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Rückenfigur
Topic Started: Sep 2 2016, 11:14 PM (878 Views)
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((Florentina Luz continued from Inprimatura))

Her thoughts were lonely, mute, bled away quickly. Tina felt pale. The dull sheen of the sun's glancing blows upon a window. She couldn't tell how she looked, she felt worse.

An itch in her throat. Dry, mealy. She wanted something to wash it down with, but she had nothing of the sort on hand. Save for one thing her bag was an inert body. Tubules, tumblers worth of water. Every single drop wasted. Tina wondered, at every breath, if she was hearing the breath of another. But they all sounded the same. Bitter hacking coughs that refused to echo, died on walls. Great stretches of negative space, corridors and stairwells where Tina heard naught but her own fluttering heartbeat. Restless, even as her gait was stoic.

She cleared her throat.

The room had once been rooms. Jagged shards of icy crystal precipitated over ground. Kindling too. Crunched as she stepped over it, like the wistful fold of canvas in sketchbook. She smelled fresher air, it's swirls and eddies somewhere in the grandiose distance. Maybe she could reach it. Splinters threatened at the exhausted rubber of her shoes. She continued on. A slow march in mono-color. Stiffness threatened the joints, though she moved. Somewhere, there was someone. A silhouette, though her eyes would allow it to melt into the blistering static of a florescent. She could find it, in ones and twos of heel and toe.

The air smelt distantly fresher still. Phlegm continued to percolate through the sinus. A pane of glass cracked underfoot, reflecting it's own demise.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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((Isabel Ramirez continued from The Calm Before The Storm))

Isabel drank the last few drops of water from one her water bottles, sighing in relief and wiping her mouth after she finished.

Isabel had just made it inside the dreary, unsettling asylum building after an hour of walking from the cliffs. Crossing the bridge had to be the most worrying part of that journey, given how open it was and how dangerous being easily spotted at a distance was. Still, she made it across in one piece and found shelter from the chilly winds inside the wards of the abandoned treatment center.

Isabel stalked the hallways of the therapy rooms, glancing in at each of the individual rooms where patients in the past talked about their delusions and insanity. Isabel stored her empty water bottle away in her bag and kept walking, before she froze after hearing the hacking cough of another student. Her eyes narrowed as she scanned the hallways, slowly removing her sock flail from her pocket. Isabel had upgraded it slightly while she was travelling, now it not only had the padlock she had been given in it, but a fairly sized rock.

Creeping slowly towards the source of the noise, Isabel was doing her best to keep her presence unknown. She didn't know who had coughed, but they easily could be one of those kids who snapped immediately and started killing on the first day. There were always a few of them, from what she knew of the previous games. Of course, if they weren't one of the crazies, what was she going to do then?

Isabel stopped her movements and pondered. What would she do? If she wanted to make it out of here alive, all of the competition would have to be dead. The logical course of action was to kill if the opportunity presented itself to her at no risk to herself and her well being.

Isabel shook her head and tapped her skull with her fist. Murder was wrong, she had been told that murder was wrong her whole life. Even if she hadn't felt much of anything when she hurt people with her words in the past, murder was on a whole new level. There was no way she could live with herself afterwards, she had always been told that people responsible for accidental deaths always felt guilty and never got over it, she could only imagine how much worse that would be for unprompted murder. She wasn't going to become a murderer for no reason.

Isabel began moving again towards the source of the noise, the coughing continued until it ended with the noise of shattering glass that was all too close. Isabel rounded the corner, ready for combat, only to come face to face with an old enemy. Florentina, of the infamous Luz family. Isabel almost wanted to jeer at her just from seeing her face. Florentina was an ugly, loser introvert with crappy taste in music that had so little control of herself that she actually let herself get addicted to nicotine. Very few people made Isabel feel as much contempt as Florentina. It made her even angrier to think about how Forentina never even cared about her insults.

Isabel tried her best to look friendly, her face contorted, obviously holding back a sneer. "Hey there... Tina."
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"It's hard for you to talk, chiquita, I know. But somehow, someway, you make them see you."

Father had said that, spine curling against the back of a chair. His smoothbore head had been lit by the stoic radiance of sun sliced into quarters by windowpane. Other warm bodies ambient in the background. Mother, sister, half a chicken glistening with oily microwave sweat.

A body melted out of background noise. The lines, features of the face seemed familiar. A landscape Tina could recall. Landscapes of ambient noises that were meaningless, even as they were weighty like meat in the throat. Weighty in the knife point contortion of a reckless laugh. That laugh had an intonation harsh as the unrefined edge of steel. That intonation now echoed, in this modern and present landscape, and seemed suddenly bigger, hollower for it.

