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Coming Out Of The Closet; Yep
Topic Started: Nov 3 2016, 08:01 PM (1,832 Views)
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Mr. Danya
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Nate Turner continued from Forget About What I Said))

It had been a tiring trek around the asylum, but at least Nate had had company. They had made small talk, but their efforts were devoted to scavenging rather than friendly chats. They hadn’t found anything particular useful, which was a shame, but Nate was just happy to not be alone for the whole time. By the dawn of the third day, he was glad that they’d helped him stay alive and unharmed as long as he had.

As the day before, the announcements came and were just as grim as they had been yesterday. He didn’t recognise quite as many of the names, and maybe that’s why it stung just a little bit less, but it was still a reminder that everything was going wrong around him. He didn’t cry this time, though.

Yet he was so absorbed with the announcements, trying to decide on just what to do with the information on his rapidly expiring classmates, that he was completely oblivious to Henry’s stealing of all his things.

When the three of them had finally realised what had happened, Nate hadn’t actually burst into tears. He was upset, absolutely, but anger was the more prominent response. After all, he had trusted Henry, invited him in and offered him some food because he thought he was in just as much pain and suffering as the rest of them, and he didn’t want to see anyone going through that. Sure he had no idea what to do with the staff, he didn’t know the first thing about martial arts, and he did feel a bit silly carrying it around the whole time, but it was still his. Between that and the food and supplies he needed to stay alive, he couldn’t stop himself.

“What a dick!”




They were in the basement now, back to scavenging as Nate’s anger turned to bitterness, turning around in his hands the bullwhip that Henry had left behind. He was trying to justify what Henry had done, but not very hard, especially as hunger pangs started to gnaw away at his belly. He didn’t want to ask Ben or Matt to lend him some supplies, they probably needed them more than he did, but every cramp in his gut just rekindled his negative disposition towards Henry the thief.

As they neared the water treatment room, the decaying smell of death assaulted Nate as it had done the other two; gagging, he darted to pull his shirt up over his nose. As he rounded into the room, moving past his two companions, he caught sight of the dead body of Sandy Bricks and gagged just a little bit harder. Still though, he didn’t cry.

He didn’t recognise the winking corpse, definitely not someone he knew, and maybe that helped. Maybe he was just getting used to all this, as horrible as that might sound. He was shaking, and he wanted to freak out, but he was losing the energy for it. He’d never have expected seeing a dead body to be such a low-key experience.

He kept his distance, still looking at Sandy, but not saying a word. He was transfixed, but not a whole lot more.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Nate didn’t really react to Ben and Matt's own horror at the scene. He was too busy thinking about the name that Ben had dropped, the one responsible for who was lying in front of them all.

Nate knew Nancy. He knew her like he did so many people at school, including some of those who had died, but he knew her just a little bit more. They had been in drama club together, worked together on some scenes, had a good time together along with the rest of the group. She had always been so friendly, so energetic, so quirky. Nate liked Nancy.

So why? Why had she done something like this? What had Sandy done to deserve to be killed by her? What had any of them done to deserve any of it?

“I don’t believe it…” he whispered. He was still looking at the corpse as he said it, gripping his arms as he shook, but he forced himself to look away, to direct his words at Ben and Matt.

“Nancy was so nice, and we were club buddies. I don’t get why she’d do this.”

This was the part where the tears might’ve started, but they still hadn’t. There was too much disbelief, too little understanding of why after three days they were spiralling further and further into this Hell on Earth. He wasn’t willing to just break down and go with it any more.

There was a moment's pause before he continued. “We need to find her.”

“I want to find her and find out why, and then I want to tell her to stop it, because this is all just wrong.”

The sight of Sandy’s body sucked in his gaze again.

“She doesn’t have to do this. None of us have to do this.”

But he tore himself away, looking to his two friends, pleading with them to agree.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Nate looked at the floor as Ben and Matt shot him down, a dismayed frown spreading across his face. He knew that they were probably right, that talking to people and believing in them wasn't going to bring anyone back to life or make it up to the people that they had killed. That was naïve. Just outright stupid.

