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No Such Thing as a Perfect Plan; Open, Late Day Seven
Topic Started: Mar 25 2011, 08:19 PM (5,496 Views)
Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
((Charlie DuClare continued from Could Have Been Worse))

She wasn't too sure what she'd been expecting.

Something like a miracle, maybe. That nice magic moment where chains get broken and choirs shake off their cobwebs because hey, hey, jigsaw just fell into place. Jigsaw was one piece useless information from Charlie about presumably failed escape plans she wasn't even really privy to, one part je ne sais quoi from Aaron, and if you tilted it just the right way it looked pretty goddamn beautiful.

And so she had that beautiful snapshot of something that was never going to happen.

Because it turns out that when you bring nothing to the table except for pocket lint and desperation, you will never ever get your miracle. You will finish talking, you will stand for a few seconds while the silence whispers Is there anything else? You will mark the look on Aaron's face as he realizes you're at the end of your usefulness. And though an untrained eye will never notice, you will shudder and cower and you will be curled up in a little ball.

And something funny happened then. Nobody said anything. Not with their words or with their faces or with their silence. Well, technically Aaron was saying some things and technically Charlie was even paying attention, but none of the words were the ones she knew she was gonna hear at any moment. Try as she might, she never heard him say Leave or Goodbye or Disappointed. Which couldn't be right, she'd thrown herself at that group based on a false promise and now... no, they were just waiting, or something? Any moment now and she'd hear those words.

That was two days ago now. So you tell her what happened in the meantime.

Not friendship, not yet at least. This one was... harder than last time. But easier than the first time, because these people at least weren't such aggressively unlikable idiots. Some sort of happy middle ground, maybe, where she wasn't letting loose all her hellfire and four-letter words at the drop of a hat, and she wasn't... growing to like them.

If you grow to like them, it'll hurt more when you run away. And God knows, Charlie DuClare, it'll take a lot more than a good group of friends and a better shot at survival to keep you from running away.

So now there was this girl. Aston Bennett. With a gun and with a lot of very pointed words. Asking about Quincy Jones, asking about Tiffany Chanders. Not threatening to kill them- good heavens, no, definitely not threatening to kill them- and yet Charlie was more scared than the time the girl had tried to murder her with a hammer, or the time she'd started talking shit to the angry retard with the tire iron.

Just say no, just say no, everyone just say no. You don't know Quincy, you don't know Tiffany, she has no reason to stick around here any longer. Just say no like Charlie just did, like Charlie actually just shook her head because words were occasionally hard, and just say no and then

And then she'll be gone, right?
Edited by Jonny, Apr 4 2011, 09:03 PM.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
Well it's your own damn fault for expecting so much.

Expecting what, exactly? Some miracle or other, like her collar was the only thing keeping her angel wings from sprouting out of her back, and well, fuck, once she's got her angel wings then she can just take off into the sky and pull her flaming sword out of a cloud and then the terrorists are right proper fucked. The crispy girl has just pulled out some major apotheosis here, so you and your terrorist buddies can just pack your bags and head back home. We'll all chill on this island and drink smoothies till goddamn America shows up and saves us.

It wasn't even that. Apotheosis was a great idea but it was just some bullshit SAT word that you'd never, ever have cause to use in a sentence. Far more likely to get used was... dammit, what's a nice, simple word for “seeing her again”? Reunion? Nope, too sappy and too much implied there, like they'd been best friends and this would've been some big touching moment. It wouldn't. It would've been that one girl, who'd appeared once on a riverbank - screaming and burning and so fragile so you better hold her gently when you tell everything's gonna be alright - appearing again.

Worse for the wear, probably, but you can't really blame her for that, looks like she's had a long day, so let's all relax and unwind, sit in a circle, teach her some slang, laugh at how awkward she's being and say some things you know will make her feel even more awkward. Try to stop grinning and fail. Wonder if you're maybe being too rough with the crispy girl, then forget that wonder the moment the next joke pops into your head.

Wasn't gonna happen.

Because someone else had gotten to her first, told her the same things about how she looked so tired and maybe she'd like to sit down for a while. He'd ridden up on his pretty pale horse and you couldn't see his face in the light. But there was something gleaming there, oh what sharp teeth he must have, and he came across as such a gentleman so how could she refuse him.

That hadn't happened either.

