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Flowers Hurt; Time is a treason || Private
Topic Started: Jan 19 2017, 01:20 AM (1,356 Views)
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Celestial
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Min-jae Parker continued from I swear I'm not a jumper.))

Noise.

Jae's dreams were gray-washed and muffled, but noise was seeping in from somewhere. Voices. Asha. Somebody else?

He half-woke, turning over in the bed to slur out a question towards the place where Asha had been sitting.

She wasn't there.

"Asha?"

Jae sat looking at the open door in dull confusion for several moments, brain still trying to claw its way to full consciousness so he could work out what exactly was wrong with this picture.

The scream yanked him into reality. Asha gone, door open, someone in the hallway screaming-

Jae jolted out of the bed and grabbed the crossbow from where it was leaning against his bag, swearing loudly as he stumbled over Dorothy as she started to stir on the floor on his way to the hall.

"Asha!?"
"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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Isabel.

Jae recognized her voice and that drove every other thought out of his mind, lighting a fire of terror and hate in his veins. Back to his feet, elbows and knees stinging from where he'd fallen, crossbow in one hand, grabbing for his bag and ammo with the other, winging off a wild shot into the hall before he fully had his bearings.

He shouldered past Dorothy, images burning into his mind like snapshot stills for a fraction of a second. Silhouettes in the dark, monsters in the dark, kill her-

He scrambled for the bag and ripped the zipper open, hissing with pain as he jarred his broken fingers but not slowing, fumbling until a new bolt slid home, split second of who the hell are you as he caught sight of the other girl cowering against the wall-

One fraction of a second's distraction. That was all.

Jae jerked the crossbow up, Isabel's shadowy figure in his sights. He pulled the trigger, and god, he meant it.
"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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His second shot hit, and Jae took a vicious thrill from Isabel's obvious pain. He'd have liked to come up with something witty to throw at her, but there was no time to think as he scrambled for another bolt.

Isabel and Asha disengaged momentarily, each reeling from the blow the other had struck, and Jae couldn't concentrate on how Asha was bleeding, couldn't afford to let his focus slip again-

Asha stumbled into the line of fire, jerked to the side by Isabel as Jae tried to reload. He snarled wordlessly, torn between taking another shot and just charging in there physically, adrenaline rushing through him and urging him to move though he remained indecisive.
"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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"Asha!"

One second. One fraction of a second. That was how long Jae hesitated, that was all.

Shoot or run in, shoot or run in, and he had just started to raise the crossbow again when Isabel struck.

Asha's head jerked to the side, and her eyes met Jae's as their light was extinguished forever.

He was just close enough that a few droplets of her blood flew from the blade of the sickle and landed across Jae's face and neck.




A deafeningly loud, discordant, almost inhuman noise cut through the dark hallway, and Jae was just barely aware that it was his own screaming.

He fired again, didn't see if it hit, didn't care. He threw the crossbow down and lurched forward with arms outstretched, catching Asha before she hit the floor. There was a hot splatter of blood across his front as they collided, so much blood running over his hands, too much-

"ASHA!"

She was dead weight in his arms.
"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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This wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening

Jae's legs buckled, sending him and Asha to the floor, jolting his good knee painfully and leaving his splinted leg awkwardly splayed. Some part of him realized that Isabel and the girl who must have been her accomplice were gone and noticed the thud of Dorothy hitting the floor behind him, but he couldn't tear his focus away from Asha's limp body.

"Asha, fuck- Don't-" He grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. "Don't fucking do this to me, do you hear me!? Don't-" His voice cracked and Asha's head lolled back too far and there was so much blood on his clothes and his hands and his face and even if she had been able to respond it probably would have only come out as a gurgle-

Jae's entire body shuddered, bile welling up in his throat. He dry heaved, doubling over as he gagged. He had to catch himself on one hand, gasping, eyes stinging. "Asha-"

She was gone. Right in front of him, almost close enough to touch, and he still hadn't had a chance to even say goodbye. The realization sapped his remaining strength to hold himself up. He sank down, curling around Asha as his vision blurred.

This wasn't happening. This wasn't happening. This wasn't happening. This wasn't happening.
"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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((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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