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Harlequin Girls; [Private: Hayley Kelly and Ema Ryan]
Topic Started: May 30 2011, 01:13 PM (1,971 Views)
Hollyquin
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A friendly clown welcomes you to LOCAH. It seems he would like to be your guide.
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
He inhaled. Somehow the damn thing, the piece of cloth he held in his hands, still smelled like nicotine and Pink Sugar perfume. The smells that followed Hayley Kelly around like a sweet, cancerous fog. It had been nearly ten days now, and considering how he'd hardly stopped touching the thing, he'd been terrified that by now his own smell would've overpowered it, but he remembered it always took a few weeks. It started years ago, when he and Hayley had traded on a whim- she'd been wearing this black jacket with plaid trim, super cute but a bit too big for her, and even she had to admit it looked too cute on him for her to keep it in good conscious. He had given her the hoodie he'd been wearing- not exactly a fair trade, given that the thing was ugly and ratty and reached her knees. She didn't mind, though, said it smelled like him, until one day it didn't and she insisted they trade back. And then trade again. Over and over, this had been going on for years, so they could always have something that smelled like the other. So they'd never be alone, not really.

Both of them agreed that this was really, really lame.

But Johnny De Luca, at least, was grateful for it now.

Nearly ten days. That's how long he'd been staring at the television screen, clinging to this stupid jacket, the one that smelled like his best friend. He kept one hand on his phone- not that he was using it much anymore. No one called, no one texted, except the occasional friend asking how he was doing. If he was okay. He wasn't okay, in all likelihood he would never be okay again, but he'd put a smile into his voice when he spoke to that occasional concerned acquaintance. And his voice would sound so fake to him as he said "yeah, don't worry, I'm fine." He was totally okay. He just didn't want to miss anything.

No, if that was all, Johnny would have thrown his phone away by now. But he held on to it so occasionally he could go back through his messages. Saved messages. Old messages. They'd texted the whole damn bus ride, at least until- until whatever happened happened, Johnny wasn't too clear on how exactly the terrorists derailed the trip. Her last message felt too apt to be real.

i'll be back in like three days, we'll party then. <3 you worry too much.

He read it again and again. As though it would change. As though another message from her would pop up on his screen. As though this, what was on his TV screen, was a bad dream he was sitting through. If he paid little enough attention, it could be just another TV show he was watching- just another episode of Survival of the Fittest. But then his best friend, his Hayley, she'd show back up on the screen, tattered and bloody and dead-eyed, and there was reality again.

Punching him in the face.

Fucking bitch, reality.

But he still watched.

---

[[Hayley Kelly continued from The Stoner Always Dies]]


This was a long fucking journey for someone with nowhere to go.

But Hayley kept going anyway. Maybe she just didn't know what else to do. Maybe she needed to put as much distance between herself and that place as possible. Maybe it was really her thoughts she was running from- yeah, that seemed likely, given how quickly her mental state had gone to shit once she'd stepped foot off the beach. Jay and the boat and all that escape plan shit, all of those fantastic distractions, they all dissolved into nothing and left her with that really unfortunate epiphany she'd came across earlier. The one about Kyle and Maddy and Alex and Ema. The one about her kill count. That one.

To distinguish it from all the other shitty epiphanies. Survival of the Fittest seemed to be full of those.

So she ran. She actually did run quite a bit, her nicotine-stained lungs be damned, but she couldn't run forever, and neither could Ema, whose tiny hand she refused to let go of. Left hand on Ema's right, right hand on Vera, Hayley made her way through the Greatest Hits of Hayley Kelly's Survival of the Fittest. They couldn't go north- Ema, who apparently had a functioning short-term memory, reminded her just before she skewed in that direction that both the Groundskeeper's Hut and the South-Eastern Woods were now danger zones, effectively blocking that particular path. Shame. She'd wanted to go that way, she'd left something in the Groundskeeper's Hut, something really important, and she promised herself she'd come back here as soon as she was able. For now, though- west. Through the Greens. Where Alex's blood still stained the ground. Where all of this bullshit began.

Hayley wasn't going to think about that. Hayley wasn't going to think about anything of import right now. She decided to do that wonderful thing she'd done oh-so-long-ago, twenty four hours or so back- that thing where she thought the most frivolous thoughts. Like the weather and the soreness of her feet and, in this case, the hierarchy of her newly arranged kingdom of sociopaths.

