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白色雑音; White Noise; Open
Topic Started: Sep 24 2016, 12:03 AM (1,638 Views)
CondorTalon
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((Nancy Kyle continued from 逃げろ.))

Nancy ran into the library pretty much by chance. She was too preoccupied with the ringing in her ears to really pay attention to where she was going.

This time, when Nancy collapsed, getting a faceful of dust, she didn't move for a good five minutes.

She couldn't tell what was what anymore... all she knew was that... she was a murderer.

That didn't take long. Nancy quickly crawled over to the one of the corners of the library, away from the entrance of the library and tucked into a small nook.

No one would find her here. She could play out her emotional turmoil in peace.



When Nancy pulled a ration bar from her bag and wolfed it down, she wasn't really thinking about how good or bad it tasted. When she emptied her first water bottle by another quarter, she wasn't really thinking about how wasteful she was being.

She wasn't thinking about that at all. She just needed something... something to distract from the ringing, the blurring, the pounding.

Even though it hurt, Nancy tried... she tried desperately.

She tried desperately to not lose herself to the clawing feeling of anxiety in the back of her mind.
Let's show that private threads still aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on the island in V6. If I started a thread in-game, you are welcome to join it.

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dmboogie
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((Asha Sur's arriving from another fragment of time.))

Alas, the only tower that could be found was nothing but a skeleton, and not even in a fun way. After Asha had arbitrarily lead her group towards the staff area in hopes of finding something or someone of interest by the radio tower, she had dismissed the small, sad building next to the tower with a glance. From the looks of it, it'd be cramped if they had tried to fit the three of them in it, and Wayne had already expressed a desire to avoid being closed in.

The bell tower that could be seen across the island had looked suitably impressive and gothic for Asha's tastes, but neither of her companions seemed particularly keen on getting any closer to the asylum. A pity, Asha would have loved to get a fallen angel's eye view of the island. Maybe ring the bell, just for the hell of it. Judging by the tolls she had heard earlier in the day, she wasn't the only one with that particular aspiration. Maybe they were fans of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, too. She hummed Hellfire as she walked.

It may not have been a terrifying, eternal monolith, but the library seemed like the next-best place to be. Asha had always found some comfort in a library's strict, quiet dignity, and she suspected most others felt the same way. Besides, she was sure her class had a bunch of shy bookworms who probably weren't taking the whole "death" thing very well, and where better to help them than in their natural habitat? She entered the building, not loudly, but not trying to hide her presence, either. Glanced around once she was inside, was slightly let down by the absence of a literature convention. The building seemed cozy enough, at least.

"Y'know, I'm surprised no one else is here. This is a pretty good spot for a nap," Asha said, settling down on one of the sofas.
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((Dorothy Shelley continued from what appeared to be her favorite place))

Oooh, a library. Dot loved these because they were quiet, had free wifi, met her friends there without her dad freaking out and she could work all day without being interrupted. She embraced the atmosphere, she could see herself going through the shelves, reading a book on the go, putting it in the wrong place so she was sure nobody else would take it until she wanted to pick it up again. She thought about the joy of wandering aimlessly, like she was currently doing, in a library somewhere else than here.

And there was more! Not only shelves hanged out in the library, there was also a bunch of sofas, and Asha took the one Dorothy wanted. Aw, shucks. She thought about it, and considered that sitting on one of those could be bad idea since the place was abandoned and there could be a lot of bugs and maybe dust in it. She decicded not to trust those comfy seats because who knew what could be inside of them. Maybe there was an ant or a wasp colony inside, and she sure didn't want to learn about it.

She had a surge of energy go through her body like an electric current going from her feet to her brain. This placed reminded her of Cochise, and, even though it didn't really look alike, she felt like she was visiting somewhere she used to know about. Maybe there was even nice books to find inside! Dorothy felt her heart grow for this place as she thought about all the memories she could have developped here. Maybe she could camp here with Asha and Wayne. For a moment, she forgot about the situation, about the stress, the fear, the anxiety. It simply left her body.

''I wonder what kind of books they got here.''
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((Wayne Cox continued from Time steals us all away one day, does it not?))

