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a concrete cave; formerly known as Margaret | One-Shot: Day 1 Night to Day 3 Midday
Topic Started: Oct 31 2016, 01:14 PM (207 Views)
Maraoone
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yes thomas why
[ *  *  * ]
It was 12:59 in the morning, the minute hand slowly crawling towards 12. The only sounds Olivia could hear as she shuffled the contents in her bag was the ticking of her watch, the hum of her air conditioner, the air shakily drawn in and out through her mouth.

Her father, Mason, he knew about this. He was the one that signed the permission slip for the field trip. Margaret, on the other hand? Olivia hoped that her father would be able to defuse her while she was gone. She'd think about that tomorrow. Or rather, today, later. She'd think about it later.

She held a pack of Uno cards in one hand and a deck of normal cards in the other, trying to decide which would go in her bag. And in the process of deciding, she took out her watch and set it on the desk beside her bed, not realizing that in a couple of hours, she'd wake up to her alarm, rush out for the door, and, for the first and last time, leave it behind. And in the midst of this indecision, between Uno or Bridge, between purple shirts and yellow, Olivia lost herself. Her ears did not pick up the shuffle of feet on carpet as they inched closer and closer to a locked doorknob, to a slightly ajar door, to

"Olivia."

Olivia jumped. She turned around and saw her mother, standing in the doorway, her eyes too heavy to give her the look yet. She must've gotten up to go to the bathroom.

"It's 1 AM, what are you..."

Olivia stood still, her hand frozen in the process of transferring her cards from her drawer to her bag. Her eyes tracked Margaret as she looked at the array of things scattered across her bed. And then Margaret cleared her throat, raised her hand as if trying to prevent any explanation, as if trying to impose her own interpretation of things.

"Are you trying to run away?"

The cards slipped from Olivia's grasp. She came back to life, gasped a little. And then she narrowed her eyes. Felt blood rushing along the back of her neck. It hurt. Not her neck. Just. Just hearing that.

"You always assume the worst of me."

"Excuse me?"

"I- I know, I know we've been fighting a lot lately, but, y-you'd really think that I'd-"

"Then what is this? Why do you have luggage scattered around your bedroom? Why are you packing your stuff in the middle of the night?"

"I have a field trip tomorrow. The science one."

"I thought I'd told you not to go. How did you even... oh God, Mason's been going behind my back about this, hasn't he?"

"Mom-"

"No, no!"

The air seemed to stop. They both didn't move for a moment. And then Margaret inhaled. Sighed.

"I, I guess this makes sense. You are choosing to go to Oklahoma without my permission, so I guess it makes sense for you to sneak out of Kingman for a bit then."

Olivia didn't speak. Didn't know what to reply. So, Margaret answered for her.

"Just don't blame me if you get put on some death island-"

"Mom, they've never even kidnapped in the middle of the school year! It's, it's been three years since the last one, a-and why here?"

"Why Minnesota, why Seattle-"

Olivia's blood rushed again.

"Y-you know, if all you want is for me to stay here, for me to stay in Kingman forever, then just say so. Don't, don't bring SOTF into this."

"Wha-what does that have to do with any- if it's a sin for me to keep my daughter from being slaughtered by those SOTF people, then send me to hell."

"All I want is, is to be a teenager-"

"To be worldly? So, if society jumps off a bridge, would you?"

"Th-that's not even, not, ugh. I just don't want to stay in Kingman forever. I, I deserve better-"

"So, I'm not good enough for you? Is that it, Olivia?"

"I mean a better college, a better life. What, you always told me I can do so much, right?"

"Oh, so we're not enough for you then?"

Margaret threw up her hands and turned her back to Olivia. And she said, quietly.

"Alright then. Do what you want."

So, Margaret turned around to leave the room. And Olivia, her blood was still rushing, her face red at Margaret's irrationality, at her unwillingness to listen. So, she did not say 'Good night' or 'I love you.' She did not hug her, even though before 11th grade, they'd done that every night for years. Because now it had been approaching six months since the last time she'd done that. Because as of now, it was the closest thing to rebellion Olivia knew.

