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Maria Graham's Series of Unfortunate Events; Series finale; PM for entry
Topic Started: Apr 21 2011, 10:26 PM (3,657 Views)
Greg The Anti-Viking
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On the left is a mod, on the right is a pre-made psycho...get the picture?
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Tabitha "Tabi" Gweneth continued from White Sparrows))

Tabi's sleep was poor and sporatic. She was back in the residential area, bringing back memories that she wished to never remember. Memories of Clio, holding her at gunpoint. Memories of pulled triggers...

If it wasn't the memories, it was the fact that her attempts to help Maria weren't helping. They cleaned her up in the infirmary and she tried her best to clean the wounds, but there were so many. Cuts. Bruises. Burn wounds. She didn't even know how to treat burn wounds. But she tried anyways.

Maria's moans and winces made it worse. There wasn't anything that Tabi could do to stop them. She could only be the crutch for her and lead her to safety, wherever that was. And knowing that hurt Tabi. Seeing Maria curled up in a ball in the corner of the room.

Ivan had remained mostly silent throughout this, he took her suggestions, and did not complain about there movement. Finally, when they did stop for the day, he was there. When Maria had gone to sleep in the room, she could cling close to him. When she woke up to Maria's moans, she dug her head into his chest. It acted as a firm pillow. It was better than anything he could have possibly said to her.

Morning came, and Tabi was again awake. Her stirring woke up Ivan but he said nothing. Instantly her attention was turned to their companion. She had dissapeared from her bedroom.

Tabi let out a wordless cry and her head turned back to the kitchen. Maria had moved her way over to the kitchen table, splayed across it's frame. A chair had been knocked onto it's side, remnants of Maria's move from her bed to her new resting place.

She shuffled over to her friend and placed a hand on her back. Maria now wore the yellow shirt that she had worn on day one. It was wrinkled from the folds in her bag, but it was much better than the dirty fishnet she had worn previously and Tabi was happy to give it to her.

Maria's eyes were vacant when Tabi looked at her face. She was squinting, as if Tabi had been some far off thing in the distance. It gave Tabi chills to look at her, but she couldn't show weakness in front of her. It was going to be all right.

"Hey Maria...It's me. It's Tabi."

Tabi's hands looped under Maria's belly and with some effort, Tabi was able to prop the injured girl against her. She smelled terrible, a mix of medicine, blood and sweat.

"I'm taking you to the couch okay?"

No answer.

Tabi's gaze turned to Ivan and her lips curled down. Tears were starting to well up. She wanted to ask him what to do now, but she couldn't make the words come out. He had objected to this plan, and now it was looking like he was right. Maria's health was fading fast and now she was left lost. She readjusted herself and brought her to the couch.

She slowly guided the two of them down to their seats, and propped Maria next to her. Her hand was on Maria's head, gently brushing in between the blue and black strands. She turned back to Ivan and stared into his face.

"Ivan..."

Tabi couldn't say anything more.
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Ivan had said nothing to her. Not that Tabi was really expecting him to. If he had said anything, she could admit that she probably would not have heard him either. There was something else that held her attention.

Her primary focus was the rhythm of Maria's breathing. The rise and fall of her chest, the fading sounds of air passing in through her. Every falter made her hold her breath. Every irregularity drew her attention now. It was painful to stare at her friend like this. Her face was still littered with cuts, and large purple sploches of bruises. Her face was contorted in a frown and when Tabi stared into her eyes, there was nothing to be found there. No joy, no peace, none of the features that resembled the Maria of Bayview were there. It was all gone.

Maria had drifted off to sleep and that was when time had come to a halt. Tabi's hand moved away from Maria's head and were placed to her knees. She wished to look away from the companion to her left, but dared not turn to her right either. Ivan had never wanted her to come along. When she first suggested the idea he had been hesitant to do so, and it was only because she had to beg. She had to be the one to save her friend. Now, it was looking more like his fears were correct. Her fists crumpled into little balls as she stared down at her once blue sneakers, now stained and looking less like the new pair she had bought only a month before their feild trip.

Tabi was trembling now. She wanted to be somewhere else. Anywhere in the world, she didn't care to name a specific spot. She just wanted to be away from here. She felt the dampness under her eyes and she was sniffing constantly, trying to fight back the runny noise that had developed.

