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Would You Believe? This Isn't Me.; private, day 1 late afternoon
Topic Started: Sep 23 2016, 04:18 AM (778 Views)
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The exhaustion had set in again.

((Alvaro Vacanti continued from you know what not even going to bother copy-pasting this anymore))

It wasn’t as bad as it was earlier, though. He could… breathe. Even with the extra weight on him this time around he could still breathe. In, step, out, step. In, step, out, step. The extra weight was another bag. Barry’s. Or rather the bag that used to be Barry’s. Because Barry was dead. As much as Alvaro wanted to deny it and hide from it and stand in the corner he couldn’t. Barry was dead. He killed Barry. He hated it and he honestly wished that he could take it back and apologize but he knew that he couldn’t say he didn’t do it because he did do it and trying to do so would mean that he’d stay on that forever. No. He had to move. Do… something. Run. From Jonathan. He hadn’t seen Jonathan since he went down the stairs but he knew that he probably followed him and he didn’t want to take any chances.

He breathed. Took another step forward. No. He couldn’t. He was… he was here now. As much as he didn’t want to be on this island, as much as he didn’t want to be in this game, he couldn’t just stand still. He didn’t want to die. He knew that, so he wasn’t going to stand still and let the people like Min-Jae and Michael and Isaac find him.

But he stopped. Looked around. He was at a dead end. A hallway. Three doors on each side. He looked behind him. Nobody. He couldn’t go back, though. Jonathan might still be there, and who knew what he wanted to do? No, he had to go through one of the doors. Hide. He could do that. Stay silent until the coast was clear. He nodded. It was a plan. He didn’t know whether it was the best plan or whether it’d work but he knew he could at least try, so he walked up to the furthest door on the right, and opened it.

Inside was Abby, curled up in a corner, blood covering her arms.

No.

No.

No no no no no no no.

He stepped back. Again. And again. No. He wasn’t looking at this. Abby wasn’t dead. There couldn’t be other people dead. There couldn’t be… there couldn’t be other people killing already, right? No. There couldn’t. It was only him, which meant that…

Oh god.

He stepped back. His breathing was going faster. No. It was Abby. She was friendly. She was nice. She was brave. She couldn’t have killed herself. She just couldn’t.

But if she didn’t, then that meant that there were…

That there were other people like him out there.

No. No. He didn’t want to be here. He didn’t want to be on this island. He didn’t want to be playing this game. He took another step back. He was against a wall. Again. No. No. Not again. Anything but again.

His body had slid down the wall, hands on his face covering anything but his eyes.

There was nothing around him but his thoughts. The air against him went unnoticed.

Again.
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((Lillian 'Lily' Caldwell continued from Rückenfigur.))

Lily was only a couple of rooms away.

She didn’t want to be here. Not so close to Tina. The unfortunate part was that Lily didn’t know where else to go. She thought about the rest of the asylum. Or the rest of the island.

But the girl who’d killed Tina was out there, and all Lily could be certain of was that she’d left the area after killing Tina. She’d ventured out, but every time she got further she started expecting to see the girl around every corner. And every new place was another place potentially filled with other students. Other players. She couldn’t have stumbled on the only one.

And the therapy rooms… they had the two-way glass. Furniture to at least temporarily block the door with. If someone tried to force their way in, Lily could break the glass. It’d likely hurt to climb through, but it left an alternate exit that someone wasn’t likely to enter through. It was honestly the closest she could think of to a safe place, and there was nothing here that’d be likely to draw people too close.

So Lily had slipped back in. She tried to pretend Tina wasn’t in one of these rooms. She’d entered the first one she found, which had been empty of bodies. Made sure she was on the right side, so that she could see through the mirror and whoever entered the other side couldn’t.

Reinforce the room. Block anyone out. Focus on the plan. As long as she thought about survival, and about reinforcing her circumstances, she didn’t have to think about Tina. She could just… pretend she’d never seen her.

It didn’t matter in the long-term, anyway. She repeated that to herself constantly. It didn’t matter. There would only be one student left at the end of all this. It didn’t matter how they died. It wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t.

With those thoughts in mind, Lily grabbed one of the chairs, with an intent to jam it under the door handle. She’d never tried it before, but she’d seen it done in the movies. She knew movies weren’t reliable in terms of reality, but what other lock did she have?

