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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 (3,519 Views)
MurderWeasel
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((Kimberly Nguyen continued from In Theory, This Should Be Easy))

Kimberly felt violated.

It had been such a simple thing. Fuck, with greedy people all around, had it really been too damn much to want to die without regrets? It was just this little bitty request, just one fucking little thing to ask. She was gonna die anyways, so why not enjoy the rest of her life as much as she could? But no, they'd had to go and fuck that up. Everyone had to go and fuck up her life. Liz had entered her into the death lottery. She'd gone and fucking dealt with that problem, but then it had just gotten worse. Liz had fucked up her day again, somehow, just by being so easy to hate. Kimberly had kinda assumed everyone else would be all for smashing things. Fuck, it was the logical course of action. No way to argue that. Kimberly was being completely selfish in wanting it stopped. She was cool with that. But, fuck, surely not everyone could think like her?

But then, it only took one.

Aisyln.

Right about now, Aislyn was the person Kimberly hated more than anyone else in the world. Kris' crimes paled in comparison. Kris had taken her arm. Aislyn had taken her freedom.

Is that really true?

She remembered. Aislyn came at her. The brush, hand against hand, set her spinning to face the other girl. She'd expected something simple, nothing more than a grab, followed by a hasty retreat. That didn't happen, though. Aislyn shot her elbow into Kimberly's face, smashed her in the forehead. She had a nice bruise there now. A nice little reminder. It would probably stick with her for the rest of her life. She'd been scared. She'd been fucking terrified that she was going to die. It was stupid. Pointless. Aislyn didn't have any weapons on her. She'd ditched the bat somewhere. That particular bit of information had haunted Kimberly in the hours since. Aislyn had left the bat behind. That meant, beyond any doubt, she'd held no intention of using deadly force.

Of course, in the end that meant fuck all.

Kimberly had stabbed her. As it had happened, the world had been black. She hadn't been able to think of anything else to do. That didn't make things better, though. It meant she'd lost. She'd lost, totally and completely. Aislyn had taken her choice away from her. That was worse than anything.

Either way, she could remember the stabbing now. She thrust the knife forward, just like she'd heard you did it. Felt it enter Aislyn's flesh. Surprisingly little resistance as it punched through skin and muscle. It sunk in nice and deep. Blood came out, coated the knife, coated her hand and Aislyn and the docks.

And just like that, Kimberly had become a killer.

And it was just so fucking stupid.

She had never really planned to kill anyone. Even Kris. Sure, she'd said she'd do it. Thought it, even. Half of that had been to piss off Sarah and Bridget. In reality, it ran deeper than that. Kris had hurt her. Kris had taken away her options. That demanded retribution. It wasn't justice. It was that nasty little instinct that told Kimberly that if she got kicked she might as well kick back twice as hard, share some of that pain. Kris had some pretty awful stuff coming to her, but not death.

Kimberly had killed someone, though.

She'd killed Aislyn and now she felt fucking bad about it. She'd cried. She had fucking cried over this girl she'd killed, this girl she'd kind of even thought was pretty cool and might make a half decent ally. She'd cried and she'd dry heaved and she'd spent a couple hours wishing she'd never gone to the docks, wishing she'd never taken the knife, wishing things could have somehow been different. All of a sudden, she had lots of fucking regrets, all because Aislyn couldn't have held it together just a little longer, couldn't have played it a little cooler.

Kimberly hated her for it.

She hated Aislyn so much. It wasn't just the pain she'd caused, either. It ran far deeper than that. Aislyn had fucked Kimberly over every way in the book, made her lose her game, hurt her, and then, to top it all off, slipped off totally fucking free.

Oh yes. Aislyn had gone and died on her. No doubts about it. No way had she dragged herself out of that water, bloody and broken but still alive. Kimberly had seen it in her eyes. She'd known. Aislyn had known she was dying, so Kimberly had too.

And now, Aislyn was dead, and Kimberly couldn't hurt her.

It was awful. It was worse than awful. Her rage, her pain, it was all screaming for revenge. Aislyn had hurt her. She needed to be hurt in turn. Force her to kill someone. Force her to fucking kill her own friends, one by one, line 'em up in a row and press a gun into Aislyn's hand, and tell her to shoot them in turn. Sure, in reality it'd never work, she'd just shoot Kimberly instead, but reality didn't fucking enter into the equation anymore, now did it? Not after what Aislyn had done. She'd died and left Kimberly alone, left her stranded with her grief and her regrets and her anger.

