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Flowers Hurt; Time is a treason || Private
Topic Started: Jan 19 2017, 01:20 AM (1,365 Views)
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And I am still hungry.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Skipping with permission.))

“What’d you… have to go and do this to me for?”

Everything had stopped. It was impossible to say how long Jae stayed curled around Asha’s body like a protective cocoon. It was long enough for her blood to soak into his clothes and cake into his hair and onto his skin, and for the coppery smell to fill his senses. He couldn’t bring himself to move.

“I tried, alright? I didn’t… didn’t mean to…”

Maybe he’d tried praying, or raging at the powers that be. Either or. His voice was raspy, startling whenever it broke the silence. He was probably losing his voice, after all the yelling and screaming he had done in the past few days.

“What the fuck do I do now?”

The powers that be didn’t answer. They never did. And Asha remained silent in his arms.




Time passed, maybe.Thought gradually came back to him as he stared into the darkness. Whatever witching hour had settled over the island sat heavy and timeless around him, but the wheels started turning again eventually.

“You were a good friend. Dunno if I ever told you that.”

No response.

“I’m sorry.”

No response.

“I’m sorry for... for everything." Everything he had done before and everything he would do after this that would disappoint her. Because he would disappoint her. Too hurt to say for sure that he really wanted to live anymore, too full of fear and spite to die. Instincts telling him he should live, heart uncaring if he did.

"What do I do now, Asha?"

His voice was really going now, barely more than a rough whisper. Talking to your friend’s corpse wasn’t healthy in numerous ways, it turned out.

Asha still didn’t answer, but she probably would have agreed.




The night passed, somehow. The sun rose, though it had no right to.

Jae could see somewhat when he opened his eyes again at least, and for a moment nothing made sense. For a moment-

God, for a moment he forgot.

He opened his eyes and became aware of Asha pressed against him, and he started to sit up, started to ask what the hell had happened for them to end up in this position and-

And Asha peeled away from him, mostly-dried blood and bits of skin and sinew that had cemented them together pulling apart as her head hit the floor, the wound in her throat gaping like a screaming second mouth. Her eyes were still open.

Jae gagged again. His eyes stung, but he was out of tears. The only warmth left in Asha was what her body sapped from his.

"Why..." His voice was barely there.

The powers that be didn't answer.

They never did.

Jae worked his zombie limbs up from the floor, up away from Asha's empty shell, away from Dorothy who he was sort of aware of but couldn't bring himself to care much about. Stumbled to his bag, to the crossbow. He'd hit Isabel. He hoped she would die from it. Sixteen bolts left.

Halting, shambling, mindless, he went away again.

((Min-jae Parker continued in The Scarlet Garden))
"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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Fran
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Dorothy was a glacier at this point. Frozen, still, petrified. Her body was locked in her and so was her mind. It had been carefully disposed as she fell, and now it was back to her. Like a lost item that was finally found by its original owner, her mind was a bit tattered. It looked like it stayed in a hallway, that people had seen it as they walked beside it, and a good soul finally bring it to the lost item box. Her mind was glad to find Dot back and it was reciprocal.

Being lost in the limbos, seeing only the darkness and touching only the shadows was exhausting. Even though she wasn't conscious and basically sleeping for a while, she still felt like her body had been ran over by a truck and had to pull five all-nighters after being raised from the dead by a necromancer. Her eyes opened, seeing the rays of the flame-colored sky coming through the windows, announcing the presence of the day.

She had to make sure if it wasn’t a dream. The whole “Asha gets murdered in front of her” thing wasn’t another nightmare she had or a hallucination. The smell of blood and flesh was the first indicator that this whole thing was real. She was the person she saw die. She has seen corpses of fellow students. Wayne’s and a girl’s, but she never saw someone die right in front of her.

The worst part was that she felt like a failure. Asha took Dot’s knife and used it against Iz. Her knife, the one she took and decided to keep was now in the hands of her friend’s killer. If she hadn’t taken the knife, would have Asha and Iz fought? She wasn’t really sure what happened. Asha was with them then she was gone.

She wanted to shed a tear but she forced herself to get going. If Asha was alive, she’d be comforting Dot and helping her to get through this. But she was dead, gone, lost. No matter how much tears she shed or blood she lost, Asha would never come back. She bit the inside of her cheek, feeling the skin tearing.

