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Harlequin Girls; [Private: Hayley Kelly and Ema Ryan]
Topic Started: May 30 2011, 01:13 PM (2,024 Views)
Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
[The Stoner Always Dies --> Ema Ryan]

Ema almost protested when Hayley started treating her bullet wound - it didn't hurt that badly any more, having taken her mind off of it, and the bleeding had slowed to a negligible pace, such that it barely even counted as bleeding any more. But she remembered that, whilst he had also amputated his arm, it had essentially been infection that killed Alex in the end. And to tell the truth, she enjoyed the attention. Had it been her parents fussing over her, it wouldn't have been the case, more annoying than anything, but with Hayley, the affection was more than welcome. Is that desperate? It's kind of desperate.

So eventually the small wound was cleaned and dressed, and Ema put it out of her mind once again. What's the worst that could happen? Someone might notice the bandages under her coat and pick it out as a weak spot? Probably not. If it came to the point that the wound could even be noticed, Ema's (lack of) physical fitness would be enough of a weak spot in and of itself.

And speaking of fitness, the unreasonable quantities of running were back. Hayley had, at some point, taken Ema by the hand and set off walking inland, their pace increasing by the minute. It took several of those minutes for the girl being lead to point out to the one leading that "Wait, hang on, if we keep going this way our necks are going to explode". Or something along those lines. So, just shy of the danger zones in the north, the again-reduced-to-two dynamic duo switched direction and carried on towards the west. Even as the terrain became easier to travel, as Ema entered the recreational greens for the first time and enjoyed the flatter, softer ground, she soon noticed Hayley becoming more tense, speeding up in spite of how their pace had already effectively increased.

It took until they reached the fun fair - another first visit for Ema - for her to realise why. It had been an aside, really, something Hayley mentioned in passing, didn't go into detail about. She'd started out on the Greens, or nearby enough that they'd been the first place she went to. One or the other. And seeing as she'd made a kill on the second day... perhaps her first hadn't exactly been idyllic. The blood matting the grass certainly argued in favour of that conclusion.

Still, Ema couldn't be certain one way or the other. She turned her attention back to the present. She felt like asking Hayley exactly where it was they were going, or at least requesting that they stop and rest for a while - trekking across the island was one thing, but doing it at a just-shy-of-sprinting pace was entirely another. But she kept her mouth shut, there seemed to be far too much purpose in Hayley's movement for them to be going nowhere in particular, and if she hadn't seen fit to tell Ema what they were doing... maybe there was a good reason? Maybe Ema was just too tired to work it out for herself, the sun was going down, and her eyelids kept reminding her that they wanted to do the same. And then Hayley threw up. And Ema saw why. And her eyes decided that closing wasn't such a great idea after all. From the speed at which she was dragged away from the body, and the fun fair in general, Ema soon came to the assumption that the headless corpse belonged to Hayley's first victim.

The sun went down. Ema marvelled at the fact that she managed not to headbutt any low branches when the loose collection of trees gave way to a legitimate woodland, and the darkness under the canopy forced Hayley to switch her gun for a flashlight. In cautious response, Ema felt for her own pistol, making sure it was still exactly where she left it inside her coat, trying to remember how many bullets should be left. Four? Three? Probably four. The caution wasn't merely prompted by Hayley putting the gun away, of course, as Ema had so far had nothing but bad experiences with forests. She'd gotten lost in one for hours on the night of Day 2 and all but convinced herself Slender Man was out to get her, and later Kyle had been killed in one. No, forests were her enemy. Beaches were her friend. Getting back to a beach would be nice. Having a gun close to hand would suffice for the time being.

And it was at about that point in the forests vs beaches vs guns trail of thought that Ema realised letting go of Hayley's hand in the dark might not have been a good idea. She hadn't even realised they had stopped moving for several seconds first. Had she let go of it to feel for her gun? Probably. No, that had been her left hand. Had Hayley let go of her? Oh fucking Christ where'd she go?

