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In This Starless Night; Open
Topic Started: Nov 3 2016, 09:18 PM (1,010 Views)
Espi
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Death By Truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Henry Spencer continued from Forget About What I Said))

Well, they'd looked up for a little while.

Henry had hung out with the others until the morning. Thankfully, they gave him a ration of food and water when the rest of them ate that night, which was kind. He wished he had more food for himself, of course, but he'd make due. Better something than nothing. He'd even slept better that night than the one before. Waking up was the problem.

Jae.

Jae had killed someone. A guy, named Samuel Howard, whom Henry didn't know. Jae was...Henry cared about him. He wasn't always nice, and he had a temper, but he was a good guy at heart. Henry really liked him, and if Jae wasn't with Hazel he might've asked him out or something. He was scared Jae would die here before he could tell him that. But instead, Jae'd murdered someone. Beaten them to death, apparently. Not just Henry's worst nightmare, but the photo negative of it.

Henry didn't understand how it could happen.

All his life he'd watched horror, but even the gnarliest slasher movies with mundane, 'sympathetic' human killers, he'd found murder to be an alien thing. Not something a 'real' person did, but a philosophical zombie, existing to bring about death like a psychopomp or something. But it seemed Jae, Oskar, Brendan had all murdered. Isabel, Nancy, and even the mute girl from the comic shop Kimiko had all killed two or three people now. It was unfathomable that they could do that to someone. These were people he knew, and they must've known their victims.

Even then, he had to wonder if he was better than them, after what he'd done.

When the announcement had played, the group had listened in quietly; it wasn’t like morning announcements at school, where everyone chatted and whispered and gossiped over the teacher’s voice. Of course, said his logical side; this wasn’t just some school announcement. Every word mattered. Every name.

When they’d said Jae’s name, Henry reacted like sodium in water; violently. He’d been splayed out on the ground, but he bolted upright and then was on his feet a moment later. In a split second, tons of thoughts flooded him, but one thing was certain.

He had to find Jae.

So he ran. But he didn’t have the decency to leave the group normally, apparently, because before he could find words, he had picked up Nate’s bag and quarterstaff and made a run for it. He’d stolen from them after all, and hadn’t even had the decency to apologize on his way out.

That bothered him a lot, for some reason. Of course, thieves don’t apologize for their crimes, generally. But he wasn’t a criminal, or so he felt. He was desperate and couldn’t afford to slow down and think about what he was doing. So he betrayed the trust of people, once more. The consequences it could have on them might trickle down onto other people. They might run out of supplies themselves, and steal from someone else. Or worse.

Also he left behind his whip in the process. That also made him sad.

Of course, Henry had no clue where Jae had done his…activity. So he figured he’d search the island from the bottom up, travel out and look through the rest of the island. The docks seemed a reasonable place for that plan, so he walked there. By mid-morning, Henry was walking along the piers, bag over his shoulders, staff held in both hands like an oversized baseball bat. It was ungainly and probably useless for a weapon, but it'd do. Not like he had something else.

Lost in thought, he wasn't paying much attention to his surroundings. So he tripped on a loose piece of wood and fell prone. "Ow..." He grumbled, standing back up.
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(Tara Behzad continued from St. Patrick's Purgatory)

Another day spent running.

No, that wasn't true, was it? She was lying to herself. Not a day spent running. A few hours spent running, as her arm throbbed with the pain she'd scorched into her flesh, as her legs ached and her head swam and her parched throat scraped and scratched so her breathing came to her in a rasp. It took her awhile to notice how much she'd slowed. To realize she'd stopped running, and that she'd slowed to a crawling shuffle, barely able to keep her feet.

She had to stop running. She had to stop moving. She curled up into a ball beneath a rocky overhang, and slept.

She awoke in the deep of the night, her stomach growling and panging, her breath whistling in her throat. She grabbed another bottle, chugged it in the black of the night. She broke off just a piece of the ration bar, ate it slowly because she'd pushed herself just as far as she could, because her head was swimming and she didn't think she could stand if she didn't eat.

Out of control. It was all out of control. Of course she'd go down swinging. They'd all go down swinging, dangling from the hangman's rope.

She rose to her feet and started moving again, wandering beneath the black sky. But even now, she couldn't run. It was all she could do to walk.