The towel Kimberly had worn over her left arm for nearly a week, cape style, was gone now. It had made her feel better, more in control, less vulnerable. It had hidden her wound. Since she had thrown away her spare clothing, it had also been the only disposable item she'd had left, because no fucking way was she ditching her sweater. So, when Kimberly had stopped to refill her water and also to wash the blood off her hand and the knife, the towel had been the only thing to scrub with. After that, she hadn't wanted it back. She'd been tempted to send it floating down the stream, bask in the symbolism of lost innocence or some shit like that, the sort of stuff she'd written poems about, but instead she'd gotten pissed and burned it.

She probably looked pretty damn pathetic right about now. She was back to how she had been on her first day, only she also looked like she'd been rolled down a hill into a pit of sharp rocks. Her jeans were dusty and stained with mud and sweat. Only one of the ornamental chains remained, and even that had torn loose at one end. It now hung against her left leg, jingling with her steps. Her hoodie was equally dusty, and also had some of her own blood on it. The left sleeve was missing, crudely cut off at the shoulder. The white bandages peeking through looked pretty nice and fresh, at least, because Kimberly had just changed them, after washing and sterilizing her injury once more. Surprisingly, it was looking better. Even after all the stuff that had gone wrong, she was still healing pretty nicely. Sarah had done wonders. The stitches had held through it all, and her flesh had knit back together somewhat, though she still had a fucking monster of a scab.

She could even clench her left fist now without feeling like her arm would fall off. Bending the elbow was still a no go, though she'd tried it a few times anyways, just to see.

Her hair was matted. Her glasses her smudged and scratched. The soles of her boots had worn down. She probably had some kind of nasty fungus growing on her feet by now, since she hadn't removed her boots all week. She wasn't quite sure she'd be able to replace them quickly if someone surprised her.

All in all, she'd seen better days.

She was still alive, though. For some reason she, one of the first people in this game to be shot, was still alive when so many of her classmates were dead.

It didn't make any fucking sense.

"Where the FUCK do you get off with this pretend badass act? It DOESN'T. FUCKING. WORK. And I hope to fucking GOD that you realize that by now. You don't GET to walk around in your cape and your fedora and smoke your fucking cigarettes when you got SHOT."

Jeremy Franco had said that to her, half a week ago. He'd been right, but she hadn't changed a bit. She'd hit her stride, and instead of flinching, instead of backing down as complications arose, she had powered through, she had honed her routine to a fucking razor edge. And she'd made it work. She'd succeeded where most of the island had failed. She'd tracked Liz Polanski down, held her at gunpoint. Maybe she should have killed Liz after all. At the time, she'd still been sure she wouldn't do it unless she was about to die anyways. Now, though, she was having second thoughts. Liz had deserved to die. Aislyn hadn't. Kimberly was stained anyways. Why hadn't she picked a deserving target?

She was second guessing her every action. Her confidence was fucking gone. She didn't even know what she was doing now. She had a score to settle with Kris, but how could she even face that now? She'd done the same fucking thing Kris had, reacted wrong to someone trying to calm the situation down. She'd killed someone for exactly the same reason Kris had shot her.

The revenge she planned to take wasn't about that, of course. It was a personal grievance. But what was she going to say as she made the first cut on Kris' shoulder? Could she really look the other girl in the eyes and say, "I'm just like you," with a straight face?

If she could, was it worth continuing?

No. No.

No.

It sucked. It was a terrible fucking tragedy that Aislyn had died, but that was it. It was an accident. A fuck up.

What an awful excuse. What a lie. She'd promised she'd be honest with herself. It had been the whole central tenet of her crusade. She'd fucked up bad. She'd fucked up and killed someone and it fucking hurt like nothing else ever had. When she closed her eyes, Aislyn looked back at her. She'd killed. There was a girl who would never go home, would never hug her relatives, would never do anything at all. She'd probably wash up on shore before too long, and then she'd rot. Just so much molding meat. Just like Kimberly would be before too long. Just like almost half of her class.

School. That was how this had all started, right? Once, way back in the distant past, they'd all gone to school together. They'd been friends and lovers, rivals and buddies. They'd been people Kimberly lit up with behind the mall, and people she mocked in low tones for their poor fashion sense, and people she walked away from in disgust when they told her to stop being a bitch, and people she passed every day and never gave a second thought. They'd been people.

What were they now?

