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Topic Started: Nov 14 2016, 12:58 AM (969 Views)
Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Scout Pfeiffer continued from And What You Get, Isn't What You See.)

Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao.

Those were the names. It took repeating it more than a dozen times but she had it.

Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao.

She knew who Nancy was. Vaguely recalled Ramirez. Had no idea who Kao was. Probably a senior. There were other names, and she remembered those too, but those three were the important ones. The ones to keep tabs on. The people she needed to find.

Scout had boarded herself up in the cabin. There had been someone in here before. She found the cabin just as some blonde chick was walking out. She hid, waited until they left. Now it was Scouts. Finders keepers, all that bullshit. Now she was sitting reclined in the living room, her feet kicked up on a table. She had the bonesaw in her one hand.

Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao. Three names.

Scout did not need paper. Her brain was all she needed, and she was far, far better with names than with faces. She did not hear Alvaro Vacanti's name. Good boy. She also did not hear Clarice's name either which was more of a relief. But Scout knew the longer the days went on, the odds of hearing her name was going to skyrocket. That made her skin crawl.

Hope wasn't going to get her anywhere though. Hoping, praying, wishing on a star. So fuck it. Scout was intending to row her own goddamn boat now. No more thinking, more doing.

Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao.

She gripped the handle of the bonesaw. Brought it down onto the wood of the table, put all of her strength into it. The sharp teeth dug into the petrified wood. Didn't take a huge chomp out of it, but the indentations were clear. She stared at the teeth, each straight and narrow. Sharp enough, she figured.

... She wondered if she could actually manage it. There were three names now, but there was bound to be more. Lots more.

Quite frankly? Sitting there in the living room of an abandoned hunting lounge, Scout could not find the slightest ounce of a fuck to give.
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout heard the voice. Her back was to her though, so she did not get a look at her face. She assumed it was a 'her'. Scout did not turn around. She did not even acknowledge the voice. Scout stared ahead.

Eventually she heard footsteps. Whoever that was, they were gone.

A voice in her head told her that was a stupid move. Should have at least turned around to make sure they weren't creeping up on her. Of course that was all in hindsight. She could question every decision she made during her time on the island and it would not make a damn bit of difference. She told herself that. Middle of the night, two trains chugging past one another

But deep down she knew she could have killed her. Leapt to her feet and tore her throat open with her saw.

Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao.

The question was, would she have done it? Killed someone she did not know back home, someone Scout had no inclination to know back home?

As the footsteps faded and everything fell silent, Scout made a decision.

Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao.

Scout sat up. She rose from the chair, grabbed it by one of its arms, and walked towards the front door. Then she wedged the chair under the door knob.

--

To think, she thought the weather was getting better.

The reflection of the moon turned the clouds a static gray. It gave enough light to break through The rain was churlish, had been since high noon. The sound of raindrops thunking against the cabin roof buzzed in Scout's ears. They were so loud she wondered if the rain had turned to hail at some point. She had no intention to confirm that notion; the curtains were drawn, what few curtains there were. The chair was back under the doorknob. It was just Scout and the sounds of rain and the active fireplace.

Scout made the smart decision of gathering firewood. By 'firewood', she gathered a baker's dozen of low-hanging tree limbs. Small enough (or dead enough) for Scout to snap, big enough to keep the fire going. The bonesaw wasn't going to be sharp enough to cut logs, and even if it was, Scout did not intend to risk it. She needed the thing to be sharp. Turns out she didn't need a saw after all. Plenty of dead trees to keep the fire going well into the night.

It was pure logic. The past two nights were cold. Scout did not mind the cold, but the cabin had a fire place. Something in the pit of her stomach told her she should make use of it. Turned out to a better idea than she anticipated. The rain came out of nowhere as she was making her way back to the cabin. Scout did not mind the rain either, just not when she was stuck in it.

Scout sat on the tigerskin rug, cocooned in the emergency blanket from her dufflebag. There were bedrooms, yeah, but she did not feel like getting up. She was letting her jacket and boots dry out. The rain hit her jacket pretty hard. Thing was sopping wet by the time she got back in.

As the fire blazed, Scout's mind returned to the names she had been so preoccupied with. Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao. Spent the whole day remembering them, phonetically. Her spelling might have been off. Whatever. Scout really did not want to think about it, about those names, but she could not help it. She could not keep running and hiding and letting little rats like Alvaro Vacanti scurry away.