So if I'm the princess...who's got more than me? Reiko? Yeah, Reiko, she must be the queen, and Lombardi's the king, naturally. This is, like, the most infinitely bloody fairy tale. Real Brothers Grimm shit. How's it supposed to end? I mean, Reiko's this megadyke, so I guess it has to be me who marries Lombardi and has like six sociopathic babies...

oh god hayley what are you even doing


Okay, stop, stop, cracking up isn't any better than facing the facts. And she would face the facts, she'd have to, she felt them pounding against her skull, begging for her to fucking listen. But not yet. Right now, she had to get somewhere, somewhere important. She didn't know where that was right yet, but she could feel it in her heart. This was a goddamn journey. There was a destination. Just, no one had bothered telling her what it was yet. Presumably she'd know when she got there. That made sense enough to her. Much as anything made sense anymore.

Fuck, she really was breaking, wasn't she.

Whatever. Moving right along.

The Fun Fair. They walked right through it, not daring to say a word- Ema hadn't been here. Ema didn't know, but Hayley's nails dug into her palms as she walked under the ferris wheel and saw no trace of Alex and Maddy having ever been there. Wiping away all hope that they might somehow, some way, be alive. That didn't do much, it couldn't, she hadn't really thought they could be alive anyway. At least no sane part of me did. Really, the bigger thing was when she stumbled across Steve Barnes, or at least what was left of him, which wasn't much at all. Slime and bugs and bone, with his head sitting several feet away, and it was when she saw a massive maggot slither out of his eye socket that she puked her guts out in the light of the setting sun.

Lovely.

Get the hell out of here, why don't you.

Farther west. North. There was a river, and a bridge, and they crossed it. Her hand still with Ema's. The sun slowly sinking below the horizon line, soon it would be dark, and as they hadn't encountered another living human since leaving the beach (how many were left now? a shitton must've gotten out on the boats, this island was practically deserted) Hayley felt safe in replacing Vera with her flashlight, lighting the way forward. Into the trees. The Coastal Woods, her map said.

Right. This was where she'd dragged Kyle off to fuck like bunnies in the vague light of morning. When she hadn't been paranoid enough to keep her gun at hand at all times. When Charlene fucking Norris had came through with her gun and her attitude and sunk her boyfriend like a stone. The Greatest Hits of Hayley Kelly's Survival of the Fittest, back from a magical time where Hayley's thought process had been more like how am I getting laid and oh god I am being like stabbed by the sexual tension right now and sick love triangle, I can actually smell the fanfiction. Back to before she'd made the main function of her brain to keep her real thoughts safe and locked away.

Good times. Goooood times. But she still walked, with much trepidation. Running into Kyle's body right now, well, that would just about ruin her shit, but she had to go this way, it was the way to go, did that make sense? No, it didn't, but whatever. She couldn't imagine sleeping. Sleeping brought all your thoughts back out.


It wasn't Kyle's body she found.

Hayley practically tripped over it. Even with her flashlight, even with her foresight and her fear and her paranoia, she was too distracted and sick and desperately trying not to think to spot the corpse right in front of her. Thank god she caught it there at her feet at the last moment. Thank god she didn't actually trip over it, and she allowed herself a shiver of revulsion before she realized exactly who this particular body belonged to.

Oh.

With her neck blown open. Lying against a tree. An object, an infested object, but still entirely recognizable as her best friend. Madelyn Prowers.

Who she'd miss, more than she'd let herself think about.

The stupid things, like staying up all night on Madelyn's old couch, playing Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart. Madelyn complaining when Hayley inevitably picked the cheapest character in any given game. Hayley complaining when Maddy inevitably used her fucking Wiimote to play SSBB. Both of them, gossiping, Maddy listening with an odd combination of awe and disapproval at Hayley's increasingly lurid tales of debauchery. Hayley helping Maddy with her Sayumi-related issues as she marveled at a level of love that she'd never managed to hold onto herself. And suddenly it would be 6 AM, and Maddy's father woke up wondering why the heck (his word) the two of them were still awake, and they'd just laugh. They'd eat waffles and try to drink coffee to wake themselves up, but coffee was gross, and they'd do spittakes, and laugh some more, and eventually, eventually they'd both fold themselves into Madelyn's bed. Say goodnight, and sleep for as long as they were allowed.



That was the girl lying here. Clinging to a piece of paper.

After a moment, after Hayley realized she was staring, not moving, shaking, she realized that Ema was gone. That she'd let go of her hand, at some point, but that didn't matter, nothing really mattered all that much right now. She moved down to fetch that piece of paper that Maddy had...what was it? Risked her life for? Written herself? Clearly it was important, if she'd used so much strength to hold it that she'd kept it so close as her heart ran out...

Something else not to think about. Her fingers peeled open far too easily. Decomposition. The very last thing Hayley wanted to do was touch her, but she owed her best friend this much. Enough to find out...something. Something important. She had that feeling again, the one steering her in some direction, and that direction was this note.



Hayley, I thought you were my friend.

Oh.