Now, they felt like fucking toys.

When it came down to it, it was probably about pain. This was one of those times where Kimberly forced herself to be honest even if she didn't quite like it. Thing was, she enjoyed causing people pain. Not the physical sort. That was pretty disgusting, pretty fucked up. Well, okay, maybe the thought did it for her just a bit, but only a little. Really, though, causing physical pain was like trying to draw a masterpiece with crayons. Mostly, it was a huge fucking waste of time.

What worked was emotions. Kimberly loved emotions. Before all of this, she'd pretty much ignored others' wants and needs, giving priority to her own. She'd always kind of thought that was how everyone was. She'd enjoyed being the star of the show when she could wrangle it, but hadn't been bothered at all when she had to go do her own thing.

The island had changed that. She'd changed. She'd started hurting people for fun, and damn if it wasn't a blast. It had started simple. Dutchy. He'd seen her come back, so he'd had to be neutralized. Trauma was a tool. Then, the whole group had fucked her over, wasted her time, so she'd shot some barbs at them. Besides, they'd treated her like a fucking invalid. They'd deserved it. She'd gone for those girls on the mountain next. And that was where things had gotten out of control. Everything since then had been one ridiculous escalation after another. Surely she'd known it would have to come to an end. Surely she'd known it would eventually go one step too far.

Aislyn.

Fuck.

A girl was dead because Kimberly had wanted to get her kicks by making some boys walk the plank.

She couldn't fix it. Couldn't change the past.

She wasn't quite sure what she thought about that.

It didn't really matter, though. She'd done it. She'd fucked up big time, and now she could either kill herself in a fit of repentant pique or just keep on truckin', see this through to the bitter fucking end.

Kimberly was not going to kill herself. She'd thought she was okay with dying, as long as it was on her terms. Maybe she still was. Suicide was just giving up, though. Suicide was admitting defeat. No way around it.

That meant she'd keep going.

Would she change, though? Could she? Probably not. This wasn't some sort of redemption quest. As far as she could see, redemption was in awful short supply around here. She had her regrets. That meant she'd learn. She wouldn't repeat her mistakes. She wouldn't lose again.

"And you're saying I'm no better or worse than any of the other killers on the island?"

Funny, the people who shape you.

"I guess I'm okay with that."

Here's to you, Liz. And all this time, I thought I was the one who'd taught you something.

If we meet again, I'm cutting off your fingers.

By this time, it was dark. Night had worn on. Kimberly hadn't slept. She was sitting against a stump, finally aware of her surroundings. She was in a tree graveyard. All around her lay the shattered remains of a forest. She liked it. She was broken, just like the trees.

Everyone was broken now.

Her left arm was a little cold, so she dug out a cigarette and lit it. No drama in the gesture this time. Just a little smoke to warm her. Just a little nicotine to give her a boost.

The knife was in her boot. The grappling hook hung from her, with about seven feet of slack. It had dragged along the ground earlier, catching on occasional sticks and stumps. She hadn't cared enough to readjust her improvised harness.

She took a long drag, and blew smoke into the air. Wished Aislyn was around to share it.
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At some point, she slept. It had been a while since she'd had any rest. The middle of a field wasn't the optimal location, but given her sorry shape, there was a decent chance any passerby would mistake her for a corpse. Anyway, nothing bothered her.

She was awoken by the PA. Announcements again. A few names to listen for. Her own was coming, of course. She'd been sort of anticipating it, actually. Nothing she did would restore Aislyn, so she figured she might as well take what she could get. Right now, that was a little bit of sadistic glee at the thought of Danya stumbling over "Nguyen".

Her name came. It rolled off Danya's tongue like he was a native speaker.

Fucker.

Her black mood lasted through the remainder of the man's speech. There were only two little bright spots. The first was that Kris was still out there, and still dangerous enough to take someone down. It bit for Janet Claymont, but it meant that her killer would still be in shape to resist when Kimberly caught up to her. That was good. This would all be fucking pointless if Kris was already dying or maimed or anything like that.

The other positive was that Kimberly hadn't won the Best Kill Award. Rhory Anne Broderick had. This was good because it was almost certainly a gun, something Kimberly didn't really fancy carrying again, and also because it was at the docks, where Aislyn was.

Kimberly didn't want to go back to the docks.