Under the blanket, Scout hugged her knees to her chest. With the sounds of rain and fire drowning out everything else, there was an air of repose Strange situation she found herself in. Less barbaric, more homely. Scout did not intend to get used to it.
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout heard the voice. The sense of deja vu weighed down on her shoulders. She grunted, sitting up straight with the blanket drooping off one of her shoulders. It was a boy's voice. Not a voice she recognized. Sounded anxious, like he wasn't expecting the door to be locked at all. Technically it was unlocked in the sense that there was no padlock on the latch outside. Whoever was out there would have better luck breaking one of the windows.

Unless whomever the voice belonged to had an axe. Somehow she doubted that.

The voice did not intimidate Scout. Less dangerous, more scared and confused. Unless Scout was reading it all wrong. Whatever. Not like she was going to judge the book by its cover.

She considered saying nothing. Pretend that the house was empty with 'Blair' and 'Rene' nowhere in sight. She also considered pretending to be whomever the voice was looking for, though she quickly realized that was a stupid idea and she was stupid for even thinking of it. Letting the voice in, giving in to her inner Girl Scout, was a stupid idea too. What the hell has this voice done for her lately?

Scout sat up. With the emergency blanket wrapped around her, she padded towards the door. The sounds of rain bellowed outside, getting louder and more violent by the minute. She could even hear the wind picking up though she thought little of that. She cleared her dry throat.

"Don't know any Noahs, not in my class at least."

Scout paused. She thought for a moment, glanced at the chair that manually kept the door from opening.

"You looking for somebody?" Scout continued, wincing at the redundancy. "You won't find them in here. It's just me."
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The boy said that he wasn't 'in the mood to pull any murderous shit'. Scout scoffed at that. Never knew you had to be in the mood to kill. in the same way one is in the mood for bowling or crocheting, she supposed. Scout wasn't exactly convinced of his sob story either. But she could hear his shivering and teeth-chattering from the wooden door. She told herself that she did not want to get namedropped during the next announcement because she left a boy to freeze to death in the pouring rain. In truth, she pitied him.

"Whatever," she said, flippant, "just get in here."

The chair scraped across the floor as she unblocked the door. She threw it open with all the grace of a drunk elephant. The emergency blanket was still cocooned around her, but she was without her jacket and boots. Both were left to dry by the fire. She shuffled back to make room for the boy. Once he was inside, she quickly blocked the door with the chair again.

"There are beds upstairs. I'm not planning to sleep tonight, so pick whichever."

Scout managed the barest amount of hospitality. Nothing wrong with that.
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout stared at the boy, bleary eyed. At first she was impassive, but that was until they locked eyes. The boy said he wasn't going to pull any murderous shit. He neglected to tell her about all the smiling he was planning instead.

He was a blonde. She'd hesitate to call him dirty blonde for the hell of it; his hair was as light as his smile, far from dirty. Peroxide probably, No way that shit was natural. Scout's eyes scanned her guest from head to toe. The blistering rain did not pity the boy clearly. His mop of wet hair made him look like a sad puppy, smile notwithstanding. His dress shirt was drenched, outlining the contours of his torso. She tried not to stare, but the boy made it difficult. He was smiling. He had a sweet smile.

... Scout averted her gaze entirely. Gay, she figured. Or taken. That's how these things usually panned out. Not like it mattered.

"What happened?" Scout asked. She walked closer to him. "Did you lose your friends or something?"

Stupid question. Of course he lost his friends. Why else would he be calling out to them? Scout neared the fire, slid in next to him on the floor. The thing about checking people out is that your gaze is skin deep. The second she joined the boy, she noticed that his pantlegs were cut. A look of concern crossed her features, brief but noticeable.

"What happened to your - " She jutted to a halt. Scout finally noticed the thing the boy called 'Sawlaska'. Her eyes went wide. Her throat felt dry. "... What the fuck is that thing?"
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The girl snorted. She almost laughed, almost. Instead she flashed a crooked smile she just couldn't resist. Scout had trouble remembering the last time she smiled. Had to be going on nearly four days. No reason to smile, not until the boy joined her.

"Sawlaska Thunder-fuck?" she repeated. "Jesus, that's a mouthful. Did you come up with that?"

Inside joke, Scout figured. She wanted to be a buzzkill, purposefully stress the seriousness of their situation. Nothing wrong with some guy trying to lighten up the mood, right? Yes. Actually. Scout hated people who always felt the need to make a joke regardless of the situation. Whatever.

The boy told his story and Scout's smiled fell away. It was hard not to pity him, just a little bit. She did not promise to help him look for his friends. Why the hell would she do that? They could be dead for all they knew. Scout had no intention of going on wild goose chases, especially with multiple geese. But the boy seemed hopeful. She didn't want to be the one to crush that. That's why she turned and stared at the firepit.

"Nancy Kyle?" Scout said after a brief silence on her part. She clicked her tongue. "Had her in a couple of my classes. There was always something wrong with her."