I thought I could trust you. It turns out I was wrong.

Right. Okay. Yeah. What was I saying? What the fuck did I tell you? Shut up, please.

You're just another murderer.

Yeah, that's me. Princess sociopath. Another fucking serial killer. Loads of those here nowadays, aren't there? We're all just another murderer. Me. Ema. All the good people are dead.

Another killer without a conscience.

Yep. No conscience, right. No fucks given. Not a single fuck. Six dead. Ten dead, really, who's counting? What's the difference? I mean, the sick fucks who keep track of this shit back home, they'd say I killed six, but they'd be shitting themselves. We've all gotta know what the truth is. I mean, look at you. Look at this.

I wish I could have been there for you, but I don't think it would have mattered.

Gotta wonder, given the terrific job Kyle and Ema did of keeping my trigger finger in check-

I wish I could have found you and talked to you, but I don't think you'd have cared.

Yeah, yeah no, I get you, I'm a fucking monster. I hear that. I know that. Shit, I know that, but you could've tried, I could've- man, I don't know, maybe you could've stopped me, no one else tried, not really, you were the only one- Alex never got a shot either, I told you, all the good ones are-

This is the only way I have left to reach you, and I hope to God it does.


This was the part where Hayley realized exactly what this was all about.

She took a step backwards, still staring at the note, lit by flashlight, stained by blood. Not daring to look at Ema. Not daring to look at Madelyn, not wanting to face her judgement, not even in death. The only way I have left to reach you. This was a message. A statement. The martyrdom of Saint Maddy, meant to save her stupid sinner of a best friend. Save her apathetic soul. And okay, that was an optimistic way of looking at it, the rescued soul of Saint Maddy taken away from this stupid island for her sake. If she wanted to be real with herself- this was her fault.

What'd I say, girly?

Six on her official records, but ten by her count.


Wake up, Hayley. There's still time.

Not anymore, there's not.

I don't think you can save your life. I don't think you can walk away from this unpunished. That's not how the world works. But maybe you can still save your soul.

What soul? What anything? I'm not trying to save...I don't know what I'm fighting to save anymore, okay? I...stop judging me, I'd rather save my life than my fucking soul, if I even have one. If any of us do. I've got to get out of this, okay? Me or Ema. Is that the most evil fucking thing you can think of, Saint Maddy? Am I horrible? Yes, okay, I can answer that question for you, I am a fucking monster, and I know it, does that make you feel better, isn't that how your religion works, it's okay if I admit it and apologize? Because if I could apologize I would, but look, you're dead, and I can't-

Maybe we can be friends again in heaven.


Right. Right. Okay...

"Stupid..." Hayley whispered. Hardly loud enough to be heard. "Stupid, Maddy...didn't you hear yourself? What kind of murderer goes to heaven...?"

Her mind buzzed full to breaking and she knew, she felt it, she didn't have much time left, her body threatening to sink to the floor, her mind threatening to erupt and to break her down and open all over again so she could sob all over this particular altar, a sacrifice to her own patron saint. So she could remember what she was and give the words meaning again- "monster", "murderer", "psychopath", as long as she kept herself locked up she could call herself all those things and it would mean nothing. She didn't want to remember exactly what it was she was.

What her best friend had called her right before she killed herself.

And Hayley's hand let the note drop out of it and fetched something else instead. Dearest Vera. This particular monster, murderer, psychopath's weapon of choice, except for once it didn't point itself towards shadowy figures in the woods. It didn't choose an innocent victim. It chose the princess sociopath, who, honestly, would have a much easier time with this whole thing if she could just blow her own thoughts out of the protective encasing of her skull.

Dying, hell, that didn't even occur to her.

She felt the icy metal touch her temple and she whispered to Ema, something like an apology. But her finger refused to move just yet. Maybe she needed forgiveness first. Maybe her soul wanted for saving.

Or maybe it was the voice, however many miles away, that screamed at the television screen for her to stop. Her twin brother and her best friend- they always had joked that they were psychically linked, that they always knew what the other was thinking. So maybe, maybe that was what stopped her long enough to save her life.

But still. Her finger lingered on that trigger. She loved Johnny De Luca, more than anything, but he would never understand what this game could do to you.
Edited by Hollyquin, May 30 2011, 08:31 PM.
being meguca is suffering

[V5] ALIVE:
[x] Aidan Flynn [B???] // Passing slowly though the vector, damp with fog, the bog that grows the former business sector...
[x] Chitose Saionji [G???] // 公園に千歳は本を読む!

[V5] CONCEPTS:
Winston Evans aced the last English test and would like to point out how gorgeous your shoes are.