This landscape was starkly devoid of features that jumped into focus. Bits and pieces were just that. Only two focal points, where all form and temperature seemed to converge over the bristly hairs of exposed skin. Eddies of air circulated to vortex, the birth of a hurricane. Tina's breath was heavy, outward bound. The current seemed to ripple, it settled like razors. Hurt. The room expanded, too grandiose in all directions. The horizons all out of sight, and muscles all out of shape. The shape could not define itself enough, even when tensed into fists on the axis of a weapon. They felt the shear of a body too close, and then another.

The distinct features far too heavy, formed shadows over what Tina could sketch into a face if the environment were friendlier in tone. Surely, how one carved a death mask. Carved for whomever. Tina continued to choke, breathing steadily. Stale, musty, toxic. Nothing else to breathe in but the boundaries where life distorted into flecks of charcoal. Burned like the acrid in Tina's lungs.

Her neck stiffened, loosened. Her chin found parallel with the ground, after the briefest of nods. Her mouth opened into a cavern, and she proclaimed silence. The briefest sketch of a fish. Burned into charcoal.

"..."
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Isabel stood, smoldering as she stared at the unflinching Tina.

Isabel didn't know what to do. She expected Tina to actually say something or do something, but all she got was silence and a cold stare. Tina was obviously not happy to see her, and the feeling was mutual. Of all the people Isabel wanted to see out here, of course it had to be someone who never gave her the satisfaction of reacting to her insults. Even though Isabel knew that it got to her deep down, as otherwise she wouldn't blatantly hate Isabel so much, it bothered Isabel to no end to not get the powerful feeling she got when she put someone else beneath her. She was more important and talented than they would ever be, she deserved to feel like she was better than them.

Isabel was always told that bullying others was wrong, but she didn't care. She knew that she felt good after she put someone down, and more importantly she knew that she never felt bad about it. Who cares what her victims felt like? If it was really bad for her to do it, she would regret it. But she never regretted it. The only times she did was when it got her in minor trouble, and that came from other people punishing her, not anything natural she felt directly from her actions.

Isabel's eyes narrowed as she thought. She took her eyes off of Tina and instead stared at the floor at Tina's feet. She thought back to the cliffs, and what she was thinking about then. She wanted to survive. If she wanted to survive, everyone else had to die. Maybe she wouldn't have to kill everyone else, but she needed to kill someone. And right now, she was standing in front of one of the people from Cochise that she hated the most.

Isabel broke the silence that seemed to last for minutes. "You know..." Isabel started walking, slowly, towards Tina. "...I've been thinking."

Isabel was always told that murder was wrong, by society and by her parents. She was told it was the worst thing that you could do. She was told that most murderers regret what they do immensely. But she was told the same thing about bullying people, that it was wrong and that she would regret doing it. Murder and bullying were treated like the same thing, just on different levels. If she never felt bad about bullying people, would she feel bad about murder?

Isabel kept talking as she kept walking towards Tina. "I really don't like you, you know..." Isabel brandished her sock flail. "...and, you know how everyone else has to die for someone to leave, right?"

Isabel hoped she was right, she didn't want to make a decision like this only to feel bad afterwards. She just needed to do this once. Then she could just avoid everyone else for the rest of the game, maybe defend herself if she had to. She just needed to make sure that she got that one kill, so she could make it out alive.

It wasn't like Isabel would just murder someone out of the blue, these were extenuating circumstances. After this was all over, she could go back to her life being normal. She could continue on with her education, get away from her parents, and finally have some control over her life with this horribly traumatic event behind her. Finally have real agency in her decisions.

Isabel sped up her walking, yelling one last thing at Tina. "...Well, I've decided that I'm going to thin out the competition!"

Isabel's speed walk turned into a full blown sprint, and in an instant she lunged at Tina, swinging her sock flail wildly.
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Heat flaked off the body, it dripped from the two points where Tina had weld herself to her weapon. Off taut knuckles and wrists, almost shearing themselves down to bone.

Isabel's thoughts, somehow, seemed to radiate from her as her body heat. Not in words to ignore, or expressions to understand, and Tina found that there were no meanings to be had. All Tina could see was eyes. Organic shades of green and brown that melted away into black. No matter where Tina could dare to look all there was was some form of black, be it the black of another or the black of her own she suddenly coughed up. She felt the soot grind in her frail chest, a hand failed to cover her mouth. The quiet crunch of sharp under her feet as they were bounced by her convulsions. Painful, so painful. She could even feel the shards piercing virgin skin, through the vanguard of rubber.

