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The World Turned Upside Down; Open
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 08:48 PM (1,203 Views)
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((B039 - Jordan Green - Start))

Jordan had been running for a while. Okay, it was more of a terrible mix between a run and a walk given the speed he had been going at, but he was far away from wherever he had found himself awake and that was all that really mattered to him right now. He finally stopped capable of going no further at the moment, slumping to a sorry heap on the ground at the base of the slopes.

Jordan heaved horrendously, nausea overwhelming him, the physical and mental exertions too much for him too handle. The smell was horrendous and despite his body aching in a million different places, he stood up, if only to get away from the smell if his own sick, before collapsing back on the ground a few metres away.

It had made sense at the time, when he had woken up the only things on his mind had been the video, Mr Graham corpse, and the fact that the surprisingly young looking man who called himself Danya had wanted them to kill each other. The bag, the collar, everything confirmed where he was, and when he heard someone moving about, he had freaked out, thinking about how he needed to get out of there.

And so he had run.

Now of course, there were different thoughts on his mind, like how he couldn’t breathe and how his muscles were screaming. Running was bad. He wasn’t made for running, and if he had his own way he probably wanted to never run ever again. But it wasn’t a surprise that he had freaked out right? It would take someone ridiculous to be okay in this situation, someone absolutely insane. People had died, people were probably dying, and he had been dumped on some godforsaken island in some forlorn part of the world where he would lead a short sad life before being unceremoniously shanked or shot and left to bleed to death in a ditch.

He shouldn’t have been here. He wasn’t supposed to be here. Obviously the terrorists had made a mistake because this was not supposed to happen. Even if they were anywhere as precise as their previous abductions showed, they’d clearly made a mistake this time around. Jordan Green was a junior and he wasn’t supposed to be here. They were supposed to have targeted senior trips, weren’t they? The whole thing seemed to be a deranged joke on the part of some sick man, which was probably the entire point of this affair.

Jordan wiped the tears from his face, but only managed to get dirt onto his face as well. How long had he been crying for? Since he had realised what was going on? Did his family already know he was missing? It had been at least a day since they had left, right? The government hadn’t taken too long in finding the island after the broadcast that year, right? Maybe they had a chance of escape this time round? But that was just a maybe and all he had was a piece of rope, and there would always be that guy with a gun. There always were idiots with guns in Kingman and they would be here too.

He lay back on to the ground. He knew from gym class that he shouldn’t do that when trying to recover, but that barely mattered at this point. He’d lost his cool, and now he was tired enough to be practically delirious. He lay there in the soil, mind ready to drift off again. Sleep. That was all he needed. This time though, Jordan wasn’t sure if he wanted to wake up.
Edited by Randomness, Aug 13 2016, 08:49 PM.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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Pain.

He was still in pain.

And that was how Jordan Green knew he was still alive.

You weren't supposed to feel pain when you were dreaming. So that meant that he was probably awake too.

He felt a little better now. Not much, but he would take every inch that he was given right now. He was still in pain and the queasiness refused to go away, but he wasn't two steps away from doing something stupid anymore. It was much more like three steps now.

There were footsteps not too far away, and Jordan got up almost instinctively as soon as he realised that there was another person about.

He probably shouldn't have. He had puked not long before, but the sight of Hazel retching was almost enough for him to do so again.

He knew Hazel well enough. She wasn't exactly the kind of person he'd really enjoyed hanging around with, but he had seen her perform on stage so many times. The girl who had once dazzled the stage now looked like she had weathered a hurricane, her mascara streaking down her face and her hair in a mess. Jordan realised that he probably looked like a disaster too, wiping his face with his hand again.

He didn't know what the heck he was supposed to say to Hazel. What was he supposed to do? Was he supposed to comfort her? Make some dumb comment to lighten the mood? He wasn't good at either of those things, and he wasn't sure if now was the best time for him to learn.

"Hazel." Jordan wasn't even sure what tone he was trying to convey anymore. "Hazel. Are you okay?"
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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Jordan felt far more guarded than he had moments before.