She walked along the beach as sunlight glazed the distant horizon. She heard the Announcements buzz to life, heard the names and closed her eyes. Alone, she sank onto the rocky coastline and shook her head. So many more lost. So many more dead. The game hadn't changed. They hadn't been beaten. All the defeats they'd suffered, but they still had control.

Not like her. She couldn't even run anymore. How could she even think of dying happy?

She found a small, hand-sized rock with a pointed tip, and tightened her fingers around it. She snapped it into her ribs, hissing at the pain. Then again, twice more. Control. Control. Control. If you cannot control yourself, you will control nothing else.

She rose to her feet and stumbled on, her ribs aching, her burnt arm throbbing. She needed to keep moving. She couldn't stop.

She moved onto the docks, and froze as a shadow moved in front of her. She watched nervously, her hands fumbling back for the flashbangs in her bag.

Then the man fell.

"You okay?" Tara called, without thinking.
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((Bridgette Sommerfeld continued from Be Prepared))

Who’s fault was it?

That was all Bridgette could think as she ran. Who was to blame? Was it Danny, for going off on his own, without any protection? Or was it Bridgette herself, for her her lapse of judgement, letting him make himself vulnerable? She never decided, because she accidentally accepted that it didn’t matter.


Danny was dead the moment he woke up on this island. Bridgette saw it in his eyes when they first met, and she always knew in the back of her mind that he wouldn’t last long.

But Bridgette hadn’t realized how close his end was.

She had to take it in stride, and accept that there was nothing she could’ve done. Nobody could blame her for running, valuing self-preservation over saving a hopeless cause. All that mattered was that Bridgette survived, and that she was still breathing and alive.

The rest of her day was spent trying to get as far away from the dormitories as possible. After her frenzied run, she hiked down the coast, following the shoreline towards the bottom of the island’s horseshoe shape. At one point, Bridgette took a brief break to dump Danny’s bag. She transferred his rations, first aid kit, and flashlight batteries to her own daypack before tossing the rest of his stuff into the water. When the sun went down she camped out in the trees, laying in the bushes until the announcements came.

After only two days, she’d grown fond of Danya’s voice. Listening to him drone on about the dead and the killers and danger zones had become a grim comfort. She was lucky to just be there to listen to it, a sign that she was slowly reaching her goals. Bridgette had lasted long enough to listen, and she prayed she’d be able to listen to them tomorrow.

The announcement confirmed that Danny had been killed by Isabel, the most notorious person on the island besides Kimiko Kao. thinking about how close she’d been to death sent a shiver down Bridgette’s spine, but she had to tell herself she’d made it out alive. All she had to worry about was not running into her a second time. Bridgette also made note of the new killers, and added their names to her list: Oskar, Brendan, Jae. She’d been right about that last one. Another friend she couldn’t trust, another one she had to outlast.

Nothing was sacred anymore, was it?

Bridgette kept moving once the announcements was over. After a little while she approached another warehouse complex, looking much bigger than the one she’d found Danny in. Her eyes lit up when she saw the building, seeing it as a possible trove of supplies. On the way, however, she spotted two figures standing on the dock, one clearly armed. She froze about fifty feet away from them, gripping the broken bottle in her hand. While they were in a more vulnerable spot than she was, she couldn’t risk being spotted if they were hostile. Bridgette couldn’t identify either person, but it was for the best to think of them as enemies.

Better safe than sorry.
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((Bryony Adams continued from Lavender))

Walking had very quickly turned into a serious effort.

It wasn’t far from the storehouse to the docks, and Bryony felt a little more energetic after she had taken her impromptu nap and actually eaten something, but a single food bar and a quarter of bread hardly counted as a meal. She was hardly an active person at the best of times, and her muscles were aching from her trek across the island. Her feet were sore, and she could feel a blister beginning to form at the back of her left foot.

Whatever she’d done to injure her knee in her fall had been more severe than she’d first thought, too; every other footstep sent an angry jolt of pain shooting through her leg, made worse whenever she stumbled over a divot or a bump in the earth. She had to stop a good few metres away from the docks after one trip too many, sitting ungainly down and gently massaging a knee that felt like it was burning, breathing through gritted teeth and blinking tears of pain from the corners of her eyes.

From her prone position, her heart slowly sank, as she could tell now that Alba wasn’t amongst the small group at the docks. One of them she recognised from the halls and a few classes but couldn’t put a name to, one of them she was almost certain was Bridgette from art club, and the third person seemed to have stumbled himself; he was getting back up now, but from this angle Bryony couldn’t tell who it was still.

