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The Cuckoo's Calling; not the reference i was attempting to make, but the thread's open
Topic Started: Aug 26 2016, 10:40 PM (832 Views)
Yugikun
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She had made a mistake.

((Jasmine King, continued from The Strange Case of Nadia))

She shouldn’t have stepped aside. She should have stayed in place, tried to convince the other girl to stay; she was good at that, maybe she could have gotten it even in the skull of an idiot. She shouldn’t have left Maxim alone, either. She could have probably been able to convince him as well, then she could have gotten into a group of three; it probably wasn’t the best number she could have, but it was a good start at the very least. She shouldn’t have come down here. She only meant to go down one flight of those stairs, but now she seemed to be in a basement, of some sorts. She shouldn’t have decided to check around the place regardless. It was cold. It was cold and it was wet and it was damp and she didn’t want to be here. She didn’t want to be stuck in this game while fucking Julian was sitting at home doing whatever the fuck he did. She wanted to be home, she wanted to be in bed, and all the mistakes she was making were piling up in the back of her mind and she was clenching her firsts and gritting her teeth and-

The pain in her hands made her stop. She jumped, slightly, and looked down. It was the knuckles. Her clenching her fists dug them deeper into her hands. Okay, it was best she’d stop that then. Because really, it was okay. There was no way of telling that this would have happened and there was no way that she could have planned for this. And it wasn’t like she was the only one failing. There was the other girl, for example. LIkely countless other people, as well. Nobody knew that this would happen. Nobody had planned for this, and really, it was only two people. Only one time. She could try again. Two other people, one more time. She could convince them to join up with her. And then they could convince more. And then she could lie behind them, wait for them to take each other out, and then she could win. Simple as that. She could win and everything was going to be okay.

“Uugh.”

No, that wasn’t how she could convince herself of things. She just needed to look ahead. At the future. There were going to be more opportunities. She just had to make use of them.

And at least she wasn’t stupid enough to go to the bell after she had heard it ringing. That just screamed trap. Too many people. There was probably going to be someone evil among them. If she went there all it would take was for one shot to ring out and it could have been over for her. She was better off down here.

...Despite how cold it was. She placed her hands on her arms. As futile as it was, it almost felt like it helped. She looked around, feet creating a splash as she stepped in one of the puddles on the floor. What was this place? Why were there so many bathtubs in the basement? What was the room upstairs supposed to be? There were rooms that looked into other rooms but what purpose did they have? What was this island that she was on? She wasn’t sure. There was nothing in her mind that this reminded her of. She didn’t know what this place was, she didn’t know why there were bathtubs here or what the room upstairs was supposed to be, and she didn’t know what sort of island she was on.

And unlike everything else that was on her mind right now, that was okay.
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Yugikun
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Jasmine looked around the room, eyes focusing themselves on one of the bathtubs in the distance. She nodded, slightly. She could agree with herself. It was okay. Well, at the very least this was okay. Not knowing something because she had never received the information wasn’t any fault of hers. Normally she’d ask a friend what happened if she ended up missing something but that wasn’t a luxury she really had anymore. So it was okay. At least more okay than the other mistakes she had made so far, which were still being pushed to the back. She didn’t know what this place was right now, but she was sure to find out later. All she needed to do was to keep exploring and she’d eventually figure out what this place was. It wasn’t a big deal. She could live with it.

A noise unlike the ones of the room called out. Jasmine froze. What was that?

Another person?

She stood still, breathing. Probably. Yes. She wasn’t sure what else the choking noise could be. Maybe an animal, but she wasn’t sure if any could survive down here, if the cold was any indication; so it had to be a person. She smiled, another person. Maybe somebody she could ally with. Maybe someone who could help her win.

Maybe someone who could fix her mistakes.

So she walked. Forward, towards the noise. She opened the big metal door at the end of the room.

And it was there where she found her possible saviour.

It was a girl, hunched over the wall of what seemed to be a shower room. Toby, she was pretty sure her name was. From the year above. Not someone she knew very well, and not someone she had on her lists. She was vomiting - not very well - onto the floor, little drips or chunks of what she had eaten. Jasmine moved her head back, a little bit. Ew. Vomit still wasn’t something that pleasant to look at, and the image of someone doing it was even worse. Still, she couldn’t turn her head away. This was a person, a potential ally. Toby hadn’t seen her yet, and they didn’t know much of each other. She could at least try to make a good first impression.

But what to say? The sight of the vomit on the floor and the sight of Toby vomiting wasn’t doing good for her quick thinking abilities. She needed… something friendly. Something assuring. She needed to establish her presence without turning Toby off of her. For Jasmine’s sake. Maybe for Toby’s sake too.

“Are you… um… okay?”

That would work.
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Yugikun
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
And it did work, it seemed. Toby had responded to her, and she apparently seemed to be okay. A little annoyed, if the tone of her voice was of any indication, but that was something that Jasmine didn’t really mind working with. At the very least not too much. Not right now. It would probably serve to be an annoyance if this was what everyone greeted her with, but right now? This was okay.

