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All at Once, the Consequences;; It's All Coming Back around, All at Once.
Topic Started: Sep 3 2014, 01:53 PM (1,009 Views)
Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Life, bleary, washed out, snaps back into focus.It all makes sense and you are finally being punished.You can't think of a time you've ever been happier."
(Ami Flynn continued from Awaiting fate.)

It took five minutes for Ami to realize what she had done.

When life snapped back into focus and she recalled having just killed the only friend she had left, Ami Flynn dropped. She fell to the ground. Then she remembered that she left a bunch of stuff in the house but she didn't bother to get back up. The only reason she lugged most of that shit around was because she was afraid to drop them. A vague fear that she could not comprehend no matter how hard she tried. An enigma. An apt description for the dunce Ami Flynn, that was for sure?

But if she couldn't be bothered to take all of her stuff then why take the big gun? The one she started out with? The one she only used to bash Sara Corlett's head in like a water melon and had never actually shot anyone with? The one that weighed a ton and was weighing her down since day one?

...

The Frankenstein gun sat in front of her. It sat there for god knows how long. The two pistols sat further away. She threw those in a fit of rage. She regretted doing it, it and her own stupidity, but all the same it made her feel better. That was all Ami cared about. Feeling better after she fucking killed Ruby.

Ami knew it was personally driven. Ruby was an idiot. Bringing Sara up like that, she knew that was why Ruby ditched her. Ruby was disgusted by Ami and she was too nice to admit it. But Ami couldn't feel bitter. Because after all of the bullshit after Brian's death, after she ditched her in the Freighter, even after the suicide attempt... she really liked Ruby. She did not like her enough to sleep with her. But Ruby wasn't like that. She was a good person deep down and that was why Ami could not forget it, forget her, cross the street, just like all of the others.

Hindsight. 20/20. What was it with hindsight? Why couldn't she just forgo hindsight? Pretend it did not exist?

That was all Ami cared about, after all. Distracting herself so she didn't have to think about how much of a horrible person she was. But hindsight was there so she could not ignore how much of a horrible person she was.

And she was a horrible person. That was all but certain.

Ami was alone. She did not know for how long. It was still light out, and Ami did not move from her spot on the ground. Time was relative and there wasn't another announcement. So she assumed it was not long in the grand scheme of things.

Eventually her hands became restless. To ward off the voices that did not exist, Ami searched one of the bags, the only one marked 'G'. She found a cigarette at the bottom and it was as if she found a waterfall in The Sahara. Bent but still usable. Just the one, though. She decided it was a perfect time. After all, how much time did she have until someone walked over and murdered her?

She pulled out the lighter. Click, inhale, one, two, three, exhale.

Not long.

There was no crack or snap of a tree branch. Just a pair of wet crinkles in the distance, emphasized by the abundance of silence. She waited until they were closer. Then she turned to look. She didn't say anything right away. She just glanced at the figure in the distance, face blank.

"I see you're doing well for yourself."

It wasn't a hallucination. Not a corpse looking to start a conversation. No, it was real this time. She remembered what Joe said, remembered the Rapier. It proved that she wasn't seeing things. She turned her head away and didn't bother to look back. Whatever happened, happened.

... When nothing happened, Ami pulled the cigarette out of her mouth and exhaled. She lowered herself, stretched, legs straight out, propped up by shaking arms, cigarette between right index and middle fingers.

"They're giving me an award, you know. It's pretty exciting. I took two yesterday; can't tell you which one they thought was was 'better'. I tied with Hansel though. So that must mean something."

A quick drag, too quick. Ami coughed into her one arm, caught the cigarette in her other hand, lit tip first. She gasped, then coughed a second time.

"Duh - D-Dunno what I'll do with the award. Maybe I'll get - " Another phlegmy cough. "G-Get it framed. Hang it in my room next to all of my 'Presidential Education Awards'."

Ami shrugged and looked down at her bloodcaked dress shirt. Then she finally turned her head back, pivoting her waist with it. When she smiled, it was not forced. It was not awkward, or patronizing, or filled with malice. It was strangely warm. It was the kind Mallory and her uncle Dillon always wrangled out of her.

