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Two Mules for Sister Sara.; Open.
Topic Started: Sep 15 2016, 04:29 PM (872 Views)
Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Scout Pfeiffer continued from Never Known Questions.)

It was several hours before Scout Pfeiffer took any active steps in her decision to play the game. Murder is serious business.

She mulled it over. Had been, ever since she woke up. Hit all three corners of the island and she was still mulling it over. Scout had a plan, she was certain it could work, but she was being wishy-washy, her own words. There was no one around to tell her to hurry up. Under that logic, she had all the time in the world. Wasn't like she could die at any moment or anything.

Peaceful Meadows, huh? More like Distressed Meadows. Place looked like shit; it became obvious that this place had been abandoned a long time ago and the Chapel's condition proved as much. She had to step around plantlife just to stare out of the stain-glass window at far end of the chapel. Mold, mildew, the whole nine yards, stained the walls and corners. She saw an especially large mushroom when she was outside. Damn near made her gag. But she sucked it up. That's what she was going to have to do. With the shit that's guaranteed to go down, gross-looking mushrooms were going to be tame by comparison.

Scout wanted to say that the island was some sort of hospital grounds, possibly an asylum, but she wasn't one-hundred percent sure on that. Not that it mattered. As long as she knew where everything was. Thinking about it, she was thankful for the condition of the chapel. Meant no one could sneak up on her. More importantly, it meant the positions of the cameras were odd, unlike all of the other. Clearly the people behind those cameras considered cleanliness leagues away from godliness.

The cameras. She took note of every single one she came across. There was one placed above the stained glass window, pointed directly at her. Or maybe at her general direction. Semantics. With the overgrowth practically swallowing up the chapel, the cameras were positioned in strange locations. There was one at the other end of the hallway. Scout's back was to that one. So, really, there was only one camera that had a good enough shot. Would her mother be watching?

... She sighed. Jesus, really? Of all the times to be worried about what that bitch was going to think.

Scout unzipped her dufflebag and reached inside. She pulled out her cigarettes.

Marlboro. The aftertaste was shit, but it did gangbusters whenever her anxiety started to rake up her spine. She knew it was wrong. Her super-ego wanted to slap her id. But it was a hell of a lot more convenient than weed, and at least her brain wouldn't turn to puddy.

The carton was bruised and crushed a little. The cigs were in fine shape, fine enough anyway. Scout took one out. She placed the butt between her lips and fumbled with the lighter she found from the first-aid kit. Her hand was shaking. Stop that. Christ. She covered the cig with one hand and light it with the other. She inhaled...

... Exhaled.

She pocketed the lighter, dropped the carton back into the bag. She held the cigarette between her index and middle finger. Then she promptly shut her brain off, if only for a few moments.

... One might think that smoking in a place of worship was a sign of disrespect. Desecrating The Lord's home. Scout used to believe in that shit, when she was a kid. Her father's side of the family was religious as all hell. Went every Sunday as a matter of fact. Scout never questioned it. It was, after all, the only time she could reliably see her father. Even when she was in middle school, when she doubted, she swallowed her pride just to make her father happy. Once the divorce happened, Scout let it go. Her mother wasn't particularly religious, and Scout had no patience to practice that hocus pocus make-believe bullshit, so why pretend?

Hmm. That made her wonder. Did Gary or Clarice believe in a god? Scout wasn't particularly knowledgeable about Native American religion. She had meant to ask Clarice about it but she never got the chance...

... Something occurred to her, a brief notion, short but strong, one that she did not want to recognize.

No. No way was Clarice on this island too. No way in hell.

She could not throw away the possibility though. The thought never occurred to her. No. No, don't worry about it. She's fine, she's home. She's taking a different science course, she's a senior, she's not here. Thinking this way, it made her feel weak, like a pussy. Scout was far from a pussy.

There was a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach though. She could not shake it.

See? This is what happens when you turn your brain off Scout. You start thinking with your heart instead of your brain and you'll get yourself killed. Can't get sentimental, buck up, put your big girl panties on.

Scout composed herself. She put the cigarette back to her lips. Inhale, exhale...

"... I hope she's okay."
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Espi
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Alice Baker continued from Needles and Pins))

Here she was again. Lovely.

The church's visage had faded from memory quickly in the blur of fear and intent from last time. Alice could tell now that it was truly dilapidated. Worn by weather and growths of reclaiming life, it was eerie in that devoid way, a bastion of faith desecrated by primal forces. In that same way, it was lovely, elegant even despite the lack of care. Very gothic, except greener.