Ema looked around, seeking out that tell-tale beam of light Hayley's flashlight still ought to be emitting. No sign. Too many trees, too much foliage. Too many directions for her to have gone off in. Ema flailed at her daypack until she realised it had a zipper, opened it, flailed about some more until she found her own torch inside, entangled in yet another of her tour-shirts. She turned it on. The light, given that it didn't show any fantastical monsters to be amongst the trees, calmed her. She closed the zip on her daypack and got methodical. Where could Hayley have gone? Why? Those questions were rendered moot by the lack of destination their journey had possessed thus far. Next course of action? Bollocks. There's something you're meant to do when this bloody happens and I can't remember what it is.

Shout? No, that might attract unwelcome attention. The kind that wanted to kill her and take her stuff. Or worse. Wave the light around erratically? No that's just stupid, why would Ema even think of that? Oh right. Expanding spiral. Move around in a slowly widening circle and hope you come across a recognisable landmark eventually. Except replace the landmark part with Hayley. So Ema started walking in circles. Neat, purposeful, concentrically expanding circles, but circles nonetheless.

"What kind of murderer goes to heaven...?"

And there she had it. That was Hayley's voice alright. But who was she talking to? Surely she hadn't encountered someone in the forest, the odds of that were astronomical, especially under the assumption that the escape boat hadn't been a one-off, and the remaining population of non-killers had almost entirely gone. That'd leave, what, at least less than 50 people on the massive island, with very few danger zones to cluster them together. Maybe herself? Seemed likely enough, Ema couldn't be the only one gradually losing it as a result of what she'd seen and done. Hayley had seen worse, done worse.

It didn't matter, though. If it was someone else, Ema had a gun. She placed it firmly in her right hand, finger on the trigger - fuck trigger discipline, reaction time could mean life or death - safety off, chamber loaded. All of it seemed automotive to her already, as though she hadn't only fired seven bullets in her entire life, and having a pistol in the palm of her hand was the most natural thing in the world. And if it wasn't someone else, then fabulous, Ema wouldn't need to shoot them.

As it turned out, it was someone else. But Ema didn't need to shoot them. They were already dead. Had been for quite a while too, at least a few hours, judging by the decay because I'm totally a forensic entomologist now and the way the blood from their exploded neck had dried up completely. "Their" was a rather inaccurate pronoun, though. The correct term for the corpse would be "Madelyn Prowers, one of Ema's few friends in Minnesota." And kneeling in front of her body was Hayley Kelly, Ema's only remaining friend on the island. By the light of her torch, Ema could see a piece of note-paper on the floor between the two of them. But that didn't register to her whatsoever. What registered was the gun Hayley had pointed towards her own temple. She hadn't seemed suicidally affected when she'd heard about it on the announcement, so something else must be up. Maybe the note. It didn't matter. Ema wasn't about to stand there and let the last human being - besides herself - that she cared about commit suicide.

Hayley whispered something. Probably to Ema. The flashlight beam would've tipped her off to Ema's presence, after all. She couldn't make out exactly what was being said, it was too quiet, and her head was too full of "Oh you have got to be kidding me."

"No."

That was the first thing she said. Then she climbed out of that stupid, self-destructive shell of nervousness, of irritating shyness, that she'd inhabited for so long. She took matters into her own hands and stopped waiting for things to resolve themselves on her behalf. She was not about to stand by and watch Hayley kill herself.

So she stepped over, lifted one leg, and kicked the hand and gun as hard as she could. In hindsight, possibly a bad move. An involuntary muscle jerk could have screwed everything up. But it didn't, it just threw weapon and hand clear of vulnerable head.

"No, fuck you you are not shooting yourself. We have come too far and killed too many people and I love you too mu--"

Ema stopped herself there. Too late, though. She'd already said it. Those three words that the aforementioned shell had refused to allow passage through her lips. I love you. She tried to cover for it, but the nervousness showed loud and clear in her voice. It was too late to take back what was already said.