"How's the nose?"
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Katarina Konipaski continued from Shallow Grave))

She stepped carefully around the place, scanning for threats or tools or another chance to slash another piece—one part of two dozen? One dozen, even?—off the time left on the clock. The usual fare. And the latest lesson in an endless string tossing around inside her head. The shame and embarrassment and the spiteful resolve it brought with it.

Something peeked around the edge of a tree. A couple guns on the ground, the typical mess of blood and trash and supplies strewn half-obscured around the scene. A trap, or a bloodbath. The same sort of thing had crossed her mind more than once on the island. Find a good, tight hallway, draw a good bead, scatter some bags or water or knives like breadcrumbs in the line for fire, and then wait for someone to take the hook. She'd even grabbed Steven's bag for it, though it had never really materialized. Maybe she was losing her touch. People might think that, but let them. It took a delicate touch to coast under the blanket of obscurity this late, but she'd been more concerned about getting there in the first place.

And now the power of friendship was looming up ahead of her like a freaking wall, twisting and coiling itself tighter in the closer she got. And she was going to run at it and break through it with a sword, because where else was there safety to be found? There was a wolf at her heels, and death by committee to her other side. She shook her head. Keep it in the game.

Gingerly she slid around, and her body primed itself for action before she even knew it. Those feet that hove into view. Those legs. Her face hurt in sympathetic memory. A hope. A dream. She squeezed the grip of her sword. One way or another. Her eyes darted from building to building, nook to cranny to nest.

The body moved. Turned and looked. And snarked.

It was rare for Katarina to find herself at a loss for words, but there she was. And there Ami was. Regarding her with little more interest than a light breeze, or a butterfly flitting by, or some other fleeting distraction. Didn't even seem to care. Katarina felt a strange sort of resentment at that. Not at all the kind she'd expected, full of fire and spite and seething hatred. Really, what it mostly felt like was a simple schoolyard slapfight.

"Killing me," she said without preamble. If Ami wanted to talk, then let her talk, she thought, and wondered if there was ever a time she actually would have believed that. The wall wouldn't crumble by itself. But if she was mixing metaphors, then at least she was wearing her lifejacket.

"Where's your partner in crime?"
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Ami glanced at Katarina like a drunk glances at someone just walking in; showing mild curiosity at first. Then she looked away again and forgot all about her.

Ami could have laughed at Katarina's comment. Could have. She didn't, though. Instead, she waited for the slice. The pain. She remembered the pain in her leg days ago. Ami expected it. Joe said she had a sword. The award, she figured. And if the announcement was any indicator, Katarina put it to good use already. So Ami closed her eyes, settled back and waited.

Katarina asked her a question.

Ami wasn't surprised. After Joachim, after Ruby, after Maynard, nothing surprised her. She kept her eyes closed and let out a deep sigh.

"I broke her." Ami said. "I have a habit of doing that."

She wasn't smiling anymore.

"You were going to kill me, right? Why else would you be sneaking up on me?"

... Ami was about to tell her to just do it. Just do it. But she remembered saying that exact same thing back at the hospital. That exact same thing. Something about that surprised her and she said nothing.
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Ami just... languished. Again Katarina thought of all the ways she'd supposed their eventual meeting, if it happened at all, would resemble something more like a scene from an action movie. Running, screaming, slashing, shooting, blood and broken glass and shattered dreams. It was a hard vision to shake, embellished as it was, by the passing time and the endless drudgery that occupied the space between those brief moments of terror.

But she was too practical for disappointment. On one hand, sure, it was the end of something. An idea to dream about while she lay curled in corners and holes in the ground. There would be one less target of rage and hatred and profanity and whatnot to imagine. All the various flicks and curves of her blade that would carve flesh from bone. Ways that maybe, just a little bit, aimed to maim rather than simply execute. Days ago she'd call herself a heretic for that, of course. A monster. And though part of her lamented all the loss it represented, there was no denying that she'd picked up quite a bit else to be going on with in the meantime. Ami and Bella seemed like a simple sidequest now compared to the self-tightening knot she had yet to untangle. And there was a simplicity to it that appealed to her better part. A safety. If Ami held no tricks up her sleeve, at least, she thought, but the sword on her shoulder didn't really care.

So she let Ami's comment pass by without notice, but her inquiry... yes. There wasn't any doubt at all what her answer was, and she didn't have to spell it out for anyone. Even if it meant the day was a little more dull.