((Olivia Fischer continues from the way to dusty death))

Olivia was huddled in a corner, hugging herself, because no one else was around to do that for her. And it was all her fault. Her lip was bleeding as her tooth dug into her own flesh, and it was all her fault. Her nails embedded themselves into her thigh, trying to stop everything, and it was all her fault. Her face soured, scrunched, her eyes squinted, and suddenly, her eyes were wet, and she was shaking with sobs, and the cameras captured those emotions she'd wanted to deprive them of, and it was all her fault. She would die within a week, and it was all her fault.

And, there was something she needed to say. Something she was supposed to say, whenever it was her fault. Some verbal tic hammered into her by her mother at five years old, by her friends in fourth grade, some word that always made everything better, an auditory Band-aid.

Sorry.

And she'd been saying that. Whispering it to herself, to whoever would listen, over and over again, her private litany. But others deserved to hear it, right? Her mother, Hannah, Irene. Anyone she'd wronged, because this was obviously why God had put her here, right? This was her fault, right? That, that had to be it, there had to be a reason. And when you're at fault, you say sorry.

And so, she raised her head from her knees, looked at the camera in front of her. The thing that had been drinking in all her misery, all her emotion for everyone to see. Stared what had been her enemy at first in the eye. This thing, it would get her sorry's out there, make everything alright. It had to. And so she looked at it, imagining her apologies. Dreaming them.

But, did she deserve the privilege of an apology? Did she deserve the privilege of explaining herself, of expecting acceptance, even if she never got to hear it? Did she deserve reassurance, their pity?

And, for that matter, did this thing in front of her, did it deserve her regrets? Did it deserve to see her mourn for herself? Did those men and women watching, did they deserve her apology? The thought of it revolted Olivia. But so did her pride. She should apologize. Kneel down, she shouldn't even be allowed to feel sorry for herself. But, they didn't deserve to see her saying it, saying that word. But her mother did.

And she stayed in this state of indecision, stayed until the tears were just trickling rather than flowing, until her eyelids began to droop, until she slid down on the concrete floor.

Until she forgot what sorry was.

--

She woke up to gray light filtering in from windows several hallways away, sprawled on the concrete floor. Her bones ached, and her eyes still stung. The taste of sleep, saliva pooled, stagnant in her mouth. She laid there for a while, eyes blinking, but not really in a mood to move anything else. She continued like this for a few minutes, before sitting up, and dusting herself off. She raised her hands to her hair, felt how frizzy and uneven it was. And then they moved to her face, traced her sticky cheeks. She knew there was a mirror, but she couldn't look. She was so pathetic. And then her eyes drifted over to the camera and a wave of regret overcame her. Part of her felt somehow lighter from last night, as if the emotional build-up from yesterday no longer weighed against her chest, but another part of her felt ashamed. Felt as if she'd wet the bed, or broken the family vase, as if she should be standing in a corner for misbehaving, for having a tantrum. Felt as if she were looking down at peanut butter sandwiches and a single lunch tray, accompanied by nothing else.

She looked at the door. Walked out there, into the hallway. Passed by the room where everything fell apart, where Abby's corpse lay. Except it wasn't lying down, and it wasn't Abby's corpse, but Abby herself, and she was moving, alive. And now, she had a knife, and she was slitting herself, slitting her wrists, bleeding herself out, and Olivia was just watching, not moving, not stopping it. And she looked behind her and saw Hannah and Irene, as appalled as Olivia wad at the sight. Except they weren't so much appalled by Abby killing herself than they were by Olivia watching. She saw their mouths open, saw their mouths whispering condemnations to each other, looked at their eyes. Contempt. And then they left, and Olivia ran after them. She ran, propelled herself over the concrete, yet they ran further into the horizon, disappeared behind each corner of the hallway for longer and longer periods of time until they simply weren't there. Until Olivia was alone. Until she shouted and shouted their names, but was answered with silence. And then she walked the hallways, alone. Walked and walked for minutes upon hours, until she stopped. Not because she wanted to, but because her legs wouldn't work. Because a red flower bloomed in her chest, and she couldn't scream.

