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The World Turned Upside Down; Open
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 08:48 PM (1,341 Views)
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It had taken Hazel’s eyes awhile to adjust to their surroundings.

For her first few minutes of consciousness, she assumed that whatever drug had been used to knock her out had strong aftereffects. But as her head began to clear and her eyesight remained just as blurred, she realised her contacts were missing. They’d accidentally popped out between her first bout of unconscious and now, or had been removed by the kidnapper who’d placed her there. The latter of those notions – the idea of one of them touching her – made her skin crawl and bile rise in her throat.

It was the burst of panic that arose from that realisation that propelled her to examine her provided duffle bag – an act she’d been hitherto reluctant to engage in. She’d almost sobbed in relief upon finding her glasses case propped atop its contents; a flash of bright red amongst the drab colours it contained.

With her vision now restored and her curiosity piqued, it didn’t take her long to find, nestled amongst the food bars and first-aid kit, the only thing that made her unique from the other hundred students on the island: her weapon.

“Fucking binoculars.

G026 - HAZEL JUNG: START

Little could’ve brought Hazel Jung an ounce of comfort in her current situation; as it was, she was a mess both physically and emotionally. But she knew deep down that having something to defend herself with would’ve made a world of difference.

The fashionably distressed fabric around the knees and thighs of her jeans had torn open sometime before she’d awoken, and lumps of mascara had been washed away by her tears, leaving dark streaks against her cheeks. She’d made a token effort to tidy herself up, having half-heartedly attempted to pull her hair into a messy bun, but she couldn’t bring herself to put much effort into improving her appearance when there were slightly more pressing matters at hand.

It was just her luck that literally every other girl in the Korean clique had fallen ill two days before the trip, leaving her the lone member of the Mafia to make it here. She could picture them all gathered together, jabbering emotionally at the news reporters about her. At least she didn’t have to worry about them. They were safe, unlike her dozens of other friends who hadn’t been so lucky; the same friends who were in exactly the same position as her right now. A rush of names and faces flooded through her brain, none of them managing to secure a position at the forefront of her mind through the chaos that reigned there.

She tried not to let her thoughts linger on them for too long. She knew she wouldn’t be in a fit enough state to help any of them if she didn’t take care of herself first, and meandering aimlessly around the slopes upon which she’d awoken wasn’t much of a start.

There was Jordan Green, fellow theatre kid, laying down in the grass. Still unconscious, or…

She tried not to think of the alternative, desperately attempted to focus her mind on something other than the idea that a dead boy, someone she'd performed alongside, could be mere metres away from her.

It didn’t work.

She bent over into a low crouch, and expelled the contents of her stomach onto the ground before her.
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As she sat on her hands and knees, eyes clenched firmly shut and a thick string of spit dangling from her open mouth, all the thoughts and fears she’d struggled to hold back came rushing forward. She found herself dry heaving as she imagined Bryony and Clarice dead, their bodies bloody and their eyes hollow. Then the one person she was trying her hardest not to think of, because she knew what’d happen if she focused on him for more than a second, flashed through her mind.

She forced her eyes open, tried to find anything else she could focus on as a rough sob escaped her lips. Tears began to well along her vision, fogging her lenses, but she choked them back. She couldn’t afford to cry again today.

Then the distraction she’d been hoping for finally arrived as Jordan approached her. Not dead, as she’d initially feared.

But in a few days, hours, minutes?

She shook the thought away, instead focusing on recovering some of her composure. She couldn’t afford to be a mess for much longer. A weak, snivelling crying girl was either an easy target or someone to protect in order to fulfil some hero complex, and neither of those were roles Hazel was eager to take. She was fine with being a damsel-in-distress on stage, but in reality? Not so much.

“I’m algood,” she replied to Jordan’s query, wiping away the line of drool that clung to her face. “Just needed to get it out, you know? What about you?”

She pulled herself out of her half-crouch and into a standing position – though Jordan’s lanky frame still towered over her petite one.

“So, got any ideas on how we can be less-fucked?”
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“Personal best, huh?” Hazel drummed her fingers against her cheek as Jordan mentioned breaking his ‘mile record’. Running was a perfect distraction for her in everyday life – if she ever felt distressed or in need of a break, running was a sure-fire solution. Just her and the burn in her chest and legs, everything fading away. In this place, though? Doing it recreationally meant burning unnecessary calories, and being forced into it meant… being in a situation Hazel was none too eager to think about right now.