It wasn’t the most welcoming of groups in the world, and she was still no closer to Alba, but she couldn’t just keep wandering around by herself. She needed more food and, maybe, some help for whatever she’d done to her leg. None of them looked as though they held anything too threatening; no guns in hands at the very least. At a time like this, beggars couldn’t be choosers. One of them might even have seen Alba at some point.

As soon as the pain in her knee had died down enough that it didn’t bring tears to her eyes whenever she moved, Bryony picked herself up and headed down to the docks, as briskly as she could manage.

“Hey, um… um, is everything alright here?"
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Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
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Suddenly, it seemed people had coalesced around Henry like some sort of strange film; as he fell, he somehow caused others to appear. Silly, of course; they'd just been there before, or had been attracted by the noise. But as Tara called out to him, and Bryony approached (he didn't even notice Bridgette, to be honest), Henry pulled himself up, using the staff as support.

"I'm alright. Sort of, kind of, I mean, yeah. I didn't break anything. Hopefully." Henry extended a leg and rotated his ankle, then repeated with the other ankle. He didn't appear to be injured. "Yup, all good."

He glanced over at Bryony first. She looked oddly familiar, but that could be a totally false memory. "Hi. Henry's the name. Pleasure." He waved with his left hand, since his right hand was gripping the bo staff as he used it to support his weight for a moment. Then he glanced at the other girl.

He didn't believe he knew her beyond having a strange surname, but she was an odd person from his recollection. Not fun odd, but more reclusive and avoidant. "Hi to you too, I guess." Henry smiled, then glanced back at Bryony. He opened his mouth to speak, but then looked over at Tara.

Then he glanced back at Bryony. "So, ah, hello." Oh yeah, he needed to fish sometime. Or well, he'd like to. And now he had a giant pole, perfect. Not to consider where he'd gotten it, or how his original fishing buddy was who-knows-where. Not dead, thankfully, or a killer.

Henry grinned. "Would either of you know where I could get a lure, a bobber, and/or some twine?"
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Tara spoke without thinking, and froze like a deer in the headlights when she realized her mistake. Worse, there was movement: another voice, calling out from down the beach. Suddenly exposed, suddenly teetering. This was no way to die happy.

And then all of that faded to the wayside, as the man in front of her asked for fishing supplies.

She blinked. She opened her mouth, closed it, and blinked again. She nodded slowly. "I've got some string," she said. "Or...yarn, I guess. Does this work?"

She fished out the bundle she'd found--the kind you might give to a kindergartner, thick and blue. It had faded a bit, like a dusty carpet, but the color was still discernible.

"Sorry," she said, shaking her head. "I don't really know anything about..."

She trailed off, as her eyes found a fourth shape down the way, clutching what looked like a broken bottle in her hand. Bridgette. She recognized the girl from one of the writing workshops she was a part of.

"Heads up," she whispered to the man asking for fishing supplies. She raised her voice and shouted, "Nothing's alright! But I don't think anyone's gonna hurt anyone else right here!" She lowered her voice and directed it towards the woman standing farther down the way. "Are they?"
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

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Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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She’d been noticed.

Bridgette tensed up when a third person arrived on the scene, and she froze up when the trio acknowledged her. She recognized the newcomer, along with the voices of the other two. The boy was a junior she vaguely remembered talking to once, way back when. Tara was more familiar, but Bridgette still knew very little about her.

But she knew Bryony: a very shy but talented girl from her art class. Bridgette liked her, but deep down she knew that Bryony wasn’t the kind of person to last long in a place like this. She reminded Bridgette of Danny and Joshua: perfectly nice people who didn’t have the determination to survive.

There seemed to be no harm in approaching the group. Bryony wasn’t a threat at all, and what little she knew of the other boy ruled him out, too. The only real threat was Tara, who’d chosen to intimidate her the moment she laid eyes on her. But Bridgette could understand her defensiveness, and recognized a little bit of herself in her. While she wasn’t sure if she could take Tara down in a fight, she knew that she just needed to be polite to avoid any unnecessary conflict.