Isabel's thoughts, now, were syllables. Four syllables, one subject, past tense. Tina coughed even when she didn't, her throat pumping air outward bound. One breath too many, and they continued to salt her tongue with bitter. There was something, something. Something in the arid, something in the eddies and whorls about her. Two things, hazy and indistinct and painted over a grotesque mosaic tile. Somethings.

"You're nothing."

Isabel now was melting, ice cream in a licorice shade smeared over the eyes that continued to be so impossible to actually see. Yet she seemed to become all the clearer. Four walls all too far became further, and Isabel became closer. Precipitating from the horizons, shapes became clearer, defined like muscles. Crystalline, the sweat of exertion on the skin. Tina felt the shrinking of her heel. But this time, nothing her back could find solace, against. One of one. That was how it was supposed to measure out, in cupfuls and spoonfuls of soot and ash. But reality was all too defined now. And it drew ever closer. One of one.

One clause, one idea. One weapon. One target. Even as the camera of Tina's eyes could only capture Isabel in motion blur. She was all too definite, all too real. All too close. The verdant possibilities of motion, the thousand Van Gogh swirls of butterfly wings, they collapsed into a singular point.

Collapsed Tina's elbow. A shield for her body, cracked and splintered like reeds. Pain was reality, it fed the nerves a smorgasbord, fed them flavors bitter and saltine as Tina's elbow was painted the spillage purple and black like grapes of wrath. Not neat, not tidy. It dissolved like everything else. All became Tina's weapon, the iron that breathed with her. One arm failed her. But one arm stayed true. Isabel's action potentials, momentums, became Tina's.

An angle of almost sixty, a second or less, and then the crunch of flat bone under duress. Like a baseball bat, an efficient swing.
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((Lillian ‘Lily’ Caldwell continued from I'll Cross That Bridge When I Come To It.)

Lily couldn’t remember being so out of breath. She’d slowed down once she was far away from the bridge, but her legs had the shakes and she felt like something was crawling around in her stomach. Maybe it was stress. Maybe it was just bad bread.

But no matter. She was alive.

She kept to the shadows when she could, though. Whenever she heard voices drifting from the surrounding building, she quickly slipped away. She kept moving, hoping she could find somewhere that she could block off. Somewhere not important enough for people to want to break into, should the door be ‘jammed.’

As she crept down the corridor, she heard voices. She didn’t pay them any mind immediately, until she heard very distinct words.

Thin out the competition. Words that were shouted.

That… was not what she wanted to hear. She turned around. Meant to leave. Because whatever was going on in there was not something she wanted to be a part of.

But she heard the response. Not yelled, like the first words, but the voice… the voice she recognised.

Tina?
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Isabel swung hard and fast, a mere second in between each swing arc.

Isabel's swings missed as Tina dodged out of the way and Isabel misdirected her movements. She just needed to get this one kill. This was where she would get the one kill she needed, and she didn't need to kill anyone else afterwards. She could live with just one person's blood on her hands. All that mattered was getting out of here alive. There's nothing wrong with wanting to live, and if she was going to live, everyone else had to die. One of them by her hand. This was okay to do, she told herself. With every swing she needed to repeat her motivations. This was it, this where she would get her one kill. Tina had to die anyway, would it make any difference if it was by her hand and not by someone else's?

Isabel missed Tina's torso by an inch, she had Tina on the ropes. She brought her arms back and put all her strength into another swing, shattering Tina's elbow when she blocked the attack in desperation. This was it, an injury like that wasn't an injury that someone would easily recover from. Now all she needed to do was-

Tina's pole-arm struck Isabel directly in the head, a sickening crack echoing throughout the abandoned halls. Isabel fell to the floor, her side pressed against the wall while her flail skid a meter and a half away. She clutched the side of her head, trying to make sense of her surroundings. Tina had probably given her a concussion, her addled thoughts managed to piece together. There was no way she was going to be okay after this. Tina was going to kill her now and her effort would have been for nothing.

Isabel felt a tug from her bag's strap that she had slung over her shoulder. She opened her eyes only to see Tina desperately trying to get the bag off of her. She wasn't going kill Isabel, she was going to take Isabel's stuff and leave her for dead. Despite the fact that Isabel had started all of this, she felt like Tina had wronged her. Tina had injured her, and now was trying to take her stuff. In her first moment of lucidity since being hit, Isabel grabbed a glass shard off the ground near her and screamed at Tina, before tackling her to the ground.