Those Who've Known - V4
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Hollyquin
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A friendly clown welcomes you to LOCAH. It seems he would like to be your guide.
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"Give that back,"


she whispered, weakly, ineffectually, her words sticking to the roof of her mouth like peanut butter. Her hand had been pushed painfully from its place by her head and her gun, her Vera had gone skittering across the ground. Out of arm's reach. Her paranoia broke free of the rest of her fog for a moment, reminding her of the awful things that seemed to occur every time her gun was out of reach. But really, there were more important things, like addressing the girl who was speaking to her. And like not moving. Hayley didn't feel, really, like she could ever move again. Why had she waited? She'd been so close.

But she didn't look at Ema. Didn't look at Maddy, either. She couldn't stand their judgement right now. Maddy hating her for killing, Ema hating her for trying to stop herself. What was she supposed to do? How the fuck was she going to make them both happy? What they wanted seemed kind of mutually exclusive. Salvation of her body or her soul. Or whatever. Hayley wasn't good at this theological bullshit, all she knew was she wanted forgiveness. Not from any foreign deity, not from God or Buddha or whoever but from Maddy, who was dead. Because of her, practically in Maddy's words, because honestly that note might as well have said "Hayley Kelly this is your goddamn fault" over and over and over.

Hayley Kelly this is your goddamn fault.

I know.

Six dead. Ten by her count.

But dammit, okay, she wasn't going to think about that. She had to concentrate on getting that gun back, her ticket out of here, because the boat didn't have her ticket. Not for her. The boat. The boat! that had happened, that wasn't a hallucination, right, but that didn't matter either. She couldn't reach the gun. She couldn't reach the gun, even as her arm reached, her fingers stretched, desperately, and she couldn't move her body, so it all seemed moot. And she felt trapped.

"No, fuck you you are not shooting yourself."

Okay. Okay. Deaf ears. Not really deaf, she heard her, but it seemed irrelevant, because what did it matter, really, if she shot herself? She was already dead. So was Ema, for that matter. They were all kind of standing around waiting for their hearts to catch up with that realization.

"We have come too far-"

Day 10, almost. Getting there. Miraculous really.

"-and killed too many people-"

Believe me, I know, I just read all about it. Because that's such a great reason to live, really-

"-and I love you too mu--"


...?

That was new. Love. The dirty word. Hayley hated talking about love, almost as she hated feeling like she felt it, and wasn't only last night? Only last night that she'd let the stupid word slip? I love you. It sounded so simple, so reasonable, but it always led to a mountain of bullshit and no she could not think about it now. She couldn't think about Ema loving her because if Ema loved her, she might love her back, and then she'd have to listen to her and...and she couldn't do that. She couldn't not die. Maddy wouldn't forgive her.

Please. You have to understand.

She still didn't look up, eying the gun like it would come back to her hand if she concentrated just a bit harder.

"So... you're not going to waste that. Not now, not ever. You commit suicide and I will fucking kill you."

Some noise escaped her throat. Something like "heh". Hadn't she used that one before? "You can't kill yourself. I will KILL you." Yeah, she had, many times, back home, didn't it just figure. Back when suicide was some deal you made with yourself to escape people who disliked you and lovers that left you and the feeling that this teenage bullshit is too much, man. No, she wasn't making fun, she'd been there, she'd been all over that neighborhood of thought but that was nothing, absolutely nothing compared to this. That was fucking buttercups and daisies; this was a real reason to die. For forgiveness. For the sake of everyone left on the island.

For...Ema's...okay. No, stop. Stop. Don't let her change your mind, okay? Don't. She's gotta understand. She...

"Read it."

Hayley motioned down at the letter, not looking at Ema or Maddy, not meeting any eyes. Still avoiding judgment. She needed a yes. An okay. I get it. Pull the trigger, I'll...live. That would be enough. And just maybe she'd manage an "I love you too."
being meguca is suffering

[V5] ALIVE:
[x] Aidan Flynn [B???] // Passing slowly though the vector, damp with fog, the bog that grows the former business sector...
[x] Chitose Saionji [G???] // 公園に千歳は本を読む!

[V5] CONCEPTS:
Winston Evans aced the last English test and would like to point out how gorgeous your shoes are.

Those Who've Known - V4
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Hollyquin
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A friendly clown welcomes you to LOCAH. It seems he would like to be your guide.
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Somewhere, miles away, who could say exactly how far, there was a boy who was still holding his breath. Waiting, desperately, for his best friend to please, please drop this topic, this mindset, and calm down. Someone help her. Someone save her, please, because he couldn't do it, and all the screaming in his head apparently didn't reach her. He thanked Ema profusely for trying, but she had to try harder. Try as hard as he would've. Fucking tackle her and tie her down if he had to, but Hayley Kelly could not die.

