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and you may say to yourself, "My god, what have I done?"; Content Warning. Shortly before announcement #6
Topic Started: Feb 24 2011, 12:11 AM (3,520 Views)
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Rhory Anne Broderick continued from ))

It was a strain to keep from laughing. It bubbled up against the scream-shredded walls of her throat. She kept it down. She’d had plenty of practice with that lately, keeping down cries and screams and vomit. Maybe it would feel good to laugh at the girl, though. There was plenty there to laugh at. The chalk-outline sprawl, the ennui-filled flick of her wrist that sent the spent cigarette flying towards Rhory. That nearly sent her into hysterics. She thought of her own dwindling cache of cancer sticks. She couldn’t contain a smile.

Her steps out into the field were delicate. She kept her eyes on the prone figure. All that moved was the chest. It rose just high enough to escape the black top of her head. Just barely high enough. Small tits. Her eyes traced out the further reaches of her body, catching nothing interesting until they came upon the right hand. She knew the loosely-clutched red box very well. Marlboros. Not the classiest choice, but it would warm her lungs just as handily. She stopped and smiled wider.

As she quietly slipped the SPAS’s strap from her shoulder she contemplated her line. There had to be a line. She could always steal Bill’s. Sprinkle in some vulgarity, make it more her style. She drew up some hazily-remembered scenes from Cops and bad action movies as she slipped her right index finger into the nook of the trigger. Her ring finger’s twin curled pathetically against the side and the fresh gauze crinkled softly. She opened her mouth. Then stopped. Smirked.

She closed her left hand over the pump and drew it quickly back and forth. It sung. It said everything that needed to be said.
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This was too fucking wonderful. Rhory’s face stretched with glee as the other girl lazily revealed hers over the log. Little Kimmy Guy-something, runner up for Best Fuck-up of the Day. Just a couple of newly minted murderers. She should have guessed by the Marls. Rhory had bummed a few off her in the parking lot before. Tacky bitch always smoked those godawful things.

She sauntered around Kimmy and her log, grinning at the girl and playfully cracking her neck to the side. The girl’s body followed her. Trying so hard to look bored. It’ll take more than half an eyelid to hide the piss in your pants, she thought as she veered suddenly towards her. She brought her face up. Close enough to kiss. Close enough to tear her lips off with her teeth.

“Mornin’, sunshine.” The stench of nicotine was overpowering on both of them. She brought the barrel of the gun up. She played it across the top of Kimberly’s waistband. “No need to get up just on account of me, sweetie.” She brought the barrel forward, jamming it into the girl’s gut. She kept her eyes locked the whole time. She leaned over the gun, brought her lips in closer. Just skimming the surface of the other set. “Come on, take a load off.”
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Something dropped to the girl’s feet after the push. Rhory didn’t bother to look. She just kept Kimmy’s hands in sight as she lowered herself onto the log. The hands were all that mattered. The hands were all that mattered because Rhory was in control. She assured herself of that as she looked at the girl’s hands. She was trapped. There was nothing she could do to Rhory. Whatever was on the ground was useless to her as long as Rhory kept the gun jammed in her belly. She brought herself closer, leaned slightly over towards the girl’s face. Close enough but not too close. Keeping herself taller. Finally lifting her eyes from the hands as the other girl spoke, bringing her own back up to the brown ones. She kept her smile. She didn’t blink as the girl began to speak. Nothing she could say mattered. Rhory was in control.

It took Rhory several moments to register what Kimberly said.

The docks.

Her smile twitched,
faltered slightly.

Of course Kimberly couldn’t have known.
She didn’t know that she’d turned away at the edge of the docks. She didn’t know that she’d been too afraid of that “prize”, far too afraid of being drawn into the game. She hadn’t stopped walking until she came upon Kimberly. She didn’t want to stop under the weight of that crushing sense of failure and weakness. She wasn’t sure she could have lifted herself again. She was a murderer. She couldn’t face that. Couldn’t claim her consequence, her prize. But just like Kimberly she was a killer. She dug the barrel in a little deeper. Could she sense what a coward Rhory was? Was that why she asked? She forced her smile wide again. She twisted the barrel slightly against her skin. This fucking bitch. She wouldn’t win. She wasn’t the one with the power here. Rhory was.

She scrambled for an answer. She dug for a name. Annie? Ashley? It had been a girl, she knew that much. She could work with that. She could play Kimmy’s little game, make her regret it, throw it right back in her fucking whore face. She brought her face down sharp and fast and then slowed suddenly, gingerly, touching the tips of their noses and then pivoting up around the new joint.