...Apparently not, though, if the next thing Toby said indicated her thoughts. Ouch. That was probably something she’d reel back against if she was at school. This wasn’t school and this was someone who she wanted to try and impress, so she couldn’t. Oh well, it wasn’t really a big deal. She’d just figure out something else to say. Something good so that they could mend this seeming rift between the two of them and so that they could talk and potentially start working together. Yes, that’d be good. She’d like that. Maybe Toby would, too. All Jasmine needed to do was to just step back a little bit and try to calm her down. That wasn’t too hard.

But there was something. Something in the back of her mind. The words, the tone of what Toby had said had lodged into the back of her mind and it wasn’t budging when Jasmine tried to shake it. Toby didn’t seem to appreciate Jasmine’s presence. That was going to be a problem. Except it wasn’t actually but it honestly was and she couldn’t tell and she didn’t know what to say. She knew how simple it was and she knew what she needed to say to do it but now every single sentence just didn’t seem to work. 'Sorry, I just heard you and wasn’t sure what was happening.' Wouldn’t work. 'I heard you and wanted to see if you were okay.' No, that wouldn’t work either, and really she just needed to say something at this point but it was just that nothing was popping up and honestly she just needed to do something so that this could just get off of her mind.

She stepped back.

“Sorry… um… I just wanted to know if you were okay.”
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Yugikun
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If there was ever an appropriate time for Jasmine to breathe out in relief, it was now.

Because okay. Things were okay. For now, at least. It wasn’t to say that this whole situation or the fact that she was here was okay but right now? She could live with what was happening. Toby had backed off of her, if only slightly, and she started speaking a little bit more calmly. It was about the situation, it seemed. Toby was getting jumpy on her because of where they were. That was… understandable. She could see why Toby reacted the way she did considering the way that Jasmine entered. Well, she still wasn’t going to blame herself for what happened but she knew that neither of them really wanted to be here, now.

She smiled, slightly.

Maybe she could use that, if only a little bit.

“I should…” She paused. “Probably be the one apologising. Sorry. I’m just super jumpy and stuff, considering what’s happening and-”

There was a crash behind her.

“What was that?

She turned around. There was a person on the floor. Red hair. White Jacket.

Not someone she knew. At least not immeaditally.

“Who are you?”
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Yugikun
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The situation had suddenly changed.

Jasmine was no longer the main person that this encounter was focusing on, if she was correct. Instead, she had been pushed to the side, someone in the background of what was happening right now. She was fine with that. She knew she might have said differently had this been at school, but right now being known wasn’t very much of a high concern. Toby, on the other hand, had kept the same role as before, and now with Jasmine in the background she could tell what that role was, somewhat. An aggressor. Someone who jumped on what other people said and wouldn’t back down, her current target being the girl. Natalie, her name was apparently. Not someone she knew. Not someone anyone really knew, if she were able to say something like that. She was withdrawn, from what she knew. Not exactly someone she interacted with much.

That made it hard to guess her intentions. Whether she was being truthful about what she was saying or not. Jasmine wanted to be able to group up with anyone who she could get, but she didn’t really want to put it into someone who’d try to stab her in the back. That would go against everything she was trying to do, here.

So she took a small step back. It was best to see what was going to happen before she made any attempt to join in.
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Yugikun
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((Skipping post order to leave thread))

The situation seemed to have cooled down.

It seemed okay. Toby seemed to have calmed down. Natalie seemed to be friendly. The situation that had erupted seemed to had just been a misunderstanding. It seemed that now everyone in this room could move on from this. It seemed that now they could be friendly to one another. It seemed from there they could possibly form a group. It seemed from there that maybe they could get further in this game together. And then things would be okay. Jasmine would get out of this okay. She would be in part of a group, they would be safe, and then she could get out of here and go back home. That would be okay. Things seemed to be going okay for Jasmine right now. Now she could get a group, and now she could survive a little longer, and now everything was going to be okay.

She furrowed her brow. Raised it. slightly.

She wasn’t sure.

Even if this situation seemed to be okay now, she wasn’t sure whether it would stay that way. Toby had jumped on both Jasmine and Natalie on the slightest provocation, and truth be told she didn’t know anything about Natalie at all. For all she knew, Toby was right initially. She was planning on doing something. If she hadn’t slipped, then Jasmine had no idea what would have happened.

But it was a group, and a group was what she needed right now.

She looked to the side. There was another corridor. Dark and damp, but it might take her away from here safely.

She didn’t know.

And that was the worst part.

Stay, or go?

She thought about it, for a bit. The ideas were annoyingly muddy in her head. Nothing was forming. The options weighed themselves on the scales but they didn’t move a single inch.

She looked at the group. Closed her eyes, for a second. She knew that there would be more. There were more than these three on this island. There were enemies. Friends. She could find better.

She looked down the empty corridor.

It was good enough.

((Jasmine King, continued in Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson))
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