"So... you're not going to waste that. Not now, not ever. You commit suicide and I will fucking kill you."
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
No, no this wasn't happening. Before Ema's poorly thought out rant, Hayley had asked - rather weakly - for her gun back. It was an interesting throwback to the last dramatic encounter they'd had in a forest, with the quite alive Charlene Norris rather than the rather dead Madelyn Prowers. That time around, Ema had taken the weapon to protect the trio from threats from without, Hayley had left it behind and Ema had arrived too late to save Kyle. But the threat had been from others, and she'd been happy to give it back - or rather, she'd been easily cowed by the metaphorical force of Hayley's barely-contained emotion.

An interesting throwback, because now she found herself picking Hayley's gun up again, to protect her from someone that meant to kill her, again. But it was a force from within, discounting the influence of whatever Maddy had written, that meant harm. And exactly as she'd said, Ema wasn't about to let Hayley kill herself, no matter what had been posthumously expressed against her.

The first time Ema had held a gun, the very same weapon she was withholding from her companion now, she'd felt a sense of power, importance, strength. She'd felt like she was someone worth a damn on an island whose hierarchy was built, quite literally, on survival of the fittest. And again, it was an odd reversal of fortune that now, the second time she took up Hayley's weapon, she didn't feel anything so grandiose. She felt powerless, if anything, impotent, because for all the show she could make of refusing to allow her to shoot herself, suicide was just a mangled collar away. She held one of the cards that mattered, but could never hold all of them. And Ema hated that. Nothing she could do would be able to prevent Hayley from taking her own life outright.

That just left what she could say.

"Read it."

And how she could respond to what Maddy had said, evidently. Putting both the shiny normal-looking handgun and her own space-age weapon safely in her inside pockets, Ema bent to pick up the note. With each passing line, her expression of hopeless frustration turned to anger. Perhaps it was the island's influence on her, perhaps it was what she'd done, and seen done, perhaps it was just the way her brain was wired, she couldn't say for sure. But regardless of reasons, Ema found no pathos in the words, no sadness nor pity was forthcoming. Only disgust, that someone she considered a friend had, in her last living acts, seen fit to drive another of her friends to suicide with hateful accusations and passive-aggressive remarks. This wasn't the writing of the Madelyn that Ema had once known.

Hayley, I thought you were my friend. So?
I thought I could trust you. So?
It turns out I was wrong. So?

All the way along, every stop, So?. It was a harsh word, a defiant word. The only word Ema needed to refute every point made against Hayley. You didn't have the will to do whatever it took to survive? So? That isn't anybody's fault but your own.

So?

It wasn't a word Ema was entirely proud of, but it hardened her. Hayley couldn't be blamed for Madelyn choosing suicide over fighting for the right to survive. And Ema wasn't going to stand by and let Hayley believe otherwise. When she came to the very last line, she spoke it aloud.

"So?"

A pause. She hadn't thought this one out either. The accusation hung in the air for a while, as Ema formulated the words to follow it up with. "So what? She wrote this before she killed herself, Hayley. Before she, a bloody Catholic, killed herself. You really think she was in any fit state to be judging anyone else!?"

It wasn't meant to be shouted. Ema didn't even realise she was doing it, not until a while later, she was too busy transferring all the fear, all the uncertainty, everything she'd been feeling until that point into a blazing hatred of her late best friend, for presuming to put such evil upon her only remaining friend. "Who the fuck is she to put this all on you? How is any of this your fault!?"

She had to stop for breath, that was when she realised how 'at the top of her lungs' those last few sentences had been. Ema calmed herself, let her breathing slow, let her voice return to the comfortable-for-human-ears range. "I... I don't want to speak ill of the dead and all, but... I thought she was my friend, too, and no friend of mine would make you feel like this. I know it's hard to justify what you, what we, have done, but there's nothing to excuse this. It's just... spiteful, plain and simple. She'd had enough and she wanted to bring you down with her. Don't ask me why, just... ignore it. Survive. For the sake of everyone that's had to die so you could."