"I unplugged the neon sign just for you. Nobody else around here I have to be careful around, for sure."

She raised the sword off her shoulder and gave a short, scoffing laugh as it swung down to point diagonally down at the ground.

"Now here's one for you. Do you want me to?"
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Ami actually laughed, once. There was no humor in it.

"I'm flattered."

She left it at that.

Ami turned to look at KK, hoping to see a reaction. She saw the sword, same one Joe told her about. Ami stared at the sword for a moment.

"... I don't care." Ami turned away. "I just don't care."

There was a pause.

"I promised myself I was going to kill you. Hansel. too, but mostly you. But then I shot my last friend on this island and walked away like it was nothing."

Every time she stopped talking, there was something in the back of her throat that urged her on. She didn't understand it.

"I let you live and you went and killed again. That's the only reason I wanted to find you. It's bad enough that I've killed a bunch of people, I didn't need you adding to that pile. I should have just killed you." She closed her eyes. She forgot about the cigarette. "... I should have killed myself. Maybe then Maynard would still be alive. He..."

Ami grunted.

"God, why am I even telling you this? It's not like you're going to listen." She turned to look at KK. "Like - You know there's not going to be a happy ending for you. You shrug it off now, but what are you going to do when you get home and everyone's pissed? You can't play the victim card when there's cameras everywhere."
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She shrugged. "Cut my hair, buy a hat, move to a different state."

If that was flippant, the entire scene was nothing short of surreal. Days ago she couldn't have imagined holding the conversation she was in the middle of. Days before that, the entire setup wasn't even a moment's imagining in her mind. Go back further still and show herself the scene where she stood with a glimmering blade and blood-soaked hands and the will and the drive to bring them both to bear on her friends, and her mind would reject it from sheer absurdity.

"No, I can't go be someone else. Dunno why I'm telling you that, incidentally. Nobody will understand, of course. I'll have my monsters to fight against. Why did you take that gamble, they'll scream, but if it works in the end... last time everyone just happened to get off scot-free because they played the other side and somehow the odds flipped and favored them. Why couldn't you be so stupid as them, that'll be the question, and I can say it gave me nightmares, but their kid's still dead."

She toyed with the sword. Innocently, as if it were a yardstick.

"So I know when I walk through the door, and I smell like death and I'm a freaking pariah, my family might be waiting or just deciding how to disown me. But someone's gonna jump into my arms like a freaking lightning bolt. A fuzzy little one, with tabby marks and a fluffy tail. Even if my parents wish they'd never had me, Mr. Paws will lick the blood off my fingers."

She shrugged. Her lips tremble in a wavy smile, and pain shot through her nose from the pressure on her tear glands. She was ranting. Ami was going to die. By whose hand she didn't really care any more. But it was liberating just to put it out there, no matter how long it would last. The solutions to her fears and her insecurities weren't all just tears in the rain. Even if Ami hated her for it. She sure hated Ami for it.

"You wanna go mix it up with someone, go ahead. I can be decent. Means letting you go off and die somewhere else, really, but whatever. I think I can use the practice."
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"... Fuck you Katarina."

Ami turned her whole body and stared straight into the beast's eyes. The beast wearing human skin.

"Fuck you and your stupid cat."

She actually expected Katarina to just kill her. She certainly wasn't going to ask her. Will to live aside, Ami still had an ounce of pride left. A voice in the back of her head told Ami to grab a fistful of dirt and chuck it in Kat's face the pick it up, you win, do it. But, no, not now. Even if she had the spine, not after Ruby.

Kat wasn't going to pounce, no matter how many times she shook the feather over her head. Ami Flynn rose. She tugged at the collar of her bloody shirt, preened her hair.

"You know how to be decent?" Ami just used up her last laugh. Shame. "Katarina, nobody with half a brain is going to trust you, not after Rosemary or Steven. If they don't attack you or turn tail, they'll just nod and smile and talk out of their ass. They'll say whatever you want to hear. Anything to stay alive. You'll eat it up, too, because if you were as 'decent' as you claim, I wouldn't be standing here talking to you."

Ami dropped the bullshit. No more lies. Nothing but the truth. After a pregnant pause punctuated by a glance at a nearby camera, Ami let out deep, bellowing sigh, a sigh that shook her to the very core.