"Judging from the smell," he said, "old ones."

Wayne crossed his arms and leaned them on the back of Asha's couch, not willing to sit down just yet.

He wasn't usually the sort for libraries. They reminded him too much of being responsible, doing research - school things. School was still a better place for his mind to be than here, though. Perhaps that was good enough.

Perhaps it wasn't, because his bag still swung from his arm, too, bringing him back to what was important, what he'd thought was important. It had bothered him more than a little that everywhere they had seen while walking here looked peaceful. Even the ringing of the bell in the distance had just been a signal, asking people to gather together and work things out. Almost like this island was fooling him, just waiting for him to drop his guard and walk into a murder behind closed doors, or laughing at him, telling him he was a fool for thinking that people would start killing so soon. Telling him that he had shown his true colors so early for nothing at all.

"If you want to nap, guess we can cover for you."
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Nancy froze as the door to the library opened, and the voices of two... no, three people had made themselves known.

The wrapper of the ration bar was on the ground, and the water bottle next to it. She didn't move, lest the wrapper crinkle or the water spill, giving away her position.

Nancy covered her mouth, trying to breathe as quietly as she could. Her hand tightened around the handle of the hatchet.

If they saw her here, hiding away, with blood on her clothes and face... what would they...

No, it was better not to find out. As long as they didn't come this way, she was fine. They didn't have to know she was here. They would leave... they had to leave eventually, right? She just had to... not make a single noise. For who knows how long.

Simple, right?

Not really, but Nancy had to try. Otherwise...

Nancy blinked a few times, shutting her eyes tightly.

She took a few deep, slow breaths.

And that's when fate decided it was having none of that.

*hic*

Nancy's eyes widened, and then her ears began to ring again.
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"No thanks. It'd be a waste of a good mood if I went to sleep right now!"

Asha grinned at Dot's obvious happiness. When she'd realized that no one else was in the library, Asha had been half-tempted to write it off and move on, try to find a more populated area of people who needed help. Now, though, she was fine with staying for a while. Dot's well-being was just as important as everyone else's, after all. Wayne, as always, was harder to read, but it didn't seem like he was itching for a change in scenery, either.

She was about to start lounging on the surprisingly comfortable couch when she heard the unmistakable sound of a hiccup, far enough away that it couldn't have come from any of them. Asha started a bit, sitting upright. She glanced at Wayne and Dot, shrugged, then hopped up from the couch and started investigating. Maybe their secret new friend had a good reason for wanting to stay hidden, and Asha was loath to drag them out into the light if she didn't have to, but she couldn't very well let the others worry about being watched. She'd check out the scene, nothing more.

It didn't take long for her to find Nancy's nook, and Asha suddenly had a whole lot of new information to take in all at once. Nancy herself, a nice girl with a larger-than-life personality that fear seemed to have made to fold in on itself. The blood that stained her; far, far too much for all of it to be Nancy's. Asha wasn't sure it would be better if it had been hers. And oh, the pretty little hatchet, gripped by tight hands that elegantly solved the mystery of where all that blood had come from.

Asha felt a flash of fear, the same she had felt but for a moment when Alex had first run up to her. She fought it back. Crouched down so she was at eye level with Nancy, flashed a sympathetic smile.

"Hey, you. Looks like you've had some trouble. It's okay, now!" Asha said, the warmth in her voice miraculously holding out as she held eye contact with Nancy, kept herself from flickering her gaze back and forth from the hatchet. It was all up to Nancy, now.
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At first, Dorothy was scared of being alone. Having nobody to support her, to help her, to talk to. Loneliness horrified Dorothy.

This fear shaped to become addicted to social media. To stay on Facebook for a long time, or on Tumblr reblogging cats, or on Tweeter to try to get the attention of a celebrity.

But, there was a fear lying inside that comfort. A fear she wasn't alone. That somebody stalked her, looked at every pictures, everything she has said, everything she thought about.

So she tried to protect herself, she protected her personal blog with a password and her Facebook page was set to private. Even though she took all the opportunities to hide, a thought of being found was always there.

On the island, it was the same.

