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Round & Round & Round & Round
Topic Started: Nov 12 2013, 09:18 PM (466 Views)
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((Daisy Pennington - Meanwhile - Start))

Daisy Pennington was letting her tears and snot burn her face in the car she resided in for the past few minutes. She still hadn't left her garage. She was suppose to have left to go to a group therapy session for all the parents who had children abducted by the terrorists. Daisy couldn't leave. Even though she promised Mariam she would, she couldn't go. She wanted to forget about that. Wanted to forget about everything involved with it. Wanted to forget Venice.

She hated herself. She couldn't even stand being around anything that reminded her of Venice. She couldn't look at any type of drums or listen to Hotel California, she couldn't go in the backyard where the pool was, walk in the hallway where Venice's room was and family pictures were turned face down on a daily basis. She wouldn't look at herself in the mirror, less she be reminded of her spitting image.

Daisy Pennington was a sorry, pitiful woman. So she told herself that every morning and every night. She was terrible, and it was why Mariam had told her to get help. Why else would a mother try to forget their child? Surely not to bury all the pain that came with seeing an empty grave when she wasn't even sure Venice had died.

Of course Venice was dead, she reminded herself. She'd be home if she wasn't. The government would have found the island already, wouldn't they. It had been a week since Survival of the Fittest had started streaming, why wasn't she back? She had to be dead. Why wouldn't they have her daughter back otherwise?

She got out of the car and sat on the couch, and called Miriam while she was at work. She screamed and cursed for saying she should go to therapy. She told her how she was scared, and yelled about Mariam herself never wanted to go to therapy either. Even though they both lost their child, Daisy was the one who felt like an awful person trying to cope in awful way.

"I'm sorry, honey. We'll try again again tomorrow. I love you, but we'll have to talk about this when I get home."

The familiar tone of the phone hanging up and a lonely ringing was heard. They wouldn't talk. She caught a glimpse of a picture of Venice. Mariam must have put it back up before she left for work. Daisy held it and stared at it. It was one of those professional photo shoots that was meant to make everything look as beautiful as it could be.

Daisy stared at it for a long time, not really looking at it. Like finally realizing it's place in the house and why it was there. She put it back on the dresser, straight up. She went back to her bed, and waited for Mariam to come home.
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((Lucina Ruiz - Meanwhile - Start))

It was July 5th. The day after she had found out her son hadn't died after checking her facebook. When he turned out to be a part of those fucking terrorist abductions. And there was one thing that had crossed her mind after that night.

How does someone go about removing a tombstone? Lucina was about to find out. Well, she was trying, through the internet.

A stonemason removed one after some family had refused to pay the bill. She didn't know what to make of that at first, but maybe that was the right guy to call. If she could remember what R.J.'s headstone was made of. She remembered it was in the shape of the Cross, but that was it. Lucina hadn't thought of it since her baby's lie of a funeral. A lie. Crossed and dotted by that headstone.

Dammit, she wasn't getting anywhere. She kept looking. A link. She clicked on it.

"When you decide you want to put a headstone on a burial pit, it is the grave owner's responsibility to look after it, as it your property.

...

It is not the stonemason's authority or the cemetery's authority to take care of it."

That cross belonged to her. And she could do what she damn well pleased with it. Lucina knew she had bought it, but she thought it was for the actual service of the grave being made then actually owning it.

Lucina grabbed the shovel from a closet, knowing full well what she had to do. She left her apartment building and got in her car. She kept patting the shovel that sat next to her as she drove to the cemetery, making sure it was ready, just to be sure.

She stopped in the cemetery and rushed over to R.J's grave marker, shovel in hand, sweat beads already forming from anticipation and the hot summer day. She saw the little plaque that lied in front of the white cross.


Rutherford Graham Roger II

We Always Love You

October 4th, 1993 - June 13, 2012


Gently placing the plaque aside, she grabbed hold of the the cross, the indicator that her son was dead even though he wasn't. She knew R.J. wasn't. Lucina had seen him grow up into what he is. He had become fast and strong and he had friends and he could be smart when he wanted to be. He could survive whatever was thrown at him. He could live.

The cross wouldn't budge. This was why she had brought the shovel. Digging off the area around it, Lucina tried again. With grunts and snarls, the cross was loosening it's entrapment around it. With one final heave, it was free. A cemetery worker approached her.

"Lady...what are you doing?"

"I am taking my property and what shouldn't be here. Goodbye."

Plaque, shovel, the cross, and the various flowers that covered an empty grave stowed in the backseat, Lucina began her drive back home, leaving the cemetery worker baffled as he pressed some numbers on his phone, waiting for her son to come back to her soon.
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((Mariam Johannes - Meanwhile - Start))

The videos weren't very hard to find. Even now, as she lied in bed late at night, Daisy beside her and shivering in the cold, she had her phone out and gently laid her fingernail over the thumbnail, she could watch them at any time.

She never would though.

Sometimes she would tap the videos, enlarging the picture to get a clearer view, get rid of some of the pixels, but that was her limit. She had read the paper, the one written by that "winner". Even if the thought of her made Mariam vulgar, she also understood every word of what she meant.