Except Olivia was back in the room, looking at the door and thinking that maybe she'd had the right idea when she first woke up. Maybe she should hide from the world in this small room. Protect herself from them, protect them from her. Or no, not hide from the world. Deny it. Her new world would be this. Two chairs, a desk, and a big mirror, and she would content herself with that. Better than being murdered in the dead of night in a forest. Better than being abandoned again.

--

The announcements came an hour or so after Olivia woke up. She wasn't sure. She hated not being sure. She rubbed her wrist, covered it, hoped the soft warmth from her hand would compensate, would replace the cold, hard smoothness of her watch. It didn't.

For what must've been half a second, she welcomed the announcements, telling her that it was morning. But then came the names. The names of her classmates.

She'd wanted to talk to Nancy Kyle before. Envied her, even. An odd person to envy, yeah, but she was just so open about her interests, and she always wished she could join that circle and just rave about anime. Her friends, those she mentioned anime to, they didn't mind, but they didn't really care. And talking to Nancy, it wasn't an obsession, just some stray thought, 'Hey, she seems nice, maybe I should talk to her one of these days.'

And now, she'd swung an axe at Scarlett.

There were other names. Other sinners. Others sinned against. Abby slit her wrists, as it turned out. That was who they saw. Who tore them apart.

No, don't pass the blame. Take it all in. You scared them off. Abby was just an opportunity.

How dare you.

All in all, when the speakers stopped blasting out their words, Olivia counted 9 killed and 7 killers, give or take. Some had actually killed twice, so she couldn't be sure. But that was the thing, 9 of the people she knew were dead, and 7 of the people she knew were now among the ranks of John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. Aileen Wuornos. Of course, she didn't think of them as that. Like, yeah, she'd wanted to talk to Nancy. Alvaro seemed like a nice guy. They all seemed like nice people, decent people, heck, even Isabel, she didn't really see them doing the same things John Waynes and Jeffreys did. But now,

No.

After the announcements ended, confirmed that she was not in a danger zone, was not in danger, could hide from it a bit longer, she leaned against the wall, staring at nothing in particular. The announcements still rang through her head. She tried to keep the names in her head, the names of the killers, like she was studying for some demented history quiz, but they were leaking, fading away. She had started to mouth the names to herself when someone started to speak.

No, not someone, some people.

Words had come through these walls before, vibrations of air, hollers and plans and protests and goodbyes that travelled through glass and wood and concrete to come to Olivia, distorted and strained and muffled through these mediums. They meant nothing but the fact that she was not alone in this room, in this building, in this island, that even if she risked going out back to that cave, someone would still find her. Or the tide would drown her first. That was all they had meant, risk and inevitablity.

And then someone shouted. Sharp, rough. Voices shouldn't be like that. And then Olivia realized they weren't, that along with that shout, glass, wood broke, slammed against the floor. And though it couldn't possibly be true, though doors and windows and concrete walls and meters and meters of distance separated her from the fight, from what, unknown to her, was Sandy taking Jasmine's life, to Olivia, those pieces of shrapnel were embedding into her skin, those people shouting were shouting at her, and fell to her side, into the corner. She curled up, like she did the first night, and she closed her eyes. And she covered her ears. She covered her ears, and yet those noises, the shards and thuds and now the screams, the screaming, those same noises that had travelled through so much air and concrete now penetrated her hands and invaded her, invaded her mind, and now it was footsteps, hitting, pounding the floor, getting louder and louder, coming closer and nearer and she hadn't boarded up her door, whoever did that could be moving onto their next victim, and was he or she screaming, the concrete was still thudding, and Olivia just needed it to stop she needed everyone to shut up shut up shut

"up shut up shut up shut upshutupshutupshutup" and maybe if she whispered those words a thousand thousand times, not screamed, not shouted, not said, but whispered those words, quietly enough so only she and He, if He wanted to listen, if He were willing to, if He'd have mercy on her, and He always did, quietly enough so only she and He could listen, maybe if she whispered those words, the screaming and the thudding would stop, it would all just shut up shut up shut up shut up-

--

/ʃət əp/

Shuhttuhp? Sudup? Shuh tap?

Shut up. Screams, footsteps, thuds. Closer. No.

Shut the fuck up. Same. Screams, footsteps, thuds. But farther. No.

