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Thanatophobia; Day 3, Afternoon - Open
Topic Started: Nov 12 2016, 08:01 PM (1,279 Views)
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[Raina Rose and Johnny Ray McKay continued from Needless and Pins]

A change’d come over Raina. She was colder, Johnny thought. More professional in a way, though what that professional was he couldn’t say. Survival, perhaps, where your wages are paid out in hours, and you only have to fuck up one little order to get fired.

As long as she kept it together it didn’t bother Johnny.

He’d asked his brother, once, why Tom still kept chasing Jerry. Didn’t he know he could never catch him? Darren had asked him whether it mattered, and Johnny had taken that as a brother’s dismissal of a stupid question and left it alone. As Raina withdrew though, keeping more and more to herself, Johnny found his thoughts turning to Darren more often.

Did it matter, whether Tom thought he could catch that fucking mouse, or not? He’d always thought that it did, that Tom had to think he had a chance or he wouldn’t try, he’d just give up, right? Why bother trying something if you know, if you know you won’t succeed?

Now, Johnny saw things differently. What else was Tom to do? He didn’t have a job, he didn’t have friends, it didn’t seem like he really had hobbies, either. Maybe some cats had goals and dreams, but this one certainly didn’t He was waiting out the clock, basically, and when you’re waiting out the clock, you may as well do whatever. Even if you know it won’t work, even if the chance of success is tinier than the tiniest feather on the tiniest wing of the tiniest sparrow, because, still… maybe, right?

Could Raina get them out of there? Johnny had told the others she could, not that him saying that had stopped them from running off and getting themselves killed of course, but he’d told them. Anyone else they’d meet he’d tell the same, though for the past day it had just been the pair of them. He’d have told Raina that too, had she asked, though she was saying less and less and the days drew on. Could he tell himself that, though?

Johnny couldn’t. There wasn’t a way out, they were going to die here, any sane person would realize that, and maybe the fact that Raina hadn’t said she was further gone, more deluded than he wanted to believe. He kept following her, though, because he liked her, he liked her company, because nobody should die alone, and because, still… maybe, right?

Going after the tiniest chance was still better than sitting around, watching Jerry eat all your cheese or whatever. If anything could be done, it was worth doing something.

He’d seen mice running through the corridors. The mice were running, not him; Raina and he moved slowly, making as little sound as possible. The mice were long and skinny, shaped like furry little sausages, and looked nothing like Jerry.

Johnny missed his brother.

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Back in high school, back in the real world, Johnny had always struggled with probability. With math as a whole, really, but there was something in particular about odds and percentages and all of that which eluded him. Shit just happened, didn't it? All shit did was happen and nobody saw it coming, and the people who sat around afterwards and told themselves "oh, there was a 17.86% chance of that occurring" were just fucking liars, as far as Johnny was concerned. Nobody'd seen this coming, after all.

Johnny's uncle'd been a gambler. He still was, Johnny supposed, though he took a strange and savage pleasure in thinking of Uncle Toby in the past tense. His father's brother had never been a fan of Johnny, nor Johnny of he, and Toby was one of many things in this life that Johnny was looking forward to being rid of. Would his death affect his uncle, he wondered. He hoped it would.

Toby'd been a gambler, Johnny recalled again, bringing his thoughts back on track. He would study horses and jockeys and trainers and quote odds like scripture. He'd spend day after day and paycheck after paycheck down at the track in Phoenix, and for all his efforts and money and research, Johnny wasn't sure if he ever got a single dollar back.

No, Johnny had no faith in probabilities and even less in his own ability to calculate them, but he'd tried his hand at one nonetheless and the results did not make him happy.

Twenty kids had died, give or take. That meant there were eighty or so of them left, and of those eighty, twenty were murderers. That was one in four, he could do that math at least, and when Raina opened a door to two voices, as far as Johnny could figure it the odds of someone in there being a psycho was basically... what? 50/50? They weren't inspiring odds, but Raina had forged ahead anyway, and Johnny slipped into the room after her with a half-hearted, almost sheepish wave to the couple standing inside.

What the fuck, right? His calculation'd probably been all wrong anyway - he could run it by Raina later, to double-check, and what was the worst case scenario anyhow? That they died?

Shit, they were basically all dead already.

It was Jasper and Audrey in the room. Names and faces he recognized from Cochise, though if his life depended on it, Johnny couldn't've paired personalities to match with them. He hoped it didn't.

As far as he could recall these weren't names that'd come over the announcements, though Johnny'd hardly been making much of an effort to track those names, which was stupid, clearly. He added that to the mental list of things to talk to Raina about.

Later. When they were alone.

Johnny'd tucked a cigarette up behind his ear on the walk over. It'd been Raina's suggestion not to light it, not wanting the smell to attract any attention, but now they had attention already and Johnny needed something to put his nerves at ease. He put it in his mouth and lit it, inhaling deeply.

As he had with Aiden, Johnny held out the pack to the room. Sure, his supply was finite, but he'd always felt it was good karma to share your cigarettes, and right now he needed all the karma he could get.

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