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Zum Glueck In Die Zukunft
Topic Started: Aug 14 2016, 12:26 PM (604 Views)
frogue
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Georgia Lee Day was a woman of routine.

Every morning she would get up at the same time. When she’d been younger, she’d shared a room with her sisters and had been forced to sleep with her phone under her pillow. The reasons for this were twofold: it prevented her sisters from interfering with the phone while she slept, and it meant that she could have it wake her by vibrating, rather than making noise and waking everyone in the room.

The room Georgia Lee had slept in had grown hot, with three of them in there, and the Day girls had slept most nights under thin blankets. Once her sisters had moved out and she’d had the room to herself, Georgia Lee had simply moved their blankets from her sisters bed to her own. It was cheaper than buying a new, thicker blanket; it meant she could adjust her temperature incrementally if she were to grow too hot at night; and in some ways it felt like a victory over her sisters.

Georgia Lee’s routine every morning was the same. She would turn off her phone, pull back her three blankets and pull open her curtains. She would shower, she would dress herself, and she would go about her day.

This morning, there was no rhythmic vibration under Georgia Lee’s cheek to wake her. Her head wasn’t on a soft pillow, and her body wasn’t under warm blankets. She was lying on dirt, slightly damp. She could feel it on her forehead and her cheek, as she pried her eyes open. Some of it was in her mouth. Underneath the dirt was hard concrete, and her body ached. She wondered how long she’d been lying on it.

There were no blankets to pull off, and there were no curtains to pull back. The sun was already high in the sky, and it took Georgia Lee’s bleary eyes some minutes to adjust to it. There was nowhere to shower, as she appeared to be on a beach. Georgia Lee pushed herself to a sitting position, and then began to comb dirt out of her hair with her fingers.

There was no need to dress herself, at least, as she seemed to be fully clothed.

Georgia Lee climbed unsteadily to her feet, and brushed herself off. She felt like the dirt had made its way into her ears and filled her head. Her thoughts were coming slowly, and with great effort. She was standing on a narrow metal bridge, overgrown with weeds. Far, far underneath waves crashed against a cliff.

Her stomach felt like a pot boiling over then, and for the moment it took all her focus to keep from retching. She put a hand to her belly and coughed a couple of times involuntarily, but she managed to keep her food down.

Events came back to her slowly, coming to the surface of her mind like corpses bobbing up from a lake of blissful forgetfulness. She remembered the bus, the kidnapping, the terrorists. She remembered terror too, though she didn’t feel any of that now, for some reason. She felt, more than anything, a sense of outrage at her routine being interrupted.

If she gave up on her routine now, it would all be for nothing.

A voice was growing louder, telling her that it would all be for nothing, and that missing a couple of mornings’ runs would have nothing to do with it. Stop thinking things would be normal, the voice screeched at her. Things weren’t normal and they weren’t going to be normal. Georgia Lee did her best to ignore the voice.

This was the first time in her life she’d really seen the sea properly, outside of a harbour, and Georgia Lee found herself marvelling at how beautiful it was. The grass growing out of the bridge’s concrete cracks looked soft and inviting, and she had the sudden urge to take off her shoes and walk through it barefoot.

It was an insane thing to be thinking about, given the circumstances. The idea that she might be experiencing some sort of shock began to creep up on Georgia Lee, and she resolved to get away from here and out of sight before her body shut down on her completely. It wasn’t until she saw the body that the reality of her situation began to set in.

Fiyori Senay’s was a very identifiable body.
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frogue
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There was something utterly devastating about seeing her like that. Seeing someone she knew lying alone and vulnerable, made the reality of the situation impossible to avoid. The numbness that had shielded her mind began to desert her, and a wave of dizziness swept through her. The ground seemed to shift under her feet, and for a moment Georgia Lee thought she would collapse.

She was in a lawless place, surrounded by terrible people, who had been instructed to hurt her. She was in terrible, inescapable, absolute danger. There were no teachers here, no police, nothing to help her or protect her or save her.

Georgia Lee felt herself enveloped by a yawning, hollow dread. She wanted nothing more than to collapse, in that moment. She wanted to lie back down amongst the weeds like she had run and hidden back in her bed when she was younger. Georgia Lee wanted to fall down, there on the bridge, and wait until the world forgot her.

Her breath was coming in shallow gasps, and her heart seemed to be trying to beat its way out of her chest. She felt herself sway, but caught herself before collapsing. People would watch this, she knew. Whatever happened, one way or another, people would see how Georgia Lee conducted herself, and she would be damned if they would see her fall. Her eyes returned to Fiyori.