What else was he supposed to do, though? Just stand around, shrug his shoulders and let it happen as it happened, until it finally got him too? Maybe it was a stupid idea, actually trying to talk to the people killing people, but it was the only one he could come up with. He didn't want to just sit around and cry about people killing each other for the rest of his life.

“And how do you guys know?” He finally said, still looking at the floor, but a new eking determination was growing in his voice.

“None of us know what’s going on or why this happened to us, and we can’t say that we wouldn’t do the same thing in their shoes. I mean, I don’t know why Nancy did this, or why she’s killed anyone else. I don’t know why anyone’s killing anyone, and maybe they don’t know either.”

He was still shifting on the spot as he spoke, his head rolling around on his neck as the words came out. It was awkward, not even knowing if he was making any sense. The words were pretty much just coming out on their own, his feelings constructing their own babbling spiel.

“And you’re probably right, I’m probably being stupid, but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to just sit around and wait to die, but this is the only idea I’ve got.”

He hung his head, a sense of shame filling him. It really was a stupid idea, and it probably wouldn't accomplish anything, but it was all he had left.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
There was no time to wallow in uncertainty as Alvaro entered the scene. Blocked from Nate’s line of sight by his two companions, he could only freeze on the spot as Matt warned them of the new arrival’s gun.

He felt his breathing growing rapid again, just as it had when he’d realised there was a bomb around his neck, as he pictured the unseen assailant holding their huge gun and ready to end all of their lives.

He looked through the corner of his eye at the doorway behind him, too scared to actually turn. He could run, he should’ve run, but his limbs weren’t listening. What about Ben and Matt? They didn’t have a clear exit like him, so should he abandon them in the hopes that they somehow got to safety? Should he stay together and die with them?

There was too much to think about in that brief moment, as his thoughts collided in an immobile traffic jam. Thankfully, Ben brought him to his senses when he said the name Alvaro.

Mobility returning, he pushed past Ben to get a clear view, confirming what he’d heard. There Alvaro was, his buddy and captain from the soccer team; there he was, definitely pointing that pistol at them. Between the weapon, the stench of death in the air, and the grim demeanour that could only have come from whatever Alvaro had been through in the past two days, he was barely recognisable.

“Alvaro, it’s me!” he called out, stepping a step closer, his face a strange mix of happy relief and growing terror. He was glad to meet someone familiar again, but familiarity was lost on someone who could end your life with the twinge of a finger.

“It’s ok, you can put the gun down!”
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It took Nate a moment to realise what Alvaro was asking, why he was asking it, but he complied and threw the whip to the ground between them.

“It’s ok, we’re not going to hurt you. You can put the gun down now.”

He was trying to smile, to look reassuring, but Alvaro's disturbing visage was making that impossible. His face was an absolute mess, and his words carried a tone that sent something off in Nate’s survival instincts. What should’ve been a harmless misunderstanding and a happy reunion was far from it.

That’s right, Nate realised: Alvaro had come up on the announcements. Nate had been thrust into the spot of being face to face with one of those people that he'd dreaded meeting since yesterday morning, dreaded having to decide what was actually the right thing to do, as if he was being challenged to put his words to the test. He hadn't expected it to happen so soon after declaring his plans for Nancy, but it was do or die as far as his diplomatic intentions went.

A lump was forming in his throat.

“Really, you don’t have to do anything crazy. It's ok.”

You don’t have to kill us like the others. You don't have to kill me.
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So much pain, so much terror. Alvaro’s deep eyes of sadness were bringing Nate within an inch of finally breaking out into tears again.

“You really don’t,” he continued, daring to edge just a step closer to his gun-toting friend. A voice in the back of his own head was screaming that this was crazy, suicidal, that he didn’t want to die like this, but he couldn’t just run away. Alvaro needed him, and maybe he could just talk him out of it and actually make a difference for once.

