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The World Turned Upside Down; Open
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 08:48 PM (1,333 Views)
Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Tara Behzad continued from Prepare to Burn)

So, Tara Behzad: what does it mean to die happy?

It's a question she can't shake, no matter what she does. That sense of mad purpose is fading fast. The pieces don't seem to be lining up, the way they did when she woke up and saw the ocean and saw her flashbangs. She's stumbling through the dark of the labyrinth and the string she's clutching in her hands is unraveling. Or maybe it's her fingers that are unraveling, her self. Her pretensions of understanding.

Cris hadn't asked himself the hard questions. Cris had been baffled--maybe even horrified--by the idea of asking them. Of coming to terms with this place, and what it could do to you. Cris had-

And he had sounded so fucking happy.

She felt that old anxiety, like an itching in her blood that spread to her skin and to her thoughts, so her mind crackled with static and nothing felt still or stable. She felt like gasping. She felt like crying.

So Tara leaned on old habits, while she still had them, while they still mattered. Tara ran.

She took off at a hard pace, her bag bouncing against her back. She adjusted the strap so she was shouldering the weight, steadying it against one hip so it turned and chafed but didn't bounce. She wove her way through the strange compound, surged past the radio tower with barely a glance at the strange structure (she wondered how many poor fools would look to it as some means of escaping the trap, would believe that their captors would possibly leave such hope, if they didn't appropriate it for their own purposes). Her breathing became heavier, until her throat and lips felt parched. She knew there was water in her bag. She wouldn't reach for it.

She was in control. She was. Not of this island. Not of the others around it (control of others, ha, let their captors cling to their own illusions and think they were all dancing on their strings, she knew better she knew they were just one element amidst the chaos, playing their own fool roles). She was her own master. She controlled how she felt, and how she acted. She would not drink because she was thirsty. She would not eat because she was hungry. She would not rest because she was tired. Her body did not dictate terms to her. It didn't. It wouldn't. She was in control. She was in control.

If she wasn't in control, how could she die happy?

She zigzagged up the slopes, sometimes following the natural paths, sometimes plunging up the climbs so that her thighs ached with the strain. So tired, so thirsty, so afraid even now. She felt her wild notions fading as she saw the ocean, so vast and so remote and so indifferent. She felt-

She felt loose ground give way beneath her feet

She slipped and fell. But did the slip cause the fall? Or did she lean into it? Did she feel her balance fading, feel her control fading, and take the plunge? If you walked the plank, was it better to jump, or to be pushed?

When the fall is all that's left

She fell. Or jumped. Or slipped. Or tripped. She fell, hard. Her hands and feet scraped and scrapped and scrambled and could not stop her. She hit the small of her back against a small stone. She caught her collar on a patch of ivy so it almost choked her, before it slipped away and she was falling again.

She briefly took her feet, struggled to keep her momentum, found it slipping away from her and she was plunging down again. In that moment, she thought she saw two human figures down at the base of the slopes.

Down again, rolling on her side. She slowed to a gradual stop, a threshing mess of aches and pains where her senses barely made sense to her.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Grim Wolf
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Groggy. The world was spinning, and her breath was harsh in her chest (she'd hit her solar plexus on an awkward ledge, knocking the wind from her in one fell swoop). She groaned, struggled to rise to her feet, found it was more trouble than it was worth. She slumped back to the ground, felt her neck aching where the collar on her neck had been pulled taut and tight. God, what a fall. Or what a jump. Or what a-

Even she wasn't sure. Had she leaned into the fall? Or not? Had she jumped?

"You alright?"

Tentative voice. Female. Tara turned her head slightly, and the muscles of her neck ached. Punky girl with gorgeous piercings, fellow theater geek, but somehow their schedules never quite linked up. Always working backstage at different times, working make-up at different times, performing...

Well. Hazel, she thought. She was kinda hot.

There was a lanky skeleton of a man looming behind her, slightly blurry. Hazel didn't seem concerned, so either he was real stealthy or they were friendly. Probably the latter, since she'd seen two figures on her way down.

"Nah," Tara grunted, her voice rasping from her lips. "Wouldn't it-" She coughed, struggling to form words in her rough throat. "Wouldn't it be weird if I was?"
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Grim Wolf
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[Exiting now.]

Tara closed her eyes for a moment and let her awareness trickle over her body, parsing through the general sense of aches and pains. Worst seemed to her left arm and her neck where the patch of ivy had caught her. Probably why her voice sounded so raspy.

"Yeah," she said. "Bit bruised." She propped herself up on her elbows, felt a wash of pain and nausea and letit engulf her, relished it, used it to focus herself, anchor her mind as she pushed herself back to proper consciousness. She rose to her feet next. Hazel and the boy behind her seemed decent, but she wasn't gonna risk it. She'd seen more of SotF than she'd been shown. She knew that trust, full trust, was not something she could really allow herself.

She swayed unsteadily on her feet. She forced herself to stand still, even if it hurt worse.

"Okay enough, though," she said.

She glanced towards the tall man in the back when he spoke. "Nah," she said. "I-"

Slipped fell jumped rolled I wanted this I needed this

"-slipped," she said aloud. Then Hazel spoke again. "Yeah," she said. "Alex and Lizzie. Both seem pretty..." Her mouth flickered. "Not alright." She shrugged, looked between them. "I don't know you," she said to the tall man. "I'm Tara."

Movement on the hills. She raised her eyes and saw a figure moving towards them. Her hands reached reflexively for her bag only to find it was no longer on her shoulder. Her eyes flickered back to the slopes, where she saw it clinging to a piece of scrub brush a little ways up.

"Head's up," she said, jerking her head up towards the person on the hill.

Getting too crowded. Too many people. Hazel was fine. Her tall friend, okay. But this stranger? No chance.

She darted forwards as her bruises and throat ached. She grabbed her bag, and flung it over one shoulder. She shot uncertain eyes at the two who'd come to her. "Thanks for helping me," she said. "Good luck."

She took off, slowly at first as her aching body protested. Then she was off and running again, her parched throat aching, her body hurting, her mind wild. Her eyes flickered to her feet.

Jumped? Or fell?

(Tara Behzad continued in St. Patrick's Purgatory)
Edited by Grim Wolf, Oct 8 2016, 12:16 AM.
Want to buy my book? See my short stories? Read my fanfiction? Visit my website!

V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


V4 Players
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