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This Be The Verse; Open
Topic Started: Oct 6 2016, 09:34 PM (2,070 Views)
Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Bryony Adams continued from The Gadfly Cometh))

It had not been a pleasant walk from the docks.

Bryony would have been perfectly happy not to talk at all, not least because she didn’t want to say a single thing around Bradley. Past experience had taught her that anything she said, he would find a way to twist and manipulate to his own ends and means, no matter how innocent or innocuous. Even a simple question as to where they were headed or a plea for rest so she could adjust her bag would most likely result in her getting insulted, or some unpleasant joke made.

On top of that she simply didn’t feel like talking any more. The positivity from meeting Alba had buoyed her so far, and was still there inside of her, but hidden now, buried under a layer of fear and anxiety again. She wasn’t about to bolt and go on her own way; she didn’t think she’d last more than a few minutes on her own in the current state she was in. But the mere presence of Bradley was putting her emotions on a knife’s edge, the gun only exacerbating that feeling.

And he refused to act like anything had changed from Kingman to the island. The entire walk, Bradley dedicated every single ounce of breath to cracking horrific ‘jokes’, just like he’d do at the back of class when he didn’t think the teacher could hear him. The more jokes he cracked, the more Bryony felt uncomfortable and sick, an unpleasant cocktail mingling with the terror and anxiety brewing within her at her situation on the island.

She had ended up mumbling under her breath everything she wanted to say to him, muttering about how unfunny his jokes were, how she wished she had taken his stupid packet of cigarettes back at the docks and chucked them back onto the beach.

How she was so scared of him that she only dared say these things in her head or when there was not a soul who could hear her.

So she had kept herself to herself, lagging slightly behind the other two, not even talking to Alba, until they had eventually wound up outside the gym, identifiable by the dilapidated sign hanging up outside of it.

Her brief hope that this would be a chance at some respite was almost instantly dashed by the sound of the announcement starting up, and, as soon as she realised just what the noise was, she felt like she had been punched in the gut.

The next couple of minutes had felt like some hideous fever dream. Names called out by the man who referred to himself as Danya, names of people that were apparently dead who simply couldn’t be, people like Jennifer, like Scarlett, like Conrad. Every now and then, Bradley’s voice would cut across the drone of the announcement, making some snide remark about each person who had passed. Bryony had felt something flare up each time, maybe anger, before it was instantly engulfed by the growing cloud in her mind. Her mouth had opened to speak every now and then, but she had no idea what had come out.

Bryony felt like she was spiralling into some dark, unfathomable void. She felt dazed. Nothing felt real. Each step felt like she was dragging along a bag of wet sand. She was feeling every emotion at once and yet none at all.

She didn’t even hear Bradley’s honest apology as she trudged into the gym.

There were two people inside already. Coleen and Arthur. Bryony saw her arm raise in a timid wave through her clouded mind.

Then another person made their way into the gym, and for a moment, the feeling of ice in her veins broke through the void she was falling into. Here was someone she was more frightened of than Bradley.

And it wasn’t fair, it shouldn’t be like this, because Kimiko was a perfectly lovely, friendly person normally. She wasn’t close with Bryony, but that was more due to their interests and circles being almost entirely opposites. But Kimiko had killed someone and Bryony just couldn’t shake the stigma that came with that and the petrifying fear that she felt at Kimiko’s mere presence.

Somehow, Bradley was still talking like he was back in the classroom, cracking jokes and making references. He clearly knew Kimiko so it wasn’t a lack of recognition, a failure to associate name to face. Bryony didn’t have a clue what he was trying to do, but all it was achieving was making her feel even more terrified at her situation.

“Bradley… you should… you shouldn’t…” Bryony said, eyes wide, voice barely a whisper. The void in her mind was starting to vanish. The realisation of the announcement was truly sinking in. There were tears in the corners of her eyes.

“Please…”
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It wasn’t working.

Nothing was working.

Bryony’s tiny, desperate plea for Bradley to stop had been picked up and carried forwards by Arthur, louder and stronger, and she had hoped that would be enough, enough for Bradley to understand that everyone wanted him to stop doing whatever he thought he was doing.

But he didn’t. If anything, it just added gasoline to the fire. Bradley kept on going, making comment after comment, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings. Couldn’t he see what he was doing? Bryony’s deer-in-the-headlights eyes caught Kimiko’s expression as she desperately scanned the room, searching for some way out, some way to stop all of this. If Bradley was trying to get Kimiko to leave, it wasn’t working. If he was trying to defuse the situation with his standard style of humour, it definitely wasn’t working.

