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I Say You Kill Your Heroes And Fly, Fly, Baby Don't Cry; no need to worry because everybody will die
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 04:34 PM (970 Views)
Cicada Days
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All Irene could recall clearly upon wakening were the bindings they’d lashed her down with. Was making them so tight on the joints really called for?

G032 : Irene Djezari

She had to move, and fast! Haul ass, like all up and toss posterior onto a cart and lug it behind her like she was a husky sled dog. No furry intended. But yeah. She’d figured it out the seconds she’d woken. She had to stop something really bad from happening, lest something really bad happen.

Okay, maybe she’d needed a bit after she’d come to, sprawled out jumping jacks over a tiny, calm beach where the waves only lightly prodded at the shore. Sand was rough, coarse, irritating. Got everywhere, which had mandated Irene’s dancing awkwardly in place for about a minute to shake the shower of grainy particles free from the intimate folds of her skirt’s bell. Noah would have been proud if he’d been around to bear witness. Oh shit, Noah. He’d been on the trip too? At least as much as Irene could recall from the attempts to pointedly ignore him on the bus. Maybe, maybe it had been a kid who had just looked like broad shoulders and pretty blonde hair and regret.

Anyways. She'd stood around for a few seconds, rifled around the bag to touch at all the meaningless knick-knacks stuffed within. It had taken her a few moments to reach a conclusion. But she’d quickly stumbled out a plan for from the old two-engine chugger brain was figuring out her w’s and her solitary h: Who, where, what, when, why, how.

Who, well. That was Irene. Standing stock still and pretty with a harsh little zephyr of wind caressing her face for a poignantly irrelevant Hallmark moment.

Where? Irene glanced at the cloud choked sun at a harsh angle before realizing the sun hurt head on- applied directly to the forehead- seeing if she could figure out her east and west. She worked it out then promptly realized that was irrelevant information. Some kinda beach on some kinda shoreline. That was it.

What? A bag full of crap and a gun. The gun, frankly, was also crap.

Why? Well, Irene’s thesis was one she formulated with her arms crossed under her chest and a tisk curling her lip. They were being had. Duped. Bamboozled. Schmekle-dorfed. They were right up there on the periphery, a camera or two chilling on the treeline, suspended from rocks and such. This was all just way too easy. Kids go out on a school trip and just happen to get pulled into the historical antiquity that was an old edgelord series documenting the weakness and cowardice of humanity or whatever. Just a bunch of hashtags and censored stills. Who the hell wrote this script? No wait, fuck, ‘who’ had already been answered as a rhetorical question.

But Irene didn’t buy into it. Within the day people would be shouting it out. ‘Just a prank!’ ‘Gone sexual’! ‘You won’t believe what happens next’! It almost made her feel smug, that she could so handily call the douchebags out on their farce. Puffed up her chest a bit, cold-welded a steel smile right onto her face. But that’s when the realization hit her, like a punch right to that douchey grin. Others might buy into it, just through pure statistics. How many kids had gotten onto that bus? Hundred, seven, give or take, she’d done a headcount out of boredom while the wheels on the bus had been revving. The warm up for going round-and-round.

And the weapons were definitely just plastic fakes, but people could still get hurt. Maybe some dork would engage another in fisticuffs to avenge their girl or some other bullshit machismo thing.

So that was the ‘how’. Get out there and tell the others her revelations, handed from on high like the Ten Commandments. Built of stone, like Irene’s brain.

The bag was heavy, it rattled a lot with the thick and still totally fake gun half-hanging out of the sloppily half-open zipper. She toted it over her shoulder as best she could, resisting the omnipresent urge to awkwardly stumble due to the uneven footing. Again, sand was loathsome. The barrel of the gun shyly nuzzled into her hip, icy metallic presence heavy even at a gentle touch. Man. Realistic piece they had here.

She kept her eyes peeled, on the ball, other metaphors. A boy melted into the horizon after she cleared a kink in line of sight. The beach already seemed to end right past him. That was a small amount of ‘more grains in this beach of sand than stars in the universe’. He stood up, and she recognized from a distance.

Jeremy Frasier, sometimes smart, sometimes annoying, but always sort of a friend at the very least. One of those faces you smiled at, if only because you didn’t really know how else to respond. A smile to respond, when he’d say those things that would rile her up, something straight out of the mouths of old dead white people that she couldn’t bear to acknowledge even though they were smart. On impulse her trigger finger stuck itself into the air, along with the rest of her hand and attached arm, for a violent wave.

“Jeremy!” She shouted. She rapidly trudged the rest of the distance between them, nearly stumbling into a face-wards fall at least a few times. “Jeremy, Jeremy!” A few more times for good measure. Irene liked being sure, at least about things that mattered.

