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This World Belongs to the Mad; open
Topic Started: Oct 3 2016, 03:14 PM (1,648 Views)
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“Isn’t that just stupidity?”

((Lillian ‘Lily’ Caldwell continued from Pitstop.))

Lily wasn’t sure what she’d been looking for. Well, she did. Water supplies. But the problem was figuring out where to go. The best solution would probably be to rob someone, but she couldn’t just jump out of the bushes and stick someone up. Not with a mirror shard.

She’d heard voices. Vaguely, the idea of taking their supplies if they were distracted had come to mind. And, moving quietly along, she’d seen an open door. She’d seen the body within, and two boys talking. She’d backed up again, shaken and revolted.

Funnily enough, apart from revulsion, the body itself hadn’t phased her too much. Disgusting, sure, but… maybe because it had been mutilated until it was so unrecognisable. That had obscured the body’s identity, and that made it easier to deal with on first glance.

But the weapon sticking out of it. She’d seen it in the room where Tina died, although no-one had been using it. When she entered the room afterwards, it had been gone.

Which meant Isabel had been here.

And it would be a good idea to know where Isabel had been, where she’d gone. It would help in avoiding her. And maybe these two had seen where she’d gone.

But she’d gotten a little distracted by what one of the boys had been talking about while she was hiding and thinking. She could only blame a lack of sound sleep for the fact that she’d said her response outloud.

After her thoughtless comment, she moved so she wasn’t hiding in the doorway anymore. Looking at the two, she realised she might have made a very big mistake. She recognised Alex—she couldn’t remember where from, on a stage maybe, possibly a school assembly?—and the other boy had a gun.

...Well. At least Alex didn’t have the gun.

“...I’m sorry for interrupting. I didn’t mean to insult anyone,” she said. She tried to keep her voice calm, and tried not to look at the body. Tried to keep eye contact, like she had nothing to fear. Calm. Confident. Polite. Especially polite, after the whole ‘stupidity’ comment. Grandma would be disappointed if she let her manners slip now, and Lily had betrayed enough family already.
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“I didn’t intend to sneak up on you,” Lily mumbled. It had been stupid. This was, in general, a very stupid idea. And the more Alex spoke, the warier she got.

Alex was clearly insane.

“I… I just wanted to know if you’d seen which way Isabel went? I didn’t say I was joining… whatever this is.”

Lily resisted the urge to cover her nose. That body was stinking up the place—Conrad. It had to be Conrad, right, because that was who Isabel killed. The knowledge of who that body was made the nausea and horror bubble higher in Lily’s stomach. It was one thing to know someone was dead, and also one thing to see a nameless corpse. It was something else to see a corpse and know who they had once been, what they had once been like.

She knew this was how things were, but she was still disturbed at the fact that Alex and… Jeremy, was that his name? They were just… ignoring it. Or acting like there wasn’t a rotting corpse right there. Maybe they’d gotten over their shock before she got there. But given how Alex was behaving…

“You’re awfully quick to offer an alliance, given that we just met,” Lily added. Her voice was a little clogged, perhaps as a side effect of trying not to breathe in too much. “Given that you said immediately beforehand that I’m ‘a special breed of stupid.’ I would think that immediately bars me from being one of your potential fittest.”

Lily had the sense that she was walking on a tightrope here. A tightrope where failing meant getting stabbed repeatedly. It really would be smarter to just back away.

“Besides, the fittest here is clearly Jeremy. He’s the one with the gun.” Lily lifted the hand that wasn’t holding the glass and curled her pointer finger. She looked at Jeremy, hand still raised. “That’s all it takes for you to kill us.”
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Lily took a step back as Alex stepped forward, feeling a mix of fear and derision.

What a crackpot. Did he really think he was fitter just because the first shot hadn’t done the trick? Impressive if it was a full-on shot, but more likely someone with shitty marksmanship. And talking at her like being a scared animal was bad. She wasn’t a predator, she already knew that. Predators were bigger. Predators could fight. But a wolf couldn’t catch a rabbit if it knew where to hide.

...She didn’t feel like a smart rabbit right now, though. A smart rabbit would run. She was… reasonably sure she could flee from Alex if she had to. But Jeremy was still the bigger threat, even if he was talking friendly right now. If she ran, Jeremy could still shoot.

“You could do that. You could kill me. Of course, I might just be a speck, but I’m a speck with family. Friends. People on this island who might decide to pursue revenge.”

Lily wondered if someone was pursuing Isabel for what she did to Tina. Lily might have, if she were a better cousin. ...It would be a justification no-one could blink an eye at. Her eyes flickered to Conrad’s corpse. She wondered how many would chase Isabel for what had been done to him.

“You’ve already done the murder you need to leave this island. How does it make you fitter to add kills to that pile? Especially if I, as a speck, pose absolutely no threat to you. Lions only kill when they need to eat, you know.”

Wait. No. Bad. She shouldn’t have said that, because Alex had already gotten his kill. But Jeremy… Jeremy still hadn’t ‘eaten.’ Lily looked down for a moment, reaching up to rub the side of her face. An attempt to cover the flicker of fear that had crossed it. Then she looked back up.

“But maybe I’m wasting my breath. Because I do see one lunatic in this room.”
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“If you wanted to stay under the radar, you could do better than siding with Mr. ‘I Murdered Rea Adams With A Machete’ over there.” Lily shrugged and sighed. “But fine. Not my concern if you choose to go down that path.”

It was a concern. As far as she was concerned, despite his ‘oh maybe we shouldn’t kill her’ talk, Jeremy allying with Alex was as good as declaring his intent to kill, even if he hadn’t worked up to it yet. And the last thing she needed was killers working together. That would be a problem when numbers got smaller.

But maybe she’d be lucky, and Jeremy would come to his senses and kill Alex in his sleep. She’d risked enough sticking around.

“So Isabel hasn’t crossed your path? That’s all I wanted to know. I’ll be going before you kill me, then.”

Lily took a step back. She had to go. Even if they weren’t going to kill her, she was going to puke if she hung around Conrad’s corpse any longer.

“Good luck getting to the final two. I’m sure it’ll all work out fine for you.” Those last words were dripping with sarcasm. She didn’t turn around, heading out of the room backwards (and hoping there was no-one behind her), only turning and fleeing once she was behind shelter. Just in case one of them changed their minds about killing her.

Stupid risk, really. She’d have to avoid doing that again in the future. She supposed idiots like that went by their own logic, and couldn’t be reasoned out of an alliance that was bad for them and her. Or maybe her words were just terrible. It could easily be that.

But not dangerous? Being a waste of a bullet? There were worse things to be. And when Alex ended up on the announcements as a victim—and he would end up there, if he carried on monologing and murdering—or Jeremy ended up there when Alex inevitably snapped further and stabbed him in the back, or if he decided to do something like ring the loudest thing on the island again out of some bizarre belief that it made him brave… well, Lily wouldn’t feel a scrap of pity for them.

Now she could go back to her business of avoiding Isabel.

Avoiding. Hm. Perhaps that wasn’t the best option available. Safest, but… she’d have to kill sometime.

((Lillian ‘Lily’ Caldwell continued in Let's Awaken, By the Day.))
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