Hayley, on the other hand, was watching with absolutely nothing in her eyes as Ema picked up her gun. Pocketed it. And now it wasn't just her suicidal impulses pulling at her, it was, ironically, her survival instinct- the part of her that grew larger by the day that said don't let go of your fucking gun. Lying there, all defenseless, she'd just wanted it back as an efficient means of ending this bullshit. Now, with it in Ema's hands- weirdly enough, she felt afraid. Vera was hers. If someone else was holding it- that meant death, and her death would be meaningless if she didn't do it herself. Even if that someone holding it was the girl currently trying to save her life.

It was instinctual. It was fucking stupid. But Hayley kept staring into nowhere as she heard two loud footsteps echoing in the night, the telltale crumple of paper in the girl's hands.

And she waited.

It wasn't a very long letter, sentence-wise. But it said a fuck of a lot in those words and okay, a minute ago Ema had kicked the gun out of her hand, told her to stop, told her she loved her of all things, but who knew what was going on in her head? Hayley'd managed to go a good nine days without properly hating herself. Maybe all Ema needed was a trigger. It wasn't like Madelyn hadn't been always been wiser, more trustworthy, more good than Hayley. It wasn't like Madelyn hadn't been there when Hayley hadn't been. Hayley, after all, was the one who fell into bed with some hipster boy whose name she'd never been able to recall, that night, at that party...

Not that their relationships had exactly been comparable.


“So?”


This shocked Hayley right on out of her internal struggle, and for the first time she looked up, blinking away a wet film that had formed over her eyes. Looking at Ema. Her girlfriend, still holding on to the letter, with an emotion on her face so foreign it took Hayley a moment to recognize- rage? Rage. Anger. And it took her a little while, predisposed to self-hatred as she was by now, but after a few moments of primal, frozen fear she realized that anger wasn't directed at her.

"So what? She wrote this before she killed herself, Hayley.”

Yeah, of course, that totally invalidates all of her arguments, her killing herself. You know Maddy, she would never, not unless something was horribly, horribly wrong, and that thing was m-

”Before she, a bloody Catholic, killed herself. You really think she was in any fit state to be judging anyone else!?"

Hayley frowned. Ema was...loud. If this little rant wasn't for her benefit, she would have been afraid- she'd never seen the girl this worked up over anything. Hell, when she'd cheated on her, Ema had just...ran away. Something about this island had changed her but fuck if it hasn't changed everyone. Me included. Fuck, though, she...Maddy, she was upset, okay, yeah, but I mean...she must've thought this was a damn good reason, especially cause she's a Catholic, like...isn't she supposed to go to hell for that shit? But she said...she said maybe we'd be friends in heaven...

Huh. Maybe we're just all supposed to hell. That'd be a fun reunion.


Either way. Ema increased in volume, and Hayley kept listening.

"Who the fuck is she to put this all on you? How is any of this your fault!?"

Who is...she's my best friend. Was. Was my best friend. Yours...yours too, shit, Ema's taking my side...? Why?

Ema hadn't killed anyone before Maddy died, had she? Hayley didn't remember, these days were kind of blending together into kill, death, kill, a moment of happiness, death. But Maddy hadn't blamed her, either way, hadn't even mentioned her- her death, her suicide, the end of her fucking life, that had all been on Hayley, and it was like she'd forgotten all the good parts. Sleepovers and video games and gossip and friendship, all of that was thrown out in favor of Hayley Kelly, The Monstrous Murderer. And suddenly she felt just a little less sure.

Maddy wouldn't...just...forget. She wouldn't. She...something was wrong and it wasn't just me.

That helped a little bit, yeah. It did. But the letter had been the trigger. The bullet had been loaded back on that beach, watching Jay Holland get on that boat, remembering every fucking reason she wasn't allowed to follow. Every person she'd killed, directly or indirectly. Including the girl in front of her. Both girls in front of her. Maybe the trigger was fading, but she had her ways to unload all that lead. Very literal ways. Ways sitting in Ema's pocket right now.

She heard Ema take a deep breath and snapped back to attention.

"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."

For the sake of...hah.

Some part of her, some part that had been properly dormant since she'd met with Jay- some smirking, swaggering part, some J.R. Rizzolo, Maxwell Lombardi, properly-murderous part- it found that statement fucking hilarious. The monster named Hayley Kelly, she knew exactly who she had been doing this for, and her name was not Steve or James or Charlene (HAH) or Skank Romita or any of those other fuckers. Alex, Maddy, Kyle, Dutchy- okay. Okay, yes, this was for them. On some level. Jay was home, she didn't have to fight for him anymore- she didn't know about Isabel, she was either home or at least alive. Ema...

Of course I'm fighting for her.

