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Megalomania; Late Night Day 3/Early Morning Day 4, Private (Sorry!)
Topic Started: Jan 17 2017, 01:28 AM (336 Views)
VoltTurtle
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((Isabel Ramirez continued from Violence Is Usually The Answer))

Isabel sat on one of the musty beds in one of the many dormitory rooms, the door shut behind her.

Her tail was still right behind her, hiding just outside the door. Again, as if she was actually being clever.

Isabel sighed and munched on one of the calorie bars. She needed to go to sleep, but she couldn't actually sleep with her murderous follower waiting just outside the door. Of course, in that case, she could just pretend to sleep- and then, when the time came, she could get the drop on her attacker. It would be easy. She was probably stronger than most of the other kids on the island. She could take some dumb kid who was mad at her for killing their friend and in way over their head.

Tucking her bag under her bed as she finished the dry, bland calorie bar, Isabel hastily laid her halberd and sword out on the bed behind her, the blades sitting safely near her feet. The sickle she would hide under the pillow, and then, when the time came, she would strike.

Isabel lay down with her eyes closed, listening for the door to inevitably creak open. Waiting for her next victim to walk in.

It would be an easy kill for a hard day. Like breaking a toothpick.
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((Lillian ‘Lily’ Caldwell continued from Violence Is Usually The Answer.))

Lily waited.

Waited.

Waited some more.

She waited so long to make a move that she was sure the sun would come up before she summoned the courage. But, eventually, she did push open the door. The moment she heard that creak—because of course the doors in an abandoned madhouse would creak—Lily hid again. To see if Isabel would get up.

Isabel did not get up. Isabel did not move.

So, eventually (and surely the sun must have been coming upy now) Lily ventured into the dormitory room. Isabel was lying on one of the beds, blades near her feet.

Lily had the mirror shard in her hand. The army helmet still strapped to her head, like it would protect her if Isabel slashed open her throat. She felt exposed. But it was too late now. She was committed. She had to do this, and seeing the grey scarf wrapped around Isabel’s neck gave her resolve.

The best way was to do it fast. Go in before Isabel could stir. Shard to the throat. Then hide for the rest of the game.

So Lily lunged, mirror shard being brought down to stab just above where Tina’s scarf started.

The mirror shard stopped mid-air. Not because Isabel had moved, but because Lily froze. Because Lily, even after all this, did not have the guts to bring it down.

A split second later, Lily realised that Isabel was not asleep.
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It was time.

Isabel sprung up, yanking the sickle out from underneath the pillow and tackling the small girl to the ground from off the bed. It wasn't long before she had her arm wrapped around the girl's torso and the sickle pressed to her neck.

"Did you really think you were being clever by trying to follow me around like that?" Isabel taunted, "Did you really think I didn't ever notice?"

Isabel tightened her hold on the girl as she squirmed to get away from her. "Struggling isn't going to do you any good. Struggle too much and I might just end your life a few seconds sooner and a lot more painfully than I would otherwise. You want to keep living, right? Quit."

The struggling stopped, with only a faint whimper escaping from the girl's lips. Music to Isabel's ears.

She had a new victim. One that was completely at her mercy. The girl's would be "weapon" had clattered to the ground in the struggle, leaving her defenseless.

Isabel could just slash her throat and be done with it. She was tired after all, and the girl had kept her waiting for a long time before actually managing enough courage to come after her. Or she could drag it out, slice into her flesh bit by bit, enjoy every little moment, every little scream, every little capitulation made in fear...

Isabel stopped herself, relaxing her hold on the girl for a moment before tightening it again. She couldn't do that. She would just be seen as more of a monster. Especially if she died. She had to make sure she left a good legacy behind, or at least try to even if that ship had possibly already sailed.

That left her with just slashing her throat and being done with it...

Or...

Maybe, instead of just killing the girl... maybe she could use her.

The girl was tiny, almost looked like she belonged in middle school. She was practically defenseless, and had no chance whatsoever of actually surviving. She was a defenseless lamb to Isabel's big bad wolf. So what if the big bad wolf decided to take this tiny, innocent lamb and instead of just killing it like you would expect, decided to protect it? Why, the big bad wolf wouldn't look so bad after all.

"Hm... you know, actually..." Isabel began. "That little whimper you just made... pretty pitiable. Like, I know you were trying to kill me and all that but... I'd feel still feel bad about just killing you, you know? Even if it was in self defense, taking the life of another person isn't exactly easy."

