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Topic Started: Sep 2 2016, 11:14 PM (855 Views)
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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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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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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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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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