She had to make sure she was really dead. She slowly walked toward her as if Asha was an animal that could jump on her at any moment. She lowered herself, pressing her fingers against her friend’s throat (or what was left of it). No pulse. She wasn’t even bleeding anymore. If her blood was still trickling, this meant her heart was still pumping but she was empty. All of her blood was now the floor. The pool stopped growing and Dot’s footstep in it made it shake a little.

She didn’t know the official procedure when there was a death at a hospital. Contacting the family was pretty much useless but she tried anyways. She faced a camera near her and she said, her voice shaking,

“Hum, this is, uh, Dorothy Shelley and, uh, Asha Sur is dead. So she was my friend and, yeah, don’t look at the clip of her death if you are, uh, her family or her friends back home, you know? I don’t think she’d, uh, like that? I just wanted to ask if I could take her flower pin, if you wouldn’t mind.”

Her audience stayed quiet. Hopefully the terrorists wouldn’t mute what she said to the camera, she took another glance at the camera.

“Just to keep, you know, a memory of her? Like I don’t like how she’s, hum, like that in the open and, well, her body is hard to watch. Yeah, so I’ll, uh, do it, I guess. If I go back home, I’ll give it back and if I don’t, well, then I’m sorry.”
Her audience, once again said nothing. Chances are the terrorists were looking at her like as if she was the biggest idiot or maybe some pitied her and thought how tragic it was. She mentally scratched that last part: if they cared about her or her peer, none of this would have happened.

She quickly headed back to the room that Asha and Jae were-

Where was Jae? She looked around her. No sign of him. Maybe he went after Iz after she passed out or protected her for a while and decided to leave her because he had something to do. Her heart started beating fast. This meant she was alone and maybe Iz and her shadow were close.

She hastened herself, grabbing the sheet off the mattress. She pulled it, tearing the fabric, making the same noise when a sheet of paper was teared. With the rag she had in her hands, she went back to Asha’s corpse and laid the sheet on her body. It wasn’t totally hiding it but at least her face was covered. She harvested the black flower off of Asha’s body and clutched it.

“I hope, uh, you guys, the family and all that, don’t mind.”

She ran her thumb over the hairclip, an emotion worse than sorrow started running in her body. That was it. Asha was dead. Jae was gone. She was alone and Iz and co. were maybe around. If Iz found her passed out in the corridor, she’d been dead. Maybe that was Asha’s last gift, hurting Iz so much she wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone else.

She mouthed a “thank you” toward her friend. A tear started rolling on her cheek but quickly wiped it off. No crying until you are somewhere safe.

She looked around, trying to stay as far away from Asha. She found her friend’s taser. It had been used but there were charges left in Asha’s bag, that was now Dot’s bag unless Jae decided it was his. The whole map that appeared in her head was quickly thrown away when she saw, beside her own bag, Asha’s laying there. Hers was slightly gapped; it must have been opened when Asha, in the darkness, searched for the knife and headed toward her final resting place.

Dorothy shoved her weapon in her bag and transferred the food and water that Asha had left in her bag. There wasn’t much but she’d be able to stay alive with that. The charges for her electric gun were also transferred into her bag. The flower pin was the last thing that entered, it laid on the top beside the charges and a half-eaten food bar.

With everything she could hold under her arm, she left and swore to never come back.

((Dorothy Shelley left this ugly mess.))
Edited by Fran, Mar 31 2017, 03:55 PM.
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Isabel gave clear instructions. She knew more about how to do this than Lily did, seemingly. Lily would occasionally catch glimpse of the mess of bandages on her hand from the first day and feel mildly embarrassed.

Noises came from outside as Lily treated Isabel’s wounds, still feeling that ghostly glare at her back. Lily didn’t know who was dead. She was sure someone was. Probably Asha. Isabel couldn’t have killed all of them. She shut that out, and focused on the wounds. It wasn’t too hard with the instructions. Lily had good hands, the pains occasionally spasming across one of her palms from the mirror shard aside.

Isabel thanked her and collapsed.

Lily thought it might have been another trick. Another trap. She looked at Isabel, then looked at the weapons on the floor. But Isabel still had a knife in reach.

She also thought about just opening the door. Unlocking it, and letting whoever survived charge in and take vengeance. But what if they decided Lily was an accomplice and killed her too? Or if Isabel somehow won and came back for Lily?

At least this way if someone did break down the door they’d probably go for Isabel first.

So Lily sat in the corner. And she waited.

-

The night passed. Lily wasn’t sure if she slept. She just knew that at some point she was awake, and it was lighter out. The announcements might be soon. So Lily didn’t look at Isabel, she just rummaged in her bag for her notepad.