The girl was sprawled out in the dirt, gangly limbs splayed out, face down and unmoving. For a moment she thought she might be dead, then the girl took a deep, rattling breath. Georgia Lee tensed for a moment, but Fiyori didn’t appear to be waking up.

What would she have done, if Fiyori had woken just then? Georgia Lee didn’t know.

She was utterly, dreadfully certain that the girl would attack her. She wouldn’t attack straight away, Fiyori was smarter than that. Even jumping on Georgia Lee from behind, Fiyori had come of worse from their last entanglement, and now she’d be groggy and disoriented too. But she would attack. She’d bide her time, she’d wait until Georgia Lee was vulnerable, and then she would kill her.

Leaving Fiyori alive, Georgia Lee realized, was suicide. The girl was a time bomb, or a homing missile targeted straight at her. There was no way she wouldn’t come after Georgia Lee, once she was awake and prepared, and Fiyori had friends, too.

Was this a benediction, then? Finding the girl like this, passed out and vulnerable? There were rocks scattered about the beach, and any one of them, she was sure, would be heavy enough to stave in that praying mantis head. Could she do it?

Georgia Lee looked inside herself and saw that she could not.

She pictured herself, kneeling over Fiyori, smothering the girl with her own stupid poncho, and the idea filled Georgia Lee with nothing but revulsion. How would that look, back home? Who would hire her, who would even talk to her? No, she couldn’t do something like that.

“You are never going back home,” said the voice in the back of her head, “nobody will ever get a chance to talk to you again.” Georgia Lee ignored it. This was the voice of defeatism talking, and she had long practice at tuning it out.

Fiyori stirred again and made a spluttering sound, and Georgia Lee realized the girl might actually be in real danger. Her face was down in the dirt – could she breathe? Unthinking, Georiga Lee crouched down beside her and rolled her on to her back.

There was dirt around Fiyori’s mouth and nose, but the girl seemed to be breathing clearly. She looked peaceful, almost pleasant. There was something familiar about Fiyori’s expression, and Georgia Lee realized she had seen it before, in detention, when Fiyori had taken off her glasses.

Her glasses! Where were they? Georgia Lee shifted back, making sure she hadn’t stepped on them, and her heart sank as she saw a glint of glass in her footprint.

They weren’t broken, Georgia Lee thought. The dirt here was soft-packed, and it seemed like she’d just pushed them under it, which was lucky. The lenses on those things were nearly a half inch thick; without them Fiyori would probably be totally blind. She’d be… helpless.

Georgia Lee couldn’t kill Fiyori, but she could make sure the other girl wouldn’t hurt her, make sure she couldn’t hurt her. She could pick the glasses up right now and toss them into the sea, and Fiyori would’t be able to do a thing. She’d never even know it was her.

But how would that look? What would people say? Nobody back home knew how Fiyori had treated her, nobody understood what this girl was capable of, what she’d do if given the chance. To anyone watching, it would look like a petty act of senseless cruelty. People would think she was the monster.

What was worse, Georgia Lee wasn’t sure they’d be wrong. It mightn’t have been killing her outright, but Georgia Lee had no doubt that she’d be leaving Fiyori as good as dead. Blind, alone and exposed? It was a death sentence that Georgia Lee would be rendering, regardless of whether it was actually her who swung the blade.

No, she wanted Fiyori helpless, but she didn’t want her defenceless. She couldn’t have her coming after her, but she also couldn’t just leave her here for who knows who to do who knows what to her.

They would have to stick together.

As soon as the idea came to Georgia Lee, she began to see the appeal of it. Fiyori was a predator, but she wasn’t incapable of reason. She’d might want to kill Georgia Lee – and indeed, Georgia Lee was sure of it – but she wouldn’t, not if it rendered her alone and helpless. She couldn’t make Fiyori like her or trust her, but she could make her depend on her, and a dependent Fiyori was… well, she was useful.

It could be done, Georgia Lee thought. People watching would just see her protecting Fiori. She’d seem a saint, in their eyes. If she could just take the glasses without them seeing, if she could somehow not let on what she was doing, she’d just be one girl looking out for another.

And she’d be safe.
Fiyori alone wasn’t the issue. Fiyori had friends, and those friends were the worst. All the thugs of the school, the psychos, the junkies, the bullies; all the kids who right now were hopping up and down in excitement at the chance to attack their classmates without consequences, all of them called Fiyori a friend. With Fiyori around Georgia Lee would be safe, at least for a while, and she could figure out just what she was going to do about this nightmare she’d found herself in.