Isabel brought the glass shard down, aimed at Tina's neck, before her wrist was grabbed and held back by Tina's unbroken arm.

"You no good lousy bitch! I'll teach you not to mess with me!"
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Motivation, impulse. The disinterested, evasive whirr of nuts and bolts and camera steel. The action potentials of life stole Isabel's own. Temporarily. She formed a tent of fingers, the Thinker, against a wall. Her weapon, her safety, it melted away from her form without ceremony. A weak whisper of a bell chime against the glass tiled floor.

Tina felt the median of her arm continue to splinter. Flesh oozed, syrupy, in a maple color. It was stiff, it was motile, it hurt, it didn't. Pain was a curious sensation, fleetingly real, disturbing and disgusting and cast at the wrong angle. A sketch of this form and motion would simply be wrong, unpleasant and unworthy to the eye, discarded by the hands.

What was left after Isabel's attack truly was unworthy, but there remained the smoke-dusted fragments of something greater than the one, the self. Names and faces, the few that drifted easily through the haze. Crisanto, Daniel. Safe.

Lily. She could still be offered hand, hand that could somehow help.

Tina scuttled, her legs millipedes. The room had once more returned to real time, seen through a camera lens sans focus or clarity. Blur. Even as the fingers of her arm yet whole locked over cool and crisp weave. Her fingers knitted. Heaved. She couldn't move it. Harder and harder she pulled, till her second arm would become her first arm but there simply was no motion but the anguish of breath. Shoulder, muscles too strong and distinct, unlike those on her own body. She couldn't be the effort needed.

She had to be effort all the same.

Her bones were now the floor, spine spread like a healthless, toothless ketchup. Another shield, she had another shield. Another hand that strained with all the effort she could put into it. All the nothing.

Words that meant nothing exploded into her face, hot air, nothing. Pain didn't hurt, it was nothing.

Just the hand. The hand she could no longer offer, she could no longer serve and worship with, as it's angle continued to slide, bit by exquisitely agonizing bit. Slid into her core, her lifeblood. For now, there was still one.

She could only see, darkness. Could only breathe, darkness.

Her hand wavered, on the brink of God's kingdom.
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It was Tina.

Lily had turned back. She crept back, reached the room and slowly--hopefully silently--opened the door just a crack. Just enough to get a clear view of Tina and... she didn't know. A senior. Vague memories of the senior saying something dripping with mockery.

They were fighting. When Lily first peeked through the gap in the door, Tina was winning. Had won. Lily had nearly called out. Because she couldn't trust much, but Tina? The idea of her cousin--the cousin she'd snuck out to the desert with, that had never treated her as weak--hurting her... it didn't even process.

But Tina didn't finish the job. And now the senior... she was going to win. And Lily could see it already. That this girl would not fail where Tina had.

Lily could do something. She had to. She... she couldn't let Tina--

She pushed open the door further. Plans formulating in her head. Attack from behind. Stick the mirror shard in the girl's back. Grab Tina. Run. Solve the rest of the game together--

There can only be one winner.

And so Lily froze. Hand gripping the mirror shard, her other hand gripping the door. She didn't even notice the pain where she'd sliced her hand earlier, as her palm dug into the door's edge.

She did nothing but watch.
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The glass shard dug into Isabel's hand, her blood dripping down her wrist as she forced the shard closer and closer to Tina's throat.

Isabel could tell that Tina was already struggling to keep the glass shard away from her throat, and she wasn't even using both of her hands to force it down. She had already thought about doing so from the second she pinned Tina to the ground; if she was actually using both of her arms, Tina would already be dead. Isabel just didn't want to. For some reason, seeing Tina struggle against her and desperately try to keep herself alive made Isabel feel...

Isabel's thoughts were interrupted as Tina tried to shake her off again. Isabel reaffirmed her position, tightening her legs around Tina as she pushed harder on the shard, the jagged point now a handful of centimeters away from Tina's neck. Isabel had Tina completely at her mercy, and she felt... powerful. She had complete control over Tina's life, complete power over her. For the first time in her life she felt real control over something, for the first time she was asserting herself in something that actually mattered... and it felt good.

Isabel started smiling as her arm muscles strained to embed the glass shard in Tina's throat. She was enjoying this, she wanted to keep this going as long as she could. She wanted to keep this feeling of control and power for as long as she could manage.