However, upon picking up the chair, she fumbled it slightly as the wood pressed against the bandages wrapping her palm. She managed to barely keep her grasp on it, but two legs of the chair hit the ground with a loud clacking that seemed to echo through the room.
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There was a noise.

Alvaro jumped. What was that? Was it a person? It had to be a person because he didn’t think anything else would be capable of making that noise. He breathed, looked up. It was a person. What did that mean? He knew that it meant that he was likely going to have to talk to another person but would that be a good or a bad confrontation? Would they be like Danny and Audrey or would they be like Min-Jae or Jonathan? He hoped the former. He just… needed the former at this point. He just needed to be with a person who he liked who liked him back and who wouldn’t turn on him. He only wanted that. If he got that, then he wouldn’t really know what would happen then but he knew that he would be happy, at the very least.

He breathed, again. In, out. It was a risk. He knew that.

Was it one he wanted to take?

He paused. Silenced reigned, for a brief moment.

It was.

So he stood up. Moved forward. Opened the door again.

The corpse was still where it was. Curled up in the corner, blood covering her arms.

Alvaro winced. Tried to look away. There was a hallway beyond the room. He thought that that was where he heard the noise from. If he wanted to get through, he was going to have to go past Abby.

He looked at the corpse. Blood. Dead. Either it meant she killed herself or there were killers on this island.

Slowly, he looked away.

He wanted to take this risk.

So slowly, he walked through the room, his shoes crunching against the glass below. His breath was held in. His eyes were unwavering.

And eventually he made it past. He released his breath out, and gave himself the small reward of being able to look around, again. So he checked. He looked.

The person standing at the other end of the hallway was one he knew.

“Lily?”
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Almost immediately after the chair made that clacking noise, Lily heard footsteps. She hurriedly put the chair down and backed away from the door. She scrambled back to her bag to grab her mirror shard—for all the good it had done her so far—and raised it. Staring at the door. Waiting.

And it was Alvaro.

Lily lowered the shard an inch, but not completely. Alvaro was… a complicated case. Her friend/kind of ex-boyfriend. Did one date count as properly dating? Did they count as exes if she’d never officially said ‘I’m not into you?’ Just one awkward date, followed by her never bringing the subject up again and hoping it never came up.

There were worse people to run into, she supposed. But…

“Keep where you are.”

Lily considered him for a few moments longer, frowning. Then she sighed.

She was honestly too tired for proper hostility right now.

“...Alright. Come in. But keep your distance. No offence.” She lowered the mirror shard.
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It was Lily.

Lily was right in front of him.

His mind stopped.

His breathing became heavier.

He stepped forward.

And then Lily told him not to move from where he was and then everything came back to him all at once. He was here, on an island, totally alone. He was in a game where if he wanted to live everyone else had to die, and he had already used his hands to murder someone. Someone he knew. A friend. And now he was going to pay the consequences for it. As much as he wanted to apologize and make up for it he knew that that wasn’t enough. He knew that people would know and he knew that people would go after him for it and he knew that people wouldn’t ever treat him the same after that. Like Lily. Did Lily know? She couldn’t have. Only Jonathan did. Unless he came here to her or she saw or they told everyone without him knowing they wouldn’t. So why was she holding him back? Was this what everyone was going to be like from now on?

Everything had paused, for a couple of seconds. The room was silent. The air cold.

Then she talked again. She said something. He could come closer.

A sense of relief filled his body. This was Lily. Lily was normal. Lily didn’t know. Lily still liked him.

He looked up. At her face. It was the polite thing to do when someone was talking to him. Was there a smile on her face?

No, there wasn’t.

That was okay. She was here. She was letting him stay.

That was good enough.

He stepped forward. Once, twice, a walk. He kept doing this, for a bit. She wanted him to keep his distance, so he stopped, around two metres from where she was. Sat down.

“Um… hi, Lily.”

There wasn’t really much that he could say.
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Lily did not sit down or respond to Alvaro’s greeting. Instead, she returned to going to put the chair under the door handle. Only to realise that if she did that, she’d be locked in here with Alvaro. She could still break the mirror and escape, but that would take time. Time that, at this range, would kill her.

Great. She’d ruined her hideout with one decision. Just great. She shoved the chair aside, and it toppled over with a loud clunk.

She couldn’t trust Alvaro. That was just how this worked. Couldn’t trust friends not to turn on them. Couldn’t trust cousins to save them.