No beautiful pale metaphors on the horizon, no tragic poetry to accompany a pair of slowly closing eyes and a slowly beating heart. A struggle, maybe, and even a fight if we were just that damn lucky. But not a hero's last stand amid those steady falling cherry blossoms.

Just a girl failing to reappear.

---

Snap back to attention, little buddy. And watch yourself there, a poem just fell out of your mouth. Can't wait to see how catatonic you get when Dave or Izzy bite it (had they already – oh God, how long had she zoned out – no, no way she'd missed their names – yeah, she definitely would've heard – so they had to be alright, thank God), because fuck, you actually liked those two! It will be just so damn exciting to see what symbolism you cough up the next time your mind wanders.

In the meantime, Aaron was giving her the most important job of all, telling her to be the lookout. Lookout meant looking away, taking refuge in the idea of the outside world and turning a blind eye to the terrible things creeping up right behind you. Yeah, Charlie could handle that. Aaron might as well have just told her Close your eyes now, Charlie, you don't want to see this next part to cut down on the ambiguity.

But it was, it was wrong to...

It was wrong to stay silent. Attagirl, good phrase, hold it tight and make it mean something. Turn to Aaron (what, abandoning your solemn duty as lookout already? This is treason and you are a traitor) and tell him in the loudest voice you can muster right now:

“Look, Aaron, I don't know if this is such a hot idea, I mean... I've seen what collar tampering can do to you, right? Liz took that risk on her own but I'd never put that danger on anyone else, I mean...”

And her words just felt strangely quiet right now. And the world kept spinning while the volume stole away from her more and more in these pretty little wisps.

So she closed her eyes. She didn't want to see this next part.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
Her eyes were closed when it happened, so it followed naturally that she could open them up, whenever she was ready, to the sight of goofy grins and slapping hands and a hip and a hip and a hooray. And not a drop of blood in sight, and not a drop of blood in sight.

No such luck.

There was Milo, or there was most of Milo, and there was Aaron. Aaron, who had sounded so confident about this plan. Aaron, with the gun in his hand. Aaron, looking blank and looking still and telling her nothing – start cackling or start weeping, for fucksake, so Charlie can know how to feel. You just killed a boy, at least have the common decency to let Charlie know whether she ought to... ought to...

A fine point. Hypothetically: Aaron slicks back his hair and puts on some sunglasses and twirls his shiny gun because You fools, I have been the villain all along, you are puppets on my strings!

And then?

No, you don't fight him, because he has a gun and you gave your mirror to a crispy girl because MacGyver was your dad's favorite show you looked up the show a bit when you bought him the DVD set for Father's day. No, no, you don't run, because you'd be alone on a scary fucking island with two hundred markers reading Here lies . . . and none reading Home. No, no, fucking no, you don't stay with him, because you sure as fuck already know how that ends.

So you cross that bridge, maybe, when you come to it.

But for now you do some stupid fucking things, some things that are maybe just maybe going to get you killed and put this whole thing to rest, because you need to know whether you're already standing on that bridge. So with a trembling you hope isn't big enough for him to see and with a few broad steps forward,

“Jesus fucking Christ, Aaron, you- you don't get to be calm right now. Fuck, you, you get-”

She grabbed onto his gun. Not the handle- hahaha, what, did you think she was stupid or something? The barrel. Pressed it against her stomach. Looked the boy dead in the eye. Not much else she could do right now to make herself more afraid.

“You get to make a choice. Because you just killed him, Aaron, you killed- and it wasn't her, she didn't even do anything, you can't put any of that on her. Okay? So you- you got to make a choice now, okay?”

Barrel of the gun was shaking now.

Please tell me that's him and not me.

“One choice is you're a killer and, and you wanted this, you wanted him to die, in which case you fucking shoot me right now, you fucking admit it to me and you and everyone else, okay, because I don't want to look over my shoulder every minute of the rest of my live.”

Oh God, it was definitely her.

“Either that, or you- or you're not a killer, and this wasn't what you wanted, you didn't want him to... you didn't want anyone to die! And if that's true, then you don't get to be calm, you- you need to start showing some fucking remorse for that! You need to be sorry, you son of a fucking- you need to be sorry!”

“Okay?”

Okay,

he said, without a word.

He snuffled. Once, twice. He loosened his grip on the gun. Set it on the ground. Sat down, legs folded, head in his hands. There were no tears, which was a little odd because Charlie had been expecting tears (hoping for tears), but there was something there. Something in his face, maybe, to tell her. But it seemed awful rude right now to lift up his head and give his grief an inspection. To look him in his dry eyes and tell him he wasn't doing good enough.

