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Coward Mont Blanc; Late afternoon/evening Day 3; open
Topic Started: Dec 13 2016, 10:09 PM (264 Views)
frogue
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just a picture of a cloud
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Lying on the ground on Earth, Johnny Ray McKay wondered how far away the sky was. Far, far above him it began to darken.

Things had gone to shit here, as things were wont to do, and Johnny had come as close as he ever had in his short life to dying, or so he thought. You never knew though, did you? Maybe the apple next to the one he'd picked from the selection had been full of poison and pestilence. Maybe a rattlesnake'd crawled up to him once and kept on crawling. Maybe a lightning bolt had forked its way elsewhere when it'd been destined for his tender head. You couldn't tell, could you, just how many deaths you'd dodged.

Shit, maybe he was overdue.

Johnny spat. He had books out from every library stupid enough to issue him a card, and if he knew his parents as well as he thought he did, those venerable institutions wouldn't be seeing a page of their literature ever again. He had no problems with being overdue.

Nobody would describe Johnny as being overburdened with courtesy, but in fairness people only learn what they're taught, and precious little courtesy had been done to him. Johnny had been disrespected, disregarded and dismissed by every citizen of the great metropolis of Kingman in good standing, and goddammit just a little politeness was owed to him, he felt. Death could wait on him, for a little while longer at least.

Fuck dying just yet.

On the ground next to him Raina heaved and sobbed. Johnny did the gentlemanly thing and pretended not to notice.
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frogue
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just a picture of a cloud
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Johnny cleared his throat. It was dry, sandpapery - the early stages of a cold, if he was any judge, and Johnny fancied that he was. The early stages weren't so bad, Johnny thought. He'd probably miss the worst of it, and at this notion he gave a little chuckle.

"So, Ray, that was uhh... I mean that wasn't great, yeah?"

He'd aimed at reassuring, but to his ears the words stank of condescension. johnny backtracked a little.

"That situation, I mean. Back in that fucking hospital. The one we found ourselves in, y'know? Not how ya acted or anything, that was... shit, i dunno Ray. You play the hand you're dealt, right, an' I can't really see what we could've done different..."

This hadn't been where Johnny had meant to take things, insofar as Johnny ever meant to take things anywhere. His habit was simply to talk and to let his words wander where they might, but he'd opened his mouth now with a plan of sorts, to calm Raina, put her at ease, figure out their next move. Clearly, he wasn't doing great at it.

"That place sucked, okay? Those last three days sucked, this whole fucking... fucking thing, sucks, but whatever, right?"

He attempted a grin, his teeth like an antique piano that someone'd taken a sledge hammer to.

"Let's get the fuck out of here already."
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frogue
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Raina repeated her self, snapping Johnny from his reverie.

In his mind he'd taken flight, wings sprouting from his shoulder blades and bursting through the ragged fabric of his hoodie, arcing out behind him and lifting him up and up. He'd climbed, higher and higher above the island and he'd looked down on it and seen himself and Raina and everyone else who'd yet to check out, scattered out across the island like the chocolate chips on a cookie. Johnny'd lifted himself up into the sky and the people below had shrunk and shrunk until he couldn't make out who they were, yet higher still he risen until he couldn't see anyone, then until the island itself had vanished into the infinity of the sea. As the people below him had become noone and nothing and nowhere, he'd been free.

This was something Johnny'd done often, back in Kingman. Birds had always fascinated him, and he would frequently find himself distracted about his day upon seeing one, trying to imagine what their lives were like. To be able to go anywhere, do anything, not having to worry about study or work or the future but spending every day just flying and exploring and shitting on people's jackets - these were the things dreams were made of.

The sight of a bird was far better than that of a person, and Johnny imagined the world through his new, avian eyes. Birds were tetrachromats, with four cone cells instead of three, and could see many times more colours as a result. He pictured a world of rainbows, with the drab, grey sky replaced by a swirling panoply of hues. It was breathtaking he'd decided, as he'd closed his eyes and half-listened to Raina, his mind awander.

Johnny really should've been a bird, he decided. It was an egregious mistake on the part of is Creator, though Johnny resolved to let it slide if He had the mercy to let Johnny pass quickly. All this shit was only temporary anyway, right? How much did it really matter how he'd spent it, once he got out of the line and into the actual show, and it wasn't like he'd had to wait all that long, either - a hell of a lot of birds had to stick around a lot longer than he'd have to. One book her'd read said that eagles could hit a hundred.

Absent of thought, Johnny had drawn a cigarette and planted it like a sapling between his upturned lips. He'd given it plenty of light, and lo it did grow a veritable bounty of smoke. Eyes closed, Johnny inhaled deeply, holding the smoke in his lungs and trying to savour it.

How did you which cigarette would be your last? He didn't suppose you could.

Johnny was drawn from his flight of fancy by Raina's voice, sharp and insistent, and took him a moment to re-orientate himself, to figure out what it was she'd just said. The supply depot, right. He sat up and smiled, cigarette still hanging from his mouth, and gave a languid little nod and a half-arsed salute.

"Sure."

He drew himself up to her height and shouldered his bag.

"Lay on, MacDuff."
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