“Oh, I saw your friend.” She drew the barrel slightly off the skin and began to trace it downward. “She was very, uh,” She searched for a word. “...intact.” She widened her eyes as she said it.

“Thanks for that.” She brought the tip of the gun scratching over the top button of the girl's fly. She began to slip it lower. ”It was fun.”
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The words felt putrid as they rushed to her mouth. They spewed out into Kimberly’s widening eyes. Rhory felt herself choke on them slightly as they rose. Velocity forced them out. Something about the way her lips twisted around them felt wrong. Detached. For a brief moment it didn’t feel like her. For that moment it all felt so horrible, so wrong. In that moment she managed to convince herself that it wasn’t her.

But then she saw Kimberly’s face, the fear in it, the powerlessness, and she felt the greasy heat that had been nesting in her belly shoot up behind her lungs and she didn’t care who it was. Whoever it was, they were in control. Whoever it was had power. After so much time wasted being so weak, Rhory was willing to be that person.

Rhory’s lips softened into a saner shadow of the crazed smile. The loss of the sinister curl did nothing to change her intentions She half-listened to Kimberly’s nervous response. It meant nothing to her. She couldn’t give less of a damn about how or where or why little Kimmy had sharpened her teeth. She simply traced the tip of the gun backwards, slowly, up its path until it reached the bottom hem of her shirt.

“Of course there are easier targets, Kimmy.” she began to draw the girl’s shirt up lightly. She watched the muscles around her waist twitch where the metal touched. “Sounds to me like you’ve had your own fun with them.” She drew the hem up past her navel. She stared at it for a few seconds with an absent smirk before snapping her eyes back up to Kimberly’s and dropping the shirt suddenly, swinging the gun’s barrel towards the middle of the girl’s torso.

“Do I get to ask a question now?”
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Rhory gave a single, breathy laugh, curling her mouth into a half-smile around the sound. “No need to be such a bitch, Kimmy. We’re just talking.”

The girl was so tense. Rhory could almost hear her heart beating from where she stood. It made the thing in Rhory’s chest roar. It all felt so good. She hadn’t felt good in a long time. There had been rushes. There had been adrenaline and panic. There had been moments where she felt alive. Fleeting, but there even in the fear and exhaustion. But none of it was pleasure. Not the running, not the shitting, not the crying. Not even flicking her clit brought any pleasure anymore. Rhory was broken. She’d known it from the first day. Something had stopped working, had cracked long ago. Jackson and Ethan had pushed what was left beyond repair. Bill left nothing but cracked gears and dust. Whatever kept her going ground and crashed and sputtered within her. Ready to fail at any moment. Already failing, maybe. But she still had a sense of pleasure after all, however broken. The fire-thing told her that. It was her turn to break something and it felt so fucking good.

She was at the girl’s left side now. The barrel was aimed at her ear. Kimmy was more than just tense. Dense, maybe. A little black hole sucking Rhory in. Everything but the pleasure and the control and the little fire-thing. She wondered if that’s how the fire-thing got in her, just got sucked up into a hole in her chest from Bill. Maybe wormed its way in as she crushed his face until she could see the bone chips flecking across the floor. She wondered what it would be like to do the same to Kimmy’s pretty little face. She wanted the idea to excite her. She wanted something to wet her as much as being on the right side of the gun did. It caught in her stomach instead. Her hands felt suddenly weak. She steeled them against the gun. She began to trail a filthy strand of Kimberly’s hair across the barrel.

A glimmer on the ground caught her eye. A hook. It looked wicked and clean. She grinned the other half of her smirk. She had her question.

“So, tell me. How’d you do the deed? Kimmy at the docks with the... the hell is that? A hook?” She’d craned her neck around towards Kimberly’s face but now drew it back, blowing the words into her ear. “That’s a funny thing to kill a girl with, yeah?”
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Best Kill, Best Kill, Best Kill. Kimberly was trying so hard to use it against her. It was working. It was the only thing that could make that little greasefire sputter. It made Rhory wish she could pull the trigger. This girl, she had no clue. She had no right. She hadn’t seen Marion’s face as the shot hit her in the chest. She hadn’t seen Logan’s eyes nearly burst into hers, wet surfaces ripping under the strain of something in there that made her feel inhuman by comparison. She hadn’t had to feel Bill’s meat split under her fingers or thick globs of his blood cough out onto her hands. She’d killed someone and didn’t have the fucking guts to say it out loud. She was a coward and she’d killed like a coward. Rhory had no doubts about that.