“You know, we could’ve always done with more people on the track team,” she continued. “Shame you never tried out; it could’ve been a good time.”

It wasn’t much, but a bit of idle small talk that didn’t concern their current situation couldn’t do too much damage, right?

Jordan expressed hope about the situation, but she could sense the strain behind his voice as he spoke. Hazel wanted to believe that government officials would get of their asses and do something, that rescue would only be moments away, but it seemed almost like a fantasy. She couldn’t quite bring herself to commit to the idea that this game could somehow end differently to how the terrorists had outlined it to them all. However, she was none too eager to burst Jordan’s bubble, to shatter his optimistic belief. If it kept him sane and above water, what was so wrong with it – especially this early?

“Yeah, it’s been done before. Could happen again, right?”

She tried to return Jordan’s optimism in kind, but was admittedly relieved that he gave her another question – that way she wouldn’t have to linger on the subject of rescue or escape for much longer. The content of this query, however, was less than ideal.

Ideas?

That was a question Hazel was reluctant to answer. To do so would be to address the absolute dearth of full-proof plans floating around her head, and with it, the unknown horrors sure to face them in the future. She couldn’t not respond to it, of course, so she answered in a way that she knew was painfully enigmatic, but wasn’t at all false either.

“My plan is to live. You?”
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Hazel couldn’t help but offer a soft giggle to Jordan’s retort. It felt good to still be able to break a smile – Lord knew it wasn’t something she’d be doing much of in the days to come.

“You’d still be better than half the guys on our team,” she replied. “You know Isaac Brea? Could probably beat him by a long shot.”

She knew taking potshots at an ex wasn’t the healthiest thing in the world, but she’d abstained for so long and if ever there was a situation where she felt justified in venting her frustrations through throwing some shade, this had to be it. And Isaac was a much too easy target in her eyes; she’d gone easy on him.

She didn’t know how to feel about the fact that he wasn’t on the trip with them.

Jordan turned their attention towards the ocean that stretched out endlessly before them, and Hazel felt a rush of sadness begin to flow forth. It was crazy to think that such a beautiful ‘first’ as seeing the ocean could come in a place like this.

“I’ve seen it once before,” she said wistfully. “It was a few months ago, when my mum and I flew to New York for my Julliard audition. I looked out the plane window and saw that vast expanse in front of me for the first time, and I vowed that I’d see it again soon. I just never thought it’d be like this.”

The mood between them was suddenly broken as a figure came tumbling down through the undergrowth, steadily approaching the two of them. Hazel quirked an eyebrow at the unusual way the girl had chosen to traverse the island, but figured it was a better entrance than storming in all guns blazing. As she got a better look at her, Hazel formed a connection between the dust-covered girl and the classmate she’d once been. In all honesty, she was a relatively unknown figure to Hazel – a quiet someone she’d seen around school plenty (behind the scenes in theatre, even), but had probably only exchanged a dozen sentences or so with over the years. It was almost difficult to conjure her name – though Hazel was dead certain it started with a T.

She folded her arms against her chest, an indication of the slight apprehension rushing through her. She’d been enjoying her dialogue with Jordan; the entrance of another figure threatened to upset the stability of the situation, and with it the brief reprieve from a hell she’d yet to fully enter.

“You alright?”
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Hazel nodded at Jordan’s suggestion they go and help the new arrival. It made her smile, just a little; he was someone whose first reaction at seeing someone in danger wasn’t to run away, but to instead offer aid. She was glad she’d encountered him first, and not someone more volatile or skittish. She jogged lightly towards the newcomer, grateful for the traction her Nikes provided and happy for her newfound habit of forgoing less practical footwear.

“True.” Hazel couldn’t help but smirk at T’s reply. It was a redundant question, but one habit had drilled into her over the years. The amount of times she’d approached fellow students after berating their bullies and asked them the very same thing escaped her. “But you did take quite a tumble from the looks of things. Sure you’re not bruised or anything?”

She noticed Jordan had fallen behind her – possibly out of apprehension, possibly out of wanting her to take the lead. Regardless, she took a step back to give him a reassuring rub on the arm, just to let him know she was there for him.

“Have you seen anybody else? You’re the first person Jordan and I’ve both encountered aside from each other.”
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