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By the time you hear the next pop, the funk shall be within you; Private
Topic Started: Sep 16 2016, 05:32 AM (1,518 Views)
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((Clarice Halwood continued from 人生の曲.))

“Come out, Nancy! Fuck!”

How the fuck Clarice even made it all the way there was a mystery, even with Conrad following her and yelling for her to stop. Just rolling on pure rage and what might have been a faint glimpse of Nancy’s unique sense of style in the distance. Clarice had just wanted her to stay. She hadn’t wanted Nancy to die. And Nancy had fucking put a hatchet in her shoulder!

Why was she even chasing Nancy?! She didn’t know what she was going to do once she found her. What could she do? Kill her?

Maybe it was that rather sobering thought that finally made Clarice slow down.

And maybe it was this sudden return of her common sense that made her realise that she’d just run off from a crowd that could have protected her. Who she’d wanted to bring to the tower. That she’d left her supplies behind and made Conrad carry them by proxy. And that her arm was slick with blood and—oh dear god.

A wave of dizziness hit her as the adrenaline receded slightly, and she stumbled before leaning against a wall.

“Didn’t think that through,” she said faintly.

Fuck, she hadn't even stopped to check if Conrad—

"She hit you? Are you okay?" Clarice shut her eyes for a moment before opening them again. "Did she hit anyone else?"
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((Posting for R.C.))

((Conrad continued from 人生の曲.))

"I don't know, I really don't know." Conrad wanted to cry, but could not. His face looked tired and he wanted Clarice to not be upset anymore. But she was hurt. She had a wounded shoulder. Blood. This was just sick. He would have never imagined to ever see his girlfriend in such an injured state, even with the wrestling she did. Sick.

"You need to calm down and recover. You should not run when wounded."

Clarice was in danger. Conrad had no clue how first aid worked. But at least they could calm down here. They walked away from the tower to a more secure location.

That was the solitary confinement cells. Just the two of them being here, they could calm down.

Clarice hopefully learned something out of it, though. That they should not trust anyone. Maria was right. Maria was smart, not following them. Not following like lambs to the slaughter. There were so many people in the bell tower, it was crowded. Freaking Nancy.

But now it was just him and her.

Conrad had goosebumps back when Nancy ran with the hatchet. She could have stabbed him with it and he would not have been able to do anything against that.

Nancy ruined everything. Now Conrad even had to split up from Barry, a person he could trust, unlike Nancy, Maria or Isabel. If Conrad, Barry and Clarice would have stayed united, who knew what they could have done. Now, he probably will not see Barry again, presumably hearing him in an announcement.

But at least he had Clarice.

Clarice was wounded and there was no way they could go to a doctor now. She had to endure the pain. While he thought Clarice would endure it, he still felt sorry for her. She did not deserve this. He did not either. They deserved going to a museum and to return home.

He opened his mouth again.

"I am sorry this happened."
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“There should be something in—“ Clarice moved the arm with the injured shoulder, and the throbbing flared up again. “Aaaaghhhfuck! That is just—”

Can’t wrestle with a bad shoulder.

“The… the kits. They probably have… pain… things. Bandages. Stop the… ugh.”

Clarice didn’t bother looking for a seat. She just took a couple of steps into one of the cells and sat down. Had a vague impression of padded walls.

Who’d she left behind so far? Isabel. Maria. Jeremy. Barry. The guy with Barry. Five people she might never see again. Six if you counted Nancy. Clarice wasn’t sure yet if she did. Too many, regardless of which number she picked.

Her mind was on the tower, it didn’t have enough focus on the present. Think of now. Think of Conrad. He was still with her. They were still together.

“Sorry. Made you carry everything, didn’t I?” Clarice gave him a strained smile. “Didn’t… didn’t think.”

She didn’t think about anything. Didn’t think about why grabbing Nancy was a bad idea. Or what she’d planned to do if she caught up. How many other kids had chased the people who hurt them without thinking, and acted on impulse when they caught up? How many deaths had happened that way?

Clarice was suddenly very glad she hadn’t found Nancy. No matter how mad she was at the girl right now.
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((Posting for R.C.))

No. Painkillers? No. There were no painkillers there. Conrad searched but just found aspirin.

"I am so sorry, Clarice. I can't find any."

He showed her the first aid kit and put out some medications while bandaging her.

"There is ibuprofen and aspirin, though, if that might help."

What now?

Talk. About anything.

"I did not mind carrying everything." He wanted to smile back at Clarice but really, it was not a pleasant view with the wounded shoulder. Conrad looked away.

After a break, he added more.

"Next time we see a group, we should not approach them. It's the best, I suggest. Really, we want to avoid this to be repeated."

He looked back to Clarice.