Sure, it was a paranoid thought to have, but he realised that there were eyes on him. Not just Hazel, that might have still been okay, but the realisation that he was on SOTF and that meant that there were probably a million cameras trained on him at this very moment had finally sunk in. They had seen him earlier. They could see the dirt on his face, and the little bit of vomit on the sleeve of his jacket. They could see how he snapped his hands together at the realisation that he was being watched.

And they were going see exactly how much of a flaming disaster whatever remained of the life of Jordan Green was going to be.

Okay. Calm down. He needed to ignore that. He needed to think about the situation.

They were on an island. And there were people with guns on the island. And more likely than not there were people who were willing to kill people on the island. And there was a good chance that those two categories overlapped.

Yeah. He was screwed.

Thinking about it rationally just got him to the same answer as he had at first. Just slower.

But he wasn't going to voice any of that. They were in a bad enough situation and he didn't need to make both of them feel worse by voicing his own shitty thoughts.

"Yeah, I get what you mean. The whole thing's enough to make you queasy. Not feeling so great myself, but I think I broke my personal best record for a mile back there." Jordan was trying to make light of it, but even thinking about physical exertion was making him feel worse again.

"People have managed to escape from this before, right?" Jordan tried to sound as hopeful as he could, but he still avoided eye contact with Hazel. He doubted he could outwit a group of terrorists, and he wasn't willing to try. He wasn't the kind who would risk everything on a stupid plan with too many moving parts anyway. "I mean, the government's probably on the way. All we need to do is not get killed before they get here, right?"

Jordan had yet another thought that he wasn't about to vocalise. The previous bunch of kids had probably thought the exact same way as he was thinking now. But the government had only found an empty island and only one girl had made it out alive.

"Do you have any ideas?"
Edited by Randomness, Aug 21 2016, 04:00 AM.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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His legs were still aching, his head was still a mess, and if he had been by himself, he would have been quite willing to just collapse back onto the ground and stay there for a good long time.

He still wanted to. Somewhere in the back of his mind he wanted to find his own little corner to be alone in.

But Hazel's comments had somehow pushed that away.

Jordan was rarely comfortable with compliments of any sort. He was never sure what to do when people complimented his grades, and even less sure when it came to his writing. And he wasn’t as smart or as nice as people sometimes said he was, he just had a habit of not blurting out every stupid thought that came to mind. As often as not he was annoyed by them, especially when they came from people he barely knew projecting their inability to do something onto him.

But seeing him as a runner? Lanky, clumsy and generally unfit Jordan Green as a guy doing sportsy stuff? The sheer ridiculousness of that was enough to send Jordan into a fit of laughter.

“Oh gods, I can’t actually run. Not well at least.”

It felt wrong. As if he wasn’t supposed to be smiling on this island. As if everything needed to be serious and grim and dark on this island. But for once he was too tired to let the negative thoughts intrude, not the other way around for once.

“But, yeah. Living sounds good,” Jordan replied. He knew what surviving on this island meant, even if Hazel didn’t mean it that way. But it still seemed like a reasonable aspiration. Not dying that is.

He stared out at the sky for a second. The island seemed almost serene right now. Perhaps in another time, in another life, this might have been a nice place to be.

“You know, this is the first time I’ve seen the ocean.”
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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Jordan only gave a knowing nod, not really willing to deny Hazel's statements about his athleticism anymore.

He didn't really know Isaac. Jordan had never really interacted with the seniors outside of theater all that much anyway. He was a sprinter, that much he knew, but even though Isaac was known to be a complete asshole, Jordan didn't exactly have it in him to dislike a person he didn't really know.

Of course he had heard the things that Isaac had done, there were too many inane things that had happened for him to not hear any of it. But somehow it had never felt all that real. Just another story from the rumour mill about people who barely felt like they even existed.

Somehow, the thought made him feel a little left out of the conversation, even if there was only Hazel and him here. Still, it was a real comfort that Hazel was willing to joke around. For all that had happened several moments ago, things were seeming somewhat alright.