Alice slipped into the front door full of anticipation. She doubted anyone had come here and stayed for long, perhaps just enough time to pray or make some sort of spiritual atonement or something. Kingman was a fairly conservative city, and though her young generation was remarkably liberal, she doubted that religious ties were severed so easily.

Regardless, the point was that the church was supposed to be empty. It was not.

Scout Pfeiffer stood in the chapel, staring upwards. Alice and Scout were hardly close friends. In fact, Alice knew next to nothing about the girl. She had vibrant orange hair and a surly disposition from the look Alice had seen on her face before. But that told her nothing. Also she was smoking, but Alice could hardly blame the other girl.

Still, a small part of her wondered, when did so many of her peers turn to drugs for relief from stress?

The door slammed loudly behind Alice before she could react. She turned to look, then suddenly whipped her head to face Scout, back pressed against the door. She had no idea what the girl was like, if she was armed (was that a handle in her hood?) or what she intended to do. And there was nowhere to run if Scout had a gun.

There was about a 20% chance Alice would die now, by her estimate. Fear reaction startled her, and her eyes widened. She struggled with the door, but trying to keep her eyes on Scout made the task difficult. She made no progress.
V5: Cut Short


V6: Broken Down


V7: Unprepared
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
There was a loud slam. Scout turned her head to look over her shoulder. The cigarette was clenched between her lips, a hand on the saw handle sticking out of her pocket. In hindsight it was silly that she even went for the bonesaw in the first place. After all, a bonesaw had very little chance going up against any type of gun.

Maybe it was the nicotine flowing through her veins, or maybe it was the fact that she vaguely recognized who the figure was. No matter what her reasons, she immediately cooled when her eyes landed on Baker. The sun was beginning to set. Rays of sunlight pierced the stained glass, bathing Baker's face in an orange hue and coating Scout's expression in shadow.

"Baker."

Scout turned her head away. She stared out of the stained glass window again. The sun in the windowframe nearly eclipsed the setting sun outside. It was pretty. Strange, but, pretty. She shoved her hands in her pockets.

Did Scout mean that? Yes and no. Baker did not set an intimidating figure. All the same, the scattered bushes and plantlife would make any sort of attack, sneaky or otherwise, a lot more trouble than it was worth. It reminded Scout of when she used to play hot lava as a kid.

"You can stay," Scout said, punctuated by a half sigh, half exhale of smoke. Her disposition was considerably less surly than usual. Not friendly per se, but not hostile either. Flippant, most noticeably, when she added, "I'm not going to kill you."
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Yugikun
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maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
He wasn’t quite sure why he chose to go around the asylum, rather than into it.

((Jeremy Frasier, continued from 人生の曲))

Maybe it was because he felt like it. Maybe it was because of the deep set contrarian beliefs that happened to reside in his head. Maybe it was because part of him believed that this was the direction that Clarice would have gone. Probably not the third one though. As much as he wanted to find her again he doubted that it was going to happen, at least not immediately. He wanted to find her now but he wouldn’t and that would make him super sad but then when he was down for other reasons and he wasn’t thinking about it she’d appear and he’d be super happy because it was something he genuinely wasn’t expecting. It was like the Seneca thing, except honestly not at all. It was close enough. The actual theory was more to do with anger in when things didn’t go the way people wanted them to but the happiness part was definitely something in there.

Well, probably, at least. He couldn’t check. That was probably the downside to getting kidnapped by terrorists and being told that everyone in your school had to kill each other until only one was left standing. You couldn’t just google things if you weren’t able to remember them. You just had to… try to remember them harder, or something. He didn’t know. He just hoped that he was right on this one.

But anyway, back to what was right in front of him. That being a church. Pretty cool looking. He couldn’t really say much more than that but he couldn’t really fault it or anything. There were people inside it too, he was pretty sure. Voices. Not ones he could recognise easily. Could be people he knew about. Could be people he didn’t- honestly they were probably all mostly people he knew about, was more of a matter if they were people he cared about or not. Well, the more casual friends were cool too. Basically, if it was anyone he liked in there? He’d appreciate it.

And really, he would. If it was a friend or somebody else that mattered, and he actually got that chance to say whatever came to his mind as a good farewell? He wasn’t quite sure how he’d feel about that, but it’d be good in some capacity. A little bit of penance, for what had happened earlier with Clarice. Not redemption or anything, but something in the vein of that.