Isabel paused for effect, before continuing with a mischievous smile. "So, why don't I instead, in my infinite kindness and wisdom, give you a second chance?" She said, enunciating her words more than normal. "Wanna hear me out, or do you just want things to be over and done with?"
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Lily was trapped. She should have been faster. She should have been smarter. She should have saved Tina so she wouldn’t be alone.

But Isabel’s insanity was reaching some new height. She was talking about how murder was difficult, even though… how many people had she killed now? Four? Two on the first day, one on the second, there was the boy on the helipad… maybe others.

But Lily was pitable. Just pitable enough to spare. It made no sense. What did she want?

Lily could feel cold metal on her neck, and knew that Isabel could—and would gladly—cut her throat open, just like Tina. And there wasn’t anything Lily could do about it.

She tried to say ‘yes, I will hear you out.’ Even though there was some part of her that wanted to keep what dignity she had left and say ‘no, nothing you say is worth listening to.’ But if she said that, she’d die. If she said that, Tina’s death was for nothing. And Lily had to cling to that to justify it to herself. Tina would want her to stay alive, wouldn’t she? She wasn’t… she wasn’t being selfish if she tried to stay that way, even if…

The fear was so great that she felt like she was going to explode. Like the sheer terror of it all would just burst out of her and leave her a tattered, bloody husk. But even so, Lily could not form the words. They stuck in her throat. She just hoped that Isabel took that silence as attentiveness and not rebellion, because she just couldn’t say the words.
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"So... is that it?"

Isabel tapped the sickle with her index finger, as a signal for Lily to say something. Yet still, the girl stayed silent, presumably too scared to even speak. Eventually, Isabel broke the silence. "Look... okay whatever. Here's the deal. You're the first person since I got on this damn island that's actually willingly stuck around with me. I know you were trying to kill me and all... but everyone else has avoided me, one way or another."

Isabel hesitated, choosing her words. Every single one had to count. This might be her only chance to show a good side of herself to the viewing audience. "It gets lonely, being the top dog. We're all social animals around here, being alone isn't good for us. I need... someone, anyone really. Okay?"

More silence. She needed to be clearer, she needed to soften the mood. "You might be my only chance at that, everyone else is so afraid of me that they either run away or attack me..." Isabel stopped, before continuing with genuine hurt resonating in her voice. "Even... even though we were supposed to be friends."

Isabel inhaled sharply, and closed her eyes, softening her arm's grip on the girl, before regaining her composure and continuing. "I know you want me dead and all, but sitting here, listening to me... certainly it's showing you that I'm not just some monster, right? I killed because I have to. Not because I really want to all that badly."

That was a bold faced lie. She liked killing. But she needed to make it seem like she really didn't like killing all that much.

Still more silence permeated the room. She needed to be blunt, make exactly what she was suggesting completely obvious. "I guess what I'm saying is... if you want to, I'll let you hang out with me and mooch off my supplies- I'll make sure you stay safe."

She could show them all that she isn't so bad. The girl just needed to agree. This was Isabel's chance.

"So... what do you want? Would you rather die than hang out with someone as bad as me, or do you want to give me a chance?"
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Oh. That’s what she wanted.

At first it was confusing. All this ‘oh, but we’re social animals’ and ‘we were meant to be friends’ did not mix with the sort of person who would not only kill, but straight out torture her victims. Killing because she had to? Tina would never have attacked her. Isabel had all the choices in the world not to kill.

But…

Certainly it’s showing you that I’m not just some monster, right?

It all made sense after that. Isabel just wanted someone there to make her look like less of a monster. Maybe for the others, so they might not kill her on sight. Maybe to the cameras, so if she got back home she could pretend she did it all in the name of survival. Or maybe she just wanted to lie to herself.

Lily didn’t care about the reason. What was important was that now she got it. And she knew it wasn’t a plan to lull Lily into a false sense of security, because… well, what would be the point? Lily had lost already.

Lily felt sick to her stomach. Isabel killed Tina. She was the worst kind of human trash. If she qualified as human at all. And if she thought not killing someone and lugging Lily around like some sort of pet to make herself feel better… like the leader of a criminal enterprise throwing a few dollars at charity every now and again in some futile attempt to balance the scales… if she really thought that would make her less monstrous, then Isabel was a fool as well as insane.

But Isabel had supplies. She had weaponry. Anyone who attacked would go for Isabel first, because Lily was just a speck. And eventually she’d let her guard down for real.

“Fine,” Lily said.

She felt like she could feel Tina's ghost glaring at her accusingly.
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"Heh. That's the spirit."

