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Affluenza; Day 5 - Day 6
Topic Started: Jan 25 2014, 09:43 AM (2,816 Views)
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[[Miles Strickland Continued From: The Best Part Of Waking Up.]]

At least he was fully clothed this time. Harrington jacket and all.

Too bad they never came back.

It was obvious, he knew it from the start, but Timothy, Michael and Corey had failed to return for a full day's length.

At least the most recent announcements said they weren't dead.

It was the first full announcement he'd actually been awake through and paid close attention since he got here.

Maybe the rest were used to it by now, with almost five days having passed and three other announcements beforehand, but for Miles it was the very first and most damaging to his morale up to this point.

Sixteen people, kids, classmates and friends. Sixteen. All dead in the course of one day. How could this be?

He expected that there were to be some deaths and killings, but he couldn't have foreseen there being this many. How could they all turn into savages so quickly? Some of his closest friends were involved as well and it was absolutely disheartening.

The announcement had passed a while back, but his mind still boiled, thinking about it.

Cody Patton, one of Miles' best buddies had put down Miles' childhood playmate Mikey, after he himself had taken out Rose. Amaranta, his 'spicy' student council mate, and among his group of friends had killed someone. Travis Webster, another friend. Killed someone.

Yeah, he was part of it, he killed someone too, but it wasn't on purpose. There had to be a bloody reason for how come, like his reason.

There had to be. He had to find out.

Why were all his fucking friends killing people?

Francis was dead too. He'd found out in person, yesterday.

While Miles had wandered through that school the day before, he'd stumbled, literally stumbled, onto the body of his friend, or rather "frenemy", laying in the hallway with a broken freaking neck wiping the smile clean from Miles' face and when Stacy who had followed Miles saw it, she screamed too.

Sure, Miles and Francis had their bitter rivalries on the soccer field as Co-Team-Captains and out of it when it came to competitions on the casual level, such as 'who could find the better girl for prom' and Francis could be a jackass for Miles to be a jackass back, but Miles never hated him. The discovery made Stacy upset and Miles feel physically ill once more, as if he hadn't recovered one bit over the last few days.

There was just no way they were going to stay at that school any longer after that. They covered Francis' body with a tapestry before they finally headed out.


Now here he was, in one of the houses within the Gated Community.

The two miles trek from the school to the Northern town where they were now had been too much effort for Miles' still pained and throbbing abdomen. He thought he could have handled it at first, but the travel might have agitated it as he could feel the bandages around his torso get wet again.

So they stopped, then found a decent house for Miles to rest in.

It was a familiar setting; upper-class housing for the wealthy elite such so it was comfortable enough, felt like home - only his real home in Seattle was much lovelier.

Less dust.

Stacy and Rachael had gone out into the neighborhood to search around for Corey, Timothy, Michael and anyone else they could while Miles rested alone in the home. Or at least that's what he'd been doing for a little while before getting bored waiting and thinking.

Miles needed to get his mind off of the deaths and killing his friends and classmates were involved in, so he began wandering the home instead.

"I wonder if they have any Fiji water around here," he mused.


"Oh, you sexy bitch."

Miles admired his reflection as he stood in front of a mirror posing with the Hunga Munga in hand, lifted near his face with a sleek grin.

After prettying himself up, he was starting to become fond of his light, blonde, designer scruff. If he made it out of here, maybe he'd make it apart of his style. He blinked and then laughed to himself. With that blade, he looked quite the 'bad-ass' as the other guys would say.

When he opened his eyes, the reflection of his formerly clean blade had suddenly become dripping with red.

Miles gasped and dropped the Hunga Munga to the floor, tripping backward and landing softly onto his rear end, knees up and palms down on the carpet in back of him, panting softly and staring. It couldn't be. He closed his eyes and shook his head. His heart was thumping.

The Hunga Munga was now blood free.


A few minutes later, Miles Strickland chucked the Hunga Munga into the wardrobe closet where he'd hidden his daypack and the rest of his belongings.

Miles spent the rest of his time, lounging quietly, gazing up at the ceiling, no longer in the mood to wander around. He took some more medicine from the first aid kit to help relieve his pain and self-treat his wound, before covering back fully clothed again. He really hoped Stacy and Rachael would be back soon.

He was really starting to freak out.

