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In A World Of Shit; Open
Topic Started: Oct 11 2016, 11:22 PM (980 Views)
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((Clarice Halwood continued from This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe.))

Clarice didn’t remember the rest of the day.

She supposed she must have found her way to a bed somehow. Or Ty led her there. She must have been more exhausted than she thought. All she knew is that she woke up in a bed and thought, for one moment, that it was all a bad dream.

It wasn’t. Instead, she had been curled up in a bed that was sitting in an office. Nevermind the musty sheets and the fact that the wound Nancy had given her was both painful and itchy, she just wanted to keep sleeping. Normally, she couldn’t get out of bed quick enough. There was always so much to do. But what did she have to work towards here?

But once she was awake, getting back to sleep was an impossibility.

Ty had kept watch near the door the whole night. Fuck, she’d just passed out and hadn’t helped him with that. Had he been awake all night? She would have apologised, but something held her back from doing so. Maybe bitterness from yesterday. Maybe just tiredness.

They’d left the room soon after. Left the asylum. Clarice didn’t know where they were going, and she was sure Ty didn’t either. She’d shoved some food into Ty’s hands. She ate, too. Although food tasted like sawdust in her mouth. Maybe that was just leftover dust from the asylum clogging everything up.

They were walking across the bridge when the announcements hit. No words had been shared beforehand, none that weren’t necessary, but they both came to a halt once they heard the crackling of the speakers turning on.

The announcements came and went, and silence returned.

She could at least remember the faces of almost everyone on that announcement, even if she’d never had much reason to interact with them. Some of them were difficult to imagine as killers. Some of them it was hard to think of them as dead. But there were names that stood out.

Maybe parts weren’t a surprise. Like Nancy. Like Barry. Like Harold.

But Clarice couldn’t reconcile the imagery of murder with Kimiko, with bowling with her the times that Bradley didn’t ruin it, hanging out with her and Irene. Couldn’t process that Abby, the girl who’d been so kind, who’d loved animals and cooed over Grommit when Clarice was walking him, was gone.

But at least there… she knew what to feel. It was not so with Conrad.

Conrad was dead. Killed by none other than Isabel. The only double killer. The girl who Clarice had decided there wasn’t time to hold a petty high school grudge against.

Conrad killed Harold. He didn’t deserve to die. He did deserve to die. She hated him, and yet Conrad had been her friend, her boyfriend. She’d left him there and he’d been killed. It was her fault. But it was his fault for attacking Harold. Guilt. Disbelief. Anger. Grief. A tiny tinge of dark satisfaction.

Clarice didn’t move. She looked at Ty for a moment, and remembered him twisting Conrad’s arm. Conrad had that big halberd. He couldn’t have used that with that broken arm. Probably couldn’t have done much at all.

Clarice quickly looked away from Ty, staring off at the water that was sparkling in the sunlight.

Everything looked so peaceful. Beautiful, even, with the ocean right there. Clarice couldn’t help but take a few steps closer to the edge and glance down. She didn’t see any bodies. It all looked like a regular island, if she didn’t look too hard at the asylum in the distance.



The fuck was she supposed to do?
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“I don’t know where I’m going,” Clarice said quietly, not immediately that a stranger had spoken. When she did, Clarice abruptly turned, raising her hands in a way that made it impossible to tell whether she was trying to surrender or challenging the stranger to a fight. She paused before lowering her hands again.

She didn’t recognise the girl. Probably a junior. She said she was friendly. Seemed normal.

Isabel had seemed normal, too.

This girl wasn’t Isabel. It wasn’t her fault. She wasn’t Nancy, she wasn’t Conrad, she deserved to be treated as friendly as she was being.

Clarice frowned, averting her eyes for a moment. She shifted her injured shoulder a bit, trying to work out the persistent itch that was going on there without moving it so much that the pain got too much. The pain was one thing, but the itch was maddening.

“I don’t… I don’t know who you are. Your name, I mean.” Out of the muddle of emotions going on, none of them really were winning out over the others. Her voice came out mostly flat. Maybe a bit clogged.

She had to be nice. She had to… maybe not trust like she had before, she didn’t want to invite in another attack. Being wary, that was fine. But she couldn’t treat everyone like they’d committed the crimes that Isabel, Nancy and Conrad had.

That was what they wanted. Clarice would not do what they wanted.

Clarice gestured at herself. “Clarice, by the way. That’s Ty.” She waved her hand at Ty. “We’re...”

She’d been about to say ‘we’re friendly.’ But as she waved her hand at Ty, she trailed off. She looked at him, her gaze getting significantly colder. Could she really call Ty friendly? Ty had broken Conrad’s arm, and now Conrad was dead.

“...I’m friendly,” she said.
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“Until we find a safe place?”