He continued to look out at the ocean, the vivid blue stretching out to the edge of the horizon, the distant waves crashing against the shore below. It was almost hypnotising, watching the endless motion of the water, the rhythmic motion a relaxing sight.

“No one could have expected being here,” he said. “They’d have to be crazy if they did.”

But their conversation was cut off by the sight of someone falling down the slopes. He could only watch as the girl rolled to a stop at the bottom of the hill.

Was she okay? The girl was just far enough him to be completely unsure.

Part of him screamed that he should rush over to help, but he found himself falling behind Hazel instead, as if he could somehow hide his six-foot frame behind her.

“We should go over and help, right?”
Edited by Randomness, Sep 17 2016, 03:59 AM.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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Hazel was way too fast.

Sure she was a runner, but did she really need to go that fast?

Jordan could only follow along at his own walking pace, only catching up with her several seconds after she stopped near the girl who had fallen down the slope.

The girl's face was familiar enough for him to know that he should recognise her from somewhere, but he didn't. He couldn't. Was she a senior? There were too few people in school he really knew.

She didn't exactly look like she was fine either. It didn't look like she was seriously injured, but the slope was steep and she'd fallen quite a distance. At least her comments proved that she was conscious, even if he couldn't empathise with her sense of humour.

Hazel seemed to sense his discomfort, turning back to give him a rub on his arm. Jordan was surprised at the unexpected touch, feeling blood rushing to his cheeks, and all he could think about was how much of a stereotypical teenager he was being. It was just a touch after all. It was just a friendly gesture. There was no reason for him to be reacting like this at all.

He turned his attention back towards the other girl instead, hoping that carrying on like nothing was wrong would make it right.

"Was it-" he paused for a second, struggling to make coherent sense of his thoughts. "Did someone do this to you?"
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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((Skipping Hazel with permission))

His face was still red.

There was something he should be doing right now. He could be helping the girl up, checking for a first aid kit, doing anything apart from just standing there and watching her struggle to stand, his hand rubbing against the spot on his arm where he had been touched.

He barely registered the girl introducing herself, leaving an awkward pause before he made his own introduction.

"Um, I'm Jordan," he said. “Nice to meet you.”

I guess, his thoughts continued.

It probably wasn’t their first meeting after all. He was pretty sure he knew her from somewhere. Her name was familiar. He should have known her. From class? Theater? He couldn't remember. He should have been able to remember. There weren't that many people in school. But how many of them did he really know very well? Too many faces that he couldn't put a name to, too many names he couldn't put a face to.

Wait a minute. Time to back up a second. Had he heard her right? That was something a little more important than trying to remember who Tara was.

"Sorry, what did you mean by not alright?”

But the question was already dead when he even finished articulating it. Tara was already running off, and the figure at the top of the slopes seemed to be the reason for that. She’d even thanked them for helping her as she grabbed her bag, but Jordan could only feel as if they had done nothing to help her at all.

He had half a mind to follow, but there was no way he could catch up. But that seemed like it was too much effort to get the answer to his question. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to know the answer.

"That was..." he turned back in Hazel's rough direction, "Weird."

The figure that Tara had pointed out was making their way down the slopes towards them. They didn’t look armed, but it still paid to be wary.

“I’m not sure if we should stay here either. Wanna go?”

His eyes made fleeting eye contact with Hazel, but he turned away immediately.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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Hazel was following behind him. It was weird how normal everything had felt, even though they were on this island. Perhaps it was the weird veneer of normalcy in their conversations, even when Tara had fallen down the slopes. It barely felt different from talking to people at school.

The person up there had ruined that illusion though, a reminder of the potential dangers of the island, even if it was by scaring Tara off.

Maybe they were friendly, maybe they were not. But, it wasn't worth the risk. If Tara didn't want to stick around, he shouldn't either.

But what if they were just be looking for a friend. What if they were just lost or confused or scared.

He pushed his already tired legs harder, hoping that he would leave these thoughts behind.

((Jordan Green continued elsewhere))

"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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