She lowered herself to her knees, and bent forward, putting her head on Fiyori’s chest as if to listen to girl’s heartbeat, and concealing what she was doing from the cameras. Reaching underneath herself, she pulled the glasses from the dirt with two fingers and slipped them into her right boot, in the space behind the inside ankle. They were a snug fit and might well have been bent slightly, but the stayed in place.

Satisfied that Fiyori was at least for now not a danger, Georgia Lee straightened up and shook the girl awake.
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Fiyori's eyes flickered open, and Goergia Lee felt a shock of relief. Her gaze was unfocused and her face seemed slack and plastic, like a waxwork under heatlamps. The girl was squinting, and her eyes looked almost absurdly tiny without being magnified by their usual spectacles. They looked lost in a face that, unadorned, now seem to stretch on and on forever.

Some mumbling venom came out of Fiyori's mouth, Georgia Lee didn't catch it, but the girl's tone, at least, was the same as always. It was a tone that Georgia Lee had always hated: knowing, superior, sarcastic. She always sounded like she'd told some unspeakably filthy joke that she knew Georgia Lee wouldn't get. Fiyori always seemed to find it the height of hilarity that Georgia Lee didn't see fit to accommodate half of Cochise in her bed, like this was some sort of ridiculous failing on her part.

Fiyori's voice brought back all the petty taunts, all the snide comments half-heard as Georgia Lee had walked past her in the corridor, all the jeering and mocking and horribleness that had been her experience of Fiyori Senay. In this foreign, awful place, it also brought back a strange sense of nostalgia. There was a normalcy about Fiyori's nightmarishness, even at a time like this, which carried with it a strange sense of reassurance.

Georgia Lee pulled her further upright. The girl was unnaturally light.

She'd never understood Fiyori's attempts to victimize her, and that had always seemed unfair to Georgia Lee, much more unfair than the actual cruelty itself. Fiyori's cruelty could be explained; she was simply that sort of person. As a lightbulb gives off light and a heater gives of heat, so did Fiyori radiate misery. It was inevitable that Fiyori would make like hell for someone, that was simply the path she had been set upon, but it had never made sense to Georgia Lee why that someone had to have been her.

Jealousy was the obvious answer, but it wasn't a satisfactory one. Fiyori was nothing, and there was nothing of value about her; by rights she should have been envious of anyone who could add, subtract and keep their legs together, so why would she pick Georgia Lee? It wasn't like she was an easy target, either. Georgia Lee took a small, guilty degree of pride in how well she'd acquitted herself, when Fiyori had decided to make her bullying physical. Georgia Lee was far from weak, and she was confident it showed.

The bitter, ugly truth, which she suspected but found hard to accept, was that it was most likely purely random. Fiyori had been inflicted on her not by anything she'd done, or by anything under her control, but by simple, stupid, unthinking fate. This, this was the unfairness of it all.

But now was no time for thoughts of past wrongs. Georgia Lee gripped the girl's shoulders tighter, the poncho scratchy against her fingers, and gave her another shake. It was, she realized, the only time they'd actually touched, with the exception of the brief fracas outside the library, which had been quickly pulled apart by teachers.

"Fiyori!" Georgia Lee moved her face closer to Fiyori's, to make sure that the other girl could make her out.

"Fiyori it's me, it's Georgia Lee. We're... look, we have to get out of here. I know you're scared and you're confused, but we're in a lot of danger here, and we need to get to someplace where people can't see us."

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The girl just hung in Georgia Lee's arms, limp and useless. Georgia Lee fought the edge to shake her again, to shake her over and over, letting the brain bounce around in the girl's head until some useful thought or helpful comment emerged.

Was Fiyori simply scrambled? The girl had toothpicks for limbs for goodness' sake, and she weighed next to nothing; perhaps she'd overdosed on whatever it was they'd all been given and her mantis mind had just... short circuited, somehow? Georgia Lee didn't think it likely, though, not given the poisons Fiyori pumped into her body by choice, on a regular basis. Georgia Lee wasn't a doctor, but she thought that if anything a junkie should be the most resistant to this stuff. The other option of course, was that Fiyori had for some reason just decided to be willfully obstinate., and Georgia Lee would by no means put that past her.

The girl's clammy fingers brushed Georgia Lee's face, then grasped at her hand. Georgia Lee recoiled and shook her off, disgusted. She let go of Fiyori, who dropped back onto the dirt-strewn concrete of the bridge with a soft thump.