Bradley was attempting to retain his old personality on the island. Bryony understood the sentiment. Somewhere deep inside, it resonated with her. But Bradley’s personality was a tinderbox, ready to alight at even the smallest embers, unaware of the fire creeping up on it.

She kept on trying. Kept on trying to push Bradley away from all this, trying desperately to find the words to rescue this situation.

But if she herself could barely hear her own desperate attempts, what hope did anyone else in the room have?

Then suddenly, just like that, it was all over. It was funny, almost, how often that happened. So much build-up. So many barbs and traded blows before it looks like it’ll all boil over. Then, one tiny thing happens, insignificant in the relative expanse of the universe, but enough to bring down the world of everyone involved.

A single Parthian shot to break your heart.

A single act of defiance to seal your fate.

A single flurry of movement to end a life.

Bryony watched the spear pierce Bradley’s stomach as if in slow motion. Watched him fall. Watched Alba rush to his side. It didn’t feel real again. It couldn’t be real. No-one could be dead. Especially not someone who minutes before she had been walking a few steps behind.

She started as she felt something press against her spine. Somehow, whilst her mind had still been spinning in the void, she had backed up against the wall closest to her, and her hands had found their way to cover her mouth. She blinked. She couldn’t see anything. Rain streaking down the windowpanes, shivering and shaking at the cold. That was what it was.

The scene in front of her wasn’t real. It couldn’t be.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Through the tear stained glass in front of her eyes, the impossible scene in front of her refused to change. It couldn’t be real, there was no way it could, but she had already established she wasn’t dreaming, and it was painfully clear this wasn’t a prank. Bradley wasn’t about to sit up and wipe the fake blood from his clothes. Alba wasn’t going to put down the prop gun and tell Bryony everything was going to be all right. Someone had died. Someone had died in front of her very eyes.

The void disappeared, and all her emotions came flooding back. Bryony let out a choked sob, and she slid down the wall until she was curled up against herself, hands still pressed hard against her mouth. She had hated Bradley at school. He’d been a living nightmare, a terrifying presence whenever he raised his voice to make one of his trademark jokes.

But he hadn’t deserved to be slaughtered like this. He hadn’t deserved to die at all. He wasn’t a murderer himself, or any kind of criminal. He was just a stupid, arrogant boy, who had stepped too far over someone’s personal boundaries.

And Bryony could have stopped him.

She had been less than a foot away from him whilst he was speaking. She had tried to say something, tried to bring him around, but she hadn’t tried hard enough. If only she had raised her voice, if only she had grabbed his arm, if only she had done… something more.

Bradley was dead, and Bryony couldn’t stop herself from believing she was part of the reason why.

Now that the void had gone, she could just about make out what Alba and Arthur were talking about, over her gentle sobs and the thudding of her terrified heart. Alba held the gun now, Bradley’s gun, and for a brief moment, Bryony felt herself stop breathing, certain her erstwhile ally was going to turn the weapon on the rest of the group. But as more words managed to make their way into her brain, it became increasingly clear just what their plan was going to be.

If anything, it was an even scarier proposition.

Slowly, legs threatening to collapse underneath her, Bryony pushed herself back up to a standing position. A quick brush of a balled up fist against her eyes did nothing to help her clouded vision, but she still trudged forwards to where Alba and Arthur were standing. Her hands were shaking, but as she placed her right on top of the gun, her grip was surprisingly firm.

“Please… Please don’t do this…”
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Nobody seemed set to listen to her.

Coleen was the most understandable. She seemed completely out of it, looking just as traumatised as Bryony was feeling. She barely acknowledged anyone in particular, talking to the room as a whole, only caring that her words got out there. She didn’t look like she was in any state to move right now, let alone try and capture a double murderer, armed only with a set of DVDs.

But Alba…

She seemed so confident. So certain that her plan was going to result in success. It wasn’t even as if Bryony disagreed with the principle of the idea. They weren’t planning on killing Kimiko, or even trying to harm her if possible. They were just trying to make sure she didn’t end up killing anybody else until they all, hopefully, got rescued. It was a noble idea, really.

And yet if half of a group was so vocally opposed to going along with such a noble idea, surely there had to be some issue with it.

Bryony looked directly at Alba with huge, watery, pleading eyes. The other girl tried to assure her that she and Arthur would be fine, but Bryony couldn’t see any way in which they would be. Yes, they had a gun, a weapon that, as far as they were all aware of, was very real and very deadly. But that was the sticking point; it was a deadly weapon they weren’t planning on using. It was going to be for intimidation purposes at best. Alba might as well have been carrying around a wooden replica.

