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What Comes After; Open!
Topic Started: Jun 7 2014, 04:33 PM (704 Views)
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((Maynard Hurst continued from Sinner, Winner, Chicken Dinner))

Once away from the Hotel and out of the comfort of ‘his’ danger zone, Maynard ran to the Central Park as quickly as his scrawny form would allow him. It was where he’d promised to meet James and whilst he was sure the other boy wouldn’t abandon him or chide him for being tardy, he wished to be as alone for only a few moments before reuniting with him. The island had dwindled even more - there was less than a third of them left now, if the announcements could be trusted - and out of that there was probably only a handful of people whom weren’t crazed killers. Not that it would matter all that much, anyway - there was no chance they’d ally themselves with him now, after what he’d done.

Maynard felt as though he was caught in the crack between two floorboards, as though he belonged in neither category. He wasn’t crazy, because his sanity was the last thing of his that remained - aside from his weapons and what little was left of his food - and there was no way he was giving that up, but at the same time he wasn’t unblemished by the island, now; even if he did manage to survive, there was no way he could keep on living without knowing first-hand what taking another person’s life would be like. He wondered what the big killers, like Hansel and Katarina would think of him - would he be a bigger threat, now that he had a kill to his name? Or would they just believe him to be the same pale-faced, awkward, shy Maynard he’d been back in Aurora? They didn’t know how he’d taken away Adam, didn’t know that he hadn’t meant it, and that meant they could picture the scenario however they wanted.

As he reached the duck pond and set about waiting for James to arrive, Maynard tried to force the thoughts out of his mind. For all he knew, he was just being paranoid or letting everything get to him more than he ought to - he hadn’t had much to time to harbour thoughts like those when he’d had Adam by his side and finding Gwen to think about, and experiencing them clearly wasn’t something he was skilled at. If he could just focus on James and stop thinking about dark things like that, then he knew things might be a little better, at least for awhile. His heart had skipped a beat, admittedly, when he looked over the area upon his arrival and didn’t see James situated within it, but he calmed after a few moments as he took a seat upon a worn bench encrusted with mildew and placed his belongings down beside him.

James would be here soon, there was nothing for him to worry about.
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Tristan O’Hara
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((James Wade continued from Miles Behind Us))

Nearly there.

After camping out last night with Maynard, James had gotten a bit of a surprise in the morning announcements. More people dead, including Veronica. She'd killed someone first, so he wondered if she'd done something in self-defence or like so many others, had decided to go around murdering others. Not that it mattered much when he heard it. James had been more preoccupied with the fact that Maynard's name was read out as one of the killers. He'd initially wanted to get the hell out of there, but Maynard's explanation and his own fear of being left alone had made James stay. That, and the promise of food.

As James entered the park, he felt very vulnerable. After Maynard had gone off earlier to claim his prize, he hadn't seen a single person. Nothing new there, but with a dwindling number of people on the island he had to assume everyone left would probably be armed and dangerous. He'd spent quite some time wandering around today, hoping to find some food or a weapon. So far he hadn't been lucky, and decided to head to their meeting point by the pond. As he approached he saw Maynard sitting on a bench. James breathed a sigh of relief.

"Hey!" he called "Sorry I'm late."
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Maynard pulled his waistcoat tighter against his chest as he waited for James to arrive, a light breeze nipping gently against his skin. His heart began to flutter with each moment that passed, worry that James wouldn’t fulfil his promise and return to him bearing down on his shoulders, in spite of his initial optimism that he would. He needed James, needed someone to protect and look after, as Adam had so strongly protected him. If he couldn’t do that, then what purpose did he have staying alive anymore? He’d failed so many times, again and again, and James was his last chance.

He wouldn’t fail this time.

The fears that James wouldn’t return dissipated almost instantly as he heard the crunching of nearby foliage and the emergence of a familiar figure from behind the bushes that dotted the park. He’d finally come, and Maynard didn’t care that he was later than he’d expected because tardiness didn’t matter just so long as James was here for him to look after. He resisted the urge to run towards him and pull him into a hug, just to ensure that was real and it wasn’t just some crazy hallucination on his part, instead remaining still in his seated position.

“Hey James,” he smiled broadly, shifting over on the bench to make room for his friend before motioning towards his half-full basket. “D’you want some chicken? It’s a tad cold now, but still good.”
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((GMing approved))

After days of surviving on little more than bread and water, James couldn't say no to the offer of some proper food. He sat beside Maynard on the bench and eagerly grabbed a piece of chicken from the basket. He was feeling especially hungry today, and consumed the first piece in seconds. James was reaching for another when he paused. While his newfound ally was certainly the nicest person he'd met on the island, James had a feeling that Maynard might object to him eating all the food immediately. James cleared his throat and straightened up a little.

"Oh, uh, thanks for sharing." He ate a little more before stopping to chat with Maynard for a while. For once, their conversation did not turn to plans for survival, killing other people, or even the dreaded subject of what they would do if only the pair of them remained on the island. Instead, they spoke of shared interests like books, films, cartoons; anything to escape the harsh reality of their situation on the island for a while. After spending a week avoiding death, James felt glad to have finally found a friend. He wished that they'd known each other better back home, before all of this shit. Better late than never, I suppose.