Ema slumped back against a tree, still slightly short of breath. Monologues weren't her strong suit, and as the temporary loathing subsided, she was again consumed with fear and doubt. Fear she'd only made things worse, somehow offended Hayley with what she'd said. Doubt that it would have any positive effect, that Hayley wouldn't just blow her own collar and have done with it.

"We've... we've just come too far to... to just waste it all here, you know?"
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Ema was still reeling from the tirade; she didn't even remember the last time she'd shouted at anyone, even wondered if she'd ever ranted like that before. The loudness, the aggression, it was such an alien mindset to her, normally either so meek, or so calm and casual. Yelling at the top of her lungs, letting the built-up surge of fear and anger rule her, it wasn't like Ema at all. She was still calming herself, trying to get her head around the fact that Yeah, that actually happened, when Hayley spoke up again.

"I...I know it's a pretty big fucking difference, but...how do you deal with it?"

She sounded strange. There wasn't really any better word for it, Hayley sounded strange. Not entirely unlike herself, but certainly not like her usual self either. Like how Ema always worried she sounded when she didn't know what to say, and what eventually came out lacked any remotely appropriate kind of tone. Weirdly empty, missing something obviously important, but of such a nature that nobody can ever be sure what it is.

Maybe it could be seen, rather than heard? A long shot, sure, but it wasn't as if Ema even needed an excuse to want to look at Hayley - her girlfriend? Danya thought so, but then again, Danya could go fuck himself for all Ema cared by this point - who somehow seemed even more beautiful the way she was at that moment. Curled up in a sort of upright fetal position variant, illuminated only by the light of Ema's torch. It was an odd sight, and an odd feeling to go along with it. Hayley had always been the strong one, the protective one, for the last few days on the island and in the few months they'd been together before it. And here, with both guns in her possession and the task of preventing Hayley from offing herself, it was all reversed. And Ema wasn't sure whether to be nervous, proud, afraid, all of the above, or something completely different. Everyone always thought of her as so fragile, and yet, here she stood, still alive and still sane. She could scarcely believe it herself.

But that question still needed answering. Ema crouched down, resting her forehead in the palm of her left hand, whilst the other pressed against the ground to help her stay balanced. In spite of everything, she couldn't quite bring herself to look Hayley in the eye just yet. Still terrified she hadn't done enough, that these would be the last words they shared, that she'd only made things worse. Through a protective wall of orange, she replied with the only words she could manage.

"I don't know, I just... I don't think about it, you know?"

That was awful. I don't think about it? Yeah, real smooth, if you've got problems just ignore them and they go away. Totally how it works. Don't bother justifying it or working it out, just pretend it doesn't exist and everything's hunky fuckin' dory.

"I mean, I know it's all going to catch up with me eventually, one way or another."

Or I'll die first, either or.

Ema stood up again, finally removing her hand from her face, brushing the mess of hair aside as she did. She couldn't smile, much as she wanted to, so instead the girl put on the best "brave face" she was capable of, and offered a hand to help Hayley up. Yup, just don't think about it, keep your eyes on the prize and talk it all out in therapy once you're off this rock.

"Come on, let's..." and where was that sentence meant to end? Go? Where was there worth going, at whatever ungodly hour of night it already was? "Let's not be here, let her rest in peace, eh?"
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Hayley seemed incredulous at first. In retrospect, perhaps Ema hadn't been all that eloquent; of course "not thinking about it" was kind of obvious, and probably the first strategy Hayley had used to quash the insane amounts of guilt she was likely feeling. It was a stupid way of phrasing what she actually meant.

Wait, what did Ema actually mean?