She drew her lips closer to the girls ear so that she could almost taste the sweat and wax. Kimmy wanted to take control. She thought she could take control from Rhory. But no. No no fuck you and no. Rhory was done with that. She was done being on the wrong end of control. She’d already had Jack and Ethan taken from her. She’d had her clean-ness taken from her. She’d had her wholeness taken from her. She’d had her hand taken from her. Her blood and her skin. She’d had her dignity taken with the running and hiding, the killing, the having to kill to survive and that award, that prize that had made her stop and scream and scream and still she’d come so close to taking it anyway. She was done with it. There was no room for that Rhory anymore, that weak little worthless cumstain who couldn’t do anything for Jack or Ethan or Logan or Marion or her own worthless self. There was only the fire-thing and it wouldn’t let her give up control. It hadn’t had its fun yet.

Fun, fun, fun. That’s what it was all about now. No more “Best Kill”. None of this Kimmy grasping weakly for her control. Because that wasn’t about to change hands. Rhory was in control.

Rhory      was      in       control.

She nearly licked the lobe of Kimberly’s ear as she spoke.

“Weren’t you paying attention?”

She fought the urge to tear it off with her teeth.

“I ripped his fucking throat out.”

She snapped her head back. She jabbed the barrel into Kimberly’s neck. Quick, hard. She dug it in.

“You didn’t answer my question yet.” Spit flew at the other girl’s face through Rhory’s tightly clenched teeth. “And call me by my name this time, Kimmy. Or I’ll get to be Best fucking Kill all over again.”
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The fire was dead before Rhory hit the ground.

She was dully aware of the weight of the girl’s knees on her chest and the thin sharp line of pressure across her throat. There wasn’t any pain. There was no sensation. All she could feel were slight indentations in her husk. Her breath had been lost with the first blow and what little else was left had spilled out with it. She was dead. She had been dead since she’d grabbed Logan and let him take her bullets and looked at his face the whole time. It hadn’t saved her. It had erased her. The knife was a formality.

Rhory never had control. She had a self-destruct sequence.

It was the first good look at the girl’s face Rhory had gotten. She hadn’t noticed the bruise before. She wished she had. It was large and purple-black. Someone had left their mark. It was there in the eyes, too. Whatever Kimberly was so reluctant to say out loud was floating around in there. Someone had left a mark on her. It was almost a nice thought. Someone hanging on like that. Rhory had never had that kind of grip. Never stuck on anyone. Jackson had hated her. Ethan had used her. He’d been so sweet to her until Kurt and then he was gone. And Kurt. Kurt, who mounted her once every four days on the dot and told her he loved her. He hadn’t. She hadn’t. They were both just afraid to move on and so desperate to be fucked and wanted and important. She cried for them all. She let them all mark her up and sometimes she marked herself over them too. On them, never. Rhory never stuck on them. Rhory never meant anything to them. Rhory never left marks.

But now, she had Kimmy. She realized the idea excited her more than living did.

“Do it.”
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Rhory was still tracing out the mark she’d leave in the girl’s eyes when the mouth started moving. A fuck you chased by some sentimental bullshit. The words didn’t matter. What mattered was that the sharp line of pressure over the collar had lessened and Kimberly was giving her that ugly little pity-smile. She thought of spitting at her. Instead, she started moving her arms.

She was so sure she’d seen her way out. She gave Kimberly her power. She gave her the warrant to act on it. Kimberly had chosen pity instead. No. She’d chosen weakness. Maybe there would have been some time and place where Rhory could have been helped. Maybe charitable little Kimmy could have called her up a suicide hotline and Rhory could get someone to dissect her poor broken brain and she could get little brown bottles of Zoloft to match her sister’s old ones. She remembered the hushed talk of “depression” and “medication” and “therapy” that had surrounded Erika’s high school years. She’d resented it all so much. Poor perfect little Erika. She’s not happy with her perfect life and her perfect grades and her perfect body and clothes and boyfriends. Poor little Erika’s sad. Poor little Erika wants to kill herself over nothing. Rhory understood now. She looked into Kimberly’s marked-up eyes and she knew what it was like to look at something and only see a noose.

Her hands closed around Kimberly’s.

“You spineless cunt.”

She’d make her own noose.