Olivia licked her lips, her teeth, trying to get feeling back, trying to stop the pain, trying to relax it a little, but maybe it would take a while. Oh well. Maybe it would be nice. Maybe she deserved to shu-

No.

She had eventually run out of air, of energy. Her tongues and lips had gone numb, had twisted and looped themselves until she couldn't move them anymore.

They shut up eventually. Olivia didn't want to know how, but they did. The waves of panic had passed. She no longer felt a weight on her chest. She could breathe.

She did feel a weight somewhere else though, she realized. No, not a weight, but a pressure. A bit lower. Not quite her stomach. Somewhere around her bladder- oh god. She needed to pee.

There wasn't any container she could pee into. The water bottles weren't an option, she needed those. And she couldn't pee in the corner. Not unless she wanted to sleep with her own urine.

She had to get out.

She remembered when they were heading here seeing glimpses of a sink. All the way at the end of the hallway. Just a few tens of meters between them. A few rooms, a few hiding places where those people shouting earlier could hide. A few seconds.

She didn't have to get out. She could wait it out. Lie down. Just stay still, it'll subside.

Heh. Their house was like this also now that she thought about it. Not quite as sterile, not quite as abandoned, but same general layout. Her bedroom near the stairs, her parents' next, and the bathroom at the edge. And she had a weak bladder back then. Always got up at night, always had to use the restroom. And her parents would often turn off the lights. They were saving electricity, they said, cutting back on costs. And it was so dark. And she'd always imagine her nightmares, ghosts or furry monsters or whatever, hiding in the shadows, waiting to attack her if she dared to go out these hallways. And so she'd spend many hours near the threshold, hand on the doorknob, contemplating whether or not to open that door. Most night she would. She would race through that hallway, to the bathroom, and back again to her bedroom. Some nights though, she'd stay there, try to sleep it off. Wet her bed more than once. Cost her many, many hours of sleep. Come to think of it, that was probably why her grades weren't as high back then.

Now, she felt more like staying there, sleeping it off. Because the nightmares were real this time. Her hand wasn't quite stuck on the doorknob, but she was pacing around again, trying to figure out whether or not to go out. Then, she glimpsed the camera again. Imagined the humiliation of wetting her clothes, in front of them, in front of thousands, of millions. She wasn't seven.

She slowly opened the door, wincing as it creaked, announced her presence. Looked left and right, as if she were crossing the road. And then she walked, walked as fast as she could to the restroom. Ran from nightmares.

She made it to the restroom. And before she closed the door, she noticed a camera in the upper corner, looking at her.

She hated it.

--

She made it back, locked the door. Said a prayer of thanks for being safe. She was alive. The nightmares hadn't caught up to her, as they never had. And now the pressure was gone, replaced with shame. She looked up and saw herself, exactly as she imagined. Reddish eyes, oily face, tangled curls of hair. Pathetic. She combed through her hair with her fingers, pretended that she looked presentable.

The next question was what to do. She planned on staying here for the rest of her life, really. She could eat, yeah, that was a given. But no cards. No watch to fiddle with. Nothing. Just her and her memories.



She didn't quite feel like going through them.

Sleep it off. That could work.


And so that was how she spent most of the day.

The only thing that pushed her from her room was that she opened her bag and saw her belongings were dripping. She saw an empty water bottle. She'd been walking around her room earlier, she'd tripped over her bag. Her change of clothes were soaked, along with the crackers and loaves of bread. She still had another bottle of water, yes, and all the energy bars were intact, but her rations had suddenly become much fewer. This couldn't be. Part of her told her to stay until she had absolutely nothing to eat, nothing to drink. It would be the easier option. But the other part of her, that wave of panic that had paralyzed her that first night, it brought up Abby. It brought to mind a body curled in a corner, and Olivia decided that she would not let herself be that. She would survive. She had to.

So, after half an hour's hesitation, she opened the door. Maybe she would come back here, come back to her concrete cave once she'd gotten her supplies. She just needed to pretend to be brave for a moment. So, she walked out, closed her eyes as she walked past the room with Abby, and made her way to the second floor.

((Olivia Fischer continues in I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying))
Edited by Maraoone, May 29 2017, 01:24 PM.
V6 Characters:
G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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