More time passed. She had a cracker and a cigarette. Nicotine for breakfast. Damn, it was almost starting to feel like a compulsion. Kimberly had never been addicted to anything in her life. Never smoked this much either, though. She'd brought two packs so she could share. Normally she went through maybe two smokes a week. Here, she'd only ever lit up for image reasons at the start, yet now she was smoking a second consecutive time just because.

She stubbed out the remaining half of the cigarette and pitched it over her shoulder.

She didn't really know what to do. She could go look for Kris, but that hadn't been much of a winning proposition so far. She could probably have just as much luck simply sitting and waiting for the other girl to trip over her. Right now, she was pretty much alone. There were no desires driving her. No one besides Kris in her crosshairs. Nothing much to do except chill so she didn't die before the halfway mark. Danya had said it was close, and that had been almost an hour ago now, so it was her new goal. A nice little way to prove herself, prove that her injuries didn't mean jack shit, that she was just as competent as ever.

Yeah. Live to halfway.

It was something to do.
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Kimberly was still busily living to halfway thirty seconds later, when the noise came from behind her. It was that wonderfully cinematic sound, the sort that could only belong to a large gun being cocked. It was the sort of sound that said someone meant business. It was the sort of sound that said that someone either wanted to talk to her or was too dense to load their gun in advance. Either way, it meant Kimberly could afford to lean laconically backwards, bending her neck over the log to get an upside down view of the person standing behind her.

She nearly froze up at the sight. It wasn't any of the myriad people she'd been expecting. It was Rhory Anne Broderick, in the flesh. A quick calculation: perhaps an hour and a half since the announcement. That meant the gun she was carrying, the shotgun or carbine or whatever the fuck it was, was her reward for killing that guy Kimberly couldn't remember.

It took a lot of self control, but Kimberly kept her cool completely. With a sigh, looking almost bored, she pulled herself upright again, stood, and, only then, turned to face Rhory.

"Hey, Best Kill," she said. "How's it hanging?"

She had plenty more to say, plenty more jabs and barbs and needles, but really, there wasn't much reason for that right now. She hated Rhory. There was no question in her mind about that. Whatever the girl had been back at school, she was now the person who had been to the docks, the person who had been rewarded at the scene of Kimberly's crime. That made her contemptible. Or maybe that was an excuse, and Kimberly just hated everyone now. She didn't really give a fuck.

But they were both here, two girls who, after a week on this island, had become killers at nearly the same time. Kimberly had made a mistake. Rhory had won a reward. And now, Rhory wanted something from her.

Your move, Best Kill. I can't wait to see where this one's going.
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Best Kill came around, got in nice and close. Hey, look, bitch knew how to play the personal space game half decently. It was pretty much a middle school stunt, with all the execution of a cheap stripper, but she was trying, and Kimberly had to give her that. It put her a damn spot ahead of everyone else she'd met. Most people were so unaware of the effects they could produce without saying a word.

That wasn't to imply that she was being quiet. As she spoke, the aftertaste of smoke wafted from her mouth. It made Kimberly regret pitching her cig, which made her hate Rhory just that little bit more. The gun? That was just an afterthought until Rhory rubbed it along the waistline of Kimberly's jeans, along her lower belly. Even through her sweater, the muzzle was cool. Rhory wouldn't shoot her, though, not from this close and not at this angle. There was something else at play here.

And it came clear soon enough, as Rhory jammed the gun into Kimberly's stomach, at same time leaning even closer. Kimberly involuntarily exhaled with the impact, her breath puffing against the other girl's lips, so close she could feel them lightly on her own.

Man, this shit with girls coming onto her was supposed to have ended back on the beach. Seemed her miraculous ability to attract lesbians was unhampered by the blood on her arm and the kill on her conscience, though.

So she sat back down, nice and easy, her face pulling away from Rhory's. Her grappling hook had come off her belt when she was hit, was lying on the ground now, but she didn't feel like asking to pick it back up. It was tied to her. She'd drag it along if she went anywhere.

The knife was in her right boot. There was absolutely no fucking way she could get it out and deal with Rhory before the other girl blew her guts out.

This all had Kimberly pretty steamed, but she wasn't gonna show it. No fucking way.

"Yeah," she said. "I know the drill. Let's chat, then? You have fun at the docks? I left a... friend there."

A quick little reminder. Rhory had to have listened to the announcements. Had to know who Kimberly meant. She felt dirty, referring to Aislyn like that, but she had to remind Rhory of the facts of life.