"Do you want to know the real reason I let you live?"
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Katarina's muscles flexed like the fine steel she held as Ami turned and rose. It would take just an instant to spill Ami out over the ground. Not even the time it took to blink. It was all there, coiled in her wrists and in her forearms and in her mind. But Ami was playing her own game. Patting and smoothing and straightening her clothes like she could leave anything but a flayed monstrosity as a corpse. And she knew the answer to her own question now, for the same reason Ami had seen her own answered without words. If Ami was looking for a win at the very end of it all... try it, she thought. Because Ami could win and Katarina wouldn't lose. If she even won at all.

She'd found a razor fragment of truth, though. Katarina had to give her that. Sharp enough to make her bleed excuses and blathering into her own mind. Digging her own wound deeper. Trying to justify attacking the delicate sway and balance of alliance with a freaking bulldozer. It would have worked, of course, with a tweak of circumstances, just like it almost had before. And it didn't. And she could too count them all, she thought in the spirit of the staircase, and numbered them in her mind and forgot about Lana. Her cheeks flushed pink.

The corners of her mouth twitched a bit while Ami cast her bait. Dumped it, really. You'd choke the fish that way. But she tried not to flinch or spasm as she answered. Keep herself together for just a half a minute against the compulsion.

"Changed what decent means, then?" she said, and it was rhetorical and baiting all the same. "That's how wretched you wanna be, now?"

Ami's haymaker was ready to fly, and she was asking permission for it. Stand right there, Ami said, because she knew Katarina would want to test her punch. Go ahead, Katarina thought, because there wasn't anything Ami could say to twist Katarina's victory into a loss.

"Know what, sure. Hit me with it."
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She didn't respond right away. Ami hesitated, then she spun towards the rifle on the ground. She hit it with the tip of her shoe.

"This is the gun they gave me." She picked it up by the stock, left it to hang by her side. "I tested it out in the woods. Turned a tree trunk into swiss cheese. I didn't tell Mira that when I let her hold onto it... back at the hospital."

Ami turned back to Katarina. Her voice quivered.

"Y-You know, when you told me that whole spiel about how it isn't fair that killing's so easy... I wanted to laugh. It all sounded ridiculous. I want to take it at face value paint you as some nut and wave it all off. I've tried, too, but I know that'd be missing the point."

There were tears in her eyes; she was smiling; her free hand squeezed into a fist; her voice was gray; Ami Flynn was an emotional Frankenstein. She was running the gamut, all at once, brick on the pedal, asleep in the back, on a collision course with rock bottom.

"I understood what you were getting at. Because I thought those exact same things when I found this gun."

Her body was cold and she wanted to throw up. There was nothing in her stomach. The psychological part of her wished she had given herself up to Ruby the night before. Maybe then her hands wouldn't be shaking and her legs wouldn't have had the consistency of jelly.

"I've had this gun since day one, literal overkill and I haven't shot a single soul with it. I've considered it. It'd make things a lot more easy. Just mow everyone down. But I can't. I just can't. I won't let myself. The only time I willed myself to pull the trigger was when someone attacked a friend and I... I was in a bad place."

The filter was crushed between her fingers. Ami frowned. She flicked the butt with her index finger.

"But deep down? I know that, had I just swallowed my pride and let my head do the thinking... I could have done it. I could have been you -- killing people without remorse and claiming to be in the right. And while that's goes against everything I believe in, what scares me most is that you helped me realize all of this..."

She still didn't answer the question. The question she had posed herself. It had to be her, after all. Katarina didn't care. Nobody cared. Only she cared.

"... You were right. I was acting retarded. I killed someone and I was letting it eat away. That's why I latched onto Mira. I needed someone to help cleanse me of my sins. Everything I've done here I've done to save face. That's all. That's why I let you live."

Ami stopped. Straightened. Brought the gun up. Then she left it on the ground, at Katarina's feet.
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Thanks," she said simply when the flash of panic that rose with the barrel of the gun had subsided.

For a lot of things.