She was scared in the that place she woke up in. She was horrified of being alone, strand on that island alone with nobody. She escaped the warehouse, and soon realized she wasn't alone. Asha was there for Dorothy, and vice-versa. Then there was Alex. She was scared of him but he indeed proved to be rather harmless. Wayne came in the duo, making it into a trio, and they left.

It was now repeating here in the library. Someone had been there all along. Someone, a bloodied girl with a hatchet, was curled up in a corner. This girl was the stalker she feared, the person she avoided, but this was real life. She couldn't just block someone off.

As if hell froze over, Dot's mind started to feel dread developing in her head.

Asha didn't look scared, and that didn't surprise Dorothy. She was brave, she was strong, she could see a corpse and whisper "aesthetic" or "same" or "me". She wasn't like Dorothy, basically.

She hoped it was a corpse until it revealed to be still alive. She wished it wouldn't move, it wouldn't talk, it wouldn't breath.

But there it was, whimpering.

She just stared in horror until Asha started to speak to the creature.

She knew it was a girl, she knew it was still alive, but couldn't bring her mind to believe the situation. She wanted to be nice but her body told her to run away. To be a coward.

She stopped her mind from running by opening her mouth,

"Hey... D-don't be scared, okay? We won't hurt you."
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But would she hurt them?

There it was again. The static, the panic overtaking him. Worst of all was something new - a brief, twisted sense of vindication. He'd been right. People had started killing.

Wayne could feel his hand on the side of his leg, the side not facing the girl, the fabric of his pants wicking away the sweat forming on his palm. His hand had moved there almost out of instinct. It had moved there because the hilt of his knife was there.

There was just one thing that had arrested him in his tracks, had stopped him from drawing the knife and to hell with anything and anybody that said otherwise - and it wasn't even himself, wasn't even a conscious choice that he'd made. It wasn't his concern for Asha's well being. It wasn't because it didn't seem like the right thing to do.

It wasn't even the blood.

It was that - and how stupid a thing it was to matter - the girl's hair was blue.

Not the right shade of blue, of course. Not even in this lighting. And her face - completely different. But for a moment he had hesitated, and the moment had passed, and reflexive panic was no longer the only thing in control. Now, if he were to act, to threaten or bluff or even attack, and put Asha in more danger than she had already put herself in... If he really wanted what he wanted, if he really believed that the best person should get out of here, and that both Asha and Dorothy were more deserving of it than him, he couldn't do that.

Or perhaps he really didn't care. Perhaps he just didn't want to see Asha die so directly because of his mistakes, because he just wanted to keep putting off guilt and shame like he always did. Perhaps... perhaps even any attachment, any gratitude towards them he'd formed in his mind was just an act to fool himself, to tell himself that he still had something other than selfishness left in him.

And what about why he had hesitated in the first place? How did that play into it?

He didn't know. He didn't want to know. He'd stopped going for his knife. That was all. His arm slowly relaxed, hand lowering, his eyes still focused on the bloody face of the unknown girl.

"It's all right," he lied, because nothing was, really.
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And then they were there, right in front of her, and Nancy would have backed up against the wall except for the fact that she was already backed up against the wall and there was nowhere for her to go.

And then they were there, saying reassuring words to her, for some reason. Like she hadn't already killed someone, like it wasn't evident from the blood on her clothes or the blood on her face or the blood on the hatchet.

And then the n̛͟o͏҉͏i̶҉͞s̵̀è̴̢̛ died down for just a moment, just long enough for Nancy to start thinking again. Thinking about how they were giving her a chance. Or were they? Were they just lulling her into a false sense of safety?

"I..." she said, before she hiccuped again.

"No... no it's not okay!" she suddenly yelled, spasming as another hiccup arrived, "I... I..."

Killed someone. She didn't say it. They all knew it.

"Don't come any closer," she whimpered. The axe shook in her hands.

"I didn't... I didn't think..." she cried pitifully, tears falling from her eyes.

"Just... don't come... any closer..."
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Asha hadn't expected Dot and Wayne to follow so closely, but there they were behind her, backing up her words. Asha appreciated it, but their proximity worried her a bit. Nancy was already cornered, and if she felt they were ganging up on her, that'd only stress her out even more. It'd probably be more suspicious to send them away now, though.

