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Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools...; Welcome Hannah Kendrickstone everyone! Open.
Topic Started: Aug 18 2016, 08:32 AM (1,472 Views)
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((Irene Djezari continued from I Say You Kill Your Heroes And Fly, Fly, Baby Don't Cry))

This was refreshing.

Irene’s legs had enough pump action to put her shotgun to shame. Like, she was moving so fast she could have run whole gym laps around anyone who’d tried to follow her. At least those hapless souls would get a consolation prize. Call that her dust.

She’d roamed around the edge of that huge fancy building uptop the hill. Curiosity hadn’t quite thoroughly grabbed at her when she’d been passing the doors. Or the other doors, or the other other doors. Sure she’d almost been dragged by her own will, but you know what? Inertia was a property of matter, and Irene sure as hell mattered. The morbidly alien charm of those bolted, glaze-frosted windows tempted for sure. But, as with the equally alien charm of Cochise boys Irene opted for awkwardly shuffling away to show her deference.

The sky continued to froth and foam with the promise of rain. Still didn’t seem quite right, the way the breeze shoved something that smelled like the beach she’d never visited in her life into her face. Okay, besides the beach she'd just come from. That beach didn't count. This air was the wrong thing, the absolute wrong thing to greet Irene a new day. She decided she didn’t particularly care for this weather. Give her a tumbleweed and a flesh-melting sun-kissed sear that left both sides crispy when she walked. Give her a rare cold Kingman day with a skateboard and a friend. And…

Maybe take away the gun and the bag? But no, both those things continued to stubbornly exist, jostling for position on her hip. A thirty-two declared itself in bold white, a touch too boldly for Irene’s comfort or sensibilities. She was hardly a fashion demagogue, but even she knew the Kors-esque branding was a hackneyed. Sure she was the pot calling the midnight dress black, but she had right to complain even though she was also probably at fault somehow.

This was confusing.

Irene's geodesic warped. Seagulls cast away, some sort of song lit the island with a Saturday morning's cartoon harmonies. She looked to the bell tower looming over her third circuit around the asylum's breadth.

It was suddenly an odd feeling. Being here, where eyes could be hidden neatly behind the hundreds of windows poised stoically overhead. She didn’t like it. What she did like, how her thoughts dissolved into the body rattling, flesh rending strikes of foot against ground. She didn’t know where she was going, that hadn’t changed since her conception in some Vegas showroom. But wherever she was going, she was going there fast. She barrelled until she couldn’t barrel anymore and all her excess gun barrel was half shoved down her own asscrack so wild and free her free-for-all sprint carried her.

In the form of too long didn’t read:

Go go go gogogogo. Fly little birdie, fly until you wait where the fuck was this metaphor going. Towards the bell tower.

Towards the bell tower.

Towards the bell tower.

Towards the-

Anyways, this beach looked familiar. She swore she could see herself in the distance, awakening to the tender touch of a carefree ocean's surf, dancing the ever despised sand from her various orifices. It all looked different, somehow. Like someone had removed the shitty Instagram filter casting bleached pastels over the contour of the terrain. How long had there been boats? How long had there been a cave? How long had there been Olivia and Hannah?

Two girls her senior made for quite the sight, cast in relief against the rocks. She observed faces. Pale and smooth and pale and smooth and pale and green and pale and pink. So much for 'no Instagram filter'. It was an odd feeling that welled up into a lump in Irene's throat, one she couldn't swallow down no matter how aggressively compulsive her gulps. Every step closer she took tracked dirt over sand, ground unfamiliar territory into the crevasses of her sneaks.

Irene winced. Did Hannah have to be so loud? She was still too far to be too close. It wasn't the appropriate time to play Taps, even if the cave absorbed the sound all nice. At least her actual voice lingered pleasant on the ear. Made Irene lose The Game though. She whispered the necessary 'lost' clause to herself with a theatric 'drat!' and a 'I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids!' on her lips. And her mouth stayed open, because she had more to say or however it was that actually meaningful and relevant speech was supposed to work:

"That's pretty out of character, Olive. Aaaannnd, pretty badass, t-b-h." Irene smiled and giggled the rest of her unsaid greeting as she continued to trudge the rest of the way. Her eyes glimmered with an approximate bit of joy. The sort that had probably looked better on her back home. Something in the air, and all. As for Hannah, Irene wasn't so sure how she was supposed to respond to that? There was a line, or something. 'What's past is prologue'. But Irene wasn't the Shakespeare buff, so blurting out old dead white guy quotes wasn't her place. Her place was right... here. About arms length from each girl, where a hug could be delivered when she stopped feeling so tentative about doing that for whatever reason.

This was awkward.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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This felt soft.