She took a deep breath, calming herself before replying with a brisk “No.” Bridgette walked towards the trio, nodding at all three in acknowledgement. The boy had been babbling on about something as she approached, and she heard him mention a lure and a bobber. She glanced at the boy’s staff and snorted. Was that what he was going to do with it? While turning a weapon into a fishing rod seemed counter-intuitive, it was still fairly useful. Catching fish for food was a wonderful idea…

...and it meant the boy wasn’t intending to use the staff to play.
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Bryony wished she had some sort of weapon right now.

She didn’t want a gun, or anything like that. She never wanted to hold something like that if she could help it. There was just so many things that could go wrong with a firearm, especially in the hands of someone who’d never used one before. She just wanted something intimidating to hold. A bat, or a club, hell, even just a tree branch. Even though she could never bring herself to use it on someone, it would just be useful in a situation like this, making her look a little more intimidating than she really was.

There was some definite tension between Bridgette and the other girl. Maybe it was due to them simply not recognising each other, but whatever the reason, it made the whole situation much more uncomfortable. Bridgette was holding what looked like a broken bottle, and the other girl hadn’t revealed what her weapon draw was yet, but even without being armed she was visibly more suited for a potential fight than Bryony was. It made her feel even smaller. At least back at the gym she had been grouped with someone armed, someone on her side.

Now, she was alone, and forced to start over again.

So, she focused her attention on Henry, who seemed to be lost in his own little world, and was asking for a… motley collection of items. It took Bryony a little while to work out exactly what he was aiming to create, and her heart leapt a little. First, though, she needed to get the pleasantries done and dusted.

“Um… hi… I’m glad you’re, uh, not hurt or anything… You’re… you’re making a fishing rod, right? I think you could possibly find some, uh, worms or something in the soil on that hill, the weather looks, um, like it’s turning to the sort they’d come out during… I don’t have anything else that could help, though, I’ve just… just got some playing cards and… stuff…”

Bryony could feel her cheeks flushing red as she spoke. She’d ended up rambling a little, and her excited tone was absolutely not befitting the situation she was in, nor was it an accurate reflection of her mood. The prospect of having something to eat that wasn’t drying bread and vile food bars, though, had been the first bit of good news she’d heard in ages.

“Um… sorry… sorry, I just… someone stole a bunch of my food as soon as I woke up and I just… um… you know…”

Bryony slowly rubbed her arm, feeling even more embarrassed and self-conscious now. She flicked her eyes up to glance at Henry and the unfamiliar girl, before looking back down at the ground again.

“My, um… my name’s Bryony, by the way…”
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
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"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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Henry nodded enthusiastically at the offers, chipping in with 'yeah!' every so often. It seemed he'd successfully gotten people to a relatively trusting position maybe? Nobody seemed to be about to pull a gun onto him or anyone else, which was a plus when you meet people. Murdering makes for a terrible first impression.

Then Bryony (whose name Henry had been surprised to learn was also a plant name, like Lily or Hibiscus. Kidding! About hibiscus, not lily), spoke up. And Henry's heart sunk. He was the thief. He hadn't literally stolen from Bryony herself, but he'd stolen, and the victims could very well be screwed over by him. The poor girl looked so meek and unhappy that Henry felt a massive pang of guilt once again.

"Oh, that's horrible! Here, take some of mine." Right as he said it, Henry dropped the bag and set the staff next to it, before kneeling next to it and digging into the bag. He pulled out one of the untouched protein bars and held it up to her. "Here, my treat!"
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Tara snapped off several coils of yarn and handed them off to Henry. The other two women drew closer, and Tara ignored them both as she grabbed at the piece of loose wood Henry had tripped over in the first place, hefting it over one shoulder. "I'm taking this," she said. "Got my own plans."

But then the girl spoke. No, that wasn't right: Bryony spoke. Hesitant, and hungry. And Henry rushed to her, offering her his food.

"He's right," Tara said, smiling at the other man. "Here." She pulled out a ration bar, and then Tara's stomach rumbled, imagining what that brackish bar would taste like. She glared down at her stomach, hating herself for the moment's weakness.

"Sorry," she said, pushing the bar into Bryony's hand. "Sorry."

Weak. So weak. Nothing to be done, nothing to be gained, everything spiraling. Who was this man who just wanted to fish? There was a story there, and a damn good one. Fishing as the world burns around you. Way better than a fiddle.

But she had no time for fiddling or fishing. She had burning to do.

"Sorry," she said again, bouncing the piece of scrap on her should. "I gotta...I gotta go."