So he walked up to the church, barrel of his gun stuffed in his right pocket, and stared at the doors, for a few seconds. They were big. Brown. Seemed light, though. Easily pushable. Just hit those doors with your hands and-

Hah. That would actually make a good entrance. Risky, though. If the person in there had a gun and was taken by surprise he probably wouldn’t survive very long, and if that happened, everything he had done and said so far would have been a waste. It’d be cool, yeah, but honestly making sure he stayed alive so that he could give what he wanted to give and see his friends for the last time would probably be more important. It wasn’t exactly a very hard choice for him.

He stood in front of the chapel for a couple of seconds, thinking about it.

1. Have fun, above all else.
2. Find friends, give last goodbyes.
3. Pursue hopeless venture of survival, if first two options are no longer applicable.


Guess that settled it, then.

He walked forward, barging open the door, raising-

Oh, nobody was here. Guess the people must be in the room beyond.

...He walked forward, barging open the door, raising his hands into the air as a wooden cannonade announced his entrance to the Peaceful Meadows Crematorium Chapel.

“Hey guys, what’s up?”
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Espi
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Beep Beep
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Face flushed with embarrassment (and a bit of exertion), Alice turned slowly to face Scout with a sheepish smile. Of course, there was no reason for Scout to be lying. If she wanted to kill Alice, she could do so easily now. If someone had murderous intent, why wait?

Hmm. Perhaps Alice was a bit hasty in her assessment that her fellows on this island would jump to murder so quickly. Though many of her peers seemed rather reckless, aggressive, or otherwise predisposed towards violence, the majority were likely in a state much like hers; frightened. So far, none of her encounters had led to violence in any real manner. She'd upset Aiden, but that was hardly equivalent to pointing a gun at him.

So perhaps there were fewer risks than Alice had anticipated. "Uh, hi, sorry." She gave a little wave to Scout, who seemed to be smoking a cigarette. How many of her classmates were smokers? Johnny, Scout, even Lili. Very strange. Regardless. "I was just a bit surprised to see someone in here. Are you...is..." Alice exhaled, then said, "Have you been okay thus far? Obvious disagreeable situation aside, of course."

Just then, someone burst into the room, and as Alice turned to face the young man who'd come in behind her, she spotted the thing in his pocket. Almost definitely the handle of a gun, and in fact the first she'd immediately recognized as such.

Letting out a squeak of fear, Alice stepped backwards away from the boy, hands in the air as though she were being arrested. She tried to speak, but no words came out. He'd offered a friendly greeting, but as far as Alice was concerned, that was just as likely to be a sarcastic, biting comment one could give before pumping lead into his targets.

Alice froze.
V5: Cut Short


V6: Broken Down


V7: Unprepared
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Tch."

Scout glanced over her shoulder at Baker with a skeptical glint in her eyes. She turned back to glance out the window. Not in order to ignore the girl's question, but to investigate a brief movement in the distance. Probably no one. Maybe a raccoon or whatever.

"Been fine," Scout said, "what were you going to - "

Scout spun around to face the newcomer. The cigarette stayed clenched between her teeth. Nevermind the fact that she jumped just as high as Baker when the door swung open and she damn near dropped the cigarette entirely. But, past that, there was little to fear.

The senior did not look like a threat. She assumed he was a senior; she knew most the faces of her junior class and she did not recognize him. And it was hard to take him seriously, with the faint outline of a mustache and a big, dumb smile plastered on his face. Clearly he was not planning to go on a Roman holiday.

Looks could be deceiving though. Scout's hand hovered close to the handle of her saw, stored away in the pocket of her jacket.

"... Did you really need to kick the door down? You're lucky neither of us are trigger-happy." Speaking of, Scout gave a sidelong glance to Baker. Her face was aloof, inscrutable. "Put your hands down, you're embarrassin' us both."

... Of course she saw the gun. It'd be hard not to see the handle jutting out of his pocket. Scout was going to pretend (for the time being) that she did not see it, and that the other girl was overreacting.

Besides. He did not have the gun drawn. If he had any intention of killing anyone, he was off to a shit start. It would take him seconds for him to pull it out, longer to aim and fire. The hall was long, but not long enough to impede clearing the distance between her and the senior before he had the chance.

It would be an easy task to get that gun. But Scout had no intention of giving it a shot, not with Baker standing between them.

She did not want any casualities. Not now. Not if she could help it.
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Yugikun
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maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Things didn’t quite go as Jeremy thought they would.