But at the end of the day, it was all for Hayley Kelly.

And if she was going to live past this moment, she was gonna have to accept that. Throw out all this self-blame bullshit, lock it away, and deal with the monster as she was. The princess sociopath. Third highest killer on this damn island. If she could agree to that, she could walk out of this forest alive.

"We've... we've just come too far to... to just waste it all here, you know?"

It's tricky.

Hayley ran a finger over her collar. Funny how she'd managed to forget about it over all this time, when it'd freaked her out so badly when she first woke up. She could wrap her fingers around it and tug and that would be the end of this conversation and she'd join Maddy wherever the hell she was, if there was anywhere to join her, but she wasn't sure, anymore. Somehow blowing out her throat didn't have the same appeal as that pistol cocked at her temple. It was her mind she didn't want.

She didn't want to die, not really. She didn't need forgiveness, not really.

She wanted to live. She just didn't want to face this.

Hayley dropped her hand, curling her legs up to her chest, looking steadily up at Ema, opening her mouth, speaking softly. Calmly. Something in her voice was dead.

“I...I know it's a pretty big fucking difference, but...how do you deal with it?”
being meguca is suffering

[V5] ALIVE:
[x] Aidan Flynn [B???] // Passing slowly though the vector, damp with fog, the bog that grows the former business sector...
[x] Chitose Saionji [G???] // 公園に千歳は本を読む!

[V5] CONCEPTS:
Winston Evans aced the last English test and would like to point out how gorgeous your shoes are.

Those Who've Known - V4
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Hollyquin
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A friendly clown welcomes you to LOCAH. It seems he would like to be your guide.
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
How do you face it? Being a murderer. A monster, a psychopath, even though Ema was different. Ema wasn't blaming herself. Ema was so much better at this. How? Why? There had to be some secret. There had to be a way for Hayley to change.

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

...

Ha.

Hahaha.

I just don't think about it. Brilliant. Why the fuck hadn't she thought of that? Yeah, just, turn your brain off of all the bullshit. Think about the goddamn weather until everything's okay, yeah, that'd work, definitely. Nothing she'd ever tried before. Jesus fucking Christ, I just don't think about it. When she'd said "I know it's a pretty big fucking difference," clearly she hadn't recognized exactly how big.

Ema Ryan killed one person. One. Hayley had killed six. Ten by her count, not that her count was meaning much to her anymore. Okay, though. Just don't think about it. It was worth a try.

Haha, okay, wait, she couldn't even think that with a straight face.

This was her problem. She couldn't just not think about it, it was a chambered bullet in a pistol with the safety off. It was dangerous and it was awful and it was true and that made it infinitely worse and it wouldn't just go away even though she wanted it to, oh god did she want it to, but...but. But. What had she just thought? Before? About the monster named Hayley- yeah, the monster named Hayley could throw all these thoughts away, right? The monster didn't need to give fucks. Any of the fucks. Any of them. What was it that was bothering her again? Killing people? Letting her friends die?

Right, because no one would've died if she'd hidden in a fucking bunker this whole game.

Something bitter was welling up inside of her.

Because everything would be fine, if only she'd let herself be killed.

Something she'd tried really hard to keep down.

Because Alex and Maddy and Kyle would all be alive, if only she'd been a pathetic little fucking angel. Wandering around helpless. Waiting to die. Pulling her own collar off her neck and blowing herself to hell. That was the better option, yeah, definitely. Would've saved everyone, if she'd just sacrificed herself to the cause. The martyrdom of Saint Me. Just like Maddy. Cause Maddy had obviously accomplished so much, you know, killing herself here, that was obvious. What had she accomplished, exactly? She'd very nearly gotten her own best friend, the girl named Hayley who wasn't quite a monster, not yet- she'd nearly gotten her to kill herself.

Funny how that worked out. And Hayley thought she'd been fucking up.

Fuck Saint Maddy and the stupid fucking religion this shrine was built on. Fuck dying on principle. Fuck thinking about the afterlife especially- like Hayley believed in any of that shit anyway. Like she owed a debt to the dead. They were gone. This wasn't her best friend, not here, this was an empty shell, and the soul or whatever that had inhabited it right before it pulled that collar- it was hardly her best friend, either. Saint Maddy was not Madelyn Prowers. She was a spiteful bitch possessing the body that had once housed one of her favorite people.

This was so not worth dwelling on.

I just don't think about it, you know? Yeah, yeah. Got it.

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

They were all dead men walking. Yeah, she'd said that, or she'd thought it at any rate- it'd catch up to them because they'd all die. One way or another. Her going out and killing, her hiding under a damn tree waiting for the game to crash in around her fucking head, either way, she was gonna die. Just, this way she stayed alive a bit longer. Got her chances a little bit better. Waiting to die, she had no chance at all. This, at least, was something.