It might not have been even an hour passed, but Miles always hated waiting, so it felt like more than that, ages. He leaned his head back onto the padded lounge chair as he laid on it, covered his face with a pillow he’d removed from a dusty plastic casing and then groaned.

"Ugh. Shittiest V.I.P section, ever."
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((Rutherford "R.J." Roger Jr: B032 -V5- Continued from Every Success Involves Insanity))

R.J. stepped into the brass stall shower, closing the curtains and sliding the door behind him. He turned the handle, getting a brief shock of cold water that made him back to the wall. He let his fingers test for when the water had warmed up to at least not-freezing cold.

Warm water was a nice adjustment, after having almost drowned and then spending a good part of the day outside in the rain. Showers were always relaxing, letting R.J. think without any interruptions. He grabbed the shower nozzle and sat down, his leg cuts making him wince as he did.

He looked at his knuckles that held the nozzle, happy that they weren't as gnarly or swollen as he expected them to be. Still, it was probably not the best idea to have left the old bandages on for so long. Probably. He didn't really know how often they should be changed, if at all, but he assumed sooner was better then later. Besides, after finally having some time to wash and clean himself, these would probably be the best circumstances he had to do so.

He sighed as the water darkened his hair, thoughts of Killemall never leaving him. Travis had killed Matt. R.J. and Travis were never the best of friends, but they had been able to get along after some meaningless tiffs. He didn't think Travis would kill anybody. He didn't know the story behind it, but it still made him upset, now wondering about what had happened and what will happen.

Maddie was off somewhere, probably around the house or some of the other ones, doing her own thing. They still hadn't talked much. That was okay though. R.J. had abandoned his plans for ditching her, same way he had forgotten about his plans to just scare off anyone. Now the problem was that R.J. had no plans. Again. He hung his head low, fingers brushing away hair so he could wash behind his ears.

Maybe all he needed to do was find his friends, like he wished he had done while Joey was still alive. Meet Veronica and....

...

"One thing at a time."
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((Joe Carrasco continued from Repeat.))

He was too late. Too late to stop something he hadn't even thought of being afraid of. Because it had seemed ridiculous that Travis, or anyone that Joe was friends with, would go so far as to kill someone. To lower themselves to his level. But there it was.

"Travis Webster also joined the stabbing club, tearing Matt Masters a new windpipe."

When Joe had first heard that, he hadn't been able to believe it. Travis wouldn't do that! Sure, Travis was a jerk sometimes. ...Most of the time, really. He wasn't a jerk to Joe, but to so many others... well... Still, he wasn't a murderer! He wouldn't... tear out someone's windpipe, who would even do that?!

Then again, none of these people were murderers before this, were they... but...

He still didn't quite believe it.

But if it was true... did that mean he needed to find Travis more? Or Marcus? Marcus wasn't a killer yet (no, no yet, he would never be a killer) and needed... protection? What protection could Joe even give him? He was a weed with blistered hands and a dressage whip. But Travis needed... someone to just tell him to stop. Maybe it was an accident (but how did someone tear out someone else's throat by accident) or maybe... there had to be some reason, because Travis wasn't a killer!

Joe ran down the road of the gated community, letting out short gasps of breath. He was tiring. He slept (briefly) the previous night, but all this running was building up and leaving him achy, and each day it was a bit harder to run. One day, he'd be concrete and he wouldn't be able to search any more. Another clock to the mass of time limits he had to find everyone. The clock on finding Max had ticked out--dead in the announcement--but there were still five left. Clocks that counted down to finding Travis and Marcus, ones for Theodore and Miles, and one for himself. If the last ticked out, he was done.

Four houses. He'd check them as fast as possible and then move along.

First house. Fancy. Not as fancy as the mansion he and Aileen had stayed at the night before last, but fancy. As fancy as dust-covered wrecks got, anyway.

He heard someone speak in a nearby room. It was a vaguely familiar voice--muffled, but familiar--though he was struggling to place it. He slid into the room it came from, sticking close to the walls, and found someone lying on a sofa. They had a pillow over their face. They were alone.

"...H-hello?"
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((Madeline Wilcox continued from Every Success Involves Insanity))

Maddie looked around the house that she and RJ were in for anything useful that she could find. RJ was taking a shower, and despite her own desires to do so and clean herself up, she was too pragmatic to let the opportunity of anything useful pass by her. She checked the shelves and cabinets around the house, looking for anything that could prove of even moderate use. To her surprise, after a bit of searching she managed to find a small tin of crackers in the back of a pantry. She had no idea whether or not they were stale, or even edible for that matter, but it was something she managed to find and she was happy about that. She stuck it in her bag and sat next to the wall, thinking for a bit.