She didn’t hear noise outside. She wondered if they were gone.
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Isabel breathed hard, each breath agonizing, her whole body trembling.

She felt incredibly cold. Her body's reflexive shivering made her trembling even worse. Weakly sitting up, spots appearing in her vision as she did so, she grabbed her tattered, blood soaked sweater and slipped it back on, the metallic stench even more overpowering than the smell from the blood that had dripped off of her and onto the floor and table she was lying on.

Laying herself back down, Isabel wracked her only weakly conscious mind for what else she needed to do. She had lost a lot of blood plasma, making up for that would require food. She looked over at the ground, futilely reaching her hand out to her open duffel bag because she didn't want to sit back up and risk fainting.

Still, she needed to at least eat something, and soon.

Slowly she lowered her legs onto the floor and stood back up, only barely catching herself against the wall after losing her balance, dark spots reappearing and clouding her mind. Grunting from the pain, she reached down and grabbed one of the calorie bars out of her bag, along with some water, before returning to her position on the table and munching on it, sipping from the trembling bottle between bites. The bar tasted foul and dry, but Isabel didn't mind. She had water, she needed the energy if she was going to heal, and the searing pain throughout her body was far more uncomfortable than the taste of the bar.

It wasn't long after she finished the bar and the bottle of water that Isabel lost consciousness.



Isabel's eyes groggily opened to the morning light. She was still alive, if still in utter agony. Lily hadn't tried to kill her while she was vulnerable. Good sign, maybe they could really be partners after all.

Weakly sitting up, spots no longer appearing in her vision, Isabel glanced at Lily, who was rummaging around in her bag for her notepad again. She still wasn't bothering to look at Isabel, keeping her eyes trained downwards as she waited for the announcements.

Okay, maybe there still was some animosity there, for whatever reason.

Isabel eyed the door to the hallway cautiously, as the announcements roared to life. It seemed that Asha's friends hadn't tried to break into the room during the night, despite the fact that Isabel had been incredibly vulnerable. Were they waiting outside, ready to avenge their friend... or had they just left, abandoning their friend's corpse due to the trauma of losing her?

Isabel didn't really know, but she hoped that she wouldn't have yet another fight on her hands.

Lowering her legs to the ground and reaching into her bag again, Isabel grabbed another calorie bar and water bottle, engorging herself as the announcements rolled, her back against the wall.

Another day passed where Isabel didn't win the BKA, figures. She scowled as she stuffed the last bits of her meal into her mouth and downed the last of the water in the bottle. At this point she was almost convinced that the terrorists had it out for her in particular. Maybe they wanted her to fail, despite the fact that she was playing their game exactly how they wanted her to play it.

Rolling her eyes as she closed her bag and collected her assortment of weapons, Isabel hoisted her bag up. Breathing hard just from that basic exertion, Isabel extending a lightly trembling, pain riddled arm in Lily's direction, motioning for the two of them to leave as the announcements stopped.

Opening the door cautiously, Isabel listened intently as she peeked out into the hallway. She heard nothing, she saw nothing, only smelling the stench of Asha's corpse out in the hallway.

Fumbling her bag open again, Isabel popped open one of the bottles of painkillers and downed a few of the pills to the best of her ability, wanting to ease the pain she was in more than anything.

Hissing and grunting with each step, Isabel made her way down the hallway in the direction leading out of the asylum, her shadow quietly following her, and the halberd sitting, forgotten not too far from Asha's body.

((Isabel Ramirez continued in End of the Line))
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Lily munched on a bar that she’d taken from Isabel’s bag earlier. She was out of them and Isabel had said she’d share. No harm in taking advantage of it. The food remained as bland as they always were.

The announcements came and went, and Lily wrote down their names like she always did. None of them mattered, except in the practical terms. Not even Alvaro murdering again. The only name that was of some wary interest was Caedyn. But Lily was surprised it took her malicious, dreadlocked moron of an ex this long to kill anyone.

Isabel opened the door. She started to leave, and gestured for Lily to follow.

Lily did so. As she did, she saw the corpse that had once been Asha. She wrinkled her nose and tried to block it out. She saw the halberd and thought about taking it, but even if she could carry it she couldn’t carry it discreetly.

She just had to wait.

That was all she had to do. It was the only reason she was still following Isabel.

She was not afraid.

She was just cautious.

((Lily Caldwell continued in End of the Line.))
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