Isabel slowly let go of the girl, the sickle moving away from her throat. She stood up from behind her before the girl scooted away, putting her back to the door of the room.

Dusting herself off, Isabel looked at the girl for a few seconds, the obvious contempt in her eyes evident, before opening her mouth again. "So uh... if you don't mind me asking... what's your name?"

...

"Lily, huh?" Isabel said, scratching her chin. "That's cute. I like flower names. Kinda always wished I had one myself, but my parents never did anything for my sake anyway."

She turned towards the bed, before sitting down on it.

"You're pretty quiet, huh?" Isabel asked, inquisitively. "Course, I guess part of that is that I like... just had a blade to your neck. Nerves might be a bit frayed, but that's okay. I'm not going to hurt you now, even if I still don't trust you all that much."

Kicking her feet back and forth a bit and staring at them, Isabel waited for her new ally to say something. No words came out, though. Isabel looked back up at Lily, blinking a bit, before speaking again. "Are you... hungry? Thirsty? Hurt? Anything? I have a lot of supplies that I... pillaged off of a few dead bodies."

...

"No?" Isabel stared at Lily for several moments before looking back down at her feet. Lily was completely avoiding eye contact. "Well um... if you... need anything in the future I... have it."

Isabel twiddled her thumbs a bit more, before realizing that Lily really didn't want to speak at all. "I uh... that's... okay, I suppose. You don't have to say anything. Just... having you around is nice. I was getting really lonely, again..."

Tapping her finger against the bed, Isabel wracked her brain for anything that could potentially break the ice. Unfortunately, she arrived at nothing. "Maybe... maybe we should just both sleep. There's uh... only one bed in here though. Uh..."

"I... why don't you take it. Just give me the pillow and I'll sleep on the floor. I'm used to sleeping on the floor anyway, my house wasn't big enough for a guest room so my parents always let any guests have my bed. And then I uh... slept on the floor in their room because we didn't have a couch I could sleep on either."

Isabel looked at Lily once again, before sighing and moving her bag, her weapons, and the pillow to the opposite corner of the room. "Just, take the bed whenever you feel like it, I guess."

Of course, Isabel hadn't forgotten that Lily had just tried to kill her a few minutes ago. She crushed the shard of mirror that Lily had been holding under her heel when she stood up from the bed, the satisfying crunch demonstrating that Isabel wasn't just going to let an assailant try again. Her weapons, similarly, were tucked under her bag, and she would be lying next to it, her arms keeping it close and letting her know if her friend had a change of heart and stopped accepting the kindness she had graciously handed out.

"See you on the other side, I guess." Isabel said, before lying down on the cold, hard, uneven ground, her head resting on the pillow, and her arm placed carefully on her bag- and her weapons.
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Isabel asked her name. Lily gave it. She was suddenly very thankful that she was the only one of her cousins without the Luz name. If she’d had it, maybe Isabel would have realised that Lily wouldn’t let go of Tina’s murder so easily. Isabel probably didn’t even know that’s why Lily was here.

Isabel kept trying to be nice.

I’m not going to hurt you now.

But she would eventually.

Have supplies. Have the bed.

Lily didn’t want the bed. Lily wanted Tina back.

She didn’t dare speak, because she was afraid she’d start screaming. She was afraid she’d grab the scarf from Isabel’s neck and try to throttle her with it. She wanted to puke, she wanted to cry, she wanted to see Isabel in bloody tatters.

But instead, Lily silently took the bed. Went along with it. She stared at the fragments of mirror—her only weapon, now ruined, then turned over in the bed and put her back to Isabel. Stupid, normally. But she couldn’t look at her.



Time passed.

Lily wanted Tina back. She missed her. It’d been days. Why was it only really hitting her now, how irreversible her mistake was?

She curled up tighter. She tried to stay silent. But the tears leaked out of her eyes and her breaths came out short and sharp. Lily only stopped crying when she finally nodded off. The dusty bed was too comfortable to fight.

-

She woke up. Considering Isabel’s presence, it was something of a surprise.

Lily ate her own food for breakfast. But she’d have to accept supplies from Isabel after this. The rest of her own supplies were still buried on the beach. She chewed quietly, and stared at the grey scarf around Isabel’s neck, and hated her every moment that passed. Her eyes felt like they’d been dried out like bits of beef jerky.

Once she was done eating, Lily retrieved her notepad from her bag. She waited.

The announcements rolled only minutes after she started waiting. Like every other day, Lily wrote down the dead. The killers. Any details she could think of.