At first, she didn't even realize it, but moments later Tabi notice that Maria's pressence had vanished. This feeling jostled her back into reality and she quickly scanned the floor, expecting the drummer to have fallen down onto the floor. But when she looked, she saw Maria's feet wobbling across the room. Instantly, Tabi bolted from her seat and rushed to Maria.

"Maria w-wa-wait a minute!" she said, clinging to her friends shoulder as she colided with the a closed door. "You-you're not ready to do this. Yo-you have to...you have to rest."

Maria was ignoring her. With a zombie like devotion, Maria's hand was clutching at the door handle. She was overexerting herself and Tabi tried to pry her away from the door, but she held firm to the handle.

"Maria, please you have to sit down!"

The door clicked open, and Maria fell with it into the doorframe. Tabi yelped in fright at how fast she had fallen and fell down to her knees moving next to her friends splayed body. Maria lifted her head up, staring up at a bed that was in the centre of the room. In the middle of this bed was the bloody corpse of a boy. Not just any boy, but Duncan McMahon, Maria's boyfriend. His body was placed as if he had been sleeping gently, And were it not for Maria, it would have caused her to back away.

Maria began to speak out, but to Tabi's ears, there were no words. They were just incoherent whispers that she could not understand.

"Maria!" she called out, "Maria listen to me."

More whispering, as if she was having a seperate conversation in a language she was not privvy too. Maria's face was contorted in a look of confusion, fresh blood was coming out of old cuts and a small trickle ran down her left nostril. Tabi placed a hand on her shoulder, trying her hardest to shake her back to alertness.

"Please, Maria." the tears were now falling from her cheeks onto the canary yellow of the borrowed shirt Maria wore, "Maria I need you to stay with me. Come on!"

Tabi shook her now, but her pleas were yeilding no response, just more mumbles. Tabi had tried so hard to save her. She was still trying her hardest now. Every fibre of herself that she could lend to Maria's aid was being used and now she was shouting at her friend.

"Maria please! Stay with me! You're going to be alright!"

"...that..."

Tabi gasped, and couldn't help but beem at finally breaking through to her. Waves of relief pounded into her chest. Maria was smiling too. A recognition of her existance!

""That...that sounds nice..."

"Yes," Tabi said, surpressing a hiccup, "Yes it is! Alright now I need you to come up with me okay. On the count of 3. 1...2...3..."

Tabi pulled at her shoulder, but Maria wasn't making any attempt to move.

"Maria?"

Tabi pulled again, and this time she noticed how limp Maria's body was starting to hang in her arms. Tabi's elation was starting to sink down. And she edged herself over to look into Maria's face.

"Ma-Maria! You're still here right? Maria listen to me!"

"G...good...bye..."

Maria's eyes were half closed, and now all of the weight that Tabi had in her hands was starting to slip down until it gently tapped the floor.

"M-maria?" Tabi said, her voice no more than a whisper.





Silence....



"Maria?"



Tabi's hand was cupping over her mouth. And her head started to shake.

"No...no...no no...no no no no NO!"

Tabi didn't move, she had been rooted to the spot now, forced to look into her friends face. She kept repeating the same phrase over and over with faster cadence and despite her immense desire to flee, she was forced to look upon the face of the drummer of Blank Nation. The forme-

A hand on her shoulder stopped her sobs. The hand of the man that she had convinced into bringing Maria along with them. The man that listened to Tabi's claims that she could help her. The man who helped her bandage up minor wounds and to pass the medical tools she could use to bring her back to health. The man who sat there all the while. Listening to Tabi's words. Her foolish, naive, misguided words.

Her shoulder brushed his bare leg, and without warning, she clung onto it. Her words now became just a loud series of wails, she couldn't force herself to speak now. She had tried so hard, to bring Maria back. She had tried so hard. And she had failed Maria. She had failed Ivan. She had failed herself.

A deep pain seared into her chest. Building slowly from within and spreading out into the very depths of her shaking body. Tabi had heard so many names on the intercom. Names of the people who had died. Many of them she had recognized as her own friends. Friends that were no longer there. The loss of them had been great, but she was never there to witness it. The loss that she bore witness to now, the loss of Maria Graham before her very eyes, hurt more than any of them combined.