So you don't.

So instead you pull yourself together and bend down low and hope.

And trust and believe. And with your arms holding him tight you start to gently whisper,

“It's okay. It's okay. I know you didn't want this, I'm... sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. You're a good guy, Aaron, I know you didn't mean to. It's okay. It'll be okay. It'll all be alright.”

It's true, it's true, it's all true. He did it on accident, he's a good guy, he's your friend. So say it, say it again, say it all, say it like you mean it. Say it till you're not afraid anymore. Say it till nobody is trembling.

Say it till you believe.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
And the world kept sinking and nobody noticed. Things got torn around their edges, bent, wrinkled, and it was just a little harder to see any light. And they weren't noticing, nobody was fucking noticing- why weren't they fucking noticing? Why let everything sink and sink and suddenly it's all gone and you never even realized it was leaving? Why aren't you doing something about it, why aren't you fucking noticing?

Yeah. You're too busy yelling at each other. Which...

... which, okay, glass houses. Flash back to just a moment ago, lookit what we had there. Girl, loud, angry (this would be Charlie), and boy, quiet, remorseful (this would be Aaron). She kept yelling and yelling till he sat down and cried. Hey, guys, did you hear that DuClare girl yelled at some nerdy kid till he broke down in tears? Ha ha ha, what a catty bitch. She's nothing if not consistent.

No, hey, break out the silver linings and pull yourself together. It was the right thing to do. Yes? Yes. It had been the good thing, the compassionate thing, the... fuck, what's a synonym for tough love tha doesn't make you sound like an asshole when you use it? Anything? No, nothing? Well, fuck it. It was necessary. Aaron had to realize... and then he realized... and then she hugged him and told him it was alright so that balanced out anything negative. That made it okay.

What the fuck are you gonna do to make it okay, you Hot-Topic-looking motherfucker? Hugs don't count, this is beyond the level of a hug and go fuck yourself, we don't want a hug from you anyway. Make everyone a home-cooked breakfast, then we'll talk. Find a wild boar. Turn it into bacon. Do what you have to do.

And even if he did make it up, why do it in the first place? Why pull any of that shit, going on about herp derp you guys are dumb and Milo was an asshole, which I say without even a hint of irony herp derp. It doesn't help. It doesn't shine any lights. It makes the world sink down, down, further down, and you're not even noticing. Asshole.

So you say,

“Got to be fucking kidding me...”

And you walk towards him. Pretty slowly, and hands held in the air so as to be as non-threatening as possible, but walking towards him all the same. And you say,

“I can't fucking deal with this anymore. Alright? I don't want to hear this shit anymore. I don't want to hear any more insults, or any screaming,” wait Charlie who is that part referring to, “or... I just... can't. Deal. With any of this.

“I don't care how many guns I have to stand in front of today,” two, please just keep it to two, don't go above two, “just stop. Okay? Just stop, or just fucking shoot me right now...

“Whichever's easier for you.”
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Jonny
Member Avatar
You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
It's okay to be shaking now.

And to fall to your knees as soon as you're sure the kid with the gun isn't looking, and to think to yourself about how stupid it was to wait till he wasn't looking. That was valuable time you wasted. Time spent on your feet is time spent pretending to be okay. Time spent pretending to be okay is time spent not being okay.

And here was Aileen asking if she could maybe not step in front of so many guns. Which sorta approached the vicinity of kind words.

“Haha, yeah... that's the last one, I promise.” Some sort of weird, nervous giggle type thing. Certainly not any sound a normal person would make. “At least for today.”

And then a full-blown laugh, with all the glorious cracks around its edges so everyone could see.

But it was going to get better now. There were friends here now. Here to chase all the monsters away and to shine their lights till all the news was good. And mend all the cracks around the edges till Charlie could laugh again and mean it.

God, wouldn't that be the day.

And here was Aaron, saying he hoped Charlie would come along to wherever he was going. And in doing so, raising the possibility that she might not. Don't. Even. Joke. About. That. She's coming, of course she's coming, she's on her way, she's getting up right now, she's ready to go.

Ready to lead where you will follow, where anyone will follow, because there are so many fucking monsters on this island and anything's better than seeing them constantly out of the corner of your eye.

Anything.

((Charlie DuClare continued elsewhere))
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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