She stretched her neck. She felt the blade shave against the skin. She pushed Kimberly’s hands down hard. The knife slipped easily into the surface.
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The regret moved faster than her hands could. It came with the first sparks of pain as they crackled across her throat. She hadn’t thought of the pain. She hadn’t expected the nerve endings to react so savagely. She hadn’t really expected to feel at all. But the pain was there and it was violent, lionishly scratching and barbing where the skin split. The flesh of her face bent against the bone in a vulgar expression. Everything was too slow. It was supposed to be quick, clean. It was supposed to be an out. Not this. It couldn’t be this. She tried to push harder. Blood and fever spouted out against the digging edge. She’d push down to he bone if it would make it faster. Just not this, not for a moment longer. She didn’t want there to be pain. She couldn’t die in pain.

She felt Kimberly’s hand begin to slip from under her own and even as the blade cut deeper she knew she’d lost.

She weakened her grip. A blur of motion left Rhory’s right hand the only one on the knife’s hilt. She tore it away from her throat with a gasp. She held it away. It dangled harmlessly in the air above her chest, bold against the white backdrop of the bandages. She stared at it as the other girl stormed in her peripherals and ranted distant words that would never reach Rhory. The numb ring finger curled pathetically around the rubbery grip. Blood splashed garishly across the rest. She dropped it to her side.

She brought her trembling left arm to her neck. Blood and sweat soaked the sleeve of her henley immediately. A slow trickle had already burrowed under her collar. She brought the sleeve up to her eyes. The stain was unimpressive. The physical evidence was so much less dramatic than her synapses had declared. She brought the arm back down and forced her chin over it, providing pressure to the newest slit. She rocked herself ungracefully onto her left side. The probing stream of blood followed gravity’s new pull and began to wrap around her nape. She brought her legs in. She draped her right arm over her chest. She tried to go back to being numb.

Something clawed over her left cheek. She realized she was crying.

She was so empty and so weak and so fucking useless.
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The trembling was making it difficult to staunch the bleeding. She gripped her left elbow with her right hand and forced it in so that her neck was firm on the nook of her left arm. Blood began to ruin the new stretch of fabric immediately. The tears shook harder from her skull. If she could bleed out, she would. She wanted nothing more than to rot where she lay. But she knew despite the pain and blood that the cut in her throat was pitiful and shallow and that there was no god merciful enough to give her that kind of end. She cried as she thought of other ways. It couldn’t be the knife. She’d already proved that she didn’t have the strength. It couldn’t be the gun. She promised herself she would never be on the wrong side of that gun again. She was never going to break that promise. She wondered if she could just starve. That, at least, she had experience with. She could just stay a pathetic sobbing ball until her body tired of her own bullshit and shut down. It was almost a pleasant though. It felt comfortable. She cried and shook harder. She just wanted rest. She’d die to get it. She’d never move again if it meant that she could stop aching. Then Kimberly’s legs filled back in her vision and she moaned in her chest. There would be no rest. She tried to stop her crying and shaking as Kimberly’s face lowered to her own. It only worsened. The shame and exhaustion burned in her bleeding throat. Why wasn’t she gone? Was she here to finish the job? Had she changed her mind? The thought wasn’t so terrifying anymore. Rhory didn’t need it to be on her own terms. That pride was gone. She just needed it. She needed to just finally stop.

Then she noticed the red box with the white stick. This time, she couldn’t keep from laughing.

Each heave stung across her throat. Her tears came down just as strongly. The fucking Marls. This was all their fault. Would she have tried to have her fun with Kimberly if she hadn’t seen them? Maybe. Probably. But they were a good enough scapegoat for now. She decided to have her revenge on them.

She wiped a grateful stream of fresh tears with her right hand and shakily extended it towards the girl.
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“Back at’cha, Kimmy.”

Rhory’s voice sounded more familiar to her now. More like it had sounded a week ago. Well-oiled from the talking she’d been doing all morning and afternoon. She gave Kimberly a two-fingered wave with the hand that held the pack of cigarettes. The bandages and cardboard crinkled in unison. She watched the girl shrink and took a swig from the bottle in her left hand. Eventually, an intact cluster of trees obscured her. Rhory imagined she could see her turn back just before she vanished.

It was a gentler kind of hurt. But it still stung.

After several moments, she felt at the rough brown cravat bandage tied around her throat above the collar. This one hadn’t soaked through. She was still vaguely worried. She’d lost so much blood over the past days. Her hand still oozed lightly. She felt dizzy and heavy. She wondered how much longer she could go like this. She decided however long she had would be long enough. She might not survive. She might have already failed. But, for the first time in a week, she thought it might really be worth trying.