Sure, she would've been out of here, would've been halfway home by now if she hadn't tried. If she'd given up the moment she'd awoken and cried and ran like a bitch, maybe, or maybe she'd be dead. Either way- how the FUCK was she supposed to predict a fucking escape plan of all things? When did that shit ever work? And then, how could she predict that the judgmental bastards would keep her away from home because she'd been fighting so hard to keep her and Ema alive?! Who the fuck were they, who the fuck was Maddy, who the fuck was anyone to say shit about the way she'd played this game.

She was alive.

Ema was alive.

And it was nearly day ten. By her calculations, she'd done a pretty good fucking job. They were down to...Hayley'd estimate maybe a fourth of the kids who'd gotten here. Maybe less. Odds were definitely against that, weren't they? The two tiny white girls. Unathletic as they come. Who'd bet on them, really? Bet there was money on them now.

So maybe it would catch up with them. Maybe they'd both die, but they'd know they'd done right by themselves. They'd fought for themselves, and yes, for each other, and they'd be able to remember to their dying breaths that they had never given up, never surrendered, and their names would go down in history.

For a lot of objectively awful reasons. Not that the princess sociopath much cared.

Hayley Kelly stood, stretching dramatically, something in her...restored felt like the wrong word. This was different. This was new, sort of. It didn't look new, it looked like Hayley had gone through a quick and unreasonable reversal. Back to an unbroken girl. Untouched by all this bullshit. Back to that night on the beach, to hanging in the woods with Jay, to a moment in time where she was happy. When she was unbothered and jokey and relatively sane.

There was a fire, there, behind her eyes. That was new. But hey, that was nothing. Nothing at all.

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

She grinned, beckoning Ema a bit further into the forest. Looking for something that counted as a campsite. Yeah, Hayley'd sleep well tonight.

The monster named Hayley Kelly. Whatever. It's a damn good name, gotta say.
being meguca is suffering

[V5] ALIVE:
[x] Aidan Flynn [B???] // Passing slowly though the vector, damp with fog, the bog that grows the former business sector...
[x] Chitose Saionji [G???] // 公園に千歳は本を読む!

[V5] CONCEPTS:
Winston Evans aced the last English test and would like to point out how gorgeous your shoes are.

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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Hayley Kelly woke up with a half-smoked cigarette lying to her side.

And for a long moment, those moments that inevitably occur when you've only barely shaken off sleep, she had no idea how it got there. Everything that had occurred after she'd left Madelyn's corpse- finding their new campsite, making their bed, "settling in" (quote fucking unquote), it was all sort of a blur, as though she'd been sleepwalking the whole time. An enjoyable sleepwalk, sure- yeah, Hayley was definitely going to complain about this getting-laid-every-night tradition she and Ema's been settling into since that first night on the beach- but a sleepwalk nonetheless. It had been late, really late by that point, and Hayley was quite sure she hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep considering that sunlight was only barely touching the trees, and the announcement hadn't started yet.

She remembered, vaguely- Ema'd nodded right off to sleep, Hayley'd stopped for a cigarette. Because she deserved a motherfucking cigarette, for all the shit she'd put up with- all of her own shit, really, the shit she'd beaten herself over the head with for so many hours. Minutes. Hours. Depending on which breakdown you were talking about, the one that'd happened when she'd seen her best friend's corpse or the one that had been happening for days- but who was counting, really? Either way it was a load of horse shit that she'd been swallowing and telling herself was inevitable. And now that she'd realized it wasn't, that she was an idiot, that okay all her friends were dead or at least gone but there was nothing she could do about it, and it wasn't her fault, not really- well, if she didn't deserve some delicious cancer for that epiphany, what would she ever deserve it for?

Don't answer that.

But apparently she'd fallen asleep, apparently it had rolled out of her hand and miraculously it hadn't burned her. Even more miraculously it hadn't burned out entirely, leaving her half a cigarette, though she didn't smoke it quite yet. She was still lying down, and apparently in her sleep after dropping the cigarette she'd maneuvered into a more normal position, with her arms around Ema and the other girl's face buried in her still-naked chest. It was a comfortable position, and she found herself stroking Ema's hair absentmindedly, not thinking about anything in particular, because apparently that was a thing she could do again. Not thinking. It was nice, and maybe she'd let herself do it for a bit longer, except that now there was that irritating buzzing sound that meant announcements.

And here Hayley stood to attention. Not literally, she was tired and she'd disturb her girlfriend who may or may not have been awake yet, though some slight stirring in her arms would point to the former. But less literally- yes, she was paying close attention, because that voice wasn't the one she'd grown almost used to over the last ten days. Sure, that was the voice of Douchey McDouchebagson, but even so- the voice of Danya had been a constant. Who knew what the fuck this new voice meant?