“Jeremy.” She arrived in his airspace, only a bit tired out. Her honed body heaved a bit, for maybe a second, then smoothed itself out into poise and grace. Well, maybe just poise. Her periphery vision caught the vague polygons of a distant camera swiveling. “Looks like someone’s watching us. Whatever. Okay.” She held up her hands, pulsing them back and forth in an attempt to make her body language work on her behalf.

“It is important, very important, that we don’t do anything stupid. This is all just a misunderstanding.”

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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Irene saw another fake on Jeremy’s finger. They could have been fighting there and then, making those triggers click hollow, if Irene had been any less intelligent. And Jeremy, obviously. He was also fairly good with the thing in his skull. Wrap the two of them up and call them smarties.

His face seemed to set into something firm, rigid around the bone. Weird. She had this picture already extant, of talking over crappy school lunches and textbooks split on the spine. The faces never looked so granite, stoically chiseled, as they did now. She paused, hesitated. Jeremy didn’t even seem to want to agree, which seemed totally illogical. Like, seriously? Too obvious for you, Mr. ‘I’m Smart Enough To Quote Dead People In Togas With Oppressive Societies’? It wasn’t quite the picturesque scene of genesis and eureka Irene had anticipated. Not enough ‘you’re right!” or ‘how could I have been so foolish?’, with hang wringing and facepalming being optional but welcome.

“Uh…” Had taken Irene a second to come up with that one. She followed up with a hesitant swivel of the eye towards the ocean. Great strides towards proving her thesis, indeed. FInally, she found her voice, somewhere buried under the slop of her own primordial drool. Her eyes rotated back to find his at discomforting speed:

“I didn’t see anything. I was looking around when I heard the gun, then Mr. Graham looked pretty dead but… you know. Pyrotechnics.” However she had actually meant that, whatever she had been envisioning that had made the erupted head wound of man fake, she failed to further elaborate. “I wasn’t even really paying attention to the guy talking.” She’d been glancing at the ponytail dude packing the ‘my penis isn’t big enough’ firepower.

Yawn, though. They really needed to work on their staging if they were going to convince anyone. Even Irene could have hazarded something better with a few minutes and the theater room. Of course, Jeremy didn’t believe, so Irene would have to explain, bear false witness.

True witness though. Irene was commanded, therefore she checked that out. Whose voice was that?

“See, this is totally lame! They can’t even get the setting right!” She exclaimed, loud enough for Danny to hear, too loud for Jeremy to hear comfortably. “Survival of the fittest didn’t have swamp monsters, real or Scooby Doo level villains in sushi wrap and stripey sneakers and…”

She trailed off, giggling. It really was like another school day. Jeremy was cute- not in the awkward sense- there was some dude she barely knew in the distance and everything somehow seemed fine. As it was supposed to be, and would be when Irene got everyone to stop assuming the world was going to end because of some dude with a gas mask and a gun.
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Sheesh. Jeremy was loud all of a sudden.

Really was another school day, just one awkwardly situated on the beach that didn't exist in Kingman. Next thing Bradley would burst in and make an unwelcome yet painfully funny joke or Darius would get his other gaming devices stolen. Hm. Sounded like good follow up for the day after this one. Irene stored it away into her mental to-do list, just fast enough to promptly lose it again. She'd be dredging it up to forget again when it was relevant.

Wait! Irene recognized that face under the globules of dripping fern and grass. Figures she'd also be stereotypical failing the whole facial and vocal recognition thing. In her defense, there had been a bunch of stuff in the way. Some of that stuff was busy splattering over sand now, so Irene knew, and promptly felt a bit of heat rise to her cheeks in spite of herself.

Danny Brooks. He was cute, in a different connotation of the word cute where the hormones got all jumpy and persnickety and tried to signal biological pathways that screamed 'release the ovum' louder than Poseidon had ever dared call for his minions. Man, this one was a blast from the past that punched her in the gut hard enough to distract from the crick on her spine where she'd been laid on a rocky beach for what felt like hours. Danny had hit on her a few times back when she'd still not known the Cochise halls like the back of her hand. Uh, implying she knew them now. Anyways, she'd promptly rejected him, though not really on purpose. Vocal chords did weird things under duress, they were brittle.

"Doesn't seem like Bradley's kinda deal. There would be more inappropriately scantly clad girls if it were his doing."

Like that. Vocal chords did things like that.

