that vague air of power about them that Acacia knew she carried with her as well.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
[ *  *  * ]
Acacia jumped as Ricky started walking towards them, her heart racing. She felt unnaturally nervous, perhaps it was the fact that Charlene and Thea had both drawn weapons as well, it wasn't just her overreacting, they thought there was something to point a gun about as well. For a second, as she stole a glance as the other two, she allowed herself a smile. They looked pretty good, the three of them, weapons pointed. This was the kind of action shot that might end up on a DVD cover or something. What the HELL are you thinking about?! DVD covers... There is a time and a place for thinking about that, and it exists in hell. Though, if there ever was a description of hell... Ricky kept walking forwards, Acacia took a step backwards, trying to keep the barrel of her gun away from his chest. There was close range and then there was ridiculously close range. This was the second.

She remembered the tme in the Sawmill, when Roman- she immediately blocked the memory, trying to allow the thought to continue around it. Trying to desensitise herself. The point she was trying to remember was that that space had been bigger than this, and there had only been one gun fired from across the room, and it had still been the loudest thing she'd ever heard. Enough to disorient her for a good few minutes. They wouldn't even need to kill him! Just firing at the wall behind him, or something, that would be enough. Enough to confuse him, and let them get away. Yeah... that would work. Feeling excited by her new plan, she turned to whisper to Charlene and Thea.

"I think we should fire," Acacia said in a low voice. backing still further away from Ricky. As the only one technically single (especially since he seemed to think that the significant other's of Thea and Charlene were just around the corner or something), she felt distinctly threatened by his advances. "That should give him enough of a warning to stay away from us!" She shot the boy a disapproving look, and tightened the grip on her gun, without actually firing. He seemed to be everywhere, Acacia wasn't sure that she was capable of missing on purpose. It was as though this was what she was supposed to do. Acacia looked to her two friends and cocked her head to one side, waiting for one of them to take the lead or tell her she was insane or something.

Acacia was beginning to come to the conclusion that insanity was the way to go. It was hard to tell who was crazy and who wasn't. If she was the crazy person, then it took that uncertainty away. It also took the responsibility away, which in the small chance that she might actually win would perhaps cast her in a slightly better light when it came to dealing with parents and siblings and residents and everyone. But she had to win first. Acacia shook her gun nervously at Ricky, vaguely considering giving him one last chance to leave of his own accord. She pulled as threatening an expression onto her features as she was capable of. It made her usually comely features come off quite ugly.

"We're not joking, Ricky," Acacia said irritably. She didn't want to shoot her gun. Not really. "Get out, or we'll have to move on to more... forceful... encouragement.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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