"Hi there. My name's Greynolds, I'll be your announcer for the time being. 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?"

Taking a break my ass. Hayley had a finely tuned bullshit detector and it was calling so much bullshit on this right now because Danya didn't take breaks. There were tons of possible explanations, but she liked to think this had something to do with the escape plan. Maybe he'd been taken captive or something, that'd be nice, though rather unhelpful considering the game was clearly continuing without him. Whatever. Announcements were still a thing.

And...jesus, was she actually recognizing names for once? She was, quite a few of them- not that anyone in Bayview didn't know the name Rosa Fiametta. And then there was Annaliese, probably the girl she hated most before she'd gotten on the island...Gracie Wainwright, who'd have cut a closer second in that department if the two crossed paths more often. Basically it was a bunch of people Hayley didn't like, and she was quite okay with that. She did remember the name Jasper-Declan- he was Alex's friend, the third of the little trio consisting of those two and Jay. She didn't know him well enough to care much, but she hoped Jay wasn't taking it too hard.

Her own name came and went, with an almost disappointing lack of fanfare, but it didn't matter. She was listening to the next part.

"Next up... well kids, let's just say that this next part is why you don't try and escape the island, alright?"

The names. So many names, she counted them, twenty nine, twenty nine good little boys and girls who hadn't sinned enough to be denied access to the escape boats, twenty-nine souls too good for this motherfucking sinful earth. And she heard the names of every last person on this island she gave a shit about who wasn't already dead or sleeping beside her. Jay Holland. Isabel Guerra. Even Sarah Tan, that girl she'd made friends with like a week before the trip, she was on that list. The list of the saved.

They were all dead.

"Hah."

The noise escaped her before she could really stop it.

"Haha...hahahahaha..."

Hayley gently detatched herself from Ema, searching for her clothes, her strange giggling slowly subsiding. So they were dead. Awesome. Not really awesome, that was sarcasm, probably, Hayley wasn't really sure what her mind was on about at this point- but, hey. It's not like it made much of a difference to her. Either way, she was never going to see them again. Now she just didn't have to worry about them judging her from their television sets at home. Not that she had been planning to give a shit about anyone else's opinion of her for the rest of the game, but hey, still! It was something, right? Hahaha. Fucking rescue boat, she'd known it was too good to be true. She begged Jay to get on it but- not her fault, definitely not her fault, he'd be dead either way and really it was probably Janet's freaking out that convinced him, he'd liked her best, anyway- she must be freaking out right now, hah. But look, not her fault, definitely not her fault- hell, maybe they weren't dead at all, would Danya or whatever this guy's name was, Greynolds, would they admit on the announcements that nearly thirty students got away? Probably not. Yeah, that would be comforting, if she cared.

She found her clothing strewn about their campsite, quickly reclaiming and re-donning it all. Last reclaimed was her cigarette.

"I'm going for a walk."

Call it another one of her feelings. Call it one of those weird urges towards something she needed to do, but that was all probably bullshit. She wanted to go for a motherfucking walk and no one was gonna stop her and Ema could take care of her goddamn self. She had a raygun and a freaking ancient swordy thing, she'd be fine.

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

Ema, still seeming a bit taken aback by Hayley's attitude, gave Hayley her gun back willingly enough. She took it, amazed by how much better she felt with the damn thing in her hand- had she been feeling that empty since last night? Really?- and lit her half-cigarette. Inhale. Exhale.

Yeah, things were good.

"Be back in a few, girly. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine..." she called behind her as an afterthought as she walked away from their campsite, into the trees, sucking down smoke. She waited until she was out of Ema's earshot before looking up and addressing the cameras, the sky, whichever. Wherever they were listening. Assuming they could be listening from the sky- hell, her opinion on that changed every second, it seemed.

"Sorry about the laughing bit. Didn't mean it. It's just...feels like God or Buddha or whoever set their karma switch to Opposite Day Mode, you know? Hahaha...sorry."

Inhale. Exhale.


Oh, honeybee, who knew we'd make it this far?

[[Hayley Kelly continued in Paint it Black]]
Edited by Hollyquin, Jun 12 2011, 04:58 PM.
being meguca is suffering

[V5] ALIVE:
[x] Aidan Flynn [B???] // Passing slowly though the vector, damp with fog, the bog that grows the former business sector...
[x] Chitose Saionji [G???] // 公園に千歳は本を読む!

[V5] CONCEPTS:
Winston Evans aced the last English test and would like to point out how gorgeous your shoes are.

Those Who've Known - V4
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