He expected something… different. He didn’t quite know. Maybe the people inside would taken it as the jokey action that it was and either laugh it off or go ‘wow that wasn’t funny at all Jeremy, I’m not even sure why you try.’ One of those naturally was a far better result than the other but he could live with both, maybe after crying into a pillow for a bit but eh, he would have gotten over it fairly quickly. Had he been exceedingly unlucky maybe he would have came across some aspiring sociopath, ready to make mincemeat out of bones or however the cliche went. That… any way that would have happened it would have sucked, but he’d still most likely live from it. He had a gun. All he needed was to pick it up and go ‘pew pew’ and stuff and he probably would have gotten out of it okay. Okay meaning alive and not a murderer, because having the guilt of having someone dead at his hands on him wasn’t really the ideal way for him to spend his last days.

Those were the two events he was expecting. What he wasn’t expecting was for everyone in the room to get defensive all of a sudden.

His hands went down. Alice’s - quiet girl, likely the recipient of a failed attempt to make new friends a couple months ago - went up. Why would she do that? It wasn’t like he was covered in blood or anything. He looked down. Nope, still bloodle-

Oh.

Right.

Whoops.

This was a little bit awkward now.

Maybe it’d be best if he tried to make this… not what it was.

“Oh. Wait. Sorry. Don’t worry. You can put your hands down now.” Jeremy said, in a sorta jolted manner. Experience had not really given him any tips on how to defuse an awkward situation caused by you bringing a gun in during a death game.

Oh also the other girl - Scout - was probably trying to be a badass. He was fine with that, and the line wasn’t too bad. Even though the focus was far more on the awkward situation he had created with Alice he could still at the very least give himself that bit of mind to respond to her.

“Well I mean, the door’s still standing, so I’m not really sure what you’re talking about there.”
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Espi
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Alice lowered her hands after the commentary from both. Her fear response was lessening now, and she felt a bit silly for reacting how she had. Still, who could blame her for being jumpy? For all she knew, whomever had barged in was as likely to shoot her as greet her.

"Sorry..." Her voice was soft.

It'd been this man to barge in. This Jeremy...Frasier? There was another one, in her grade, but she hardly knew him. There was also the loudmouthed Jerry, who was an interesting character to say the least. Perhaps Alice was lucky that Jerry Fury hadn't ran into this room. She might not have stood a chance. As it was, he seemed to be unenthused about attacking them.

Scout was a different story, of course. She was steely-eyed, with an inscrutable expression to Alice. There wasn't much talk, and for a moment Alice felt that she was between the pair. Anxiety gripped her, and her submission instinct kicked in. Alice stepped back, and moved around Scout, head down and shoulders up, hands clasped tightly together.

She meant nothing of it, of course; for Alice, it was perfectly reasonable to step out of the way of a conversation, and fade into the background. That was all.
V5: Cut Short


V6: Broken Down


V7: Unprepared
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout watched as the other girl walked back and around her. Good girl. Baker always struck her as smart. She leveled a glare at the boy though, who was busy playing dumb.

"You know what I meant," Scout said, shoulders tensed. "You came in so loud, you damn near spooked her outta her skin."

She motioned to Baker. It did not count as throwing her under the bus if she wasn't going to defend herself.

For a moment, Scout wondered about the best way to approach the 'gun' situation. Even with Baker tucked safely away, Scout was beginning to have second thoughts about how quickly she could close the gap. Would asking about it cause more trouble than it was worth? How would she even approach that? "Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to see us?" Fat chance. He'd probably laugh, maybe he'd think she was being serious.

It was clear that gun, whether it was real or fake or whatever, was the elephant in the room. And to think, she thought she was going to have a pleasant conversation with Baker. Her hands slid into her pants pockets. The silence was urging her to speak.

Just get to the point.

"... I'd ask you to drop your gun."

She rolled her shoulders.

"I have a feeling you won't be doing that. So..."

Scout stopped talking. She didn't make a move.

"Name's Scout." She gestured to the other girl. "This is Baker - " Scout winced, "err, Alice."
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Yugikun
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maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
“Yeah. My bad there.”

Man, Scout was not the type to appreciate the context-specific art of fucking around, it seemed. She would have probably made a good teacher, had this not happened. A nice replacement for Mrs Brown, whether she retired or she-

Wait, did he almost say that? That was.... He wasn’t sure what the proper way to describe it was but he was pretty sure the words “not cool” would fit pretty well, because seriously, that was definitely one of the worst things he could have thought about. No matter how annoying of a teacher she was and no matter how much math was a subject he wished he didn’t have to do joking that she could have been killed the way Mr Graham was killed definitely crossed whatever line still existed and was certainly not something he wished for. This… sucked. Probably not the right way to describe it either but it still got the point across. It was terrible. He knew that stopping it from happening was impossible at this point - he had seen Nancy, he wouldn’t be surprised if she stuck her axe a little harder into someone else, as morbid and terrifying as the thought was - but if it found out that the number of people that had died or were going to die was less than he thought?

