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God Help the Outcasts; Open!
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 09:20 PM (970 Views)
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B027 - OSKAR PEARCE: START

In all honesty, Oskar Pearce couldn’t have pictured a better place to wake up.

Sure, the area had plenty of downsides; it hadn’t been the easiest awakening – his head was throbbing with one of the worst headaches he’d ever encountered, even half an hour after he’d first opened his eyes. He deeply regretted wearing long trousers the moment he saw the assortment of scratches that pockmarked his bare legs – the result of awaking in a large patch of nettles. A part of him knew he should apply disinfectant and bandage his legs up, but when it was so difficult to even latch onto a singular thought, focusing on an actual task seemed borderline impossible.

He’d managed to drag himself and his belongings out of the thicket of brambles and onto firmer (and more comfortable) ground, even if it meant staining his vibrant clothing with streaks of dirt. Ordinarily, he would’ve immediately fussed over it – dampening a washcloth and repairing the damage as best he could – but for once in his life, probably the first time in his life, he found he didn’t care about what he looked like.

There wasn’t a single soul in sight whose opinion he’d have to worry about, and although he could feel pangs of loneliness already setting in, part of him was almost glad. He had a moment to decide what he was going to be. If he was going to be the bubbly, happy Oskar he’d always been, or if he was going to be what he needed to be to survive. Survival. That was a concept that seemed almost… off to him. Everything he’d dedicated his life towards – making people love him – could be found on this island with him. If he survived this place, none of that dedication would’ve been worth it.

In a way, that idea was scarier than dying.

He didn’t know what he wanted to be.

He didn’t know what he wanted to do.

There was a vibrant patch of daisies to his left. It was something familiar, something comforting to do, until someone arrived and forced him to make up his mind, forced him to answer the questions to which he was struggling to respond.

“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do…”
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Through the almost painful silence that permeated the area burst a cacophony of sounds. Though they’d ordinarily not have drawn his attention in the densely populated places he favoured back home, the stark silence they cut through made them all the louder. A soft sobbing nearby was struck through with a desperate cry from a familiar voice for anyone in the area not to run away.

It was this eruption of noise that uprooted Oskar from the task with which he’d immersed himself for the past while. A long daisy chain spilled from his lap and onto the ground beside him, steadily growing with every passing minute. He’d removed his gloves – a newly bought, studded pair from a local secondhand store – and stuffed them into his back pocket to make the intricate art of weaving the flowers together an easier one.

He didn’t allow himself a moment to ponder how he ought to react to the girl. Instead, he let instinct take over.

“I’m here,” he called out in response, trying not to let an ounce of fear leak into his words. “It’s Oskar!”

The voice that flew from his lips was just as chirpy and effervescent as he’d always made it be. Throughout the trepidation and uncertainty that plagued him, his ability to flip that switch and become the happy-go-lucky boy he wanted everybody to think he was hadn’t yet been lost to him.

He smiled.

Oskar pulled his cardigan closer to his chest, and contemplated gathering his belongings together and going in search of company. But after awhile, he decided to stay put for the moment and let them come to him. He didn’t want to be an unwelcome addition to any group, after all.
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Oskar hurriedly gave himself a once over as the voice he now identified as Jane’s replied to his declaration. She wasn’t a particularly close friend of his – though there were few who shared that title, in all honesty, as it required a degree of openness from him that he could rarely afford. Regardless, he was just happy that he’d soon have some company and with it, a distraction from his thoughts.

But before she could make her way to him, an ungodly shriek blasted through the air. His entire body tensed, goosebumps suddenly flaring upon his skin, and he instinctively threw his daisy chain to the side in favour of clutching his bag to him. His heart almost sank as he recognised the other girl’s voice. Caedyn Miller: a girl who stuck him as such a wildcard – who knew what would happen with her around?

He pricked an ear to listen in on Jane’s discussion with Caedyn, resisting the urge to wince at what she said. Coaxing someone to get up off the ground who’d literally just screamed to be left alone didn’t seem like the wisest choice in the world to Oskar, especially in a death game like this. He was glad he was still a ways away from the potentially volatile combination, but couldn’t help but feel a little dejected that nobody had gone to him first. He found himself caught in a precarious position – stay where he was for who knew how long, or venture right into a situation he’d just identified as a dangerous one.

So he went back to threading his daisies together, trying to push the feelings of loneliness out of his mind.
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As Jane continued her tirade at Caedyn, Oskar steadily began to regret his decision to stay put. He’d initially pegged Caedyn as being the more dangerous of the two, but the ease with which Jane launched into one of her typical rants – the likes of which he’d been the occasional bystander to back home – was unnerving, to say the least. He could understand where Jane was coming from, but wouldn’t faking it for the cameras be more preferable to blowing up at the slightest provocation as she had done?

He shifted in his seat, the fine hairs on the back of his neck standing on end in anticipation as Jane finished her chastisement and proceeded to march towards him. Part of him was saddened that Jane had effectively nuked any chances of the three of them allying within the space of thirty seconds, but part of him was glad. Caedyn was wildly unpredictable in her behaviour – he had to admit, snivelling mess was not the first image that came to mind when he thought of Caedyn in this scenario. But Jane was just being typical Jane – a headstrong ticking timebomb; exactly as he imagined her.

Back home, predictability and playing by the rules was how he survived. He’d take notice of how certain people responded to certain cues, and shape his behaviour around them accordingly. If he conveyed an image people liked, then they’d like him. If they were a threat, then he’d steel himself against them as best he could.

He slowly raised to his feet as Jane came closer, instinctively dusting himself off as he did so.

“Before you ask what weapon I got, it’s these.”

He pulled his studded gloves from the back pocket of his shorts and waved them lightly in front of her.

“Not a threat, I promise.”
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As glad as he was for the attention Caedyn and Jane were giving him, Oskar hated the position they’d placed him in. He usually tried to maintain a position of neutrality, one where he could remain on good terms with all parties involved; here, it didn’t seem like such a usual stance would reap the results he wanted. With two such fiery combatants, trying to toe the line in-between the two might end up just making everything worse.

On one hand, Jane had explicitly asked to join with him, but on the other, he couldn’t help but agree with Caedyn’s assessment. It felt good to be wanted, but if such an alliance drove others away, was it really worth it? And as perpetually unpredictable as Caedyn may have been, there was no denying that she was smart.

Looking for a way to assuage them both, Oskar slid over to stand beside Caedyn, and a placed a finger on his lip, lightly brushing against the cool metal of his spiderbites. He inwardly sighed as he realised he’d need to figure out a way of avoiding infection.

“Jane, you do hiking, right? Figure you know a bit of first-aid, then. I got my legs a tad scratched up on the nettles over there–” he waved gently towards the thicket he’d crossed through earlier “–and I was wondering if you could help?”

He offered Caedyn a subtle wink. He would’ve whispered his thoughts, given her a bit less ambiguity, but she stood over a foot taller than him; as flexible as he was, forcing himself to stretch up that far wasn’t on his list of priorities for the moment.

There were more pressing matters at hand.
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