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Topic Started: Sep 23 2016, 06:55 AM (420 Views)
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((Daniel ‘Danny’ Brooks continued from Hideaway.))

On the plus side, he’d escaped the asylum. Danny was real happy about that. Honestly, the whole place was really making him feel claustrophobic. All that dust and rats and people with molotovs. Yeesh. Being out in the open air was nice. Jogging the length of the island was nice.

And, maybe, he’d avoided people a bit. He just… he didn’t know what he wanted. He knew he wanted to see his friends. He’d seen people here and there in the distance, but he’d been a little on edge about going near them. There was this constant… buzz that he was feeling. Like static or something just under the skin. He felt wired and nervous. It wasn’t a feeling that was familiar to him. Not like this. Being afraid of everything. Usually he was just afraid of very specific things.

He still carried the CD player, tucked under his arm like a football.

“It’s just you and me,” Danny muttered outloud as he approached the warehouse, patting the CD player lightly. It wasn’t comforting. A CD player wasn’t going to talk back unless he found a CD, and then only in set lyrics.

But maybe there’d be… something here. He didn’t know what, but a warehouse had… things in it. Like the storage closet probably had things in it. Except this time Sandy wouldn’t be there. And sure, Danny didn’t really mind if Sandy turned up again. Sandy was okay. Despite the whole molotov thing. And the being a jerk thing. Jerk was better than murderer.

The warehouse was pretty dark, although it was still possible to see. But shadowy and spooky. Danny shivered as he stepped inside, looking at the nearest shelves.

It didn’t take him long to see that it stored everyday stuff. Most notably, he found soap and towels.

“Aww, nice.” Danny pulled a bar of soap out of the box and a towel, sticking them in his bag. Nothing wrong with wanting to be clean, right? As he tucked them away, his eyes swept the area and came to rest at something on the floor.

There was a sprawled shape there. Danny hadn’t immediately noticed, too focused on the shelves. Squinting in the shadowy darkness of the warehouse, he made out the shape of a person. A guy, it looked like. Just lying there.

Danny felt like someone had dumped a bucket of ice water on him. Even so, he took a few steps towards the guy.

“...Hello? Hey, uh… guy?”

The smell was awful. The guy wasn’t moving.

“Hey? Come on, man, this is no time to… to, y’know, whatever you’re doing.” Though who would take a nap on the floor of a warehouse in a murder game? Fucking no-one, that’s who.

Even so, Danny didn’t want to admit the truth to himself. But he got close enough to make out the face. That weird baseball-playing junior who was always lingering away from crowds. Cristo. Cristo Morales. Danny didn’t know him well, only knew his name because of the sports, really.

And he had a bloody hole in his chest, and he wasn’t moving and—jesus christ, he was fucking dead. He was really fucking dead, you couldn’t fake that blood, he could… he could see where the gash dug in past the meat and despite all the shadows it was clear as day that it wasn’t faked. That’s all Cristo—this dude who played baseball and stared weirdly at people and did shit—was. A pile of meat and bones that wasn’t doing anything.

“No. Nononononono...” Danny took a few steps back, clinging to the CD player all the tighter. “Nonono...” He abruptly sat on the ground, back against one of the shelves, curling up and hugging the CD player to his chest as he stared at Cristo’s body. “Nononono...” He just kept repeating that to himself quietly, as if saying it would make it so, and Cristo would just… get up.
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Danny didn’t hear the footsteps. He only noticed someone else was there until a flashlight shone in his face. The glare was too bright for him to see who was holding the flashlight. He raised a hand to block his eyes, recoiling.

“Don’t kill me!” he yelled.

The person behind the flashlight said his name. The flashlight turned to land on Cristo’s corpse. The glare stared to fade from his eyes. Danny rubbed his eyes, watery either from the glare or from staring at Cristo, and as his eyesight cleared up he recognised who he was staring at.

“Bridge? Oh, thank god, you’re not… you’re not...”

Danny trailed off as he looked at Cristo again. He recoiled again, hugging the CD player, before realising what this might look like to her.

“I just got here!”

Maybe that came out a little high-pitched. A little defensive. But really, Danny couldn’t have killed the guy. That… that big hole in his chest… Danny couldn’t have done that. All he had was his CD player. And Bridgette wasn’t crazy, or stupid, or… or anything like that, so she’d see.
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“Am I holding up well?! Sure! I’m dandy! Why wouldn’t I be?!” Danny’s voice wavered between loud and even louder. It was watery, and broke a lot. He hadn’t meant to snap, he really hadn’t, but… but Cristo was right there.

Cristo made it real. Not real like Irene shooting that gun. But real like… imminent sense of his own flimsy mortality real.

“How could I be fine? We’re… we’re gonna fucking die, Bridge!”

Oddly, the moment he said that outloud something seemed to loosen in his chest. He was going to die. That wasn’t comforting at all, but he’d at least admitted it to himself. It was out there. He couldn’t deny it now. And that, in a weird way, was a relief.

“...This sucks,” he said. Voice calmer, but still watery.

But Bridgette was here now. That… that was something. Things could be worse. Although now that he’d thought that, he’d just condemned himself to Murphy’s Law and things would definitely get worse. But right now they were… not too bad…

Danny looked at Cristo once more before trying to look elsewhere.
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“Cristo? Kinda. I mean, not well, like… he played sports and he was kinda quiet. But I didn’t… I didn’t know him well or anything, and… and I wasn’t here when… when… that happened.”

Danny stood up abruptly. He looked away from Cristo before taking a couple of steps back.

“I, uh… I don’t want to be in here anymore. Can I… can I go with you? I mean, friends should stick together.”

Immediately, that clip they were shown—he’d forgotten about it until now, or at least actively tried to forget—popped into his head. The two boys who’d been friends. One of them shooting the other.

But Bridge would never shoot him. They went way too far back. Or at least… if she’d shoot him, then anyone would. He had to take a chance somewhere.

“Not that I’ll be much good at, like… defending us. Basically everyone I’ve met so far had actual weapons...”
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She nodded. Thank god, Danny didn’t think he could deal being alone for much longer. Danny grinned back. He also jumped on the conversation topic, because if nothing else he was good at talking.

“Jeremy and Irene both had guns. Hell, Irene had a freaking shotgun. They were pretty chill, but Jeremy was too chill, y’know? Then there’s Sandy, he had a molotov and was being kind of a dick. And there was this face-touchy girl, Audrey, who had nunchuks, which I guess aren’t that useful but they’re still… well, nunchuks. Oh, and I saw Alvaro, but I dunno what he had, only that Min-Jae had, like, kicked the shit out of him.”

As he chattered, he picked up his stuff and made sure he had everything, still trying his best not to keep looking at Cristo. He… he really didn’t want to be around him anymore. Didn’t want shit to be that real.

“Uh… I think we should go, though. Yeah? Yeah.”

Still, Bridge was here. It was no longer just him and the CD player. Maybe he could find other friends, too. And maybe… maybe they’d do… something. Fuck if he knew. He just knew he needed help dealing with this.

Danny looked down at Cristo one more time before looking away and taking a few steps towards the exit, waiting for Bridgette to follow.

((Daniel ‘Danny’ Brooks continued in Be Prepared.))
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