It wouldn’t help him, but maybe it’d put another smile on his face.

And that was another thing, that he had just realised. Mr. Graham. He was dead. He… wasn’t really someone Jeremy knew well - he had picked Chem over Physics, not maths and more interesting - but he was definitely someone that Jeremy saw around the halls. Friendly, helpful, and whenever Jeremy saw him he always had a smile on his face.

And that was a face that he’d never see again.

That was… something to think about. Not a very happy thing. A very sad thing, actually. A face that he had gotten to know over the four years he had been here was dead, and- oh god Mrs Barks was on that bus too fuck why

And then Scout spoke again, bringing him back to reality. He supposed he was... sorta relieved at that. Not happy, not anymore, but he was a little thankful that she was still being her supposed killjoy self. She wanted him to put the gun away, although she said that she didn’t think he could do that.

She thought wrong.

“Hang on a moment.”

He swung the bag over his shoulder. It was now in front of him. The gun went in, the zipper was done, and it swung back.

“There we go.”

And now the room was silent again. Time to go back into his thoughts.

He’d rather not have that.

“So, uh… what’s up?”
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Espi
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Alice said nothing, simply watched quietly as Jeremy and Scout spoke. The situation was frightening to her, even though Jeremy didn't seem like the type to go along with the terrorist's instructions. Really though, did anyone at her school? As much malice as she could have for someone, she didn't know if her classmates could actually kill each other. She hadn't scene anyone hostile herself, at least. Then again, the last five classes probably had lots of people who thought like her.

Jeremy put the gun away, and Alice let out her breath, which until then she'd unknowingly been holding. It seemed surreal, how quickly she felt the nerves leave. She wasn't in imminent danger, at least.

Still, best not to incite anything; for all that guns were frightening, a person can inflict considerable harm even unarmed, if not kill. So Alice stayed at the edge by the door, and for a couple of seconds she contemplated her answer to Jeremy's frankly rather flippant question.

"Uhm...I was looking for shelter. A place to hide out." Alice looked around her at the chapel. "I'd still like to stay here, at least, if you two don't mind. It's not as if I own the place." She gave a small chuckle.
V5: Cut Short


V6: Broken Down


V7: Unprepared
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
...

Scout was taken aback. To the boy, perhaps tucking the gun out of the way was nothing to write home about, but to her it was unexpected. She thought the boy would puff his chest out and stand his ground. Instead he put his gun away.

That disarmed Scout. It also made her shoulders relax.

Right. So either this guy was playing a long con or he was absolutely harmless. She... She felt uncomfortable. Moments ago she was planning about how to steal that gun, under the premise that he was going to flash it. She jumped to conclusions.

It wasn't right. Scout wasn't right. She was wrong. Read the situation wrong.

Scout did not smile. But she was no longer sneering either.

"... What's your name?"

It was as if the boy didn't even ask how Scout was doing. It was as if Baker did not say anything at all. 'Fucking around' was not her forte. She shook her head. That was the wrong question to ask. She changed the question.

"Forget it, you're a senior, right? Would have remembered your name if you were a junior." Scout shouldered her bag again, crossed her arms. "... Do you know a girl named Clarice? Big girl, dark mop of hair, friendly in that grating sorta way. Have you seen her?"
Edited by Ciel, Oct 2 2016, 04:05 AM.
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Yugikun
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maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
“Hey, I called dibs. Call dibs. Whatever.”

He didn’t want to think. He didn’t want to focus too much on what he was saying. Obviously he wouldn’t accidently say anything wrong because seriously who did that but his replies weren’t going to be the greatest. He knew that. He didn’t care. The two people right in front of them weren’t ones he knew personally and likely wouldn’t so it didn’t matter if they didn’t think much of him. He just needed to not think. That was what he was valuing right now. And it’d be simple. Simple enough. He knew that he was thinking but so long as it was surface details like this? It’d be fine.

“But nah. You can stay. I’ll go. Figure out someplace else to stay, or something.”

Scout asked something. His name. That was simple enough.

“Jeremy.”

And then she asked him about Clarice.

And everything came crashing back.

