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Cooking Up Trouble; Early Morning of Day 5 before the announcements [Private]
Topic Started: Jan 28 2017, 08:29 AM (1,163 Views)
CrossbowPig
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[Arthur Bernstein continued from Think About Your Life.]

Wandering the asylum was like wandering through a dreamscape. His last few nights hadn't been exactly fruitless when it came to dreams, but they had been more of the memory type. He remembered crying, and laughing, and throwing things at his brothers. He remembered dusty basements and grassy backyards, and the day he broke his nose. He remembered his father and his thousand yard stare, looking into dead air space, finding ripples and static in the particles of the air, a sight so captivating that eventually Arthur learned to live with it, to deal with his father's eccentricities because he was one of the only family members he had left.

He even remembered his mother.

And yet, he found himself forgetting more than he had ever intended to. Arthur struggled to remember a time where the smell of salt water wasn't constantly on his nose. The bright lights and chatter of the hallways at Cochise faded in and out, like a badly tuned television, blurring with the ruined halls of the asylum. He struggled to remember what it was like to pick up a book and read. He wondered if his hands could form the correct posture to hold his own pencil.

Okay, that was a bit of an overstatement. Of course he still remembered how to hold pencils - all hyperbole. Extended metaphors for an absent audience. The point still stood. The island was changing him. The game was changing him.

Coleen was changing him, in ways he'd never admit.

Not even to himself.

Suddenly, a scream rang out through the hall. Coleen tensed up, brought her rifle up high. Arthur tensed his grip on his spear. It was part of him now, even if he had been fortunate enough to never use it. Now, though, that innocence - if it could be called that - was in danger of being lost.

Though it wasn't himself he was worried about.

If Arthur had had his way, she would have never fired the gun. Now, the best he could hope for was that she'd never land a shot with it.
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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Arthur tensed up as Coleen peered into the closet. The smell of blood, while initially difficult to notice given its prevalence in the world around him, hit him like a tidal wave, blowing him over and dragging him underneath gallons upon gallons of pressure. He couldn't see what was going on, or who she was talking to, but with the feeling he got from her tone of voice - or rather what little voice there was to hear - he knew it couldn't be anything good. He looked over Coleen's shoulder, holding his breath.

Two bodies, sprawled across the floor. He recognized both of their faces, but he wasn't sure if they'd recognize him if they had swapped places. Above them stood another body, this one breathing. Someone that Coleen recognized. Someone that Arthur had never seen before.

A sword stuck out of one of the corpses. For some reason, Arthur's mind drifted again to video games. Swords beat axes, axes beat lances, lances beat swords. That's the weapon triangle, from...Fire Emblem. I think that's what it was called. Hopefully, we won't have to see if it works in real life too.

At least the odds are in my favor if it does.

Arthur took a step back, putting himself more firmly in the boy's line of sight. The most important message to send was that Coleen wasn't alone. She didn't look like she could be pulled away from the door, no matter how much he felt the need to get in her way. She'd need a clear shot if the gun was going to come into play, too.

Wait, wasn't I just thinking about how I don't want her to have to shoot anyone? And now, suddenly, it's a serious possibility. I'd better step in a bit more. Or maybe take a step back?

Indecision. Always indecision.

"Easy," Arthur said, staring the boy down. He was really talking to Coleen, but he figured it applied to him too. Hell, it felt relevant to Arthur as well; his skin had gone white as a sheet, unbeknownst to him.

He could feel a storm brewing around the three of them. A storm that he was caught in the center of.
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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Arthur's eyes slipped back and forth, going from Coleen to the gun in her hand to the painted target shivering before her. The boy spit out a few sounds and lowered his weapon.

Coleen spoke calmly and decisively. None of the shaking from yesterday. If there was some kind of uneasiness in her words, it was offset by Arthur's own similar feelings. Like looking at a wheel spinning so fast it looked like it was still. Unable to tell what was what.

And yet something was off about the whole scenario to Arthur. Something that made the wheel slow down enough that the spokes were easily seen.

Is it just me, or is he scared?
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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The boy was a snake. Trying to squeeze himself out of the situation any way he could. Did he really think that asking Coleen to change the topic would work? Was it some attempt at a joke? Either way, it was idiotic. Almost like he was trying to die. Arthur stood and watched, his eyes blank. Emotionless. Was there anything he could do? Was there anything that he should do? He felt like an accessory.

Arthur figured he might as well ask.

"Any way I can make myself useful?" he asked, walking closer to the door.