Everyone was staring at the guns. Putting hands up in the air. Wasn't even a sweet tune to get those palms facing skyward for. Irene rolled her eyes, and suddenly was smacking the unyielding steel broadside of her assigned prop like it was the posterior she was supposed to be hauling. Flesh on metal sounded so weird. Like someone was overclocking a computer, but wetter. She continued to wear a healthy bit of blush, made itchy by the ocean breeze, as she insisted with all the whiny charisma she could fail to muster:

"Guns are fake. Dunno what the two of you are on, unless we wanna just pretend any of this is actually real in which case I'd rather pretend I was a princess and y'all were my subjects, thanks and thank you. First royal edict, get those hands down and stuff." Irene glanced away a bit nervously as she tried to command Danny, her lips suddenly a bit pressed together. Clang clang clang went her gun. And whatever heavy thing was bouncing around in her head.
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Uh wow, he'd actually done it. The purr of a swiveling camera even seemed to mark the occasion, record it for posterity. The princess and her subject. What was that old dead wise but decidedly white person saying? First time for everything?

Like a first time to make Jeremy eat his words.

“You’re not doing that great of a job at convincing me, here.” And here Irene thought their discussion was back lockerside for a second. That was how Jeremy always rebutted her when they'd joust philosophies in the hallways. Heaven forbid the times he'd actually bring evidence up!

"C'mon man, even Danny' agrees with me. Or I agree with him, either way. That's a two out of three, you're the inferior side of the ratio yo." How was that evidence for ya? One didn't argue with math, except in the form of pleading and entreating the textbook when all hope, all calculator battery power was lost. "I mean maybe it's not Bradley, as smart as he is with words he might be too stupid otherwise. But would you put it past, like, some unholy amalgamation of Darius Fiyori and Isabel?" Man. Even trying to envision that aborted DBZ throwback was a hell of a case of vertigo and nausea. As quasi sort-of lovable as they all were they were terrible problematic people. They were probably on this island right now, as Irene spared a second to think about them probably being on this island right now. Were probably still terrible problematic, in that order.

Note to self. Find those people fast. That meant moving away from this spot fast, because no amount of craning and pulling at the neck was going to make the faces attached to those names make their debut in Irene's field of vision. If only life were that easy.

“We seem to be on some sort of beach..."

"Uh, duh? And they call me the derp." 'They' being the aggregate population of Kingman, give or take the population of Vegas. Irene tisked and suddenly clenched her fist around her little scale-model prop of a legwarmer. With a single pump of the arm, a single pump of the pump, and a self-admittedly badass display of her own 'I am Irene hear me rawr in fluent dinosaur', the Mossberg was suddenly saluting the sea. Barrel staring down the shore, and some unfortunate scavenging seagull who quickly fluttered away. Sorry little guy! Didn't mean to scare ya! You were just on the only cardinal axis that didn't involve a Cochise High School student's entrails. Now, normally this was the part where Irene explained what she was doing. Presented her hypothesis and the intended methodology of testing in awkwardly gratuitous detail and poor attempts at jokes. But. Eh. She was happy to maintain her thesis of insulting Jeremy. After he saw how right she was that'd be another person to capitulate to the prince-

A gun was fired. If you asked Irene she'd say that shit was pretty loud.

Reaction was sort of a moot point. She sort of just toppled, the rigid force of the shotgun erupting throwing the butt of the handle into her chest like a club. She didn't have time to make an ass of herself with additional pointless flailing and gesticulating. She just fell onto her behind with the definite crunch of sand, one she couldn't hear when the world to her was silent as she was.

Her thoughts on the other hand were loud, but mostly in the form of 'ouch'.
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Everything was still really super loud. All she could hear of the outside world was the warbling motion of lips she dazedly stared at.

Meanwhile back then, like a minute ago. The sound of beach surf had been pouring bubbly over sandstone and lime. What had it been? Some arbitrary amount of w’s and h’s. She’d forgotten that she’d had an extra ‘w’, an extra ‘h’ at hand. Literally, her hands. And a weapon, fingers non indicatively trembling as she’d stuffed some kind of mini traffic cone into the big slot on top of the gun. It had been a perfect fit, somehow that had seemed rewardingly pleasant. Like a job well done, a pat on the back, and a game of League to unwind after a long day.

And then she’d done everything else. The dancing, the tisk-ing, the genius-ing, the walking. The shooting.

With twenty something hindsight loading a fake gun and firing it was one of those things she shouldn’t have done or allowed herself to have thought of getting done but she had ultimately done because, well. She was Irene. And Jeremy was Jeremy, Danny was Danny. When their lips moved all she assumed she heard were the things they usually liked to say. Jeremy would say something annoyingly true and Danny would say something annoyingly seductive. Only part that seemed off was that she’d never been deafened like this she’d post something stupid. Some close calls with screaming teachers, maybe. But no, the mushy, squishy, ‘when did I jump into a pool in the last five seconds?’ feels here were alien. But like any other consequence it at least had the decency to go away fast when Irene decided she didn’t like it.

“... You okay?” Where had the rest of what he’d said gone? Had he even said anything else? The noise only seemed to come in at a trickle, like Irene had been turning up that bass, etc.

