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Rückenfigur
Topic Started: Sep 2 2016, 11:14 PM (767 Views)
Cicada Days
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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.
The Dies Before First Rolls Squad

The Nights
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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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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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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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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
105 students remaining


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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