There was some emotion tightening her throat. She couldn’t think about that. Couldn’t think about Tina. Couldn’t cry. Not in front of Alvaro. No, she corrected herself, couldn’t cry in front of competition. Couldn’t seem weak. She had enough working against her there.

So she paced. And she spoke.

“Who have you seen and what were they doing?”
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Lily’s response was not what he expected it to be.

He thought that… he didn’t know. He thought that she’d say hi back. He thought that she would smile. He thought that she would have been the same Lily as before. He would have liked that. He didn’t know. Nothing had worked out for him since he had woken up. He had been beaten up, rendered breathless, put in a situation where he made the worst choice he could have. He hadn’t rested. He hadn’t stopped moving, but now he had. He was safe, in a room, alone except for the girl he loved. Nobody would have found them, and it would have been good. Just a moment between them. Just like how it used to be. For a moment, he could have forgotten that he was here. For a moment, he could have forgotten that he was on this island, and for a moment, he could have forgotten that he was playing this game.

That was what he would have liked. Instead, he got a cold question, and a moral dilemma.

She had rebuked him. She didn’t even say hi back. What she replied to his hope was with another again. A question initially asked in the morning by Audrey now came back, like a verse in the songs that used to play in the cafe when he talked with Lily. What had happened to him? Who had he met? What had they done?

And just like before, he knew that he had to answer this question with a lie. Now though, there was more he had to hide. He didn’t want her to know that he had instigated the fight with Min-Jae. He didn’t want her to know that he had killed Barry. The bag had gone into another room before he came in here so that nobody would be able to guess, but there was no point in doing that if he just told her.

As much as he hated it, he had to lie to someone.

Again.

“I woke up in these… buildings. Rooms. I… didn’t know what to do. I freaked out. That was when I found…”

The image of the tall man in black in the doorframe came back. He tried to shake it off.

“Min-jae. He… attacked me. I hit him back, but…”

He paused.

He put his hand on the bridge of his nose, felt nothing there.

He had only just realised.

“Oh god, my glasses.”
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Lily listened. As she did, her eyes narrowed very slightly.

Alvaro didn’t know what to do and then he freaked out. That sounded like a justification. An excuse. But for what? Buildings? Rooms? Incredibly vague. He’d freaked out in a place that, possibly, he didn’t want to tell her the exact location of for some reason. He must know. Alvaro wasn’t stupid enough to not have looked at his map for this long.

Combined with the Min-Jae context… that part, she thought was true. There were obvious bruises on Alvaro’s face, and he’d thought to say his precise name. So Alvaro freaked out. Found Min-Jae. Min-Jae attacked him, Alvaro hit back.

...And then what?

Lily stopped pacing. She looked at Alvaro as he touched his face, looking for his glasses. She took a few careful steps closer to the door. The room felt chillier all of a sudden, and it hadn’t been exactly warm to start with.

“Where did you say this happened?” Lily asked. Then, quickly—maybe a little too quickly—she added, “In case that’s where you dropped your glasses.”

She knelt down a little and picked up the chair she’d just thrown aside, straightening it. More innocuous than raising that mirror shard again.
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Lily replied to him. She was still cold, even though she tried to hide it. Alvaro appreciated that slightly, though. Even if things had changed for the both of them with the mistake he made at the cafe that night and the situation that was occurring to the both of them right now she still liked him. Maybe not love, but he was okay with that. Honestly, he just liked talking to her. He could just… he didn’t know. Pass the time. When she was in the cafe when he was on waiter shift it just seemed to fly by. Like how that saying went. Time flew back then, because he was having fun. Just as he hoped it would happen now. The night was probably out by now. The skies… if he remembered correctly had no clouds in them.

He was reminded of a musical that his family went to see once. He couldn’t quite remember the lyrics of the song he was thinking of, but they were on the tip of his tongue.

He would have liked to imagine that this was a similar situation, as much as he knew it wasn’t. They were alone, just like the people in the song.

Just him, Lily, and the question he had to answer.

“It was in this building. Somewhere… up above, I think. It was kinda like I was in a jail cell.”
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“A jail cell. Well, that narrows it down,” Lily mumbled. Wasn’t like the asylum was made for keeping people inside it or anything.

She fiddled with the chair for a moment longer before putting her unslashed hand on the top of the chair’s back, leaning on it as she stared Alvaro down. Combined with the two-sided mirror, she felt like she was in an interrogation room. All she lacked was a light to shine in his face, unless she wanted to pull out her flashlight for such an inane purpose.