Still, it looked like Tina was starting to give out. Figures that a shut in nerd would have no ability to keep up with someone athletic in a contest of endurance. Best to finish her off now and not wait for fear of some unexpected variable coming into play. She still needed to get this one kill so she could be certain that she could make it out alive later. That was the focus, that's why she was doing this thing that she was always told was terrible.

Then, Tina's arm finally gave out and Isabel's glass shard embedded itself in her neck.
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Red and numb and hand. It quaked, trembled, rocked with every single futile breath that put soot and eroded tombstone dust into her still beating lungs. Air was no longer enough, it hurt too. It had always hurt, Tina realized with the dull, wet, slimy pop of one rusty little gear of her brain into it's resting place.

The darkness she saw, it had always been. Black and ink and midnight, shredded tattered muslin ribbons about her form. Draped she had been, cut of such cloth as a stoic fashion model to be used then toppled and left to dust and ruin.

Red splashed on her from above, in rivulets off a wrist superior to her own. It was warm and soft, silky.

Red within her. It bubbled and frothed weakly. She made efforts, she was efforts. All of them already failed.

A smile from above. It seemed a mimicry of Tina's face, as much a reflection as the ghost in the glass shard to be her guillotine. A pleasant little reminder in molten colors and shapes that teased with soft edges. Of where momentum was. Of who somebody was. Of where life was. Of color, of breath, of sound. Of one. Not of Tina.

Two hands became one as one eroded away. The momentum and impulse of life turned downward with crushing finality. One hand's final, artisan brush stroke. The camera giggled impishly, an organic sort of metal screeching it's newborn breath as it let them witness.

"... somehow, someway, you make them see you."

They did see her. Oh, Papa, they did see her.

They saw nothing.

And so did she.

G047 : Deceased
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A crimson sort of brackish stain that erupted from the dead girl's now broken to paper shreds throat, quick to harden and coagulate in ugly chunks over her limbs, one twisted at a wickedly disgusting angle. A mosaic, a fresco of tiles that cracked in the shape of the rubble strewn about the body. Jagged as the shards of wood and glass and steel that tiled the floor. Edges and fissures and crevasses in stark relief against a dismally monochrome soup.

The camera leered briefly at the creator, Isabel Ramirez. Evaluating the quality of her work past the initial inspired bout of craftsmanship, in the way of aesthetic value it was dubious. It was a work like any other, of material like any to be found in any generic artroom closet. A work like many others before it, many to come. Nothing gained.

Nothing lost.
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Lily shut her eyes for a moment as the glass hit Tina’s throat. She didn’t see the moment of contact. What she did hear was this damp gurgling noise. She opened her eyes again.

Her mind had just come to a halt. Nothing but just… Tina. TinaTinaTinaTinaTina. Red spilling from her throat and soaking her clothes.

She shut her eyes again. Waited a moment. Opened them. Like it would undo everything. Her grip on the door loosened as she became more aware of the pain in her hand, slowly bring her back to reality—

The senior was… is… still there.

A sudden wave of fear overwhelmed everything else, submerging the shock and grief for now. Lily slowly let go of the door, hoping desperately that it didn’t creak shut on its own. She backed away.

She didn’t go far. Her legs were still shaking. Shaking more. So she just entered the next room. Half-collapsed next to the door. If the door opened, it would temporarily block her from view.

She raised the mirror shard. Waited. Hoping that the senior wouldn’t come this way.

Her face was damp.
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It was done.

Isabel had stared at Tina as she struggled to breathe, to move, to make sense of what just happened to her. Isabel watched her writhe in her last moments before she stopped moving and died. Watching as the blood drained out of her and formed an ever expanding pool on the ground below her.

With Isabel's bullying, she never really felt bad for the people she mistreated, despite being told that she would feel bad if she just imagined herself in other people's shoes. But no matter what she did or how she thought about it, she couldn't do that. She couldn't put herself in other people's shoes. For a long time she wondered if something was wrong with her, if everyone else felt things one way and in some way, somehow, she was different. She just couldn't feel bad for others.

And that now she had committed a murder, she didn't feel bad about it either.

No, if anything, Isabel felt good. She felt powerful, and for a minute there she felt like she had real control over something important. Something that actually mattered. Agency over herself and others was such a strange and intoxicating feeling to her. She had felt it before, just a little bit, with her insults and rumor starting influencing other people's lives. But it didn't compare to how she felt right now. When it came to asserting influence over someone else, nothing comes close to being able to decide if they live or if they die.