Tabi continued to cry. Ivan's legs merely became a crutch. Much like she had acted as one for Maria. The only question that run in her mind, was the same she had before.




What now?
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Greg The Anti-Viking
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[ *  *  *  * ]
What now?






Tabi Gweneth found herself unable to answer such a question. Her mind had been struck dumb with the facts lain plainly in front of her. Maria's body lay before her. Broken, bloody, burned, bruised, and completely lifeless. She was still hugging Ivan's leg as if she were clinging tightly to her old stuffed rabbit that she had back when five. Whenever the world got scary, Tabi could always rely on her bunny rabbit to keep her safe, to protect her from the bad stuff lurking out in the closet.

Now, there was no stuffed rabbit. Tabi was nowhere near her old pink bedroom. The monsters had come out of the closet again.

Memories. Memories of days in the St.Paul. Back at the Promenade hanging out in the food court. Memories of telling her friends that they should wear a helmet. Memories of picking up the pieces when they didn't listen. Maria, Etain, Max...They were gone now. She kept trying to think about others but by now the names were a haze to her.

A hand found it's way into her hair. In a way, it helped stem the flow of Tabi's tears. The repeated brushes of Ivan's fingers through her long, tangled hair. She remembered the days when hair was something she focused on. Days spent agonizing over whether she should put highlights in her hair. Tabi had thought that it would make her cuter, maybe get noticed by a cute boy...

She closed her eyes. Maria had chose to take highlights too, in typical Maria fashion it was always something a little different. Electric blue, only someone like Maria would chose to put that in her hair. It had fit her personality, always being someone who could break away from the pack. Be different. Be a little crazy.

The hand had lifted from her head, and moved down to her shoulder. It was trying to push her up. She opened her eyes and squeezed Ivan's legs tighter. No, she couldn't leave Maria now. There was so much that she had wanted to say! She wanted to apologize. She wanted to tell Maria about how hard she had tried. She wanted to tell her about what had happened to her. She wanted to talk about all that had happened on what would only be called Day 4 to everyone else. Tabi couldn't say it though, she just shook her head and made little moans, objecting to being lifted away.

"Come on... come with me."

The arms of Ivan had now looped under her own and were starting to pry her away. She tried desperately to cling on.

No! Maria! Maria I'm sorry! I'm sorry!

Tabi's grip slipped, and she let go. She was on her feet.

Her whole body quivered as if she had been submerged in water. The same hands that had lifted her forwards now guided her towards the door. She turned her head back as far as she could, straining to look back to Maria one last time. She caught a glimpse of blue hair, but that was all that she could see before stumbling, only to have Ivan prevent her from falling to the ground.

That final sight came as a blessing and a curse. At once, she felt as if a weight was now gone, released from her and it felt like a relief. That same relief, however, could not yield the pain that she felt trying to save her from her fate. The pain of knowing that she was not successful. Now it was added to the pains already felt here. The pain of nearly losing Ivan, the pain of what had happened on Day 4. The pain of knowing that it was viewed and judged by millions, the pain of knowing that she was back here.

His arms guided her back and she silently obeyed. What happened next had surprised her. Ivan's other hand moved down her body and stopped at the back of her knees. It was a feeling that caused her to let out a small peep, it had tickled and caused her to bend her knees. Then, she was no longer on the ground. She blinked, staring up into Ivan's face. His cheeks were flushed and beyond his green sunglasses his eyes seemed oddly bleary. She was jostled slightly with every step and she couldn't help but notice his winces. She turned to look at the bandaged arm that had been shot at by Clio's bullets on the day they met on the island. Her puzzled look turned to a frown and her gaze shifted to the floor below her. Her face was becoming hot and she felt the rosy plumes rushing to her cheeks.

He didn't need to do that...

With the same gentleness from before, Ivan had placed her onto the couch. Her face turned up to meet Ivan's hoping for an answer, but none was given to her. Instead, he leaned in towards her, their foreheads touching. It was an odd feeling, his skin touching hers. There were words exchanged. Private words, that Ivan did not say to her aloud. It was as if he was projecting out to her.

I'm here...