“You hit Min-Jae. Then what? Did he just apologize and leave?” There was a tinge of sarcasm in her voice.

Honestly, the only reason she wasn’t completely freaking out was that Min-Jae wasn’t someone she really knew. Probably a senior. Not likely one she’d ever met, she had a feeling she’d remember the name if she had a face to associate it with.

If Alvaro really had killed Min-Jae… well, on one hand it meant one less person in the way of Lily getting off this island. And after Tina… If Tina didn’t matter enough to save, who did? Not someone that she’d ever met, that she didn’t know. So if Alvaro was a murderer, Lily wasn’t going to get on his moral case about it.

On the other hand, it would mean she was now stuck in this room with a killer. And even if she told Alvaro to leave, and he did… well, he knew where she was. He could come back at any time. That held true even if he was innocent, but was much more dire if he was a murderer.

"Did you kill him?" She hadn't actually meant to say that part outloud. It just... happened.
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She had asked him the question.

His hands started shaking.

And then they stopped and then they tensed and he hoped that Lily didn’t see that because even though he didn’t kill Min-jae the question had caught him off guard and he knew that Lily would see that and she would think he was lying no matter what he said and no matter whether he was actually telling the truth or not and she’d call him a murderer and she’d be telling the truth no matter what she believed and she’d get angry and she’d get scared and the thoughts of the musical were gone and now he was back here on the island in the game and the one moment he thought he would be safe he wasn’t and now Lily would be suspicious of him and she was cold and she had changed and he hadn’t answered the question yet this looked even worse he just needed to say no because he was telling the truth and that one word was what it took and he just needed to say something. Something. A simple answer. He just needed to tell her what happened.

He didn’t even need to lie.

“No. I don’t think I did. He was on top of me, hitting him with his… pole… thing. There was a piece of wood on the ground. I took it and I hit him with it and he fell and I got up and then he roared and I couldn’t think and so I ran and-”

He looked at Lily. Tried to see her eyes.

His didn’t reach. His head went down again.

“Sorry, it’s just that… you know.”
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“...Mm. This isn’t the sort of situation where it’s easy to think rationally,” Lily said. “Okay. I believe you.”

She wasn’t sure if she really believed him. But she was less outright suspicious that he had now. She supposed, if he had, that he’d be on the announcements the next day anyway.

And then a new paranoia. If Alvaro really hadn’t killed anyone… then he still needed one kill to be assured that, should he be the last survivor, that he would be allowed to leave. Wouldn’t it be the quickest way? To find a friend, play nice, gain trust—why wouldn’t she trust him if he wasn’t a murderer—and take the first watch. Then slit their throat when they were sleeping, before they could fight back?

It was how Lily would do it. At least, if she was being entirely theoretical. The idea of actually doing so made her feel ill. Even the idea of doing so to someone like Caedyn made her feel sick. Just because it made her feel sick, though… didn’t mean no-one else would.

In a way, perhaps one-time killers were not the biggest danger. Then again… she thought of the girl who killed Tina. The grin on her face. She had a gut feeling that she was someone who wouldn’t stop, even if Tina had only been the first. If everyone stopped at one kill, this game would not end the way they wanted it to.

“Is he the only person you met? It’s late in the day.”

Regardless of what variety of untrustworthy Alvaro would eventually be, if he wasn’t already, he had information. Anything he’d experienced that Lily hadn’t was information.

Lily needed information. All she had was a pile of thoughts, each one making her more afraid. Thoughts that she’d rather ignore, and she could do so as long as she kept thinking strategically. Treating this like the game it was, even if it had high stakes.

Just like the occasions that she and Alvaro had played chess. She hoped she wouldn’t be as bad at this game as she had been at chess.

She looked at Alvaro for a moment, this time the frown absent from her face, as she thought of their chess games. It would be nice to go back to that. Even just for a moment.

But too dangerous.
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She believed him.

That was good. It meant that he didn’t have to worry as much. Of course he was still here with another person near him so he knew deep down that he couldn’t just not worry, but now he could relax, even if only slightly. Lily believed him. He was in a room, alone, with the person he loved, and now he knew that neither was going to attempt to harm the other. She believed him. She trusted him. He trusted her, in return. All was silent. He looked at her. She wasn’t looking at his way back, but that was okay. He was okay with not talking. He was okay with just looking. It was like back in the cafe. He’d be doing his job at another table and then he’d see her in the corner of his eye and he’d be happy, if only slightly. It wasn’t much, he could live his life the whole way through without it, but she was someone he just… appreciated just being with, if that made sense.