Too many confrontations, too many questions, too much doubt, and too many dead. Faces lingered in her mind. Jasmine and Jane.

"Good luck," she said, and her eyes lingered on Henry. "You, uh...you seem like you're doing good."

She was on the move again, heading off the dock and moving along the pebbly beach. Her ribs still hurt, and her stomach ached with hunger to the point she was almost nauseated by it, and all she could think of were the strange looks on the two girls' faces, so at odds with Henry's good cheer. So much strangeness on this island, and on all the islands before. So many ghosts, so many mistakes.

And she couldn't escape that cycle, either. Just one more repetition in an endless pattern. And here she was, reiterating herself, until her walking ghost became weary and faded away.

(or burned away to ash)

She stopped well out of sight of the others, staring out at the cool ocean. She dropped the piece of wood at her feet, and her ribs ached and her neck chafed beneath her collar and her bandaged arm burned.

Ropes, chains, strings leaving them bouncing in the sea. Everyone just baiting each other, as the predators lurked out in the deep water.

She sat down in the sand.

Again, the red nail polish: again, the best inscription she could manage. She tried to remember exactly what had been said on the announcements, but failed to come up with anything for Jane. She knew Danya had said something about Jasmine trying to win, but...

But did the Announcements matter? This wasn't like Cris and Abby. She'd known both these woman. Jasmine, the boisterous, bossy woman behind the stage, always good for a quick laugh or a quick joke, someone Tara had felt comfortable around. And Jasmine, a gossip who Tara would never have trusted in her wildest dreams, but whose death had had some dignity, or why would Danya have remembered her declaration?

In Memoriam: Jane Madison, who thought she could tell the world what to do.

In Memoriam: Jasmine King, who thought she could win an impossible game.


She lifted the makeshift plaque up to the sky. She showed it in front of her, then behind her: to the left, then to the right. It was all she could do, before she died. Before she burned.

She built another pyre, and the smoke rose, and she breathed in the toxic fumes and closed her eyes. Her other arm twitched towards the fire, but she didn't put it in. She needed her strength. Just for a little while longer, she needed her strength.

[Tara Behzad concluded in The Inferno.]
Edited by Grim Wolf, Jan 18 2017, 02:22 AM.
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Bryony was blubbering about something, how she’d gotten robbed the moment she woke up. Bridgette felt the slightest pang of sympathy, but it wasn't much. Of course it would happen to someone like Bryony. With her luck, she should’ve died off a long time ago. But yet, she was still here, living and breathing. Maybe it was a testament to perseverance, or hard work, or even simply luck.

But another part of Bridgette knew that this was all temporary, and Bryony’s perseverance or luck would run out very soon.

The junior handed Bryony one of his own ration bars, and then Tara left. This put Bridgette even more at ease, as the most violent person left the scene, and the remaining two only cemented their pacifism. For the moment, Bridgette was completely safe. Neither of them could do anything to hurt her.

...what now?

She didn’t really have anything to say to either of them. Neither of them could provide anything particularly useful information, and she didn’t think she had anything nice to say.

Or maybe she did. Maybe she could at least talk to them, take the edge off of this situation. The nice ones weren’t going to be around in a few days, so she may as well take advantage of them now.

“So, uh…” she started, struggling to remember his name. “Where exactly are you going to fish?”
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Henry watched as the girl ran off. She seemed uncomfortable somehow, yet with great purpose.

With a shake of his head, he closed up his bag and started walking away from the girls. He was here for something. Well not really. He was doomed, anyway, so it wasn't like it mattered. But he couldn't go telling himself that. That made people sad, and Henry didn't like people to be sad. Well not real people; in horror, sad was common. But in real life, it was a painful necessity.

Henry battled sadness his whole life. He put on a happy smile and did things to make himself and other people happy. And it worked! He was a happy person, and hopefully people around him were happy too. And now, in this dark and unpleasant time, people needed, nay, deserved any happiness he could get. And, and this was important, he needed to find Jae.

So he turned back, offered a grin, and told the two girls, "I must go. My friend needs me." He saluted them, though he might never see them again.

And he was off.

((Henry Spencer continued in I Will Find you, When All the Stars Align))
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Time and time again, it felt like Bryony was taking one tentative step forwards, then two steps backwards.