So far, she'd literally just put everything distasteful out of focus, ignored it where possible and feebly justified it where not. She'd accentuated the positive, tried to keep in mind what she'd gained, not what others had been forced to lose on her behalf. Stuff like the moment a bullet from her own gun had exited Sapphire McLeod's skull? Ignored, glossed over with the rekindled relationship with Hayley herself, with the fact that she was still alive after all the odds stacked against her for so long, with how desperately she just wanted to go home. Forget the price that has to be paid, remember that the end justifies any means, and try not to think about what happens to her mind after it's all over, when everything bottled up comes pouring out, when it all "catches up with her". Yeah, that's what she meant. Still didn't have the eloquence to explain it that way out loud, though.

"Yeah, let's go. I dunno about you, but I'm fucking wiped. Long trip, yeah?"

Yet again, introspection had Ema questioning the flow of time. Hayley was up, she seemed almost happy, too. There was a renewed look of purpose to her face, a kind of inexplicable but perfectly perceptible veneer of confidence, that had been missing since reading that letter, and fading even beforehand. It should've been comforting, to see Hayley back in the proverbial saddle, but something about that look was off, it wasn't quite the same as before. Ema, in her classic strategy of dismissing things she doesn't like to think about, put it down to her own tiredness, and maybe the lingering effects for Hayley of seeing Maddy's body up close, and reading her note. Yeah, that was it, had to be.

Hayley was grinning now, waving for Ema to follow her further into the trees. She remembered her earlier tract on forests being the enemy, and took her gun back out. For a few seconds, she considered handing Hayley back hers, too, but decided against it, at least until morning. For a few more seconds, she pondered holding her flashlight in that weird upside-down-next-to-the-gun police kind of way, rather frivolously all things considered, but decided against that, too.

With no way to judge the passage of time, Ema could only hazard a guess in the region of "a few minutes" as to how long it took before the renewed dynamic duo finally settled on a place to stop, and commenced the towel-and-blanket bedding ritual, a strangely comfortable routine in the disorderly island way of life. Heh, way of life, if that's not irony around here I don't know what is...

The temporary oblivion of sleep beckoned, offering a few hours without the need to actively repress the immediate past, and Ema would've been more than happy to embrace it, tired as she was from the walk. She would've, if another almost-routine of the night didn't beckon far more persuasively. In hindsight, she was almost disappointed that Hayley wasn't still in that 'vulnerable' state of mind any more, that she herself wasn't still temporarily the 'strong one' - naturally she was glad to have succeeded, that Hayley was still alive and better yet, already seemingly okay, but just because she accepted her default role each night didn't mean she was always happy with it.

Oh well, its better than the last 17 years of nothing. Maybe another day?

With no way to judge the passage of time, Ema could only hazard a guess in the region of "an hour or two" as to how long it took before the dynamic duo finally settled down to some very welcome sleep.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Buzz.

Bluh. Five more minutes...

BUZZ. The announcements don't have a snooze button.

Don't wanna go to school...

"Hi there. My name's Greynolds,"


Oh. Oh yeah, not a normal Monday morning. Not even a normal Island morning, by the sounds of things. Ema groaned, attempting to sit up, before realising she was, once again, quite entangled in another person's body. Because getting laid was something Ema did these days, she still wasn't quite used to that as a thing that happened, to her of all people.

Unwilling to let go of the few good aspects that came of waking up on Isla del Whereeverthefuckitwas as the vague normal-life-Monday-morning based delusion faded, Ema stayed put, quite enjoying the warmth radiating from Hayley's body, the sound her heartbeat punctuating the words this new "Greynolds" announcer had to say.

"Danya's taking a break. Gets tiring calling the action for all of you. Now that the introductions are over, let's just get straight into this, shall we?"