The fact that Nancy Kyle started dropping bodies right out of the gate came as no surprise to Scout. What surprised her was the fact that Nancy didn't snap and hurt somebody back at school. Scout never talked to Nancy. Nobody Scout knew talked to Nancy. (Other than Jasmine, who was only a friend by attrition.) Quite frankly she hoped it stayed that way too.

So Nancy was packing heat. And she was a decent shot. Good to know.

Scout sat up. "Y'sure your leg is okay? Dunno shit about first aid but..." She paused as he apologized. She made a face. "Don't worry, I get it. It's cool."

She was not cool. Lukewarm, maybe, but not cool. Tch. Now he was just showing off. Scout crossed her arms under her chest, blanket still slung over her shoulders as she looked away from the boy. Her eyes darted back when he spoke up again.

What's her story? Scout clammed up for a moment, brows furrowed. Of course she knew the boy was just making conversation. Nothing but good intentions. But that's all it was. There was an answer to his question, her game plan as it were, but it wasn't like she planned to present it to some random dude. She had to force herself to answer, because at the rate she was going she'd keep hemming and hauling until the cows come home.

"Th - There's nothing to tell," she started, stumbling on her own words, "No big story, not really. I'm hoping the rain finally stops? I... I hope Half Life 3 comes out in the next century?" Scout cringed. "That last one was a joke by the way."

She paused and thought. She looked towards the boy who was still busy undressing. He seemed pretty friendly. So fuck it. Might as well ask.

"I'm hoping to find my sister. My big sister, Clarice? You might know her; she's hard to miss."

Scout smiled again, faint, indistinguishable from her usual stoicism.

"Oh. Name's Scout by the way. I didn't catch yours."
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Ciel
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... Scout deflated. Her shoulders slouched. She said nothing for a long time. What the hell was she expecting exactly? For GPS coordinates to Clarice's location? Whatever. At least he knew who she was.

"Well. Good." Scout said. "If you need any help with that, I know a bit of first aid. Bet if we put our heads together we can figure it out."

Then she smiled. The offer was genuine.

Noah Whitley seemed the talkative sort. Colorful, but not overbearing, thankfully. Scout, however, was not the talkative sort. The conversation was sparse throughout the night, but it was conversation all the same. Funny how life-or-death situations bring people together. Eventually Noah retired to bed for the night. Scout did not do the same. Someone needed to watch the door after all. And the windows.

---

The rain fell harder that morning. Looking out the front window proved to be futile. The old glass fogged over, making it difficult to see anything. She'd peek her head out later. After the announcement. She was pretty sure she knew what she was going to find though; from the sound alone it was raining cats and dogs. It was so loud that it sounded like the speakers were turned up so everyone could hear the announcements...

... or maybe she was imagining things. Maybe it wasn't raining cats and dogs. It was raining rats, at least.

Boys like Alvaro Vacanti belonged in that rain. Because he was a rat. Might do something about the blood on his hands. Maybe he should just stay out there. Stare up at the sky with his mouth open until he drowns. Like a chicken.

Scout sat back in her chair. A hand reached, fingers kneading at her sore neck. Perhaps sleeping in the chair was not the best idea after all. She gobbled down the food bar she had in hand.

She knew who Alessio Rigano was. He was the dork with the tuba, wasn't he? Scout was not part of any music club but if there was one thing she knew about Al it was the fact that he played the tuba. Somehow she had trouble imagining a tuba player striking fear in the hearts of men, but, well, he killed two people. One of those people was named Henry Spencer.

...

Alvaro Vacanti. Alessio Rigano. Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao.

Alvaro was the first on that list. She warned him, the piece of shit.

... Noah should be awake soon. Scout propped her feet up on a table and glanced over her shoulder. No way could he sleep through the announcement, surely.
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout tented her fingers as she avoided thinking about Henry Spencer. She discovered this was harder than she anticipated. The more she told herself to stop thinking about Henry Spencer, the more she inevitably thought about him. It is what it is; he was dead. Besides, he saw you as just a friend. Like with Noah, all the good guys were gay or spoken for.

She sat back in her seat. Heard it creak with age. It made her shoulders tremble slightly, because over the sound of the rain outside she didn't even notice the creaking. Tch. She pressed two fingers to her neck and rolled her head, kneading the 'creak' or knot or whatever. Sore spot.

She heard the door to one of the rooms open. Scout glanced out of the corner of her eye, waited for the boy to join her. She felt like shit, and her attitude was going to amount to the same.

"Yeah," she said, coughing into her sleeve. Scout looked at Noah, at the bag and 'Sawlaska'. Dumb name, but it was one she wasn't going to forget any time soon. "I'm... okay. One of my friends just died."