It was getting easier to brush off the deaths. Maybe because neither Emma or Liz were on the announcements. First day that no Luz had died. She wrote down names. She felt no surprise that Alessio had suddenly hit a murder spree. Eating lunch together felt so long ago. She wasn’t surprised that Alvaro had murdered again, only silently writing a 2 next to his name and noting that he had a gun now. And she barely recalled any memories of Oskar as she crossed his name off the list of murderers. At this stage, what did it matter? All but one of them were dead on their feet.

Lily wrote down the details and didn’t look at Isabel.
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Isabel awoke to the sound of the fourth announcements, groggily awaking and yawning before turning to find Lily already awake and attentive.

She normally awoke earlier than this, but the events of last night and the uneven floor made sleeping difficult. She had heard Lily crying, in the night. Probably overwhelmed with something. Maybe still mad at Isabel about whatever thing that she wanted to kill her over. She would get over it, eventually. Probably, at least.

Isabel yanked a bit of bread and some water out of her bag as she watched Lily hastily scribble notes as the announcements played. Isabel heeded them no mind, she didn't actually care about who lived and who killed. All she needed to know was that the numbers were thinning out, who won the best kill award, and what the danger zones of the day were.

...And incidentally, she didn't win, and the place they were in was fine.

The announcements shut off as she finished the last of the dry, crumbly bread and sipped a bit more of her water. The room was left in silence, Lily once again not even looking at Isabel. She needed to say something. If she was going to be stuck with Lily in an attempt to look like a better person to the audience, she at least needed to be able to converse with her.

"So... uh... I heard you crying last night. Stress getting to you? I... uh... sorry about all this, I guess. Not much else I can say, really."

...

"Yeah, yeah. I was pretty unhappy myself when I woke up in that damned auditorium and then woke up again in this hellhole. I think, though, that I've managed to steel myself against all of that, you know? I gotta stay strong for momma, and all that."

The room returned to silence once again. Isabel twiddled her thumbs and ran her fingers down the dull side of the sickle, before looking back up at Lily and speaking again.

"Plus... uh... you know... if you die... I can't imagine the afterlife is like, bad or anything. My dad had this crazy belief that the afterlife is actually just a bar and grill that everyone goes to. A chance to come to terms with things, surrounded by your friends and all that. If that's the case, it'd probably be pretty fun, no?"

Isabel chuckled to herself, before stopping when she realize that Lily wasn't laughing too. "Well uh... thinking about stuff like that... helps keep me sane, I guess."

She didn't actually believe there was some random bar and grill in the afterlife. She wasn't even sure there was an afterlife. Thinking about it wasn't even a concern of hers until yesterday.

Still, on some level thinking about that kind of thing removed a lot of the dread she felt. She hoped she still existed after she died, on island or off, it didn't matter. Not existing anymore was scary.

Isabel looked back up at Lily, and realized that the room had been completely quiet for a few minutes.

"So uh..." Isabel began, "I think maybe we should get out of this place. Hole up in here too long and the hounds will start baying for our blood and stuff."

Isabel stood up, dusting herself off a bit from sleeping on the floor, before getting all of her stuff together and affixing everything to her person again.

She looked back at Lily again, seeing that the girl still refused to say anything, or even move really.

"So... let's go, partner?"

Isabel awkwardly extended her hand, before retracting it again when she realized that Lily wasn't going to actually going to return her gesture.

"I'll just... wait for you outside. Come whenever you're ready."

And with that, she left the room.

((Isabel Ramirez continued in Flowers Hurt))
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Isabel had heard her crying. That was just what Lily needed. Isabel to hear her being… that.

“Stress. Sure,” Lily said flatly, putting the notepad away.

Isabel talked a lot. About how thoughts about the afterlife being one big bar and grill ‘kept her sane.’ Lily resisted the urge to scoff outloud. And honestly, the idea of the entire afterlife being a party sounded like a nightmare.

She called Lily partner.

Lily felt like accusing, ghostly eyes were on her again. She didn’t shake Isabel’s hand.

Once Isabel was outside, Lily glanced to check she wasn’t watching, then crouched down to examine her broken mirror shard. But there was no getting a sizeable enough chunk from it to try again. Lily turned her hand, still bandaged even if it stung less, before straightening up and leaving the room.

Hopefully she wouldn’t have to play this stupid partnership game for long. Just until Isabel slipped up. Until Lily had a weapon in her hands.

Until then… “partners.”

((Lily Caldwell continued in Flowers Hurt.))
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