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Glitter & Rot
Topic Started: Aug 2 2011, 12:16 AM (1,370 Views)
Ruggahissy
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i'm not upset
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Nick LeMonde continued from The City on the Edge of Forever))

Stumbling, lost and alone.

The end is quickly approaching. The end is near.

All this while we carry on.

This isn't the time to be alone.

Nick had been moving forward, now with the tranq rifle in his hands. The katana and the hunga munga were packed away in his bag. It was the last thing of Jessica's. He hadn't remembered until after he woke up how much he hated to be alone. He didn't even like eating lunch alone. In the residential district there was a movie theater. He quickly turned away from it. He'd never been to the movies alone either; it felt unnatural to stand in front of the movie theater by himself.

He kept walking down the road. The town felt like a mockery. He couldn't imagine someone growing up here, going down to the crumbling theater or the dirty grocery market on the weekend. In the distance, something caught his eye. A bright flash of red was moving against the gray backdrop. It vanished inside the building.


"Oh wow," he whispered, flatly.

It was the first thing he'd said when he saw that bright shock of red hair all that time ago. He sounded so different now than he had back in school at the library, sitting next to a girl who was working on her English project. He was so vibrant and helpful. Willing to help a sweet girl who'd knocked over a shelf of books.

The sadness became thick in his throat when he thought of Jess. Nick shook his head and walked to the building. When he stepped in it was pitch black. He took out a flash light and illuminated the room and the girl.
Edited by Ruggahissy, Aug 13 2011, 09:40 PM.
things
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Ruggahissy
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i'm not upset
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Nick looked steadily at the girl. She didn't look to worse for the wear. She was alone and wandering the decaying building, lost among the debris. There she was, though. Josie had that same pretty face, but it was marked with the trauma and the lack of food and sleep that marked them all. He lowered the tranquilizer rifle so that it pointed straight into the ground. He blinked and it took a moment for the message from his brain to reach his mouth. It felt like he was trying to think through molasses. Nick was so drained. He was numb and his emotions were only left in shades of grey.

"I'm not hurt," she said gruffly. He was so loud and boisterous before. Nick was the one who yelled loudest at all the sporting events. The power was zapped from his throat.

He looked at his hands and saw them covered in blood for a moment, as they had been after Mike.

"Few cuts on my hands. That's just 'cause I'm clumsy. I had this weird thing with like, three different blades on a stick. Took me a while to learn not to keep playing with it. I'm just a big dummy is all. You know-"

He took a deep breath and the dust of the room got stuck in his throat. He coughed and sputtered, dropping the rifle and putting his hands on his thighs and bending down. He looked back up with water in his eyes.

"I- sorry. It's just that I-"

He laughed. It was a hollow little laugh borne from his frustration. It tailed into a sad, quiet moment. He carefully picked Jessica's rifle off of the floor and cradled it.

"I'm a murderer. I want to make up for it. For her," he said as his fingers ran over the rifle.

"Alex....I heard her name on the announcements I think, during the death announcements one of the days. Jessica..."

His eyes shifted away from the rifle and towards the darkness that wasn't lit up by the flashlight. He sucked in some air through his teeth as he felt a pang in his chest.

"Jessica died. She knew that we both couldn't win and so she jumped off a cliff. The only way we could stay together is if we died. I stayed behind for a little because....I have to make it up."


Nick lifted his head and studied Josie for a moment. Even on a good day he wasn't very good and knowing what people were thinking, and this was far from a good day. He acknowledged to himself that he'd never be able to read anyone for feelings or thoughts and probably would never be able to from this point on. There was hardly enough will and energy in him to try and wrap his head around his own feelings. He did the only thing he knew how to do to comfort people. He offered food.

"How are you? Are you alright? Are you hungry?"
things
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Ruggahissy
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((Inactivity save))

Alone in the dark, but now, no longer alone. This girl was ragged and tired but there was some pain in her gaze. They were together in the dark with no one around. He ran his hand through the back of his head. Nick was dirty and itchy. He wanted to tear his skin right from his bones. Everything had become ruined in such short time. It was just supposed to be a camping trip. It was just going to be a few days.


He shifted uncomfortably and reached into his bag for the bread. His hand brushes against his bladed weapons. The cold steel was a terrible reminder. He winced and looked for a moment like he might tear up again. But he did not. He pulled out the last of the bread.
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Ruggahissy
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i'm not upset
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Nick stood with the last of the food and listened to Josie. He shuffled his feet for a moment, trying to figure out how exactly to say what he wanted to say.

"Do you know the story of the Good Thief and the Bad Thief?"

She was silent a moment. He didn't wait for her to answer.

"When Jesus was on the cross, when he was being crucified, there were two thieves being crucified at the same time as he was. The faithless thief asks Jesus why he can't save them and himself if he is in fact the Messiah. The good thief defends him and repents, accepting Jesus and Jesus tells him that for his repentance and faith, he will find his was to paradise."

His voice was echoing throughout the empty building. Because they were inside, not even the sounds of nature penetrated their meeting.

"I wasn't sure how I felt about that story before. I didn't like that someone could do bad things and be rewarded by trying to do good right at the end. But now I understand. It's all about....your spirit. About whether you have goodness in your heart. It has to do with whether or not you learned something about yourself and love before you go forward. Words beget actions. I want to make up those things that I did to show that now I know what faith and goodness really are. I want to prove that I.....I deserve to find home. And I don't mean the one back in St. Paul."

He took a deep breath and set Jessica's rife gently on the floor. He looked down at it while he spoke.

"Jessica had such a good heart. That's how I know she made it. That's how I know she's there waiting for me. I could feel her faith and her purity, maybe not faith in Jesus or God but her faith.....in love."

He reached out and put a hand up to Josie's cheek, softly moving her head to gaze up at him.

"We all get lonely when there's death around. It makes us cold. I know there's not long left. That's why you should have some bread. And if you want me to, I'll stay with you. I'll stay until I can't stay anymore."
things
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Ruggahissy
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i'm not upset
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Josie stepped back away from him. There was something in her look, it was something about the way that she looked at him that made him think of a house that was collapsing. She wouldn't take the food. Josie shakily told him that she had to meet someone. It must have been someone very important. The way she fidgeted and fussed, it must have been someone she really needed to get to.

Josie told him he was nice. He didn't understand. He couldn't understand how anyone could think that he was nice. Maybe it was a kindness on her part, to him. This girl wasn't all so different from the one back at the library in Bayview. Even now, she was trying to make him feel better. She was like Jessica.

Josie turned and ran.

Nick faltered for a moment. She was someone worth protecting. He realized he wanted to help her because he wanted her to make it out of this place. She wasn't done yet.

"Josie, wait!"

Nick picked the rifle up off the ground and gathered his things. It was too dark in the building to see anything. He thought he heard her, though. He ran out of the recreation center, trying to find Josie.

((Nick LeMonde continued in Director's Cut))
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