She got to her feet slowly and creakily. Things needed to be done. She reached over Marion’s (no, her) daypack to her duffel and unzipped it. She reached for the Big Fuckin’ Knife. She hadn’t touched it in days. She set it on the log and stripped off her shirt. She carefully looped her bandaged palm through the handle. She let the tip of the Knife dig into a point just above where the dried blood ended. She was so sick of blood. She began to gently saw through the fabric, leaving the sleeve roughly severed halfway through the bicep. She noticed a small crust of dried blood pooled against the lip of the left cup of her bra. She’d missed it while wiping herself down with the water-dampened cuff of her right sleeve earlier. She scratched it off and pulled the henley back on. She admired her work. It looked ridiculous. She noticed the tail of the blue bomb peeking out from under the gray threads handing from the wreckage of the new cuff. She remembered how her mother had reacted to the newest of her inky self-mutilations. She’d warned Rhory that she could never be buried in a Jewish cemetery with all those tattoos. The corner of her mouth twitched. Rhory didn’t think that would be much of a problem anymore.

She replaced the Knife in her duffel, dropping it on top of the collection of dead kids’ bottles and food and the foolishly kept make-up bag and the mound of soiled rags that had at some time in the distant past been clothes, and moved back to the daypack. She slipped her fingers into the smallest front pocket and scooped the contents into her gauzed palm. The eight shells were surprisingly light. She remembered they’d felt so much heavier when she snatched them from Bill’s emptying body. She slipped them into a corduroy pocket and reached sideways for the glossy black form of the gun. She picked it up with both hands and examined it. She turned it over several times, puzzling over each alien appendage. It occurred to her that she’d never held a gun before. She’d hardly even seen one, outside of police belt holsters and television screens. She knew how to make noise with the pump. That was as far as she’d gotten. She prodded the parts with an index finger. Where did the bullets go? No, wait, shells. This was an important distinction, she knew. Bullets couldn’t do what had been done or Logan and Marion. These were shells.

Finally, a small silver trapdoor on the gun’s underbelly gave way to her probing. She held it open slightly and examined it closely. The size seemed right. She retrieved a shell and slowly slid it through the flap. It made a loud, satisfying click as it entered. She slid in a second. It nested in the gun easily. She repeated the motions with the remaining six red capsules. She looked over the gun again once she’d finished. Was that it? Would it shoot now? Did she have to pump it? What about the safety? She ran her fingers along the varying surface and decided against any further experimentation. She hoped she’d never have to learn the rest.

Still, she needed something. She could only bluff with the gun for so long. Kimberly had proven that handily. Her eyes fell back on the duffel. She may not be able to shoot, but she could stab. That much she knew for certain.

She released the Knife again from her bag and set it down on the log, next to the nearly-empty bottle and the red pack of cigarettes. She picked up the pack. She slid one of the sticks out and hung it from her lips as she placed the rest of the pack snugly next to her own in a pocket of the daypack. She produced the Zippo from the left pocket of her shorts and ignited the tip of the cigarette. She inhaled, held, and blew. The lighter went back in the pocket and the daypack slipped over her shoulders. The duffel strap went over the right shoulder. The gun’s strap went over the left. Her eyes went back to the Knife. She thought for a moment as she scanned around the log. Her eyes found the blood-crusted remains of the sleeve. She fastened the filter of the cigarette between her teeth, bent over, and gingerly picked up an end of the abandoned fabric with her right thumb and index finger. She took the other end in her left hand and pulled it taut several times. Satisfied, she propped the Knife up against her leg carefully and looped the fabric through the ornate handle. She tied a large knot and began to feel at her right hip. She carefully selected one of the more frontward belt loops and forced the fabric through it, ending in another knot. The weight of the knife caused it to begin to slip, so she added a second. Once it was solidly in place, she tested it, walking a circuit around the log. The knife swung uncomfortably close to the flesh of her leg, but never came close enough to threaten a wound. She wished it had come with a sheath. This would have to do.

The bandages made their familiar crinkle as Rhory pinched at the cigarette and exhaled again. She picked up the bottle and drained the last of the water before tossing it aside. She stared at the point where Kimberly had vanished for several long seconds. She turn and started off in the opposite direction. She hoped they wouldn’t meet again. She knew that there would be no talking and smoking next time. She knew that it wouldn’t be very long before she had to learn to use the gun.

((Rhory Anne Broderick continued in Act II: A Mirror Dimly))
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