She asked him if anything else had happened. He answered. It’d be weird not to, otherwise.

“I ran, and I found this old storage closet. I met… Danny and Audrey there.”

He didn’t think he would need to say too much in response.

“We talked. They helped me with the bruises I had. We were considering grouping up, but then…”

He shook his head. The memory of his mistake had come back up.

He just needed to move past it.

“I heard the bell ring. I freaked out. Left the group and ran towards it.”

The question was easy, though. The room was quiet. The two were alone. He remembered, back from school. They used to play chess together. She was one of the few people who he could actually beat. It was fun, even in the times when he’d lose. They both liked it, and that was why they did it.

He smiled, as silence began to reign once more. He was alone, with the girl he loved, thinking about the things they had done before with each other.

He hoped that they stayed alone.

He hoped that they stayed together.

He hoped that this moment would last.
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She vaguely knew Audrey from some classes. She didn’t know Danny except by terrible reputation. But she could temporarily put them on the ‘less likely to kill her on sight’ list, if Alvaro was telling the truth.

Lily really wished Alvaro would finish his stories instead of trailing off at weird times, though. Lily was pretty sure they were not currently in the bell tower, so ending his story with ‘he went towards there’ made no sense. She waited for him to continue, her fingers drumming against the back of the chair, and instead he just started smiling for some reason.

Honestly, she found that a little creepy given the circumstances.

“And the bell tower?” Lily prompted him when Alvaro didn’t continue on his own. Her voice was noticeably impatient. “Was it a trap, or was someone actually bringing people to them for some other purpose?”

She glanced down to check her bag was in an easily reachable place. Leaving without her supplies would be a death sentence.
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She had asked about the bell tower.

His hands tensed up.

They untensed. He looked down. He was going to have to lie now. He was going to say something about what happened in the bell tower and he knew that saying the truth this time would definitely make it so that Lily couldn’t trust them. Regardless of what he said, he was going to destroy the safety of this place. He’d either tell the truth and say that he killed Barry and then he’d have to bear the consequences because Lily was probably going to start screaming at him like Jonathan did or he could lie to her and she wouldn’t know but he’d know and he wouldn’t ever be able to get over it and he wouldn’t be able to get over lying to her and he didn’t want to make this choice and he didn’t want to be here and he didn’t want to lie and he didn’t want to kill Barry and she was looking at him expecting an answer and if she didn’t then she’d figure it out and he had to lie to her he had to-.

That was it. He had to lie to her.

“It was empty, I think. There was a corpse on the floor and I... “ He paused. Coughed. The breath hadn’t come out properly on his word and it got stuck in his throat and he didn’t want to do this why did he do it why was he doing this why- “I didn’t really know what to do. I ran. Back to the asylum.”

He looked up. The ground was a place where he could just try to ignore what was happening, but he knew that sooner or later he did have to face Lily about what he was saying.

“And that’s when I met you,” he said, sheepishly.

The moment hadn’t lasted.

Silence reigned in the hallway once again, for a couple of seconds.

The moment was gone. He knew that. The one bit of safety and trust that he had felt since waking up was gone. The one real time he could sit down talk to someone, the one time he wasn’t running or trying to breathe or being scared or fighting, the one even small bit of reprieve he had had since waking up was gone. The moment he had alone, safe, with the girl he liked was no longer there.

But he didn’t want that.

Because he didn’t want to be here and he didn’t want to be on this island and he didn’t want to be playing this game and he didn’t want to lie and he didn’t want to kill and he didn’t want to lie not to anyone especially not Lily and he didn’t know why he had to do this and he didn’t know why it had to happen to him or to Lily or to Barry or to Audrey or to Mr Graham or to anyone and he just didn’t want to be here he wanted to be out but there was no way out and the moment was gone and Lily was gone and Alvaro was gone but he didn’t want that because he felt safe he felt comfortable and he liked Lily and he just needed to do something and save the moment and he just had to say something and-

His hands were shaking.

“Listen, uh…”

He just needed to save something.

He just wanted to save this moment.

“Should I… stay here, or something? I… don’t really know what to do.”
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