“I mean yeah, totes.” She rose up, with his hand, in spite of it, either way. Almost immediately there was a spring in her step. The tresses of her ponytail flippantly bounced behind her as she began to chase down whatever was left of the thing she’d just shot.

“Surprised a shotty blank could sound that loud.” Wait that was a shotgun she’d fired, right? Hell if Irene knew anymore about guns than she needed to to insist ‘blanket ban them and chase the NRA out of the country’ to any friend that would listen. Envision the dusty old rifles and bayonets just sitting there, snuggly tucked into blankets and cots. “I mean I get it though, you have to pour a lot of extra effort into really selling it. Sure they’ve left a ton of holes in the premise alone, but at least the mechanics were on point.” Each syllable was truncated with a brisk slap of her soles. She knelt into the scarring her gun had left on the earth and began to dig. Had to find the evidence that would have ‘em all saying ‘and I would have gotten away with if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!’. It was just a few fingertips away.

“So it’s probably not a Cochise kid, or they were just plants or something. Literally plants, the way some of ‘em-...” Her fingers closed over metal. Little pellets. Stung like nettles against the skin.

You know.

If that seagull had still been there, Irene suddenly realized it would have been gone. On the molecular level. The swollen bruise on her breast she only now felt the dull throb of said everything else that didn’t really need to be said.


Irene glanced back, her neck swiveling so fast she was looking at them before she saw them.

Danny looked like he’d seen a ghost. Had a hand on that thing on his neck. Irene suddenly felt something pressing a bit insistently on her own paper mache collar bones. And Jeremy had that look in his eyes that people liked to have when Irene had done something she’d later regret. Like a smile, but they weren’t just up and putting it on their face where it belonged. For some whatever reason. Her eyebrow furrowed, her lips began to bulb into a pout.

She needed to hear something.

“Yo,” the princess commanded rather impetuously. Her golden curls had set themselves into a singular mass, unmoved by the ever prevailing breeze rushing by. “Jeremy, say something smart. Danny, say something cute.”
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Irene forgot to remember to forget. There was still a big chunky smooth metal thing right there on her neck, the whole time, as she spoke. She swore somehow that she could hear the rusty nail on chalkboard swivel of a camera in the distance. That definitely was not possible. Irene also forgot to forget to remember that fact.

Danny continued to look like a walking corpse. Like he was parchedly entertaining the idea that one of his famous ‘two-minute’ girlfriends would send a gun and bullets his way. Made sense. Any girl could have wandered the halls of Cochise with any old amount of bullets strung over their hip. They really had to get some gun control laws on the board in these parts. Stop idiots from putting hands on those rifled barrels. The free hand Irene hadn’t noticed was still on the gun relinquished it, so it rattled like a saber against her thigh. It was otherwise held in place, kinda stuck to her. The other hand seemed to keep it’s hold on the sensuous curve of the handle. Somehow it seemed familiar. That wasn’t quite right, but Irene accepted it for now. Hug the fake close and all.

Danny pulled out a CD player. Made sense. Danny said something. It sounded like it was being forced through the teeth. What the heck was a Four Kids, anyways? She swore she’d heard and misunderstood this joke before.

Jeremy pulled out a gun. Made not so much sense. But. Probably better a gun in his hands than some of the other kids in Cochise at the moment. Jeremy said something. More IV Kids and stuff. Man. Irene strained for a moment to see if she could make the reference make sense but it sorta just sluiced through the extra-big folds of her brain, all drippy and melty. Besides, how was a ‘fist spring thing’ smart? Accurate terminology, Jerebear! They hadn’t taken three something years of English for…



What was this, anyways? Irene looked up to the sky, away from the people she knew and into a sky she swore she knew as well. It wasn’t hot, dry enough. It was unfamiliar, an expanse of gray smoker’s puffs drifting into the horizon. Didn’t rain so often in Kingman. She looked back down. Scanned faces. Looked familiar. Skin and flesh and bone.

Suddenly Irene’s feet were taken away by fancy, sans the convenience of flight. She bounded in twos, skipping every other one. Her hair continued to flatly refuse to bounce as she surged on, charging the spot between the two boys where she’d left her bag with the random number stapled or taped or something onto it. For a moment she’d considered jumping over the bag but suddenly it seemed like a stubborn fixture to sit in her other hand that didn’t have a big gun to keep it company. Something to hold close as she dared.

“Think I gotta go now guys. You know, stuff. Cya!” Response was moot, she was already gone. Not quite a run, but the princess who liked to call herself Irene burned glass out of sand beneath her feet all the same, drifting away in an awkward-looking fashion as if it were any other day where she would do the exact same.

Move and move and move some more. All with that energy she was well known for.

((Irene Djezari continued in Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools...))
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