Whether the girl was being useless on purpose or not was moot, in the end. The thought of being alone in this awful place terrified Georgia Lee, scared her so much that even Fiyori's company was preferable to just being out here by herself. If Fiyori wouldn't help though, if Fiyori wouldn't stand up and leave here with her, then Fiyori was simply a dead weight, and Georgia Lee wasn't going to be dragged down with her. She'd tried, she really had, and nobody would think less of her if she gave up now.

"Fiyori. Listen to me." Georgia Lee managed, somehow, to keep her voice steady and even.

"I am standing up and I am leaving. I am going, right now. I am going to go find someplace safe, where people can't see me, and then I'm going to... I'm going to figure out what I'll do next. You can come with, or you can stay here and die. I can't stay here any longer, Fiyori. We're way out where anyone could find us, and there are people here who want to kill us, and we can't stay here or they will."

She paused, a little breathless, and then rose to her feet, holding a hand out to Fiyori.

"Are you coming with me?"
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Fiyori’s hand was warm, and her grip was surprisingly firm. Georgia Lee grasped it and pulled, and the girl rose to her feet. She was steady, appearing free of the queasiness which had plagued Georgia Lee after she’d woken, and that at least was a blessing.

She stood off to the side, as Fiyori searched, with her back to the girl, one hand on the bridge’s rusting iron trellis, and looking out over the sea. She felt small, up there on the bridge, surveying the vastness of the ocean. She felt tiny and insignificant and pointless, and all her dreams, all her ambitious, all her thoughts of how she was going to be someone seemed so ridiculous as to be almost laughable.

For all that she thought of herself as having overcome obstacles, having pushed through adversity, nothing that she’d ever been faced was anything compared to this. She’d done nothing, achieved nothing, got nowhere. She’d worked and worked and worked for some goal that she would never see, and now where had all her work landed her?

It had landed her here. Had her classmates had the right idea? They were idiots, utterly devoid of drive or direction, but at least they’d enjoyed themselves. They’d spent their years partying and having fun, not locked up somewhere studying. Georgia Lee had put in so much time, hours and days and night, was that all going to be for nothing?

No, it couldn’t be for nothing. She wouldn’t let it.

Georgia Lee had never had a problem with heights, but a sudden dizziness came over her then, and she had to take a step away from the edge, and turned back toward Fiyori. It wasn’t the other girl that she looked at, though; rather, Georgia Lee looked past her, and then she turned in a slow circle, her eyes fixed on the horizon.

There was nothing. No land, not that she could see, just open ocean for miles and miles and miles. Nobody was anywhere close. Nobody knew they were here. Nobody was coming.

She banished those thoughts, for the moment, and took a deep breath, letting the air fill her lungs. She breathed out a little, and then breathed in deeply again, repeating this over and over, each time taking in more air than she let out. It was an exercise that she often used to take her mind of physical pain, when she was aching and fatigued after a tough work out, or when she was cramping.

Georgia Lee let her mind clear.

Long term, she wanted to go home. For all Kingman’s smallness, all its stifling monotony and its lack of potential, that was where she wanted to be, now. She just wanted to go back to her normal life. To do that, she needed to not die, and to conduct herself in a manner befitting who she was. Something would present itself, they’d find some way out, they just had to. There was no way it could end here.

All she needed was to stay alive, and to keep her hands clean, and having Fiyori around would help her do both. It didn’t make sense to plan beyond that, not in a situation like this. Georgia Lee had taken on big projects before, and she knew the key was to simply take the one step at a time. If you focus on everything you have to do, you’ll simply overwhelm yourself. Focus just on what’s in front you, and you’ll be fine.

What was in front of Georgia Lee now was Fiyori, who was still looking for her glasses.

“Are you sure that’s uhh, that’s the bag they gave you?”

There was another bag lying a few yards away, a bag that Georgia Lee supposed was hers, though it wasn’t a thought she was particularly comfortable with. She walked over and grabbed it, then put it down next to the one Fiyori was rummaging through.

“Could this one be yours? Maybe they’re in here. I don’t think they’re anywhere else though, I think I’d spot them pretty easily.”

She hadn’t spotted easily though, had she? Georgia Lee had almost crushed them without seeing them, and so she made a show of searching, of pulling aside the weeds and brushing off dirt, hunting desperately for the glasses that were hidden in her boot.
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On the one hand, Fiyori sounded like she was all there, mentally, and that was good. The girl wasn't exactly academic, but Georgia Lee knew she had a certain sharpness to her, and that would almost certainly prove useful. It certainly made for a better situation than her having to lead some halfwit around by the hand.

On the other hand, Fiyori sounded like she was all there, mentally, and that was dangerous. The girl was clearly suspicious, and this was probably the worst possible time for it. She didn't think Fiyori was likely to lose her temper, she was counting on her being smarter than that, but if she did...