She had to be resilient, for her daughter, it was the least she could do. Venice had to be the one suffering, seeing all her friends die and still on that place. But she would make it home, yes, she would. As long as she didn't load the videos, her daughter would be just fine. It was superstitious, she knew. But it was all she knew. Well, not all she knew. She knew Venice was intelligent and kind and the best thing that she had in her life.

People like that don't just go away.

So she brought the screen of her phone closer to her face, stroking and scratching the image of her daughter on a bank of rocks, sitting down and idly watching the sun. She seemed so relaxed and composed, like she was never going to give up.

Which meant, to Miriam, that she couldn't either.

A stir from the other side of the bed, Miriam hid herself and her phone under the covers. Phone charger plugged in, Miriam stared at the images of her daughter till she slept, refreshing and flicking the screen up and down, perhaps just waiting for more.
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((Rutherford Roger Sr. - Meanwhile - Start))

Plains, trains, and tanks. This was his life. He was, by all standards, a tanker. Hadn't touched one tank in years. He was old. He had administrative responsibilities now. It was easy to say what he did, nearly impossible to explain. At least, not without the poor victim being bored to death. Bag hefted across his shoulder now, Rutherford left his airplane seat, and headed out to the terminal.

It was raining. He sat down in the train. Trains in airplanes was something he was never getting use to. His joints cracked and popped as he stood up. He really was old. No one was waiting for him there. Hmm...dog was still with neighbors. Nobody home.

He hopped onto his motorcycle, put on his helmet. Rain made it a bit foggy and steamy. Home wasn't much better. Lights were all off, like he had left them. Dog...tomorrow. Probably. Beer right now. Beer and bed. Bed was lumpy. He pulled the covers, revealing Margaret.

"You were suppose to leave."

"...I changed my mind. I thought...you'd want me here when you got back. I was angry when you left, but I...aren't you happy to see me?"

"No, not really."

"Oh..."

He swigged the beer down, scratching his temple.

"Are you staying?"

"What?"

"I said are you staying?"

"...You want me to stay?"

"Answer the question."

"...Yes."

He put his beer on the night table next to him, it already being empty. The cap rattled diligently as he spun it out of boredom. She popped right over to his side, lips straddling his neck and face, hands clutching his chest and stomach. Rutherford shrugged her off with his shoulder, sending her back to her side of the bed, focusing on the cap. Hesitantly, she retrieved her covers and hid herself. He eventually grew tired of the cap too. He slammed it down, and then he also hid himself under the covers.

She rushed back to his side again.

---

Coffee was okay. Margaret made okay coffee. Rutherford stood outside of his house in his bathrobe. Still raining. Lightning and Thunder now too. It was early, the meager stars mixing in with the big one. Dark sunshine. Maybe Venus. The sounds of the Cubs playing the Mariners was on TV, cheers and wooden smacks clear beyond his screen door.

It was a good house. Sand by his doorstep, beach by the sand. He put his cup down and removed his bathrobe, revealing his gut and his briefs. The water was nice. Thunder and lightning still. Margaret was yelling off in the distance, rising from her couch. Water was nice.

He came back. The sand stuck to his feet was annoying. Margaret was still yelling. He got dressed into proper clothes. Had to go do that parade thing. She could stay here. She was still yelling till he left. She was staying there.

Float was stable. He waved to the cheers and the claps, along with his clones. Smiled a bit. It was easy. Picked up the dog. Dog was tired, slept in the back. Good dog.

Couch was busy. Margaret hadn't left, Dog took his rightful place. Good. He went out to the porch again. Raining again. Cigarette was okay. He liked the okay ones. He let them shrivel up to limp and weak gray dust that burned his lips.

He chewed and mulled on what was left.

Margaret came outside. the dog followed. Expected. Her hands cradled his chest again, and her head rested on his shoulders.

"...You can always talk to me...I want to know how you feel..."

His hand swashed hers away. He stomped out of the house, and left on his motorcycle.

---

He rested with bums and they shared each other's whiskey. Once they went off looking for more, he was off on his motorcycle again.

Driving with whiskey wasn't good.

The hot searing pain was still evident even when he laid down on the hospital bed. Margaret was yelling. Lucina was obliged to yell. He threw his phone against the wall. The yelling stopped. Good. They wouldn't know. They didn't need to know. The doctors assumed. The bills weren't too bad.

His wheelchair wasn't nice. It would make too much noise. Baseball games were okay though. He spent time making ropes when Margaret actually left the house. Nooses weren't new. Couldn't reach the fan. Wouldn't know what to do if he did.

Money came because he was injured and because he fought. He didn't want it. Couldn't reach the gun rack, couldn't find the ammo. Local kids needed new money for their baseball team. Might as well.

The wheelchair made pretty lines in the sand, Dog's paw prints following. He leaped out of the chair, and crawled towards the salty water. Wasn't nice. That was okay. Further and further. Darker and darker. He could hear her yelling - no - screaming. Margaret pulled him by his dead legs and got sand stuck on his face. Stronger then he thought she was.

She cradled him. She cried as her lip shivered. His hands grasped the sand, trying to get back to the salty water. It made him tired. It stopped raining. The sunshine shined brighter, burning light past his eyelids and creating crippled shapes and bold colors, different kind of salty water coming from his eyes.

Sun had left.
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