She didn't touch the gun. Not yet, at least. There would be plenty of time for that. More time, perhaps, than there ever could have been otherwise. For the moment, she shouldered the sword, gave Ami a good look up and down. Still she couldn't feel much more than the mildest disappointment that Ami was going to die screaming in the next day. Or maybe she'd go out silently, silently, which was even worse.

"You know who I'm gonna look for, right?" She gestured vaguely at the weapon that sat between them, twitched her brow and cursed silently. "If that even matters."

The last part was a statement, but it was also a question. Probably she could figure it out on her own, but she had more questions—and more distractingly, answers—buzzing around in her brain than she hardly knew what to do with.
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Katarina did not question what Ami was doing. And she was really, really thankful for that. She didn't want to explain why. She didn't mention how she did not want Hansel to take it. Nor did she talk about how she was going in to the shopping center and she probably wasn't going to come out. Better to just give it to someone who she hated but would use it than give it to someone she liked who would let it sit idle. Katarina would not make the same mistake Ami did. That was for certain. Katarina probably knew all of this already, or, at least, Ami assumed she did.

Her face was blank when Katarina thanked her. She said nothing because there was nothing to be thankful for. There was no long monologue dripping with self-hatred. No laughing or mean comments. All of those were gone. It was odd -- taking all of her frustrations on Katarina provided her with the catharsis she wanted.

Katarina asked Ami if she knew who she was going to look out for.

"She's not the girl I knew in high school," Ami said, realizing the strange irony, if one could even call it irony. "So no. It doesn't matter."

Instead of pulling out the belt of bullets, Ami dropped Frankenstein's Crypt at Katarina's feet. No more weight, other than her tattered bag. Her emotional baggage, however, still clung to her. She could feel it, even then. In fact, the weight increased tenfold since they started talking. Light shoulders, heavy conscious. She hated it. But she knew Hansel would provide her with the catharsis she needed. So she swallowed it. Choked it down. Pretended there was nothing wrong for once in her life.

"I'm going to take everything else." Ami said. "We're not going to see each other again, so... bye."

Katarina Konipaski was no friend of hers. So she did not smile or wave when she turned and collected her things.

She hoped her parents would find it in them to forgive her. She prayed for her death to be quick and painless. But she knew there was no point. Hoping, Praying. No point. Because either God didn't exist or He wasn't listening. She was falling, had been since Day 1 and the only reason she wanted to go to the shopping center was the shot at petty, selfish revenge. Ami Flynn was going to burn. And if she couldn't save herself from that... She didn't know if she could live knowing that. She didn't know anything anymore. And so it must be. Ami took her stuff and headed in the direction of the shopping center.

(Ami Flynn continued in Love and Marriage.)
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"See you in Hell," Katarina didn't say, and stared at the monstrosity of a weapon that lay before her as Ami walked away. She felt almost like a little kid anxious to play with some toy, standing there and trying to act patient, trying not to twitch and fidget and run through all the little spasms that were her toxic comfort. Her eyes fell on the butt of Ami's cigarette tossed carelessly onto the pavement, and for a moment she did want a proper goodbye after all.

Sometime, she'd known, back before it all began—and by sometime she meant within the fortnight, maybe even that weekend—she'd be taking the mental images of each of her classmates that would spring up as the most recent on file any time she mused back over her highschool years. She hadn't known then as she tossed and rolled beneath her covers the night before the trip that it had already happened for some. And for others, they'd live forever as they'd died. Screaming, bloody, flayed open like a fish. A proper memory for Ami would be nice, she thought, but she didn't look up at her retreating form.

She smiled a little, shook her head, glanced around for any little glints of glass that gave away the spots where the world's eyes were hidden. If they didn't think she was crazy already, she thought, and for once she felt like saying something to them all. Lay it all out, from A to B to murder, because she could laugh and scoff and turn her shoulder but that was the world that had to receive her again. They'd caught enough second-hand, but they didn't really know. What people said, what people did, the personal bomb and the stench of death and the dice she'd rolled. A feeling almost of panic came with a thousand pre-empted questions, and then with a sudden decisiveness she bent and picked up the weapon and dumped it in her bag. The gun looked like something German people would shoot at French people over a litter of craters and bodies and barbed wire. The ammunition, enough for an entire trench full.

But first things first. Before she hit the trenches, she'd have to get out of no-man's land.

((Katarina Konipaski continued in Multishot))
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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