Irene liked it a bit too much. It reminded her of awkward tween years and 240 pixelworths of replays on YouTube. Before Irene's little disaster Sumac-side she'd built a shrine to Hannah in her heart. Maybe a bit in real life too. Just a tad, like, two to three pictures zoomed and cropped by a butcher's hand at most. "We totally could've. I woulda rocked Rainancy blue." Yes, Irene knew they were different shades or hues or however that worked but honestly? Blue was blue was blue. No other way to put it. Her hands found holds in the topology of Hannah's shoulders, at least briefly before crumbling away. Irene trembled like a reed whistling in breeze. Trembled in her friend's warm embrace, all the while not sure why. Height difference put Irene's eyes a bit off center, where she could glance over and see if Olivia was going to pile into the concentrated solution of awkward. Expand molarity.

"... I was stressed, I'm sure 90% of the island is. It was uncalled for." Nope. Olivia was just staying over there, barely close enough to look out of place. Looked picturesquely cute standing her ground, and that made Irene feel all happy in a disconcerting way again. Honesty was, apparently, a lonely word. 'Twas an honest shame.

"Danny definitely seemed stressed when I saw him, so we can add him to the stats. Laughing about stuff that wasn't funny." Irene felt the giggle bubble up the flesh of her esophagus like a burp. It popped out her teeth before she could stop it. "Weirdly enough, my gun's pretty real I think." All too real. Johnny Three would have had Hannah's entrails on stark display if it went off here and now. It squirmed inorganically between their bodies. "I don't really know what to do with it but for now I guess I roll with it, right?" Ah, yes. They would see her rolling. They would be hating.

Not these two, though. Irene didn't want these two to be hating. They weren't supposed to hate, they were definitely completely too nice and awesome and cute for that. "Oi Olive, get in here before the hug ends five-ever." There would be more to come, surely, but this one was somehow unique. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, along the lines of a Rainancy blue moon or Darius not being a dumbass.
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Hannah was there, but then she wasn't, but then Olivia was. Olive was so short she was all teddy bear-like in Irene's ever spastic arms. Stole her body heat too. Kinda chilly with the ocean breeze shaking an angry fist at Irene's exposed arms, but at some point everything evened out into thermodynamic equilibrium. A cold one, just above shiver point.

"Gun's called Johnny Three? News to me." Hannah still rocking the decibels. Irene couldn't especially tell why, but Hannah's mood seemed to be one well worn. Well worn as that Queen on her chest. Something or another and a Fanta Sea. "We should..." Priorities? Free self of Olive, for one. She seemed half determined to throttle the life out of Irene, break every spare rib Irene didn't have to spare. Way too much violence for a place this pretty. Olive was breathing heavy too, a howling gale of storm surge right on the ticklish lobe of her ear. Another fit of the giggles violently stole the air from Irene's lungs, she briefly quaked against Olivia's embrace.

Irene's brain was also feeling the pressure, though there were no arms around it. Aaaaaaaa. Brain needed oxygen. Wait. She had one (1) diaphragm. Right there, where her ribs ended and Olive's arms began. Flex. Tense. Relaaax. Okay. She'd stopped laughing, and Olivia'd stopped hugging. Thus, Irene was free. No prognosis on her revived ability to think.

"We could definitely form some kinda group." Irene began to pace standing still, spinning her skirt into a lazy pirouette with gun and bag struggling to keep tempo. "Gather the entire damn squad. Like Abby. And Crisanto. And, uh..." People. Faces flashed bright through Irene's thoughts, like camera bulbs or rays of sunlight through dim and dank Cochise windows.

"Georgia, Wade, Junko. Penelope, Brendan Harte. Jerry, other Jerry, Jon, Micheal, Darius, Asuka Langley Soryu... Fiyori, Aiden, Alicia, Clarice, Kimiko-..."
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"... Barbara G-zus..."

"She didn't even come on the trip!"

Shit, true.

"She was cute though..."

Shit, also true. Irene continued to rattle off names like a saber, and at some point she wasn't particularly sure herself where the names were coming from. Somewhere in her brain, surely. Somewhere where memories, mostly awkward, of words and greetings exchanged and hot summer days and hot winter days because global warming. Of names and phone numbers at least sort of memorized, of hopes and dreams, of sheaves of papers with math equations and group partner names. Of affections nursed tender under breastbone. Also mostly awkward, those.

They all just kind of sat there, those names and faces, weighty in her brain. It felt heavy on her lobes and eyelids. Tiring, exhausting.

"... Maxim, Danny, Jacob. Uh, that one bitch everyone hates... And, uh, Alvavo or however you pronounce his name. You know, the one with the cafe and all...?" Irene's voice trailed, puttered out. She took a breath. Olivia was looking at her, breathing. Hi Olivia! Irene felt another round of the old giggles knocking on her collarbone, demanding freedom. She let them go, but they came out all mopey and tired and sad. A halfhearted sort of chuckle, the sort that deflates like a balloon. Sudden deflation, as if shot and popped.

Irene met Olivia's stare, silent for a good moment too many.

"What are you doing, Hannananah? What do you both think we should do now?"
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Olive was quiet, like desert nights, like studious and stuffy lectures Mrs. Webber side. Unreadable, like ancient texts, also like studious and stuffy lectures Mrs. Webber side. There was language to a friend's face but Irene wasn't sure she quite understood. Too many variables that couldn't all be neatly slotted into polynomials. Just some eyes, some lips, little bit of nose. Lots of colors. Hard to quantify, except with a 'cute'. 'Adorbs'. 'Squad goals'.