The most recent announcements served as an ever present reminder that more people were snapping from the pressure and more people were dying. She wished that she felt more when she heard the names of everyone who died, and those who killed them, but she didn't. She hated not feeling much of anything when she heard that her classmates were dying far more than the actual deaths of her classmates. She leaned a bit more of her weight against the wall. For the first time in a while she really considered her own mortality. Only one person was getting off of the island alive, why would, or should, it be her over anyone else? She didn't want to die, but there are a lot of people who didn't want to die, who wanted to live just as badly as she did. And they all had to die if she were to live. She couldn't imagine herself being the sole survivor of the game. She was almost certainly going to die, she would make a mistake at some point, she had made a lot of mistakes already, and that would end up killing her. No matter how many times she thought those exact thoughts, it scared her just as much now as it did on the first day here.

After a bit, she stood and walked into the living room of the house and began to lie on the sofa. She just needed to calm down and not have to worry about anything for a while, she had been worrying about a lot of things since she got here, so she greatly appreciated an opportunity to simply relax.

She stared at the ceiling while she lied there, and began to think about what was to come.
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((OOC: Psych, Medic, TT, and I agreed on two separate posting orders. So, just to clarify, not skipping, just taking my turn. The song is "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs))

R.J. had found a very bubbly brand of shampoo. Didn't know the brand, having most of it's brand sticker missing, but it did have the word shampoo on it. Little bubbles in the air, sudsy and small, lasting as long as maybe a second.

Abundant though.

He could take this time to have some peace, some kind of calmness. It'd do him well.

And so, he began humming.

R.J. had never really sang, or hummed in this case, in the shower before. He thought the idea of it was silly and embarrassing. But none of that factored anymore. Who would care?

A little louder now.

It was a nice little song that he heard when he was younger, but couldn't ever remember what it was called or who wrote it. He only knew it as the "Oh say, say, say" song. Ah well.

He lifted his head up, letting the water take away the soap in his hair, still humming.

"Oh say, say, say..."
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A steady creak-open of the door. Footsteps down the hall.

Ah good, they were back.

“It’s about time," Miles chipperly spoke as he slid the soft pillow right below his chin.

Except no, it wasn't the soothing sounds of a pretty, feminine voice. It was an unappealing, stuttering, man-voice. Its face wasn't pretty either.

At first Miles looked on with arched eyebrows, and his mouth pursed to the side due to the unexpected visitor.

After a few seconds he let his expressions relax, sat up as straight as he could without agitating his abdominals and lowered the pillow to his lap, one of his wrists crossed over the other above the cushion. All he needed now was his Turkish Angora, Mister, atop his left shoulder and it would have almost felt like he was sitting right at home. Well, aside from the weird kid standing at the doorway of course.

Miles leaned forward over the pillow a little with a smile. It was just Joe.

"Oh. Hello."
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Joe didn't reply back. The moment Miles had uncovered his face, he'd frozen.

Miles Strickland. After so long searching, he was just... there suddenly.

Joe's eyes narrowed. His jaw clenched. He did not shy away from staring Miles right in the face, and did so for a much longer time than he'd normally be comfortable looking at anyone. He didn't know what to think. He didn't know what to feel. He realised he had no idea what he'd intended to do in the event of finding either him or Theodore. All he knew was that his stomach felt like it was bubbling.

Ask why. Be calm. Be angry. Hurt him. Don't hurt him. Ask why. Smash a bottle over his head. Light him on fire. Be reasonable. Ask why. Hear his side of the story. He doesn't deserve a chance. Everyone deserves a chance. He doesn't. You don't. What makes him better?

Joe took a step forward. Two steps. Opened his mouth to speak.

And then closed his mouth again, and backhanded Miles as hard as he could.
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The house was quiet. The only noise that Maddie heard was the faint running of water from the shower RJ was taking. Her eyelids felt heavy, she hadn't gotten a peaceful night of sleep since she arrived on the island, and now, with the quiet house and the comfortable couch, now felt like a good time to get some rest. Could she potentially put herself in danger by sleeping right now? Of course, but she could say that at any time. She just wanted some sleep, some nice sleep that didn't result in her waking up in a cold sweat or getting interrupted in the middle of it. She closed her eyes and curled up tightly on the couch, letting the darkness and comfort of sleep take her.