Scout's voice skidded to a halt. She blinked, winced. Scout remembered that she had not heard Clarice's name on the announcement, which afforded her some peace of mind. But admitting that her 'friend' just died, it filled her with a sense of guilt. Humiliation. Why was that? There was nothing she could have done to save him...

. . .

"Where you heading?" Scout asked suddenly. She motioned to Noah's bag and 'Sawlaska'. "It's early. Plus, the weather's shit."
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Ciel
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"Thanks."

Scout smiled again. It came a lot more easily than the first one from the other night.

Noah was going out. She should have expected this. Noah wasn't like Scout; no way was an extrovert like him going to stay cooped up in the cabin. Noah's logic was poor but she could not come up with a way to refute it. They really were not going to find a working shower on this island.

He also asked what Scout was planning to do. She had to sit on that one.

"I don't know," Scout said. "I might leave. Need to keep myself moving. Don't want to get complacent, y'know?"

The buzz of the rain from outside made Scout's head numb slightly.

"I'm planning to kill people." There was a pregnant pause. "Not just anyone. Just, whoever might be considered a threat."

She swallowed, glanced out the nearby window. Of course there was nothing to see out the window. Oh. Right. The fog. Christ. Scout was losing it. Rubbing at her eyes, Scout continued.

"I just... figured you should know. In case I come with you."
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Ciel
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Nietzsche huh?

The comment stayed with Scout. Lingered in the pit of her belly long after Noah left. She knew very little of Nietzsche - you stare into the darkness and the darkness stares back? - but the comment made her drop her guard, well, drop it enough the joke to hit her like a ton of bricks. Scout did not 'get' the joke right away. It took her a moment before she started cackling like a damn witch. Christ. Why did she feel guilty for laughing? There were no damn rules on this island. On Killswitch Island. Whatever. She laughed, and screw anyone else who thought less of her for it.

She was about to follow Noah. About to. Then she changed her mind. Noah had his own group of friends. Scout did not want to become clingy, a distraction, a nuisance. That was the last thing she wanted. She hoped he would not get himself killed, hope. Scout did not believe in luck, only good odds.

Scout waited for the rain to dissipate before making any moves. She only had the one change of clothes, so she had to be careful. She did not want to die from hypothermia or something, as silly as the notion was. She needed to stay alive. Not do anything stupid.

There was no plans to stay in the cabin for another day. She only saw two people during her one and a half days in the lodge, and while the idea of just hanging out in there and waiting things out occurred to her, she knew that was the coward's way out. Besides, Clarice was out there somewhere. Clarice was still alive. Scout wasn't going to hide. No way in hell.

The windows were still fogged, and quite frankly what was the point in clearing them? So with her dufflebag slung over her shoulder, Scout walked to the front door, shoved the chair away from the door and threw it open. It swung gracelessly, slamming against the outside wall with a loud thunk. Under normal circumstances, such a move would be considered, in her words, 'stupid', but she genuinely thought she was alone.

She was wrong. There were two figures, about a dozen paces from the cabin. They were making their way over.

Scout sneered to herself. At least the rain died down. Small wonders.
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout squinted. The clouds were thick enough to blot out the sun but it was bright too. It reminded Scout of the rare times where she just holed herself in her room, curtains drawn, staring at the computer screen for hours on end. She always thought it was the computer playing tricks on her eyes.

She did not know who the girl was. Scout had seen her before, recognized her in the hallways, but she could not put a name to the face. Scout saw her drop her weapon, thought nothing of it. There was no way in hell a string bean of a girl was going to kill anyone with a table leg. Maybe if there were nails sticking out of one end. Whatever. Scout classified the girl as a non-threat the second Scout noticed she was shaking like a twig.

The girl smiled at her. It was a sheepy little smile, a forced one for sure. It made Scout wince in that 'please don't make this awkward' sort of way. She asked Scout whether she was okay or not. Then she prefaced the question with 'well it's obvious that you aren't okay'. Then why was she even asking? Scout got the gist of what she was getting at.

"I'm fine," Scout said.

She said nothing else. There they stood, two girls staring at each other with the wind rolling past.

The silence could be defined as awkward. Nothing Scout hasn't dealt with before, and she was certain she could say the same for the quivering girl standing a few paces away from her.

Scout blinked. She leaned, shifted her weight onto her right foot, then to her left. Her eyes glanced past the girl, off into the distance. After a long moment, her gaze returned to the awkward senior.

"... Your friend bailed. You should run after him."

Then she shouldered her bag, turned and walked off.

(Scout Pfeiffer continued in Mystic River.)
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