She stood there, dumbly holding the two food bars in her clenched fist, too stunned at the sudden departure of Henry and the other girl to even move, let alone try and convince them to stay. Why were they leaving? Neither of them had given a particularly good reason for doing so; Henry had ignored Bridgette’s question just to tell them that he had to leave.

And even though she had only learned Henry’s name just now, even though she didn’t know a single thing about the other girl who had left with a plank of wood, even though neither of them were friends or even close to being acquaintances, she couldn’t help but feel selfish and awful that the only reason she was sad they were leaving was because she’d been hoping they would be able to get more food for her. She had slightly bolstered her rations, true, but she couldn’t even feel good about it; she’d heard the oh-so clear sound of hunger from the strange girl. Was she struggling for food just as much as Bryony was? Had she only given this meagre scrap of food away because Bryony had been self-centred enough to garner pity points when everyone on the island was in just as much shit?

Bryony sniffled, and blinked back the first signs of tears. It was always so tempting to stop trying, to just lie down, break down, and give up. It would be easy. As simple as just falling asleep. But she couldn’t do that just yet. The constant cycle of abuse her own mind threw at her was nothing new; just exacerbated further now that she was trapped on the island. She could fight through it. She still had to find Alba at least.

She unzipped her bag, shoving the two food bars in, before turning to look at Bridgette. She’d barely acknowledged the other girl, the most familiar of the three who’d been standing at the docks, up until now, and she fought through the pang of regret to address her now.

“Um… How are you… How are you holding up?”
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
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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((Taking over Bridgette from Aloha))

And so Henry was gone too, with some vague statement about being needed elsewhere. Maybe it was nice, to feel like people needed you.

Bridgette didn't think anyone here needed her, not since Danny. She'd done a pretty good job of convincing herself that she didn't need anyone else either. The people who couldn't get by without relying on someone else were the people that would fall sooner rather than later.

Bryony, for example, looking lost and sad just because two odd and not particularly friendly people had left them. Bridgette crossed her arms, scuffing her boot against the dock. How was she holding up? She was alive, and that was significantly better than a lot of other people already. She wasn't hurt or sick, hadn't let the loss of her friends - whether they lost their lives or their humanity - cripple her. She was healthy and strong and smart, and her only real disadvantage was that she didn't have a real weapon for intimidation or defense. All in all, Bridgette was pretty sure that she was at least doing better than Bryony.

"I'm okay, I guess," she said finally. "You don't look like you're doing so hot, though," she added almost thoughtlessly. Well. It was true, even if it wasn't nice, and Bryony probably knew it. If she was looking for comfort and sugarcoating in Bridgette, she was barking up the wrong tree.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Bryony stared at Bridgette for a few seconds, taken aback at the… bluntness of the other girl’s statement. She wished now that she’d actually gotten to know Bridgette better during their time at art club, found out what she was like as a person. They’d never really talked, as such. Some small comments, critiques and appreciation of each other’s art maybe, but never spilling into full blown conversation. She wondered whether Bridgette was always like this. Always so… upfront.

She couldn’t exactly say the other girl was wrong, however. She felt awful, and she probably looked just as bad. The last time she’d caught a glimpse of herself had been back at the gym, the reflection from the windows painting a tale of how the previous two days had treated her. She had looked pretty haggard then. She didn’t want to imagine what she looked like now. “Barely surviving” would likely be an accurate descriptor.

Barely surviving was still surviving, though, and out here, the thinnest of margins could make all the difference.

Bryony sighed, and gave Bridgette a weak and completely unconvincing smile, that quickly turned into a grimace as she shifted her position and put a little too much pressure on her injured knee. Slowly, she lowered herself until she was sitting cross legged on the docks. She didn’t look at Bridgette. Her right finger traced invisible shapes and patterns on the ground in front of her.

“Not… not really, no…” Bryony mumbled. “I’ve been robbed, I fu… I messed up my leg… I saw… I saw someone get… get killed…”

Bryony could feel her lip begin to wobble and the tell-tale sign of her eyes growing damp as she blinked. She quickly took her glasses off, and busied herself with cleaning them, trying her best to distract herself, trying to hide her tears from Bridgette.

“Um… and I lost… I lost track of the person who saved me on the first day… Have you seen a girl named Alba recently?”

Bryony traced a circle on the ground. She sniffed, then finally looked up at Bridgette.

“She… she means a lot to me…”
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
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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