No, she wouldn't. Wasn't going to happen. Georgia Lee wasn't going to waste time thinking about failure scenarios. She was just not going to fail. Planning for what to do if things went wrong was a waste of energy, and that energy could better be spent on making sure things didn't.

"Fiyori, look, I know we... we had our differences, but... I mean, I never wanted to kill you! I don't, still, I don't want to kill anyone! I mean, I went to school with these people, I care about them. I care about you, even! Maybe I don't exactly like you all of the time, but it's not like I want you to die."

She paused, and took a breath.

"I just want to find somewhere safe, somewhere where nobody will kill me, and... and figure out a way off of this island."

The other girl's face was a picture of skepticism, and it was clear to Georgia Lee that appeals to nonviolence and pacifism were not the way to go. Of course they weren't, it was ridiculous. Fiyori had probably never met someone she didn't want to kill, the idea of not being some sort of... homicidal lunatic was probably completely foreign to her. No, self interest was all that Fiyori would understand.

"Look I have worked too hard, for too long, for this to be..." she gestured out towards the island "...to be the end. I want to live, okay? I want to survive, and I want to have a life. I want to get into a good college, I want to get a scholarship, I want to go study there and graduate and get a good job and a husband and some kids and... this can't be a part of that. I had it planned, I had it all planned out, and it's not going to work if I spend the rest of my life with people looking at me like I'm a monster."

She couldn't tell if Fiyori believed her, or if she agreed with her, but Georgia Lee almost didn't care. There was a sense something like relief, as she got this out there. It felt good to speak her feelings aloud.

"I don't want to hurt anyone. I just want to stay alive. Listen, I know we don't get along, but it shouldn't matter. I don't think you're..." Georgia Lee almost said "a good person", but stopped herself. "...like me, but I think you're strong, and I think we can help each other."

She looked into Fiyori's strange, tiny, enigmatic eyes.

"Please. I don't want to die."
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How dare she? How dare she? Fiyori was right, Georgia Lee could have killed her. The girl was basically weightless; Georgia Lee could probably have lifted her one-handed. She'd let her live, and she'd stayed and helped her, and now Fiyori had the actual temerity to make threats?

The carrot, clearly, had been ineffective. It was time for the stick.

"How's this for a reason, Fiyori? How about I don't leave you here, on a bridge, completely exposed? How about I don't take all your stuff with me when I go? How about I don't leave you blind, alone and helpless, waiting for someone else who you've made life hell for, who maybe isn't as nice as me to come along?"

Georgia Lee gave her a hard, hollow smile.

"How about I don't do all that, and then when we meet your big, scary friends, you tell them to be nice to me out of a little something called gratitude?"
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For a minute there, she’d thought Fiyori was going to jump.

The girl’d been poised, right at the edge of the bridge, and visions of her hurling herself of, of her spindly insect frame spinning over and over on the way down, had filled Georgia Lee’s head. There was no way you’d survive that, surely; not from this height. It would have been in suicide.

And, in another sense, it would have been murder. There had been a dreadful, fleeting moment of surety where Georgia Lee had known, had known with an absolute and lethal certainty that Fiyori would leap, she would die, and Georgia Lee would be utterly at fault.

The guilt of that realization was like a lead weight in her stomach. Georgia Lee took a step towards Fiyori, tenser than she had ever been, ready at any moment to reach out and grab the girl before she plummeted. When Fiyori hadn’t jumped, when she’d accepted Georgia Lee’s offer instead, the sense of relief was so overwhelming she didn’t know whether she would laugh or cry.

The weight lifted from her, and Georgia Lee relaxed, grateful that the other girl could not make her face out. In truth, Georgia Lee didn’t know what feelings would be showing on it, or even what feelings she had. In some ways it felt like she was feeling everything; joy and misery and rage and confusion and fear and hope, all streaming over her, all at once, and if she stopped for a moment to acknowledge or assess any one of them, she sensed she’d be swept along in a tide of emotion and reduced to a wreck.

Georgia Lee balled her hands into fists to keep them from shaking, kept her lips tight to keep from screaming.

Fiyori wasn’t going to jump. Fiyori was going to help her. They’d get off of this bridge, they’d get help, and somehow they’d get out of here. They’d survive.

Nothing needed be said, Georgia Lee decided, and she didn’t trust her voice to say it anyhow. She hiked one of the bags onto her shoulder, gave Fiyori a nod, and lead the way off of the crumbling bridge.

[Georgia Lee Day continued in Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying]
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