"We definitely need to try to act more cautious."
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“Shit. Nah, I doubt an aspirin’s gonna make it any better. Just… just bandage me up, then. I’ll deal.”

Clarice paused here and there as the pain continued to thump in her shoulder. Thump. Thump. Thump. Similar to a heartbeat, only it didn’t feel in time with it. Because she knew, after that run—and also, well, being attacked with a fucking hatchet—that her heart was going way faster. Even so, it was starting to slow as they stayed here. Calming down again.

“Still. Two bags of supplies plus that halberd thing? Be a great workout routine if everything wasn’t—” Clarice cut off at a particularly bad ripple of pain, pressing her lips together and shutting her eyes as she tried not to make any noise.

The terrorists probably got off to kids in pain. It made as much sense as any reason for this sick game. She wasn’t giving them any more audio for them to loop in the background while jerking off, if she could help it.

Conrad eventually started speaking. Moving back to cautiousness. To ‘outlasting,’ even if he didn’t say that precise word. This time, Clarice didn’t immediately snap at him. She had to admit that the bell thing hadn’t… hadn’t really worked out. And she hadn’t even gotten to ring the damn thing.

But she’d probably not done any favours by grabbing Nancy like that. Fuck, in hindsight that was super aggressive.

“I… can deal with cautious,” Clarice said slowly, not looking at Conrad either. She frowned for a bit, staring at the padded walls, before looking back at him. “But what are we supposed to do? Hide in a hole and let everyone else die? Fuck that. I don’t want to leave this island alone.”
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“Look, I’m all about not repeating the hatchet thing, but one of us is gonna get way more than hurt if this game goes how those assholes want it to go.” Clarice half-shrugged, remembering a tiny bit too late that her shoulder was injured. “Fuck, why did I do that? Anyway, y’know, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I’d rather be damned while not being an asshole.”

Conrad finished wrapping her up. The bandages didn’t feel… right… to Clarice. She’d had her share of injuries before. She’d broken her arm when she was a kid. She wasn’t sure if that had been better or worse than this, since it’d been a long time ago and time tended to take the sting off. But she had the feeling that the bandaging, or something, had been done wrong. Like there was something she’d forgot.

But whatever. Conrad was a smart guy, but he wasn’t a doctor. She couldn’t expect him to whip out the best health care. She’d make do.

“I thought ibuprofen’s for puking. I saw it in a game Scout was playing once.” Clarice paused, then added, “No, wait. That’s ipecac. Okay, fine, whatever. Thanks for, uh… you know, doing the bandaging and stuff.” She tried to smile at Conrad. It failed, looking a little more rigor mortis like than she’d meant.

Though it turned more genuine at the relief of seeing a friend appear in the doorway. Harold was on the wrestling team with her, and he was loads into political activism and stuff. Cared about shit. Wasn’t an asshole, and never had been. Would never, ever suggest playing or that they should hide in a hole and wait for everyone to die.

Her grin became strained again for a moment as Harold raised the sword he was holding (Nancy had always been fine back at school, too) but he lowered it again quickly. Her grin returned to as normal as it could be, given the pain in her shoulder.

“Oh god, am I glad to see you. Things have just been the worst.”

Clarice glanced at her shoulder (and it was a relief that now for the most part she couldn’t see the gaping, open wound) and grimaced at Harold.

“Nancy’s what happened. She’s got a hatchet, and I tried to get her to stick around and form an alliance and I grabbed her arm and she hit me.” Clarice wrinkled her nose and said, “That’s probably my fault on some level. Be careful if you see her, though.”

The candid words were split up by the occasional harsh breath and the casualness ruined by the weak, strained tone. In an attempt to reassure Harold she was fine, she put on her best Black Knight voice.

“’Tis but a scratch.”

Sure, Monty Python references in grim situations weren’t the most inventive, but she didn’t have the focus to think of anything better.
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“Oh, sweet. You found Ty? Bernie wasn’t with him by any chance, was she?” Although even as she said it, she realised that Harold would have mentioned her if she had been. She supposed not everyone was lucky enough to wake up not far from their boyfriend. “But yeah, that’s pretty great. We’re the only wrestlers on the trip, aren’t we? I’d say ‘too bad Rod wasn’t on the trip’ but given… what that means… y’know?”

There was a tiny glimmer of doubt in Clarice’s mind. She liked Ty a lot, he was one of her best friends and they were co-captains of the wrestling team. But there had been a time when Ty hadn’t been so friendly. When he’d been a bully. Clarice had hated him during that time, even though once he’d turned over a new leaf they’d ended up friends. There was part of her that was worried that he might relapse.

But that was dumb. Even if he had still been a bully, there was a difference between a bully and a killer.

And then suddenly, Conrad was gone from her side. Suddenly, he had the sword.