"I won't come any closer."

Asha shifted her position, settling down so she was sitting against the wall, head turned to face Nancy. Put her arms around her knees, both for comfort and to make it clear she wasn't holding anything frightening, other than the natural human potential to wring the life from someone's neck with flesh and bone alone. "You don't look like you wanna be alone, though; so I'm not gonna leave unless you ask me to." It hurt, to sit and watch Nancy break down and cry right in front of her; but even disregarding the hatchet, Asha wasn't gonna ignore her personal boundaries for a hug; no matter how needed it seemed.

All Asha could do was be present, until Nancy was willing to open up more or she explicitly told them to go. Or until she decided to try and split Asha's head open, but that wasn't worth considering, not when Nancy was clearly suffering.

Whatever she had done, whoever she'd... well, considering the looks of things, whoever she'd killed, that was all in the past. Corpses couldn't feel any pain. The dead were rotting and gone and free, and Nancy was alive and here and hurt. That's all that really mattered. Asha wasn't a judge, after all, she didn't have any interest in figuring out what had happened, or who was to blame for it all. Not like it was hard to puzzle out the answer to that one, anyway. Especially now, Asha was sure there was a camera nearby, capturing every guilty tear spilled. What a show.

"Your hair's really pretty, by the way," Asha said. It never, ever hurt to compliment someone, and Asha really did like the shade of blue her hair was. Hopefully the contextual inappropriateness of it would confuse Nancy enough to calm her down a bit.
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((Skipping to leave the thread.))

She wouldn't come any closer.

Nancy felt like she should have been relieved by that. Nancy closed her eyes, her judgment lapsing for a few seconds before she realized where she was. They popped open again, half expecting the other three to pounce on her.

But they hadn't moved.

That's when Asha complimented her hair. Whatever purpose that Asha had with that statement, all it did was raise Nancy's suspicion.

"What? Why..." Nancy started, but then shut her mouth.

There was definitely something wrong here. This was unnatural.

That's when it hit her. They were planning something.

And it was back to her wanting them to leave. But there were three of them, and only one of her. Even if she tried to...

Scarlett's face flashed across her mind.

No, there was only one way out of this: the literal way out of this.

Nancy suddenly grabbed her bag, jumped upright, and bolted past the three other students.

((Nancy Kyle continued in 見てください.))
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Dorothy was about to parrot Asha like a puppet. She was about to open her mouth and tell Nancy how her hair was pretty. Even though Dot found them only obnoxious and if she was honest, she'd recommend the blue-haired girl to dye it something else than blue. Maybe purple? Dorothy loved purple, but it was too late for friendly tips, Nancy was already running.

She just got up, took her bag, and ran as if she was set on fire, trying to find a water source to jump in. Did they say something wrong? They had to say something that scared her away, that made her run, the only thing that could have done that is, well, nothing. Nothing they had done did that, the reason of Nancy's escape was unknown to Dorothy.

Maybe it was because of the blood on her hands and on her clothes that made her run. Whoever was hurt must be out there, in pain. She wanted to leave the library and go find them. Help them and take care of them, and make sure they wouldn't be hurt no more. Yet she couldn't do anything else than watch as Nancy bolted out of the place.

She ran and ran, leaving the scene and the trio behind them. She left them here, in place where hollowness reigned, where the only thoughts they had were about her and her bloodied clothes and blue hair. Her hair, her skin, the blood, the image of her laying down, the picture of her running: they were all in Dorothy's head.

She didn't want to think about it, but it happened. She wanted to be nice, to be soft, to be caring, yet she ran away. She felt guilt wrapping itself around her heart and choking it. Maybe she was overthinking it, or maybe it was right, but Dorothy's perception of Nancy changed from a thing, a monster crawling on the floor, to an innocent, scared victim that just wanted to live.

Nancy had a normal reaction. Dorothy tried to put herself in her shoes, she imagined how would she feel if she hurt someone badly, how bad she would feel. Maybe that's what Nancy felt like, felt as if she deserved the pain she was receiving.

