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Self Doubts and Hurricanes
Topic Started: Sep 1 2016, 03:52 AM (828 Views)
Espi
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Death By Truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Henry Spencer continued from Plutonian Wharf))

Hadn't they meant to go somewhere?

Right, the buildings. The warehouse. Fishing line or something. Yeah. They were going fishing! Awesome.

His smile was strained by this point. At some stage he'd seen the interesting tidal pools along the waterline and scrambled recklessly down to the edge. Tidal pools were something he'd never seen in person before. There were little fish in between the huge rock slabs. Henry wanted to crouch by the edge to get a better view, but he knew better. Too cold for a swim.

He'd kept walking, aware that at some point he was no longer sure if Jasper or Arthur had followed him down here. To be serious-wait, no, that wasn't right. Serious wasn't a good state right now. Henry shook his head, his bangs brushing his nose. To be frank-wait, he wasn't Frank. What an odd saying. Anyway. He didn't really mind if they followed. He'd see them later on.

Oh, hey, there was that girl! The one with the hair, and the scar? Her! Henry spotted her in the distance. He was walking pretty fast, and she seemed to be less brisk in pace. He sped up to catch her, shouting to her all the while.

"Hi! Hey, hi, hello? I'm Henry! Hey!"
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Espi
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Oh, she noticed. The others were following him too, which was Great! since he didn't want to lose track of his friends. He might...never...

Henry arrived at the girl's position as she turned around. He stopped in front of her, flailing slightly to avoid crashing into her. He grinned and bowed in an exaggeratred manner. "Hey, Coleen right? Hi, I'm Henry. I said that already, right? Sorry!"

He looked back at Jasper and Arthur, who were almost on his heels. Huh, he wasn't as swift on his feet as he'd though. That was odd. Perhaps the cold, unfamiliar to his body after the start of spring heating up, was causing muscle cramps? He felt fine, at least. Perhaps they were cramp-free cramps? Anyway. Coleen. Or was it Colleen? Or perhaps Cologne.

Henry returned his gaze to Co(l)leen. She seemed distracted, but Henry couldn't identify the expression on her face. Hrm, perhaps she was overwhelmed with emotion? "Oh, that's Jasper and Arthur." He gestured casually back to the other two. "They're cool. Oh, look at this!" Henry fumbled up the whip, which had been coiled around his shoulder with the handle tucked into his jacket breast pocket in an awkward and weird-looking position.

"Cool, right?"
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Henry smiled and nodded.

"Oh yeah, no, totally. Misidentification of objects due to distance is perfectly normal, especially when one mistakes an object for a similar-looking one, in this case a fake gun versus a real gun."

Henry looked over at the other two. Still there! He looked back at Coleen.

"There's a condition called delusional misidentification syndrome, however, which is very different. It entails believingf that something is actually a different object despite evidence to the contrary, such as thinking everyone you meet is the same person in disguise."

Henry started walking down the beach, past Coleen. "That's the Fegoli delusion. The most well known example is Capgras, where one believes a loved one has been replaced by an impostor. Very commonly related to schizophrenia, it...it..."

Henry trailed off, then took off running.
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Feet pounding against the hard, damp rocks between sand and earth, Henry didn't look back as he sprinted along the shoreline.

He made it less than a hundred yards before he slipped. It was inevitable, really, that he skidded along the wet shingle stone, his red sneakers losing traction and sending him onto his butt as he fell. He rolled over onto his side, pulled in his knees against his stomach, and wrapped his arms around his shins on the ground. Classic fetal position.

Henry had been the picture of ignorance up until now. But something so fragile as denying one's mortality couldn't last forever. His ability to play pretend and act as though nothing were wrong was apparently less persistent as he'd anticipated. So now he was faced with a cruel, unbearable, unavoidable, inescapable unerring truth. He and dozens of other classmates, companions, friends and acquaintances, all of them would be killed. Probably within a week of today.

There were so many reasons that this was a devastating revelation; Henry's own personal demise was just one. Sure, he wanted to live; he liked being alive! Still, if it were only him to suffer, it'd suck, but it'd be okay. But so many people were hurt; the other students, for one, who had so hopes and dreams of their own. The parents, who would lose their beloved children. Even former survivors, whose trauma would be reopened anew by this travesty.

Nobody deserved this. Not a single one of its victims.

Of course, Henry wasn't so concerned with all that. He would've liked to be able to look at this from the bigger picture, acknowledge the cruelty from a selfless stance, and be at peace with his own fate. But he wasn't in that state of mind; he was scared, selfishly scared, to die. He wanted to go home, see his dad, watch some movies, play games, do things! He didn't want to die.

So Henry curled up on the ground and whimpered, overwhelmed by sudden, crippling waves of fear and dread. Not the good kind of fear, the kind bordering on delight from his films and books, but real fear. He didn't like it.
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((Skipping for DZ purposes. GMing of Jasper approved))

Henry rolled over as the others arrived and Jasper rubbed his shoulder. Normally, in any other situation, Henry was a touchy-feely kind of guy who was quite fond of physical affection. But right now, under the anxiety and pressures of his faltering coping mechanism, Henry reacted badly.

"Argh!" Henry let out an aggressive noise, rolled onto his back and sat up, pushing Jasper away with his hands in the process. Lunging to his feet, Henry glanced rapidly between Coleen and Arthur, before his eyes panned down to Jasper in front of him.

"I..." Thoughts raced. Apologize? He couldn't. He couldn't do anything. Jasper and Henry's continued survival were now mutually exclusive, and there was no way Henry could handle that, especially since it also applied to, oh, a hundred other people he knew from school.

He stumbled slightly as he ran off down the rocky shoreline. His bag lay on the ground where he'd first fallen.

((Henry Spencer continued in To Dine With the Devil))
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