'Unsettling'.

Alan and Kaitlyn, suddenly, and now even Hannah's freaking heartbeat was somehow too loud. Less noise than implication, but Irene was probably reading that all wrong. Smelling at things that weren't there, like her hopes and dreams or whatever. Anyways, more friends! Alan and Kaitlyn were sorta like Tessa, weird yet somehow fascinating to listen to when they talked about things that didn't make sense. Irene would happily have curled up to any of them and played their lapdog if-... Wait wait, back up:

... Asha, other other Jerry, Tessa, Alan...

Yep, they had definitely been in her brain at some point and she definitely knew them.

Hannah's retort to Alan was like the end to a joke that Irene didn't quite understand. A punchline she didn't quite get. To the face. Sure there was a camera there that might or might have not been there when Irene might or might not have been on this beach before? But really, what did it matter that folks watched them? Folks watched Irene stream games all the time. Back home, and all. The compare and contrast didn't seem to congruently add up; again, studious and stuffy lectures. Like everything else it just seemed to be more info to be lost in the shuffle. Like faces and names and the blast of a gun collapsing both her ear drums

Bang bang went Hannah's heart. Went not Irene's gun.

"How?"

"What?" Incredulously. Irene recalled a time when she'd asked herself five 'w's and an 'h' and had a plan whose contents she could remember in vivid vagueness. "Where have you guys been, who have you guys seen?" She couldn't come up with a 'when', because time had no meaning save for the length of shadows cast by the sun. 'Why' was sometimes a vowel. Irene felt hands on her hips, hips on her gun, foot on her mouth. One of those things didn't belong, probably.
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Nice gun. Did Irene agree? She didn't know, but she glanced her eyes over and downward to be sure. It looked nice. Smooth curves and powerful edges against her not so smooth curves and not so powerful edges.

"I mean, if you want to come with us...?" Plans, they had plans. Kaitlyn, Alan, Hannah had plans. Things Irene didn't have. Once upon a time they'd have all been gathered in a big round circle of crossed knees and empty lunch trays and the school bell with the chromatic tone of ding ding would have been about to ring. And they would have had plans, and Irene wouldn't have had plans. Plans were hard to make. They had too many variables and faces and fun easy little things that slipped through the cracks and became good times on dry sun-bleached desert days.

Maybe Irene could...

Stop watching Alan, because Hannah and Olivia wanted her here. But Irene's feet belonged there, but her head was pulled over here. Somewhere where she probably belonged. She orbited her two friends vaguely, feet shuffling sand in place. Hannah whispered all shouty, Irene shouted all whispery. "Okay, ten seconds! You guys have ten questions...-" whoops that was Olivia who had ten questions- "uh, seconds. I mean." Irene wondered if the other two over there had heard. She herself maybe had heard. Olive breathed a lot, Irene could hear it when her own ear was hovering right on Olivia's sorta warm shoulder. Irene had probably forgotten to do that at some point. Had to make sure there was air in her lungs and all.

Ten more seconds to watch Kaitlyn and Alan waaaay over there. Watch them with blank eyes scrubbed clean by an unkind ocean breeze.

Ten more seconds 'til the bell made them go. Ding ding, it had once went. Once upon a time.
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No plan at all. That actually seemed about right, like the sorta thing Irene would have expected anyways. Cochise Green Belt, couple of friends, ton of bullcrap. Sometimes her friends were smart and wise and inspiring like Abby or Caedyn or something but other times, well... Not so much? But. It all made sense anyways. It was just the way it was supposed to be. Like the water beginning to erode at the soles of Irene's sneaks. Tides. Gravity. Nature.

Just the way it was supposed to be.

"Well, I guess...-"

"Yeah, let's just go before it gets too deep."

"Yeah Olivia's got it right." Suddenly Hannah and Olive were whispering- or something that was maybe whispering, really hard to tell with the acoustics in this cave- in the general direction of Irene's ears. Hannah continued to insist, "These two are kinda creeping me out, and their plan still makes no sense. We should bail while we can." Huh. Well fair point on the plan making no sense. It just wasn't given enough evidence, like the sort of argument Webber would happily red ink up. Irene didn't think Alan and Kait were so creepy, though maybe there was something odd in how Alan just stoically stood there when Irene could somewhat recall that he couldn't swim? Hm.

"-... Yeah, let's just all get out of here?" Maybe Alan and Kait would follow maybe they wouldn't. As long as they followed just enough to not drown in the cave, and all.

Irene wasn't moving more so than she was moved, by familiar warm and firm grips of her hands. Irene was dragged for a second, the immovable object jet-skiing over an inch of water, then she remembered: She had feet. Irene surged forward with the meanest of her power supplies, bounced free of the cave within a few seconds. Hannah was right on her heels.

Olivia glanced behind, seemingly a bit distracted, but followed her friends with some urgency she could muster and was also quickly gone.

((Hannah Kendrickstone, Olivia Fischer, and Irene Djezari continued in the way to dusty death))
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