You aren't the only dangerous person here, Best Kill.
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Rhory kept a very close eye on everything Kimberly was doing. She kept her gaze fixed on Kimberly's hands. Bitch. Only one of Kimberly's hands was even really worth watching, but Rhory couldn't know that. By this point in the game, a bandaged shoulder could mean any number of things, from the very minor to the imminently-fatal. None of that really mattered, though.

What mattered was that it took Rhory a second to reply after Kimberly referred to Aislyn. What mattered was that Rhory was playing with the barrel of that fucking gun. What mattered was that it was becoming all too clear where this was going, and Kimberly didn't like it one bit. She performed a quick reassessment, trying to figure just how many holes she could put in Rhory before dying of blood loss. She hadn't planned to kill anyone else. She'd been so sure she'd never murder again. That was already being put to the fucking test, though. The feelings mounting inside Kimberly were familiar, though it had been some time since she had been assailed by them to this degree. Rhory was just another Kris, just another tormentor, just another bitch getting off on the power she held.

And Rhory was implying awful, awful things. She was admitting to all sorts of stuff Kimberly couldn't have imagined on the worst of days. She'd, what, fucked Aisyln's body? No. No, that made no logical sense at all. That was Kimberly's defense right now. She had to voice her objections, had to make Rhory admit that it was all bullshit.

The barrel of the gun clinked on the button of Kimberly's jeans, and she flinched.

The gun started to move further. Time to do something.

"You, uh, you fished her out just for that? Seems there are lots of easier targets around."

Call her out. Distract her. Just... something.
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Rhory just had to keep fucking around with the gun while she talked. It was absolutely the most distracting thing possible, especially because it hadn't warmed up one fucking bit. It was inching up Kimberly's stomach, edging her shirt and hoodie up. She listened, despite the fear and anger this provoked, trying to assess and analyze, trying to figure out if Rhory was telling the truth. Trying to play games to distract herself from the degree to which she was at this girl's mercy.

Fuck you, Rhory. We'll have words before this is through.

Suddenly, Rhory stopped playing with the gun, stopped lifting her shirt. It was a damn good thing, too. She was a tease, kept pushing Kimberly right to the edge of her patience, right to the point where she'd let her rage beat out her self interest and rationality. No, though, that was bad. She was on the wrong end of a shotgun or something. It would take exactly one twitch of the finger to kill her. Rhory didn't want her dead, but she wouldn't stand for getting jumped, either.

And Rhory asked if she could ask a question, and Kimberly just had to go and fucking antagonize her.

"I guess you just did, Best Kill. Guess you don't really give a fuck about permission anyways, so it doesn't mean jack shit if I give my consent."

Kimberly made sure to give her a nice little smile with that one. If she was gonna die without swinging at her foe, might as well be for being insolent. Might as well be before things got worse. And if Rhory wasn't gonna be goaded, well... Kimberly guessed they were both in for the long haul here.
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Apparently Rhory was all pissy because Kimberly was being a bitch. That was really too damn bad for her. At this point, Kimberly didn't feel inclined to stop being a bitch for anything short of the terminal cessation of her mental functions due to gunshot.

Rhory was fucking fidgety. Kept pacing, moving. The gun just kept fucking moving. That wasn't such a hot decision on Rhory's part. Sooner or later, it'd probably point away. Then Kimberly could smack it out of the way, smash Rhory in the face, and get the fuck clear. Only, problem was, that wasn't very practical since Rhory was playing around on Kimberly's left side, the side with her fucking crippled arm.

Just another mark on your tab, Kris.

There's going to be a fucking reckoning.

Rhory was asking her about her kill. Was invading her personal space again. Kimberly could feel her body temperature rising, could feel her shoulders and lower back starting to sweat. Dammit. This really wasn't what she wanted to talk about right now. She could lie, say she'd hooked Aisyln's guts out or something, but that wouldn't feel right. That'd be letting Rhory force her into a fib, and there was no way she was going to let that happen. She could tell the truth, and solidify her status as a totally helpless weakling. That felt like losing too, though.

She opted for the third solution.

"Nah, I didn't use the hook. Just like I know you didn't shoot your guy with that nice little rifle. So, how'd you do him, Best Kill?"

We can both can play your games, bitch, and I'm better at them.
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Rhory got even closer. She was getting worked up now, getting fucking pissed. Kimberly could feel it in the airflow against her ear, the tickling. Its savagery aside, it was almost pleasant. It carried memories from the past, and promises for the future. It told Kimberly she'd won. Whatever happened now, she'd fucked Rhory over good. Rhory was explaining her kill, all wrathful and indignant, just like Kimberly had asked.