“I know that you’re scared, and I’m really scared too, but this isn’t the answer.” He was trying to swallow that lump in his throat still, get it out of the way and get the words to actually come out naturally. “We’re your friends, Alvaro; we’re going to help fix this and figure this out.”

“Whatever you did and why you did it, it’s ok. Just...” he wanted to take another step forward, but he couldn’t. He was as close as he could manage. “Just put the gun down, please.”
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Was this working at all? Alvaro was flinching, growing angrier, growing more dangerous, but Nate could’ve sworn he heard something in his words that said to keep going. That somewhere in there, somewhere behind the gun wielding danger in front of him, was his friend who could still be reached. Real or not, it encouraged Nate to keep going.

How could he, though? Nate was no master negotiator; cheering a friend up after a bad day was one thing, but Alvaro was holding them all in a life or death situation after no doubt going through some of his own. What were the words for that kind of scenario?

He had been silent for too long, hadn’t given Alvaro a response to defuse the tension. He had to keep talking, he realised, just so that Alvaro didn’t get jumpy enough to twitch his finger and end everything. As long as Nate could keep Alvaro from doing that, there was still a chance to save him.

“Alvaro...” he said, still searching for what to say next. “I don’t care what you’ve done, and I really hope you don’t want to shoot me. Please, please don’t." he would've stepped forwards again, but he couldn't bring himself to: there was too much danger in it. "I know you don’t know what to do, and that’s ok, neither do any of us, but we’ll figure out a better way out of this. Just, please, give us a chance.”
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A glimmer of hope. He seemed to be reaching Alvaro, even if he hadn’t lowered the gun. There was that hesitation in his voice, that brief pause, that confirmed just how much Alvaro didn’t want to do this, how he wasn’t about to end Nate’s life. Talking to him was working.

Then Matt ruined everything.

It was like being at a swim meet, where he was actually in the lead for once. As his head broke the water he could catch a glimpse of the other lanes, see that he was out in front. He knew that they hadn’t overtaken him, because he’d seen them all trailing behind earlier. He was actually going to win for once, only for someone to come out from nowhere at the last second and steal his victory. A crushing, but not unfamiliar feeling.

This was like that, except now there were guns involved.

He wanted to turn around, tell Matt to shut up with as much annoyance as he could put into words, but there was no time. Alvaro’s face steeled as his finger twitched, reaffirming the gun’s readiness to kill. He could hear Ben in the background, but Nate’s attention was elsewhere.

Oh God, this was it, wasn’t it? Alvaro really was going to do it.

That instinct to run was kicking in again, but it was no good. His legs had turned to stone, and sweat was beading onto his brow as Alvaro’s finger inched closer to pulling the trigger.

He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t look at Alvaro as he shot him, so he squeezed his eyes tight.

There was the unmistakable sound of bullets spraying, as he was lifted off his feet.
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He was falling backwards for a moment. Had he been shot? Was this the end of it? A pointless end to a pointless strategy? He couldn’t feel anything, just his feet off the ground.

Right: he couldn’t feel anything.

He hit the ground hard, but that was the only pain he was feeling. There was nothing that he imagined a bullet would feel like, or anything at all outside the sound of his heart pounding in his ears. Bullets had definitely been fired, but he hadn’t been hit.

He looked around, caught sight of Ben about where he’d been. He’d saved his life, Nate realised, and now he was bleeding.

Oh dear God no.

He looked back up at Alvaro, still holding the gun with a maniac look in his eyes. He looked back at Ben, who really was wounded. Looked at Alvaro again, definitely holding the gun that had done it and had definitely been about to do it to him.

Conscious thought switched off; the flight response took over and kicked into overdrive. His legs finally found some strength as he scrambled away from the carnage in front of him, ducking out the door without even thinking about whether or not Alvaro could shoot him with his back turned. He knew Ben was still behind him, still with Alvaro and his gun, but he couldn’t stop himself as his legs carried him far away as fast as they could.

Tears were finally streaming down his face again as he ran for his life like the coward he was.

((Nate Turner continued in Judas))
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