Maddie awoke with a start, and a quiet scream. Another nightmare. They were getting worse. She shook. She didn't want to think any further about what the nightmare included. From her position on the couch, she noticed the light had changed, that was expected. By the looks of it she had been asleep for about two hours, maybe longer. She rolled over onto her back and sat up on the couch. She looked around at her surroundings, in an attempt to notice if there were any changes. Everything was still located where it was located when she went to sleep, evidently nothing much had changed. Was RJ out of the shower by now? She didn't hear the sound of running water anymore, so he must be somewhere else in the house. Perhaps she could get him to help her find things; the two of them both searching for anything useful might return more findings.

She stood, looking around again, before calling out. "RJ? Are you there?"
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Finished with his shower and adding new bandages after getting a new set of clothes on, R.J. had saw that Maddie had fallen asleep. Feeling she didn't need to be awoken, R.J. stayed put in a room, lying on the bed and cooling off from the cieling fan. Most of the day had been spent resting and being thankful for that.

He grabbed his bag after doing nothing for a long time, taking the markers and sticky notes he had kept after visiting the school and the survival guide that was given to him. He laid the sticky notes on top of the cover of the survival guide, and began to draw, front to back. They were doodles really, but it had been so long since the last time he drew, he was happy to just have the time for it. Cats and dogs, planes and tanks, whatever came to his train of thoughts.

"And now maybe...Oh, I ran out."

He figured he could draw some on the survival guide, but that wouldn't make for anything nice looking. R.J. huffed and put the things away. There was more paper back at the schools, but having to go see the dead bodies he already passed by didn't make the trip worth it.

He heard Maddie calling his name, wondering where he was. He had a nice chance to just leave her by herself, had it for a long time. After what he told yesterday morning, that didn't seem worth anything either. He stepped out of the room.

"Yeah, I was just lying down for a second."
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"What are you staring at, Hallrat?"

The creeper just kept looking at him for some reason, it was an awkward stare-down, and something he wasn't very used to. Back home he could easily handle situations like this with a "buzz off, loser" or something similar, but he knew that wouldn't work quite as well here. It was silent rage and it made Miles somewhat uncomfortable, especially since Joe was inching his way over to him.

Then it hit him.

Both the hand and the realization.

Joe was Chuck's friend. Miles killed Chuck. He put two and two together and it all made sense, but Joe was already in front of him.

Miles felt the flat impact across his cheek and his head followed suit in the same direction as the slap, sending him to land face first on to the cushion to his side with a yelp. He got up, started to open his mouth to say something about it, but then another slap hit causing him to let out a second, shocked, feminine gasp and sending him to recoil to the side once again.

"You can't-"

Another slap.

His skin turned light-red, half-way between embarrassment and the bodily reaction to the slap itself as he lifted his head up and pulled himself back to his upright position. He began clutching the struck cheek with his own hand as he stared sadly back at Joe. After a few seconds, Miles gritted his teeth.

Yeah, okay he could understand it. Chuck was gone and it was Miles' fault, but enough was enough. You don't touch Miles Strickland, especially not in the face. Plus he was bigger than Joe, so he couldn't - he can't.

Miles tossed the pillow from his lap to the side of the lounge seat and slowly lifted himself up to his feet. Inch by inch he stood up past Joe's shoulder, over Joe's head until he stood at full height. He glared down at Joe, with his own widened green eyes and gritted teeth, but then relaxed.

He smiled at Joe, it was one of those fake smiles, the kind you made when you were angry at the maid or those coffee house workers doing a shitty job. The smile friends and family jokingly referred to as the 'Miles Smile of Rage'. Miles gave Joe one of those smiles.

One hand went to Joe's chest, flat palm open, and then in one quick motion, Miles gave him a push.

It was more an aggressive tap than a shove, daring Joe to pimp-slap him again.
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Okay, so slapping wasn't the best way to deal with it. It just made the anger rise an inch more each time Joe's hand came into contact with Miles' face. But... he hadn't lost it. He was as in control as he could possibly be right now.

And then Miles smiled. Not a happy smile. But a smile. He shoved Joe right back, but Joe barely noticed that. The smile, though...

Miles couldn't smile. He'd killed Chuck. He wasn't allowed to smile. He... he wasn't... he shouldn't...

