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This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe; Private
Topic Started: Sep 24 2016, 12:21 AM (575 Views)
dmboogie
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A Delicate Machine
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Harold Porter - By the time you hear the next pop, the funk shall be within you))

The world was passing Harold by. It'd began to slip away from him once he'd gone completely limp around Ty and Clarice's shoulders, burdening them enough to force them to load him onto a gurney. It faded faster still as he lost the small autonomy he'd managed to pretend to hold on to when he'd at least been standing upright.

He laid still as his closest friends wheeled him through the long, long hospital hallways, at least until he blinked and suddenly breathed in the cool air outside the asylum. Somewhere in there, Clarice had bandaged him up as best as she could. Harold figured that she must've done a good job, since he wasn't hurting so badly anymore. He didn't want to think about the spreading numbness that had replaced it.

When everything else had begun to fail, Ty's stream of chatter was a shining beacon that never lost its distinction. Harold followed along as best he could, nodding or shaking his head or mumbling something close to an answer at the appropriate times. He just wished that he could mirror Ty's confidence, return a grin for a grin.

Harold weakly stared back at Clarice as she hovered above him, saw Ty start rummaging through his bag out of the corner of the eye. Felt both strangely comforted and guilty about being worried over by the both of them, by the reminders that there were people who cared about him. Harold had always admired his seniors, had worried about how he'd fill their absence from the team once they graduated. It seemed that was off the table, now, but Harold still felt like he had to do his part. Had to try and carry the weight a little, no matter what happened next.

"Hey - none of this... none of this is your fault, alright?" Harold said to them, forcing the words out before he was overcome by another coughing fit, worse than the first. Didn't seem like he should try to talk anymore.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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dmboogie
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A Delicate Machine
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Harold struggled to focus, but the voices of his friends were now disappearing along with the rest of the world, fading into white noise before they ever reached his ears. It wouldn't have changed anything even if he had heard. He had already said everything he needed to say, everything he physically could say. He just hoped that they would accept his absolution. No matter what they were saying, Clarice's grasp on Harold's hand told him everything he needed to know.

They were there for him.

That truth was all that consumed Harold's final thoughts. If he had lived longer, if he had lived alone, maybe he would have been forced to think about what would happen, at the end. Tried to come up with "a good death", one final way to spite Evil even as their tendrils pierced his heart. Maybe he would have despaired over not having done enough, maybe Astrid's "I told you so" would have relentlessly echoed inside his mind, robbing him of any peace he could have hoped to find. Maybe he would have broken entirely.

Here, Clarice's hand was an anchor; its comforting warmth and pressure the only thing Harold could feel. He held on for as long as he could, but he didn't have the will to fight to keep his leaden eyes open. Ty and Clarice wouldn't leave him, after all. They were smart. They'd know what to do. They'd make sure that he would be alright, so it was okay for Harold to give up, for now.

He let go. He closed he eyes.

He lingered for a while longer, but he never woke up again.

B034 - ELIMINATED.
100 STUDENTS REMAIN.
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