Clarice wondered, distantly, if this was how she’d sounded to everyone else yesterday. Group up and hope for the best? How well had that gone?

And maybe she wanted to punch Ty for his dismissive ‘fuck off’—although maybe she just wanted to punch Ty in general, and it didn’t have shit to do with what he’d said. She did grimace at the words. But she kind of agreed with the sentiment. But then she also didn’t. Everything was just so fucking… jumbled.

She turned to face Natalie. Clarice didn’t think the girl was trying to pull a trick on her, but she’d also thought Nancy wouldn’t attack her. That Conrad wouldn’t hurt anyone, even after all that shit about outlasting. What the fuck did she know about good judgment calls, when every one she’d made had been bad?

“Where, exactly, do you think we’re going to find a safe place? Do you think the terrorists set up a breakroom, in case we want a break from all the murder? There isn’t one. There just… there fucking isn’t, alright?” Clarice’s voice shook. It was impossible to tell if it was from anger or from being near tears. “And if there was, it wouldn’t be with us. Or… or you’d be talking to four people instead of two.”

She turned back to the ocean. Why did it have to look so fucking nice?

“Why couldn’t this happen yesterday?” she muttered, more to herself than anyone around her.

She wanted to believe grouping up for safety would help. She really did. But there would be no safety until the end of the game. And if it ended on their terms, that would be too late for it to matter.
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“It’s fine. Just… you know, we’re just...” Clarice trailed off and shrugged, before wincing and remembering, oh yeah, the shoulder. Natalie backed off, and then immediately someone else turned up.

Clarice wrinkled her nose at Ty’s comment and turned towards him.

“What’s the alternative? Corpses?” Her tone was harsh.

She then turned away to look at the newcomer. She primarily knew Wayne by sight. Knew he was a basketballer. Knew he wasn’t a huge asshole. She thought, at first glance, that he looked weirdly bulky or weighed down or—

It clicked. He was carrying two bags.

That could mean a lot of things. He could have found them. Scavenged them. Stolen them. Murdered someone for them. He didn’t look like he was running at them with a gun or anything. But Natalie was already approaching him, and it sounded a little like she was about to go into the same offer she’d just shared with Clarice.

...Girl could not pick her targets. Clarice could just let it happen, but… well, her conscience would be rattling at her after. She didn’t want Natalie to learn a lesson about being careful the same way Clarice had.

So Clarice backed away from the edge of the bridge, and put herself between Natalie and Wayne, her good arm stretched out towards Natalie to stop her from moving past.

“Hold on.”

She shifted, trying to stare Wayne down. Hard when he was looking down like that. The sort of body language that, were Clarice watching this as a film, she’d go ‘that guy’s being shifty, he’s probably important. A minor villain or at least a red herring.’

“Hey. Hey, Wayne. Eyes up here, I’m talking to you.” Clarice snapped her fingers and then gestured at her eyes. “Where’d you get the second bag?”

Risky, to confront someone like this, but what could she really lose that the island wasn’t already set on taking away?
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Wayne said he found it. Maybe he did. Clarice couldn’t see a murderer leaving the bag behind, not when they had such few supplies to begin with. But maybe. Maybe it belonged to Abby, since… god. God, this was all so…

Clarice looked down. She heard Natalie talk. She hesitated for a moment before looking up again.

“I’m not doing anything stupid. Even if… even if he was a killer, I…” She trailed off.

If Wayne was a murderer, there was nothing she could do. What were the options on this island? She could kill him—or try, at least—but she wasn’t going to play this game. Even if Wayne had killed, he didn’t deserve it. And even if he did, Wayne probably had friends. Family.

Clarice couldn’t be the one to make anyone else feel like she was feeling right now. She wasn’t a fucking asshole.

She looked Wayne in the face, before straightening up some. “Fine. But if I find out you were lying...” She paused for a moment longer, then said, “I’m going to be real fucking upset with you.”

She turned to where Ty had been. He wasn’t there anymore.

“...Wait. Ty? Where’d—“ Her gaze moved a little further. She could see Ty’s retreating figure in the distance. “Hey! Ty! Come back here!”

He didn’t turn back.

“...Fine. Fine! Be that way, you fucking murderer!” Clarice yelled after him. “Be that way!”

She regretted the words the moment she’d yelled them. She couldn’t… she shouldn’t blame Ty. It was Isabel who’d done it. But… fuck. She just wanted to hate him so much.

“Shit,” she muttered under her breath.

With that, she turned back to Wayne and Natalie. She looked at Wayne for a moment, then turned her attention on Natalie.

“If you follow him… be careful,” she muttered.

She left, going the opposite way of Ty. She could have caught up, perhaps, if she ran. But… but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to.

((Clarice Halwood continued elsewhere.))
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