The image of Mr Graham getting shot and the thought that Mrs Barks had likely died and the game and the island and Nancy sending the axe swinging into Clarice and the blood on the floor and on the axe. It all came back. It was there. And it was real. It wasn’t the people on the pictures standing off with one another. It wasn’t the man in the picture covered in blood that he could easily scroll away from. It was real. People he knew. Faces. Faces that he’d never see again. Maybe if he was lucky he’d get to see Clarice one more time but he didn’t want to count on it. He knew he’d be let down.

Because that was how things worked. You hope for something, and it gets taken away from you and you scream and you cry and the world has its fun from getting it’s rise out of you. Quote Seneca. Somewhere in the BCE.

Wait, no. He just needed to not think about this. Have fun. It was the top thing on the list, so it was what he had to do. There was a question. He could distract himself from it.

“I saw her… earlier today, yeah. In the bell tower.”

He looked away. Down.

He remembered something. One of the few good things his parents told him. Frequently he forgot, and whenever he did, his parents would always get stern at him and tell him to look people in the eye when he was talking to them.

“She got an axe sent through her arm before she went out of sight. I don’t know what happened after that.”

He knew that if they were here, his parents wouldn’t be very pleased right now.
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
...

Scout's demeanor changed in an instant. There was a sudden realization and a blatant show of emotion. The corners of her mouth drooped. Her shoulders scrunched. Her eyes stared, not at Jeremy but through him. Her lip quivered.

"... Are you telling me the truth?"

As much as she wanted to doubt the boy's credibility, the fact that he seemed so put-upon really made it for her. The way his eyes were glued to the floor, The flash of disgust she caught in his expression, as if he were recalling something gruesome. No, he wasn't lying. Why would he have any reason to lie to her? There was nothing to gain from it.

Clarice was big. An axe to the arm sounded like the sort of thing she'd walk off. It sounded like a joke Scout herself would make, a private one, the kind you don't repeat to anyone else. But given the situation they... it didn't sound like a joke. Sounded pretty damn real to her.

Can't wrestle with a bad shoulder, Scout thought.

...

"Thanks, Jeremy.

"I, uhh..."

"Not everyone's gonna be waiting for the escape helicopter. Hope for the best, plan for the worst."

Don't cry. Only pussies cry. And Scout, you aren't a pussy. Are you? Don't turn your brain off Scout. Bad things happen when you turn your brain off.

Oh she wished it were that easy. It wasn't just the news of Clarice getting hurt that was breaking the dam in her tearducts. There were so many things occurring to her at once. The biggest one being that, yes, there really were monsters among her classmates. Those who would so blindly rush in and attack someone as nice as Clarice.

And she had actually considered becoming one of them. One of them.

"I need to go," Scout said. Had to see a dog about a dislocated shoulder.

Shouldering her bag. as she rushed out the door, fumbling with the pack of cigarettes again. She needed to be alone. Think things through. Restrategize.

Scout wanted to tell them, Baker and Jeremy, to stay safe. She forgot.

(Scout Pfeiffer continued in And What You Get, Isn't What You See.)

(Skippage approved by espi.)
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“You’re welcome.”

And then Scout left. She didn’t seem to be too good. Maybe just straight up telling her that he had seen her person of unknown connection get hit with an axe wasn’t the smartest idea after all.

And you wonder why it’s suddenly so hard for you to talk to people, Jeremy.

But now the both of them were alone. The both of them being Jeremy and Alice. Had she spoken since he had entered? He didn’t know. Wait, he did know. She landed dibs on this place tonight a little bit ago, before Scout asked him if he had seen Clarice. He knew her, a little bit. He now definitely remembered having a conversation with her. Probably in the music room. It didn’t really go that well. Chalk that up to the normal case of Jeremy honestly not being that good at really conversing at other people. There was the option to talk again right in front of him, but he wasn’t really sure that was a good idea. She wanted to be alone, and the last time they tried he felt kinda awkward. Stilted.

It wouldn’t really help him get his mind off his thoughts.

He looked behind him. Scout was out of sight.

There were people out there that knew him better. Who he could talk to easier. Who he wanted to at least have that talk one last time. He knew that. Maybe they could distract him. At least for a bit. Keep him in the good and light mood that he wanted. That he needed. He knew that this was probably a big island, but who knew. It was a chance.

He turned his head back to Alice.

A better chance than remaining here, at the very least.

“Well, you said that you wanted this place to yourself, so I’ll leave it to you, then.”

He turned around, sending his arm out in a wave.

“See you around, hopefully.”

((Jeremy Frasier, continued in This World Belongs to the Mad))
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