He spoke to her aloud this time. She tried to cling onto what it was he said, but missed it. He pulled away and turned to the room that Maria lay. Tabi closed her eyes, she didn't wish to look back now. Any more and it would be too much for her.

A click of the door, caused her to snap them open again. She looked to her lap and saw her hands. There were quivering, clutching each other, they felt cold as if all the heat had been sucked away. Tabi sniffed, trying to retract the moisture that lingered above her lips, to little success. She rubbed her hands, hoping to generate a furnace from within them, but again, success was not to be found.

"We... we did all we could. I'm sorry."

Ivan had returned to her peripheral vision. Tabi's hands broke apart before her. As if he had known what the gesture had meant, Ivan placed his own hands in hers and his forehead glued itself to Tabi's own. The silence that was shared between the two of them returned once more. Tabi's thumbs folded over and massaged the back of Ivan's palm. There were words that she wished to say but found herself unable to do so. She had to say something, acknowledge what had happened and acknowledge all it was that Ivan was doing now.

Her eyes looked to Ivan's lips, causing her to fold her own over and over. She pushed upwards, guiding Ivan's head up until he was now staring at her eye to eye. Hesitation followed for a moment before she moved in and kissed him.

She pulled back and cast her face downwards. A mistake. No, she was not supposed to do that. Here she was kissing Ivan, when seconds before, Maria had died before her eyes. The very action was just...wrong...Why did she do something so selfish?

The tears fell again, silently now, the impact they made on the floor the only sound to be heard between them. Her thumbs kept massaging his hands, small semi-circles that meant nothing and would lead to nothing. She had to speak though, before Ivan could do anything. Before it got worse.

"Ivan I..."

Tabi's voice caught herself, and instead of saying anything she retracted her lips. Ivan had said that he was here for her. Any words she said now would be regretted as much as her kiss.

Her hands tightened around Ivan's and began to shake. She squeezed as hard as she could holding onto Ivan, trying to hold off any more tears.

Don't let go...
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Greg The Anti-Viking
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Night had come for the two of them. Tabi had finally stopped weeping, despite an ever present desire to continue on until she became a mere puddle on the floor. Even still, Ivan had held onto her. It was amazing at both how fast time had passed, when it felt like it was moving at a snails pace. Sweat had seeped through the cracks between their enclosed hands and despite the tingle of discomfort, they did not part only loosening to numb the pain.

Tabi's thoughts remained constant. An albatross around her neck was growing heavier and heavier with each passing hour and every passing day. The weight of having murdered someone. The weight of being labeled "best killer". The weight of being judged by her fellow students, her friends. The weight of being watched by the world. The weight of being judged by her family. And now the weight of failing to save her best friend from this horrible place. Each of them becoming another stone anchoring her down.

And yet, even so. There was one balloon that kept bringing her up, straining to keep her afloat. Ivan Kuznetsov was still here. Bearing the same loads that she had been carrying. That night, was a joyous moment, the only one Tabi could actually claim for herself for the week she had been here. She struggled to remember all that had happened that night, but they had fallen for each other. Tabi had worried about whether it was a culmination of their situations or something true, not artificial.

No it was love. Definitely love. Without question.

Guilt had still remained within her. She loved Ivan, but in kissing him now, with Maria so soon departed, felt like a betrayal. There was supposed to be a respect for the dead. A respect for a dear friend, recently departed. How dare she move on so soon!

And yet his hands felt so warm...

Ivan had now taken a seat beside Tabi on the couch, gently guiding her into his chest. Tabi didn't look at him at first, choosing to look down upon the shag carpet. All there was in these damn houses were shag carpets! There was shag back when Clio had died and now there was shag here! Tabi had wished that they just walked on uneven floorboards instead!

A hand was gently placed on her head, running through her hair as if it were a wheat field. It caused Tabi to inhale sharply and close her eyes. These hands had a rhythm to its movement. Swish. Swish. Swish. The hands were rough, and yet the care placed in it was that of an artist. She opened her eyes and looked up to see Ivan staring back at her. It was a peculiar feeling, looking up at him. Had his jaw always been that strong? His eyes too, not the ones hidden under shades, the ones that were a vibrant blue. They looked so gentle, yet...confident...