But Dot thought about the axe, and all of these sympathetic thoughts about Nancy left her body as Nancy fled the scene. It was replaced by fear. A fear so deep that Dorothy felt her soul ache as she thought about it.

She was scared she ran away, but she was even more scared if she came back for revenge. She had an axe, one move and Dot'd be gone, and Asha too, and Wayne also. She could have killed one of them right there, right now. She could have even ended her own life. Those thoughts ran through her mind, screaming at her to run away like she did, but she anchored herself in the ground.

She wouldn't leave, she wouldn't give up as long as she had people around her, she wouldn't - no, could not - leave them behind.

''Uh... What do we do now?''

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Wayne had almost tried to grab her, too.

When Nancy darted past all three of them, that had been his first instinct. To stop her, to lock her arms, something, anything that could have made her wait and just let Asha get through to her. He could have done something right; he could have done something worth someone else's time.

Of course, it had been a stupid idea, and only the speed of Nancy's exit saved him. It just took him a few seconds afterwards to realize the only thing he would have gotten them was an axe to the face. No - not them. Him. He would have gotten an axe to the face, and he probably would have died.

Death again, even as the panic started to fade out. Inescapable.

He let out a long breath, thinking about all the different ways that situation could have broken down or could have gone terribly wrong, all the different ways they could have died - each of them, one after another, like dominoes, or soldiers walking down a sniper's alley. And Asha was going to keep doing this, going to keep trying to do right even if this happened again and again and again?

Perhaps they were all thinking the same thing. He didn't think he should ask.

"I dunno," Wayne finally said, and moved to the side of the room, to try to gauge the daylight remaining out of one of the windows. "Hole up somewhere for the evening, I guess. Even if we wanted to go after her... probably going to get too dark to find anyone soon."

The words came easily, in a sort of muted calm. It helped that he was facing away from them, so he no longer had to hide the doubt on his face.
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Nancy's reaction was, well, fair. Asha had hoped for the best, but she supposed that not everyone was as keen on being complimented by strange goth girls as she would be. No one had been hurt, at least, so they could chalk that whole mess up as a draw.

Oh, it would have been so easily for her to take a parting shot, too. One straight to Asha's forehead, thud, wouldn't even need to get up for that one. The sudden brutality of it would have likely given Nancy ample time to wrench the axehead free with a sickening splut, leaving Asha's corpse slumped lifeless against the wall. Dot probably wouldn't have handled that well at all, so another whack or two for her would get the job done without much fuss. Wayne, he was more of a wildcard. Asha was still never quite sure how he was holding up. The outcome there could be left up to artistic interpretation.

Thankfully, that beautiful carnage stayed nothing but a thought. Asha had no real taste for gore, but the visceral words that came with it were oh-so-appealing to spice up a conversation. Back in reality, Asha looked towards her friends, sighed in relief. Felt the tension she'd been ignoring slip away. Things could have gone poorly, to say the least.

Risking herself, well, that was just came with the territory, didn't it? Asha didn't have any regrets there. Dot and Wayne, though? Asha hadn't watched their backs at all, hadn't made sure they were ready for whatever pain might have launched itself at them. She'd done a disservice to Nancy, too. She was out in the harsh sunlight again, where she could easily get hurt or worse, hurt again. Asha didn't feel guilty, personal responsibility was a thing, but still. She could've done better, picked her words more carefully. She would do better next time.

In the end, they all agreed that Wayne's plan sounded like a good idea; and that they'd stay in the library for the rest of the night. They knew it was empty, now; and the couches provided a legitimate place to sleep, besides. Asha volunteered to take first watch. She still felt fine, and she had to make sure she didn't neglect the comfort of the people right in front of her, either.

Time passed. It was hard to judge how much, but Asha had wanted to make sure she saw the moon, in case anything went south while she was sleeping. Not full, unfortunately, but it still comforted her. When they were all dead, when SOTF faded to just a chapter in a history book and nature finished reclaiming her islands, the moon would still be the same. Humans really were lucky bastards, to be able to exist at the same time as such an ethereal, timeless beauty. Not eternal, of course, but close enough for their short purposes.