“Conrad, what the fuck?”

She tried to stand up, so she could cross the room and take it back. But a wave of dizziness hit her as she tried. Fucking hatchet. She quickly sat down again.

“Harold’s not Nancy! And he put down the weapon! Doesn’t mean you have to steal it, that doesn’t resolve anything except that now you have all the weapons.” Clarice’s glare got more pronounced. “And Harold wasn’t the one saying ‘we should try and outlast everyone.’”

She immediately recoiled at her own accusation. Conrad was just worried, he wouldn’t actually play. camn, what the fuck was happening to her? One scratch and suddenly everyone feels like an enemy.

Though, Conrad did steal a fucking sword. And everything he’d said since they woke up was some variation of not trusting anyone, or hiding, or ‘outlasting.’ All of it was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Clarice slowly started to get to her feet again, using her good arm for support. Her eyes didn’t leave Conrad, her glare still accusatory. And maybe a little hurt.
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“Fuck off, that was exactly what you said! ‘Try to outlast the other persons, until we’re the only ones left?’ Ring a fucking bell?!”

Clarice managed to get on her feet as Harold was talking. Harold was saying calm words. Calm, reasonable words. He wasn’t lashing out like she was. For a few moments, she’d thought… she’d thought it would be fine. Yeah, she was angry—because seriously, what the fuck? But she’d thought… she’d thought…

Didn’t matter what she’d thought, because it was wrong.

She’d run forward too late to stop Conrad. Just soon enough to grab Harold before he fell over.

Harold was a huge guy, even compared to her, and she would have struggled supporting him even under normal circumstances. It felt like she was tearing her shoulder open further as she tried. She gritted her teeth to stop herself from screaming, sweat pouring down her face.

She just managed to guide Harold to the padded wall, so he had something to lean against. He was leaking blood. Far worse than her shoulder, far worse than anything she’d seen, even been able to properly imagine. Fear swept through her. No, worse than fear, pure dread at what that meant.

Clarice turned back to Conrad. She shifted over, still bracing Harold with her good arm. Moving so that she was between Harold and Conrad. Like she should have done to start with.

“Back away, Conrad. Back the fuck away!” she snarled.
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Clarice thought, for a moment, Conrad was going to stab her. Maybe he did mean to. Fuck if she’d ever know, because Ty rendered the question moot.

At first, there was relief. Then relief became… a lot of things. Clarice watched with wide eyes, too surprised and shocked to really do anything about it, as Ty grabbed his arm and started to pull it back. Intent so obviously clear. It took a few moments for her to snap out of the shock, to do anything.

“Ty. Ty! He’s down!”

When Ty didn’t respond to her yell, she stopped shielding Harold—though she quickly made sure he had enough support on the wall—before making a beeline for the two. As she did, she heard a horrible crunching noise, and heard Conrad start screaming.

Clarice’s jaw tightened and her fists clenched briefly as she kept heading towards them. She tried not to look at Conrad. Revulsion seethed in her stomach, and she wasn’t sure if it was for what Conrad had done, or what Ty had just done. But either way, she didn’t want to look at Conrad right now. Didn’t want to think about their better times. Didn’t want to think about the part of her that heard the sound and thought ‘good.’

But if Ty kept going how he was going—

“Ty!” That time, Clarice grabbed Ty’s shoulder and tried to yank him back as hard as she could manage. “He’s done, alright?! You gotta stop!”
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Ty stopped. Mostly, Clarice felt relief. Though there was a tinge of dark disappointment somewhere in there. Outwardly, she let out a long breath.

She looked down at Conrad. Lying on the ground, arm twisted around. She looked at him while Ty went to help Harold. Not really moving, just watching. What did she do now? What was she supposed to do? Conrad wasn’t just her boyfriend. He was one of her oldest friends. They’d been around each other since they were little.

She couldn’t just leave him, could she? Not after all that.

Ty said something to her. It took a few moments for her to realise what.

“I’m fine. It’s dealt with,” she said shortly. She looked back at him, then at Harold. At the bleeding hole in his chest. Any hesitation she felt melted away.

She looked back down at Conrad. This time, there was nothing on her face but disgust. He’d made it clear how he intended to play this game. And it wasn’t something that Clarice would have anything to do with.

“We’re leaving.” She stared at Conrad for another long moment, then turned away. She grabbed her bag and moved it over to where Ty and Harold were, putting it down long enough so that she could sling one of Harold’s arms over her shoulders before grabbing it again. She gritted her teeth to stop herself yelling—any pain from her shoulder was secondary to moving Harold—but she knew she wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long. “Saw a gurney on my way in. That can help us.”

With that, she started to lead Harold out of the room.

She didn’t look back at Conrad.

((Clarice Halwood continued in This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe.))
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