She forced herself to sit upright. Another unnoticed surprise. Ivan was actually shorter than her. Had it always been like that? She had been hiding behind him and nuzzling into him so much, she hadn't realized this. Funny how that worked out...

For a moment, Tabi flashed a smile, before moving her head into Ivan's until they lightly touched each other. There they rested and stayed there as the sun went down and sleep started to drift into her mind.

She had always talked about Duncan...Maybe...she'd understand...

Tabi's hand was still locked in Ivan's. She didn't want to leave it...Not tonight...

((We are moving into day 8))
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Sleep came easy for Tabitha Gweneth that night. A luxury that she had not been privvy to during her stay on the island. It was because of the situation she was in now, that helped guide her along. Her cheek was gently pressed to Ivan's chest, rising and falling with the ebb and flow of his breath. It soothed her and guided her into closing her eyes and sleeping soundly. No dreams this night. No terrors awaited her in the dark...



BANG


Tabi's eyes snapped open at the violent sound. The surge of natural light caused her to blink rapidly. It was morning. Her vision was still hazy but her mind was alert. It was from outside the living room. Was it an animal?

No, an animal wouldn't make that noise.

Ivan rushed up and pulled Tabi from the couch. The sound from behind the closed living room door was slow and deliberate.

Clop. Clop. Clop.

Ivan barked out an order and Tabi found herself quickly scrambling over to her bag and shakily grabbing hold of her backpack. She tried to loop it around. There was a moment of hesitation when she went to the door to the bedroom. She turned back to Ivan, he was not following her. What was he waiting for? Weren't they both getting out of here?

There was a fumbling at the door, and Tabi had no choice but to open her door and rush in. There was a door in the other side of the room, their way out, but Ivan was still in the other room. She closed the bedroom door behind her, keeping just enough space open to peak out into the living room. What came into the room caused her to cover her mouth to prevent her from shouting out his name.

There was no mistaking it. The tanned skin, the tall frame, the black hair. The shotgun in his hands. This was the man that had found his way into that dream. The man that had almost killed her when she tried to save Ivan's life. He had said that he would come for them, if they were ever found on the announcements again. She gulped back the lump in her throat, memories were flooding inside, making her chest become heavy and ache.

Imraan had come to fufil his promise. He had come for her.

Ivan had asked what he had wanted from them. But there was no doubt as to what it was. Ivan needed to get out of here. If he didn't escape, he would be killed. But Tabi couldn't move. She just looked on, paralyzed by memories.

He had come for her...
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[ *  *  *  * ]
He had asked her to run. He had told her to flee. Escape. Yet Tabi found herself still here. Hiding behind the flimsy cover of a door, praying that she would not be spotted. From inside her throat she felt a scream wanting to rise out of her, but she swallowed it down.

It was like the dream had been made real. Imraan looked so stoic, towering over Ivan and looking down upon him as if he was dirt. Just like when he towered over her. All the heat in her body had dissipated, leaving her to feel the chill that had filled in the void.

Imraan's voice was cold and measured when he threatened him. He still had the shotgun, the shotgun that had almost ended her life before. Ivan was left with one of the trophies from Tabi's terrible deed. Another gun that had nearly killed her. Her fingers gripped the door tighter and she hung her head, staring down at the floor below her.

"Not gonna waste words, Ivan. Where's Tabitha?"

Tabi sucked in air and her head snapped back up, looking through her tiny window to see the scene. Ivan's hands were shaking. He held the pistol in his hands, but he was shaking. Even from the bedroom she could see it. It was infectious, Tabi found that her legs were starting to wobble as if she was going to topple from the sheer weight of fear emanating from him.

"I warned you. Before. Where is she?"


Tabi Gweneth gulped. Ivan was going to die! Imraan was going to shoot him! She just knew it now! Knew it, and felt completely powerless to stop it from happening. In a few seconds time, she was going to see the boy she loved, the only ray of light on this island, be shot down. All because of her.

A thought popped up into her head. A terrible thought, but perhaps the only way that Ivan could possibly be spared. She just would open the door, put her hands up, tell him to let Ivan leave and take her instead. She would even kneel before him, let him point his gun and then...

Tabi gulped.

But I don't want to die...



Ivan doesn't deserve to die for your actions...



