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白色雑音; White Noise; Open
Topic Started: Sep 24 2016, 12:03 AM (1,680 Views)
Iceblock
Survivor
[ *  * ]
((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."
The Present

The Past
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Iceblock
Survivor
[ *  * ]
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.
The Present

The Past
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Iceblock
Survivor
[ *  * ]
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.
The Present

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[ *  * ]
Wayne woke to feel Dorothy shaking him.

"I'm up," he managed, somewhat blearily. "Thanks, Dot. Dorothy." He wasn't supposed to be on nickname terms with her.

As she exchanged places with him and sought the comfort of sleep, he shook the tiredness off and just stood there for a moment, getting his bearings.

It would have been so easy for her to do something else. Instead of putting those hands on his shoulders, she could have fastened them around his throat. And squeezed. He had trusted her not to do so when he had let them take the first shifts. He had trusted Asha, too. Just like they trusted him, standing here, alone in the dark, with a knife strapped to his hip and doubt still in his mind. He almost wished that they had decided to take joint shifts, to have two people watching over one instead of one watching over two.

He glanced back over at Dorothy, wondering what exactly she saw in him. Wondered what Asha thought of him, too. He had lied to her face and followed her and backed her up all for the sake of keeping appearances, of staving off the guilt that he deserved to feel. He wasn't even their friend - just some random person, who never even showed them what he felt. How did they trust him so easily? How could they be that good?

What felt like thirty minutes passed. He paced in silence, wondering if in the next moment, someone would burst in and end his indecision. The doubt grew. If he continued to follow Asha, he could do good. He could help. If he really tried, if he dedicated himself to that cause, even if he didn't believe in it, even if he wasn't able to accept his death, he could still do something that mattered.

He could also just die. Killed by someone like the girl with the axe.

He stopped pacing, and just listened for a moment. Their breathing seemed peaceful in the dark.

It didn't surprise him when he picked up Asha's bag. It wasn't an instinctual movement, but one that he had considered for hours already, when he had realized that they were willing to tolerate him, to let him stay. He had thought about it ever since he had stood by that chain link fence and looked up to see the sun curving up towards noon and back down again.

He did not deserve this bag more than them. If he won this whole thing, if he somehow survived to the end, somehow steeled himself to make that kill that he needed to live, it would be a waste. His survival meant nothing, just like his life up to now had meant nothing. He would lock himself in a room, and he would play games to drown reality out, and he would never come out again.

No, if there was anyone who he should have helped make it to the end, it was these two. They were here, in the flesh, alive, breathing, trusting him, with noble ideas and the will to make them happen.

Here he was, stealing from them.

He couldn't bring himself to pick up Dorothy's bag. He reached for it, and hesitated in that position for at least half a minute. He couldn't do it. He couldn't leave them with nothing, all because they had trusted him, because they had given him a chance, and this was how he repaid them. This was how he showed his gratitude.

Slinging Asha's bag over his shoulder along with his own, he made his way to the door, his motions quiet, shame creeping over him. He opened the bag for a moment, checked it under the light of the stars and almost-full moon. No weapon. That, at least, was a relief.

And as he looked back to where they slept, undefended, he slammed the door as loudly as he could to wake them and ran.

((Wayne Cox continued in In A World Of Shit))
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