Joe had never attacked someone in his life. When he was a child, he once pushed a bigger kid because the kid had crushed a beetle he'd been playing with. That was the furthest he'd ever gone, and even that had been followed by apologies. But now? Now all he could see was red, all he could hear was thump-thump-thumping in his ears, and all he wanted to do was hurt Miles.

No slaps this time. He just punched Miles in the stomach as hard as he could. And then just kept hitting wherever his fists could reach. He shouted something. Something about Chuck, about deaths that shouldn't have happened, about how Miles wasn't allowed to smile. But the words came out in a jumble and weren't even understandable to Joe himself, let alone anyone else. He just kept hitting. Smack, smack, smack.

He only stopped when a loose thought in his brain wondered why Miles wasn't hitting back, and he noticed that Miles had doubled over after the first punch.
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Joe's fist connected directly with the bandaged area right beneath Miles' shirt, which covered his sensitive abdominal wound, which in turn caused Miles to curl up and double over with excruciation as it flared up on contact then through the rest of his body.

The flurry of consecutive punches following the initial sent Miles down to the carpeted floor.

Miles felt his center getting damp again, bleeding through the bandages with tiny specks of fluid blending in with his red shirt. Punches hit him every which way, with Miles alternating between using his hands for protecting his face and his injured mid-section. There were words he could hear throughout the onslaught, a jumbled bunch of words coming from the stuttering, shouting mess as he hit Miles again and again.

His nose. His eye. His lip. His abdomen. Everywhere. Miles had gasped and cried out after each punch, particularly the ones to his face and torso.

"Enough. You-can't."

Finally the punches did stop, but Miles didn't look up, he kept his gaze onto the carpet now dripped with some blood from his nostril and mouth. He held his wound with both hands, soaking slightly into his shirt. He groaned, coughed a little more blood which had mixed with his spit and then sobbed a little simply due to the sheer amount of pain going through him at that moment, making him dizzy and blinding him with the miniature white stars from before.

He couldn't do anything. He wasn't going to fight back any more like he did with Kat. He was injured, stabbed, and certainly not healthy now.

Miles just lay there, waiting.
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No.

No, no, no. Not again. It was Jason again. Lost his temper, lost his wits, and now someone was bleeding on the floor in front of him again. Joe still had his fists raised, but they were trembling. He'd wanted to hurt Miles. But not like this. Not like Jason.

But Miles said 'you can't.' And that wasn't true. He could.

What was stopping him? He'd done it to Jason. Why couldn't he to Miles? He could. But there was a difference between could and would and Joe didn't know where he was on that line. He wanted to think there was no 'would.'

But another part of him still wanted to hit more.

Even as he stared at the blood splatters and had to cover his mouth with one shaky hand to stop himself vomiting. He forced most of the bile back down. Some escaped into his mouth and Joe turned away for a moment to spit it out. Not like it mattered if he ruined the carpet here.

The part of him that didn't think about how wrong it was, the feral part of him screamed for him to hit more. Make him suffer, make him hurt like Chuck hurt.

He could do it.

Joe raised his foot slightly, holding it just above Miles' abdomen.

“T-t-tell me why you did it.” Joe shook and stuttered, and even though Miles was a murderer who didn't deserve anything he just wanted to stop and give him some bandages or something. But he didn't break eye contact. “Tell me why you... you killed C-Chuck. Tell me... t-tell me why he had to die. If I... if I don't luh... luh... like the answer... I stomp down.”

Joe didn't want to stomp down. But he also did. And at the same time, he was terrified because he wanted to.
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Miles eyes opened; surprised that Joe wasn't attacking him anymore. He was talking. Still stuttering, but much more coherent than the crazy mumbling he'd been doing just a few seconds prior. He turned Miles over, raised his foot above the wound. He wanted answers, not just revenge.

"No, Chuck didn't deserve to die."

Miles started through strained breath as he spoke through his recent agony. He wiped at his bleeding nostril with the fancy handkerchief he'd taken from one of the rooms and then spit up the blood mixed saliva into it. Even through the pain he didn't want to feel gross.

"I didn't do it on purpose. It was an accident, alright."
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"You... you don't guh... get excused because you were... were being a fucking moron."

Joe didn't stamp down. Didn't remove the foot either.

Jason had been an accident, too. At least to start with. It didn't make Joe any better. So Miles had to be judged by those standards, too.
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