Bryony wasn’t underestimating Kimiko. No matter her reasons for the first kill, no matter that she had been goaded into a second kill via Bradley’s words, she almost certainly had some brains to her. She had to assume that there were going to be people literally gunning for her now. That there were going to be people trying to kill her regardless of her reputation.

She wasn’t going to stay weaponless for long.

Arthur said one word. ‘Okay’. ‘Okay,’ as though Bryony’s pleas were nothing, as if Alba’s attempted assurance would be enough to settle her down and to convince her that they were going to return here with Kimiko trussed up safe and sound, completely unharmed and happy.

Something inside of Bryony broke. She screwed up her eyes, a couple of rogue tears falling to the floor from behind her glasses. She felt her hands ball up into tight fists. She opened her eyes again, staring directly into Alba’s own.

“Please!”

The word came out louder than even Bryony had expected. It wasn’t quite a shout, but there was definite force behind it, a far cry from her normal meek tones. There was a fire within her, a fire born from terror and frustration, true, but once a fire starts to burn, its origin ceases to matter.

“You can’t... you can’t take this so casually! You’re not going to shoot Kimiko with that gun… right? So… So how do you think she’s going to react when she sees someone with a weapon coming at her? Someone who looks like they’re going to get revenge on her for… for killing their ally? She doesn’t know you’re not going to harm you, she’s not… she’s not going to f-fucking believe you if you tell her that!”

Tears were flooding down Bryony’s face now, sweat sticking strands of her hair to her forehead and cheeks. She paused, trying desperately to breathe, chest tight and throat sore.

“Please… you can’t do this. I don’t want you to get… I don’t want you to get… hurt…”
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
There was a sickening feeling of déjà vu about all of this.

Bryony had never given less than 100% to anything she put her mind to in her life. Every sketch, every piece of schoolwork, every earnest attempt to make friends. Even when she was at her lowest ebb, even when she was enduring the worst of Bethany’s taunts and insults, she tried as hard as she possibly could in her current situation; tried to endure, tried to ignore them, tried to persevere with her life as well she could.

And yet, so often, it didn’t seem to matter. She did her best. She always did. But half the time there was something in her way, something that kicked her not when she was down but when she was clambering to her feet, something that rendered her best efforts completely irrelevant.

She had poured her heart out to Alba, begged her to stay, thrown any semblance of dignity out the window in her efforts to keep this girl alive, this girl who she had barely known for more than a day, yet it hadn’t been enough. Alba had clearly already set her mind on leaving and going after Kimiko. No amount of pleading seemed likely to change that. And yet, as the other girl gave her one last smile and hurried out of the gym, Bryony tried anyway.

“Alba! Alba, please, wait! Alba!”

She would have said more, she wanted desperately to find the right thing that would cause Alba to stop and turn back, but her throat and her lungs just couldn’t take anymore. They felt like they were closing up, blocking her breathing, choking the life from her. She had unconsciously taken several steps forwards as she had been crying out to Alba, but she was forced to stop, tears streaming down her face and dripping against the floor, forcing herself to take short, haggard breaths.

The minutes passed like hours until Bryony was able to breathe again. By that time, Alba was long, long gone. She had said she would come back as soon as she could. Chances were, that would still take a very, very long time.

In all of the white noise and haze of her emotional overload, Bryony hadn’t noticed that Alba had run off on her own. It was only when Arthur moved forwards to carry away Bradley’s body that she realised this. Too numb to feel much of anything, let alone feeling pathetic at her current state, she stared at Arthur through tear-stained glasses, as if bewildered at what she was seeing.

“You’re… you’re not going with her?”

Her voice was a whisper, almost certainly inaudible to the remaining few left in the gym. She removed her glasses, looking down at the blurry lenses. Her hands weren’t shaking anymore, but that was more thanks to the overall hollow feeling that encompassed her right now. With that hollowness came a single, all important thought; Alba was heading out into the wilderness on her own, chasing after a double murderer who was almost certainly going to kill her as soon as she saw the gun in her hands.

No-one else in here was going to try and chase after her. As far as Bryony saw it, there was only one thing she could possibly do in this situation. Alba had to be talked down, wherever she was now.

“Please stay safe, then… don’t… don’t do anything stupid…”

Bryony wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, replaced her glasses, and ran past Arthur out the door.

((Bryony Adams continued in Lavender))
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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