Tabi felt the mist returning to her eyes.


Sorry Mom, Dad... I'm so sorry...



She would count to three. And then...







Three, Two, O-






"... You can't have her."



Tabi froze. The words hit her like a hammer blow. She could hear something, in his voice, there was solemn admition and yet there was also defiance in them as well. Something in his words that had caused the temperature in her to rise. Why was he throwing himself up to him like this. He didn't have to do that for her.

"... And you can't have me yet, either. I don't want anything to do with you, neither does she. She... she did it to save my life, okay? She didn't want to kill Clio!"

Imraan had raised his gun now, aiming it at Ivan's chest.

"Leave us alone. Please."

Tabi turned away from the scene. Her hands were curling up into a fist, nails biting into her flesh. Her mouth was curled down in a frown, and she could feel her teeth pressing against each other, striving to pass each other. Even so, her breathing was slow, measured, and calm. Her gaze peered around the room, she needed something. If Ivan was going to actually summon up the courage to save her. She could do the same.

The answer was found on a nightstand. A slim, brass coloured lamp, with a large lampshade on it. Tabi tiptoed over to it and felt around for the electrical cord. She was able to fish it out of it's electrical socket and wrap the chord.

Tabi took in a deep breath and lifted it off of the table. It was now or never. She crept over to the doorway again. To her relief, Imraan hadn't fired the gun yet. But now that she was here, she felt that the lamp in her hands was made out of lead.

She sucked in a deep breath.

Three. Two. One.

"IVAN RUN!"

Tabi wrenched open the door and threw the lamp at Imraan's body with all the force she could muster.
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[ *  *  *  * ]
The gun shots made her recoil backwards in shock. She instinctively padded around her body and found no wounds, a small relief at best. The bravado that she had summoned up to throw the lamp at Imraan had faded away. Now all she could think of was flight. Imraan had fallen back into the hallway but there were no chances to be taken. They had to flee from this house.

Ivan slammed the bedroom door and instantly Tabi ran to the nightstand again and tried to lift it up, but yielded no success. She frantically scanned the room to find something that could keep the door closed but she found nothing to aid her. There was no time to drag it in place. If he was still alive, Imraan would be at the door in seconds.

Ivan asked for where they would go now. Tabi's thoughts raced around in search of an answer. But none came to her. The only priority was keeping Ivan from being killed because of her, now she wasn't sure of where they were to go next. All the she could think of was the need to get out of here. Ivan didn't deserve to die. And neither did Tabi. But Imraan was coming closer now and if she didn't do anything there would be no escape. She bit down on her lips and scrambled over to the back door.

"I don't know, anywhere! Just run!" She yelled, not sparing any care to hide the fear in her voice.

Her hands touched the rounded handle and she twisted it, but the door wouldn't open. Sweat was pooling in her hands, making the handle slick and difficult for her to grasp. She could hear footsteps in the other room causing her to frantically juggle the brass knob, but it would not yield to her frantic pushing and pulling of the door.

"Damn it. Damn it. Damn it!" she moaned with each turn of the doorknob.

He could hear the footsteps stopping. Imraan was at the door.

"Shit!" she yelled as she twisted the handle and rammed the door with her shoulder.

Tabi had not expected the door to give way to her force, but by some miracle she found herself stumbling into the grass outside of the house. Her head whipped back and Ivan had followed her out and offered a hand. Despite what had just happened, she found herself giving a smile. They were out of the house, and it was all thanks to her. She stretched out her arm to take it.

But then she looked back into the bedroom. The door was starting to open and she saw the barrel of Imraan's gun sticking out from behind the wooden frame.

"Run!"

Tabi scrambled up from a crawl into an awkward gallop as she ran away from the house. She didn't know where they were going to go. She just wanted to get away from here. She gave a quick glance behind her and saw that Ivan was following close behind her, pistol still in his hands. She didn't see Imraan yet, and now was praying to herself that he wouldn't pursue them. They had to get away. She could only hope that they were in the clear. She didn't dare look back again.

((Tabi Gweneth and Ivan Kuznetsov continued in Feel a Fear))
Edited by MK Kilmarnock, Jun 14 2011, 11:26 PM.
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Japanese Proverb
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