Asha looked at her sleeping companions. Marveled at how vulnerable the sleeping human form was. Considered how easy it'd be for her to cut their dreams into ribbons, and was grateful for the person she was; to be able to let such a thought pass her by without a fight, without a tug of temptation.

When it was finally Dot's turn to stand guard (Asha had held out for as long as she could) Asha woke her friend gently. When she was up, Asha gave her a long, firm hug before plopping down onto her couch.

She faintly hoped that she would dream of a masquerade of smiling horrors, of nightmares that had forgotten their original purpose and had gone soft around the edges but still did their best.
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If Dorothy was dreaming before her awakening by a hug from Asha, she couldn't remember anything about it. Either it was a dreamless, restless sleep or she was just like a robot who's switch was turned off. In both cases, it was her turn to watch the shadows come alive and to hear her allies snore. As soon as Asha took her couch, she fell asleep, her eyes shut tight and she stopped moving. Not in a dead way but in a I'm-tired-and-I-want-sleep way.

Dorothy could faintly see her chest raise and lower in the darkness.

She stayed there for a while, staying close to Wayne and Asha. She didn't want to be eaten by the darkness in front of her. This darkness made her feel like she didn't have her glasses on, everything that was far was blurred, hidden, shadowed, scary. She wanted to open her bag and get a flashlight, but after a minute of reflection, she decided it was a bad idea. If someone saw a light flashing through the window, maybe that someone could come in. What if that person wanted to fight, what would she do? If Nancy came back angry, would she just let her friends take the axe for her?

No, she wouldn't. So that's why she didn't open her flashlight before setting off in the darkness.

She was scared by the place. During the day, there was light. You could see ahead of you, around you, plan your movement. But in the night, the only thing certain was the unknown you will meet. She tried to remember the layout from the time she spent awake, but she still took it slowly. Very slowly like a snail crawling on a wall.

She touched the shelves, the walls, the tables to move herself around. She was lucky, she didn't knock anything over, tearing the silence of the night. The absence of sounds was the scariest part of it. The darkness was just a hidding place, the sounds were its monster. The things that go bump in the night were not friendly, but she kept going deeper and deeper and darker and darker in the forest of knowledge.

She finally reached the end, and with that, took a random book off the shelves. She had to remind herself not to drop it, in fear of making a noise or that the darkness will steal it away. She clutched it, hugging it like her favorite plushtoy. She thought about her little bunny sitting on the corner of her bed for years, being the lighthouse in her room guiding her to her bed. Even though it was dusty, and appropriately named Dusty, the little beast still did her job of protecting her mistress's sleep.

Dot made her way back on the path she made.




If this was real life, Dorothy would have been sleeping, not standing guard.

If this was real life, Dorothy wouldn't think about the set of rules that were constricting around her neck

If this was real life, Dorothy would have been thinking about something else than the bloodied clothes of Nancy.

If nobody was murdered by another student then all of their collars would blow up, killing all the kids on the island.

And Dot was still hugging her knees while looking in the darkness.

Then that means someone was dead and they had a killer. This meant somebody decided to play the game and to hurt someone else. This meant someone out there was ready to kill someone else for their own's sake, and they have done it.

''I think therefore I am'' was not real in the game. Those people didn't think, those people didn't care, these people were just hurting other people for no other reasons than their selfish need to survive. She understood that last part, but she didn't think people would actually give up on everything they have learned.

''I am therefore I think'' was more fitting.




It started by a little push, then to a moderate shove, to a heavy shaking. Wayne, however, was still sleeping like a log. He had his eyes shut, his mouth open, breathing. In the darkness, he looked like he did in the light, just faded.

Dorothy couldn't stand it anymore: the darkness and the silence were driving her insane. She didn't even want to sleep, she wasn't even tired. She was running on adrenaline and whatever they put in those bars. The latter tasted kinda okay, it wasn't the best snack she has ever eaten, but it was good enough. It didn't stop the night from crawling toward her, though.

Sleep was the only escape from the monsters around her. She wanted to have some sleep to escape to a better world that wasn't hers. She just wanted to close her eyes and to stop thinking about anything so she could dream about everything.

''Hey, it's your turn Wayne...''
me by naft
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