That sounded... odd. It wasn't anything about the man's tone, he seemed truthful and business-as-usual enough, but rather the circumstances. For the rescue mission to have been pulled off, after all, surely there must've been some kind of distraction to keep the multitudinous amounts of SotF-staff (she'd seen plenty already, pre-island, and assumed there were more) busy and not trying to kill them. Maybe the big cheese had been wounded or killed as a result of said distraction? Or possibly just moved somewhere safer and more secret for the time being? Ema wished she knew, entirely for curiosity's sake... and maybe a little bit of hope that Danya was indeed dead. Okay a lot of hope that he was dead.

"Helen Wilson learned that field surgery isn't the greatest of ideas, cutting herself open then somehow being surprised when she died of blood loss."

Oh yeah, still an announcement going on. Stop fantasising about people being dead and pay attention, it might be important. Luckily she hadn't missed the danger zones.

"Next up... well kids, let's just say that this next part is why you don't try and escape the island, alright? The following individuals were killed trying to make a break for it..."

Oh. Well fuck. Instantly, Ema dropped all outstanding regret regarding the reasons she hadn't been on one of those boats. She'd already justified it as a roundabout manner of self-defence, taking away that she might've escaped if she hadn't stuck with Hayley and shot Sapphire in the head just made everything perfectly okay again. Hell, she was glad she'd done it now, it meant she was still alive.

""Yeah, kids. We aren't playing hopskotch here. You plot against us, and you get burned, no ifs and no buts. As of now, the Northern and Eastern beaches are permanent Danger Zones."

Damn right they weren't. Ema revised her suspicions about Danya's absence, now assuming him to be taking a break on account of stress or something equally non-fatal. The presumed distraction was now relegated to failure status, as the perceived small-army of his staff had clearly overcome it and taken out the rescuers for good measure. Well fuck. So much for not playing the game. And just to add mind-reading-insult to hope-crushing-injury, the beaches she'd so recently decided were her friends had become permanent danger zones. And apparently Hayley found it funny.

Speaking of Hayley, the girl was pulling away, getting up. Ema rolled over, giving her space. Much as she wanted to close her eyes and nap for a while longer, two things made her open them and keep them that way. Firstly and most importantly, having a nap when the fifty-ish remaining people on the island were more-or-less guaranteed to be killers was a ridiculously stupid proposition. Secondly and slightly-less-importantly, she couldn't resist watching Hayley get dressed.

"I'm going for a walk."

Oh Christ, could there be more fateful words in Ema's life right about now? The first time they'd been spoken, Kyle had died. Then when Ema had returned them, at the time forgetting the significance, she'd killed someone. She didn't even want to imagine what could come of them a third time around. First things first, Hayley was going to n--

"Gimme Vera back, yeah? Just in case. Never know what you'll run into."

--eed her gun back. Wait, Vera? Was that a reference to... bluh, she didn't even know. Too much thinking for one early morning had already been done trying to figure that Greynolds guy out, no time for deciphering whatever strange reason Hayley had for naming her gun, let alone the name "Vera" in particular. Nope, she just rummaged around her nearby coat and handed the damn thing over, and hoped it was meant for use in self-defence, not self-harm this time around.

"Be back in a few, girly. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine..."

Sure was lucky they weren't in a horror movie, then. So many tropes would be stacked against them if they were; Hayley was hardly made of moral fibre, they were the token gay couple, they were splitting up, and Hayley had said the words you never ever say in a horror movie. Ema eventually mustered the willpower to get up, grabbed some clothes at random from her daypack, and dressed herself - the advantage of having a mostly single-colour wardrobe was, of course, not having to worry about colours clashing. Last of all, she pulled the ubiquitous coat back on, felt for the familiar, reassuring lump that was her gun, and tried to make up her mind what to do until Hayley got back.

She decided to pace around the camp, describing it to herself as a 'patrol'. But even she couldn't really claim it was anything more than restless wandering, just wandering close to her stuff.

[Ema Ryan --> Hatful of Hollow]

[End Thread]
Edited by Chib, Jun 20 2011, 02:57 PM.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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