And then she was slamming the barrel of the gun into Kimberly's neck. Kimberly coughed, her hand flinching towards her throat, her airway constricting for a couple of seconds as she struggled for breath.

No.

Not like this.

Not fucking suffocation, dying flopping helplessly on the ground as the world slowly faded away.

Better something quick.

Better a gunshot.

Kimberly was able to force her lungs to start working again, to force her breath to come once more, though she was still in pain. Rhory was asking for specifics again. She was demanding details. She was threatening to kill Kimberly.

Strangely enough, this wasn't all that frightening. Everything else that had transpired here had been scary. It had carried elements of insanity and the unknown. Kimberly had been sure for a moment that she was about to star in their version's edition of that scene that had gone around last year, with a vase or something. She'd been terrified that Rhory was going to systematically humiliate and abuse her. But now, all she was up against was death, and she'd been dancing to that tune since she first caught a bullet from Kris' gun.

It was an unusual grace, but right now she'd take whatever she could.

And she finally stopped analyzing everything, stopped thinking, and just acted.

She coughed a couple of times. Forced her hand to her side. Didn't even bother trying to estimate Rhory's reflexes.

"Ah, Rhory," Kimberly monotoned. "I killed her—"

And she ducked backwards, playing the worst game of limbo in the world with the gun, at the same time smashing Rhory in the gut with the palm of her hand. She didn't hear any weapon discharge, and she didn't die, either, so she quickly bobbed back into position and rammed the other girl with her shoulder, knocking her over. Kimberly fell on top of her, hearing the gun clatter to the side, landing hard, the pain jolting up her bad arm, but she didn't give a fuck. Right now, she had exactly one focus, and it was already sliding out of her boot and into position at Rhory's throat.

"—with this knife. By the way, I fucking hate being called 'Kimmy'."
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Rhory's eyes were suddenly unreadable. Almost blank, but with just the hint of something familiar, at the edge of Kimberly's mind. There was no defeat. There was none of the fear Kimberly had hoped for. None of the pain she had anticipated. There was no struggle. No desperate attempt to throw her off. There was just Rhory, pinned under her, breathing and staring. She could feel the girl, could feel the life in her, the rise and fall of her chest, the warmth of her body. She realized that it would take a flick of the wrist to end all of that. One little movement of her hand, and it was game over for this girl, this tormentor. Kimberly now held all the power once again.

And then Rhory took it all away.

Two words: Do it.

Kimberly knew why Rhory's eyes had looked familiar.

"Come on. If you're going to shoot, shoot. Otherwise, let's fucking calm down and talk, but we're classmates, so I'm not having any of this POW bullshit Bridget's taking."

"Well come on, serial killer. Time to get a mark by your name, ward off some of the people who mean business."


Do it.

Do it.

Do it.

"Fuck you."

A smile. She let off with the knife, just the tiniest of bits.

"Why do you want to do this? What the fuck's not worth living for?"

Still the feeling of Rhory, the feeling of the sun beating on her back.

Is that your angle, Best Kill? Assisted suicide? Are you a coward?

But I'm not making the same mistake again.

Never again.
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Time stretched. Rhory moved. Kimberly wasn't quite sure what was going to happen. Maybe Rhory was going for another weapon, planning to force a decision. Kimberly wasn't killing her, though. That was absolutely certain.

If Rhory decided to play rough, well, Kimberly would absolutely cut all the fucking tendons in her hands to neutralize her threat potential. That seemed an acceptable compromise. She had pretty much no patience for pep talks. She'd given her little half-assed effort to make Rhory reconsider. As far as she was concerned, her role was now done.

Rhory disagreed.

She called Kimberly a name, then grabbed the knife, and Kimberly's hand with it, and brought it down to her own throat. Once more, Kimberly's reflexes served her well. She only had her good hand on the knife, but Rhory was weakened. Aside from the initial cut, the slight amount of blood once more on the knife, she wasn't making much progress towards making Kimberly kill her.

Kimberly wasn't having much luck getting the knife away from Rhory's neck, though. She let out a growl of frustration, then, in a quick movement, wrenched her hand away, opening it, leaving Rhory the choice of keeping hold of her hand or the knife.

Rhory was left with the knife, as Kimberly rolled off of her, rising and taking a couple steps back.