...But even if she enjoyed herself, she didn't need to kill again. She didn't need more blood on her hands. She had the one kill she needed to make sure that she would get out alive if she was the last person left. She could just avoid everyone else now. No need to go overboard. No need to be a bad person.

Isabel remembered her hand and how it had been cut open by the same glass shard she used to kill Tina. The pain was returning now that the adrenaline from the situation was fading away. She reached into her own bag, pulling out an alcohol pad and some bandages. She hissed in pain as she applied the alcohol pad to the uneven laceration that went down the entire width of her hand, before wrapping it tightly in bandages. Good as new, probably.

Isabel turned to Tina's bag, now devoid of an owner. Opening it up and rifling through it, she tossed everything that could be useful into her own bag before finding a scarf nestled at the bottom. Despite Tina having terrible fashion sense, this scarf actually looked pretty good. Isabel liked it, the craftsmanship was fine. Probably made by one of Tina's relatives. She slung the scarf around her own neck and fastened it, before peering in one of the mirror shards. She looked pretty good in this scarf, definitely worth keeping. If she was going to survive, she was going to survive in style.

Isabel stood up, before remembering that Tina had a weapon, a real one. The thing she used to give Isabel that nasty hit to the head. She didn't really know what it was, but she knew that all the kids came with instructions for their weapons. She dug through Tina's bag once again to find the slip of paper explaining what it was and how it was used, reading it over as she positioned the man catcher between her back and her bag in a stable positio-

Isabel froze as she heard a noise coming from behind her. She turned her head around, only to see the motionless hallways and rooms staring back at her. She trudged towards the door that she heard the sound come from, before turning the doorknob and slowly opening it.

Isabel stood, motionless as she listened for more sounds and scanning the area she could see just inside the door.

After a couple seconds of listening, she decided she probably just heard something and shut the door behind her, turning back towards the site of her crime. The pool of blood around Tina's body had officially reached where her bag was resting and was starting to soak in. Isabel took another look at the grisly sight before turning down the hallway and leaving just the way she came in.

Dead to rights.

((Isabel Ramirez continued in By the time you hear the next pop, the funk shall be within you))
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The door opened with a creak. A creak that was like every time Lily had snuck through her window or through the house to do something her parents wouldn’t approve of. Every incident of it compounded into one noise. It was the closest comparison to how she felt right now.

It swung open so wide that Lily had to pull her legs in tighter to stop the door bumping into her knee. One hand continued to grip the shard. That hand was trembling. Lily’s other hand was clasped over her own mouth to stop the tiniest whimper from escaping. Lily didn’t breathe.

The senior only had to take two steps in and turn.

An eternity passed. Lily could hear the girl breathing. Lily still didn’t breathe.



……

………

The door slowly closed again.

Lily continued to hold her breath, her lungs feeling like they were going to burst and end her game right there, until the footsteps receded down the hall. Then she let go of her mouth and gasped for breath. She stayed there for a while, breathing each breath of musty asylum air like it was the freshest mountain breeze. Her breaths were damp and noisy and came accompanied by a lot of sniffs as her nose leaked, and tears continued to roll down her face.

After a long time, she tried getting to her feet. It took a couple of tries.

Then she opened the door slowly. As silently as she could manage. It took some more time for her to summon the nerve to stick her head out and look down the corridor. No-one.

The door to the room Tina had died in was wide open now. Tina’s body, the pool of blood surrounding it. The damp, gurgling noise Tina had made when the glass made contact echoed in Lily’s mind.

She should… she should close Tina’s eyes or something. That was what… what was meant to be done, out of respect.

Lily took a couple of steps forward before the smell of blood really hit her, and stopped her dead in her tracks. She tried. She couldn’t move any further. She covered her nose and mouth again with her hand, eyes screwed shut. The smell remained.

This changes nothing.

Lily opened her eyes, staring down at Tina. When had she last seen Tina? Had it been on the bus? On the compound? During one of their trips into the desert? Lily couldn’t remember. It was blocked out by the sight of Tina’s corpse.

This changes nothing. Continue with the plan. Find somewhere safe.

Lily stopped covering her mouth and reached for Tina again. Shut her eyes. Pay respects. Her hand shook, fingers outstretched, before clasping into a fist and withdrawing. She took a step back, still looking at Tina. She opened her mouth to say something. A distressed gurgle, vaguely similar to the noise Tina had made as she died, was all that came out.

She turned her back on Tina and fled.

((Lillian ‘Lily’ Caldwell continued in Would You Believe? This Isn't Me.))
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