----

After some time had passed, Maynard announced that he was going to take a short nap. James agreed to stand guard while he slept, just in case anyone came across the pair of them. Even after all his generosity towards him, James was still surprised that Maynard trusted him enough to do this. He'd kept away from Maynard's weapon though, and would just wake his companion up if something happened. James didn't really mind. He'd probably end up accidentally stabbing himself with it anyway.

As his friend slept nearby, James began to grow thirsty. He wished that they'd given Maynard more drinks with his meal; the iced tea hadn't lasted long. He looked round for his bag and the remaining bottle of water, and saw nothing. Shit. He stood up from the bench, looking around the area for a sign of the bag he'd lugged around for the past week, James sighed and facepalmed. He'd lost his bag. Un-fucking-believable. Now that he thought about it, he hadn't had it last night when he'd gone to bed hungry in an attempt to conserve rations. Before that, though....

He'd left it back on the overpass.

It must have been when Mara threatened him and shot his box to pieces. He'd froze up and dropped everything, and not realised when he and Maynard walked away together shortly after. James couldn't believe how stupid he was for forgetting it. Sure, there hadn't been much food left in it, but he still needed it. A quick glance over the nearby pond told James that the water there probably wasn't fit to drink, so he'd have to go back. For a moment he considered waking up Maynard.

Yeah, that'd be great. "Hey man, I left my bag of supplies back at that bridge we almost died on. Want to head over there and find it?" He doubted that Maynard would be too pleased with his stupidity. Besides, the town wasn't that far away, right? He could run over there, grab his bag and be back within an hour or two. Maynard would never even know. That said, if he woke up and saw that James was missing there would be a problem. He took off his stained white hoodie and placed it on the bench as a sign that he'd come back. Fishing into his pockets, James found the coloured playing pieces that he'd rescued from what remained of his Clue box and left them there as well. Maynard would understand, he hoped. With that, James began to jog back in the direction of the town.

"I'll be right back..."

((James Wade continued in The Mad and Hungry Dogs))
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Maynard tilted his head and let the smallest of smiles stretch across his face as he observed James enjoy his chicken, nibbling away at what remained of the meal. Whilst his friend ate, he drank, letting the sweetness of the iced tea dance on his tongue and relishing the cool relief that accompanied its journey down his throat. For a moment it was just the two of them enjoying the first proper meal they’d eaten in another person’s company for more than a week, their only focus the food before them and filling their stomachs - with no concern for anything else nor the danger potentially lurking around every corner.

Just having James seated beside him was enough to abate the fears that’d begun to well within Maynard, the boy’s mere presence calming his heart and subduing his anxieties. He was all Maynard had left, and he’d be damned if he wasn’t going to try to enjoy every remaining moment they had together, even if it was in idle silence.

But all good things came to an end, and it wasn’t long before the meal was all but finished and Maynard could feel the weight of countless days of exhaustion bearing down upon him once more. He’d managed a brief dalliance with sleep the previous night, but it hadn’t come easy after everything that’d happened that day, his dreams brimming with the faces of those he’d lost. His eyelids were already beginning to droop closed when he’d murmured he needed to rest to the boy beside him, and it wasn’t long after that he was fast asleep on an opposing bench, shrouded by a light gathering of foliage with his weapons wrapped tightly by his side.

He slept easily for a few hours, comfortable in the knowledge James would be there when he returned from his rest.

When he next awoke he would find James gone.
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Maynard didn’t know how much time had passed when he awoke - it might’ve been ten minutes or ten hours - but thoughts of how much rest he’d managed to accrue slipped away the second he realised James wasn’t anywhere to be seen. He shakily pulled himself up into a seating position, grabbed his sword and his gun with each hand and laying them across his legs as his eyes darted around him, desperate for any sign that James was still around, that he hadn’t left him all alone.

But it was useless.

He was gone, and Maynard knew there was no bringing him back.

He’d upped and left without giving him a word of warning, had broken his promise, had left Maynard without a single ally or friend left in the hell he’d spent the last week trapped within. Maynard exhaled painfully, fingers tightening their grip on their respective weapons as rise-and-fall of his chest began to quicken and tears pricked on his vision, making their family journey down his cheeks as sobs violently wracked his body.

A broken scream tore at his throat and echoed throughout the clearing as he curled into himself, every regret, every emotion, everything that’d happened, sweeping through him like a tornado. There were so many people that he missed, so many people that he’d never see again, people that were gone and wouldn’t come back. And if he didn’t have them, what was the point anymore? What was the point in continuing to fight, struggling onwards, if there was nobody to do it for? Without James, there was nobody left on this island who could care for him, he was sure of it, not after what he’d done, not after he’d taken away Adam.

There was nothing left for him.

No point, not anymore.

((Maynard Hurst continued in A Manic Depressive Named Laughing Boy))
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