"You call me spineless? That's pretty funny. You wanna kill yourself, be my guest, use my knife, whatever. I don't see any fucking reason I need to be involved, though."

And with that, Kimberly turned back to her belongings, returning the grappling hook to her belt and beginning to tidy up, leaving Rhory to her own devices.
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MurderWeasel
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It took a little, but Kimberly got her stuff together. She had everything she needed to go on. Rhory hadn't stabbed her in the back while she was packing. She hadn't been expecting the other girl to. The last thing Kimberly had left to grab was her slightly crumpled package of cigarettes. She'd stuffed the few leftovers from her first pack into her second at some point, so it was bulging slightly. She looked at them. Fuck, she really wanted a smoke right now.

She picked up the pack and looked it over.

Fuck cravings.

She was about to haul back and pitch the cigarettes as far away as she could, when she paused for a second and glanced back at Rhory. The girl was on her side. From the way her chest was rising and falling, Kimberly was pretty sure she was crying. She frowned for a second. Apparently, being dead wasn't really Rhory's top priority after all. This was pretty much not a surprise in the slightest. It felt a bit awkward to watch her just lying there and crying, though. It was almost like a new person was there.

Kimberly rubbed her throat, still holding the pack of cigarettes. The place where Rhory had jabbed her still hurt like fuck. She glanced at the gun on the ground, and felt absolutely no inclination to pick it up. She wasn't even sure if she was going to retrieve the knife from Rhory.

She found herself walking over to the girl, though, found herself kneeling, pack in her hand, a single cigarette halfway out of it, between her thumb and index finger, extended towards Rhory.

Memories of the parking lot behind Bayview. Better days.

"You still smoke?"
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Rhory took the cigarette from Kimberly. Kimberly smiled, just a little, as she set the pack down next to Rhory and dug in her pocket for her matches. She'd found the lighter in the first aid kit by now, of course, but lighters had no fucking class. She still had plenty of matches. Good thing, too. You could never tell when something'd need burning.

She withdrew one of them. Her matches had blue heads. They came from a box advertising some restaurant she'd never get a chance to eat at. Probably overpriced shit anyways, since they gave out real wooden matches. She lit Rhory's cigarette like they were lovers in an old black and white flick, then just sat down, inhaling the secondhand smoke. She let the match burn down until she could feel its heat on her fingertips, then let it fall to the ground. Who gave a fuck if she started a fire in this wasteland? The flame died in the dirt, though.

This sudden camaraderie should have been strange. It should have been awkward or uncomfortable. Minutes ago, Kimberly and Rhory had been locked in a mortal struggle. Now, the other girl felt almost like a friend. It was probably because Kimberly understood her, at least, she could project an understanding onto her actions. She could imagine that she and Rhory weren't so different, could believe, for just a little while, that someone else on this island felt what she did, wanted what she wanted, feared what she feared.

Kimberly had always wanted to be different, but being different wasn't any good if you did it all alone. Hypocritical, but what the fuck? Not like it mattered anymore, right?

Rhory had dropped the knife. Kimberly considered offering it to her, but then decided not to. It had been implicit, and Rhory had dropped the weapon. It wasn't hers to carry, so Kimberly picked it up again, wiped the blade on the bottom of her jeans, and slid it back into her boot. She shifted positions, hugging her knees to her chest with just her good arm for a moment, looking out over the field. She couldn't see any corpses.

Her shoulder was flaring up again. Had it really been a week since Kris put a bullet in her? She'd kept things clean and disinfected, had paid absolute attention to that during the past seven days. She was pretty sure the actual laceration had healed enough not to be in immediate danger of infection or damage from torn stitches. The little chunk of metal in her shoulder just loved raising a fuss every time she had to move quickly or perform strenuous physical activities, though.

She glanced over at Rhory, at the girl's damaged hand. Funny.

Kimberly was smiling again.

Rhory's cigarette was almost gone, so Kimberly lit her another.





When Kimberly started walking, the sun was past its zenith and heading west. Any clouds that had been in the sky had burned off in the heat. It was probably a damn fine day in Saint Paul.

She had her things all together again, pack slung across her back, riding on her good shoulder. It was time to get moving.

Funny. Every other time she'd left someone, she'd been happy.

She was already walking, though. No stopping now. No turning back.

Kimberly stopped and turned back.

"Hey," she called. "Hey, Best Kill.

"Good luck."

((Kimberly Nguyen continued in Seeking))
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