He'd stopped caring about how this would look to his family by now. They'd been an afterthought for the past two days anyway. He'd slept in a room with a corpse, watched two people die, pulled weapons out of corpses, threatened someone with a paintball gun, and now he was possibly going to be an accessory to a third murder. Arthur knew that his sister had already been thinking less of him. Nothing left to change.

Nothing left to lose.

"I could pin him down, if you want."
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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He was stupid enough to look when the boy said his name. Looked behind him, as if there were any other Arthur in the room. By the time his eyes made it back to Coleen, the boy was already struggling to take the gun from her. She screamed at him to go, a voice so loud and shrill that it caught him in his tracks. Arthur watched the two struggle for a few moments, unable to will himself to move.

I couldn't move for Bradley either.

A shot rang out, firing into the roof of the closet. The sound brought him back to reality, clearing away any doubt he had about what he had to do.

She isn't Bradley. She won't die.

"Get off of her!" he shouted.

Arthur mustered up all of his courage, moving his legs beneath him and running forward to break the fight up. He'd push the boy to the ground and hit him across the face. Pistol whip him. Slam his head into the wall. Shoot him in the legs and watch him bleed out. Arthur didn't care who was watching. Nobody hurt the people close to him and got away with it. Tears of rage fumed at the corners of his eyes, water so hot it felt like it was boiling his skin off. Nothing like what the boy would feel.

He looked scared.

He should be.

Arthur knew there was no time for planning. He pulled his spear in front of him, pointed end ready to be refreshed with the taste of blood yet again. Straight at the boy's heart. Hopefully, it'd miss, and he'd have more time to-

"BANG!"

The spear flew out of Arthur's hand, clanging against the walls of the closet. He face planted into the wall next to the door, smashing his nose sideways.

Arthur tried to move himself.

He couldn't.

His side was burning, and blood was starting to pool beneath him.
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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His vision was swimming. Arthur couldn't see a thing until he managed to roll over, his clothes soaked in crimson. Coleen knelt next to him. He couldn't look her in the eye. The bullet hole in his side burned, feeling like it had dug deeper, almost as if it was still moving through him, cutting through veins and sinew and bone with nothing in its path.

His whole body was screaming at him to do something, anything to stop the bleeding. He was so distracted by this pain that he couldn't even notice that his nose had been broken again, twisted to the side like the snout of a farm animal. Every breath he took was ragged, every throb of pain stabbing through his brain. With both hands, he squeezed at the wound, trying to hold it shut while the sound of the outside world beat against his ears like the monstrous roar of the foaming ocean waves he had just come to know.

Henry, Jasper, Bernadette, and Bradley. Was this how it felt for them, too?

In their dizziness, his eyes rested on a camera in the corner of the room. He tried to look away, to pull himself out of the trance the lens put on him.

"I..."

Suddenly, it was as if his bullet wound had gone up in flames. Arthur opened his mouth to scream, recoiling away from the camera, the only sound escaping his lips a quiet whimper. The pressure of the blood building up against his palms was too much to hold in place, so he let go. He held his hand up to his face.

So much blood. So much red.

"I'll...I'll..."

His breathing sped up, his body rallying for on last final push before it eventually gave up. Arthur found the strength to sit himself up against the wall, gasping for air. The sides of his vision tore like burnt paper, slowly crackling and crumbling away toward an inevitable full stop.

Nothing touches me.

Arthur expected to see his life flash before his eyes. Something like the trope he had written into his stories so many times, the last dramatic moments to squeeze any last tears out of the readers his work would never find. Instead, he was faced with the burning reality surrounding him. No distracting flashbacks or fitting last words came to mind. This was real. This was happening, and it was happening to him.

His hands were going numb. So cold and so hot at the same time. Herky-jerky spasms like clockwork out of sync with itself. He bit down on his tongue, hard, hoping that the shot of pain would buy him some more time of lucidity. Anything to keep himself afloat. Arthur wanted to grab Coleen and hold her close to him. He couldn't figure out how to lift his eyelids - he hadn't even noticed that they had closed. Arthur felt lighter all over except for the point where blood was still flowing out, slower, but still there, like an anchor dug deeply into the ground.

In desperation, he threw out his hand for something to grab onto. It found Coleen's leg. Soft. Warm. Alive. Breathing. Squeezed it. Blood underneath his palm, his own on his skin and Coleen's beneath hers. His left eye fell open, and he could see the look on her face. Through the pain, he managed to curl his lips into a smile. The 'everything will be alright' smile. The 'it's too late' smile.



A smile nonetheless.

Was there anything left to say to her?

Maybe there was. Somewhere. Sometime.

Not here. Not now.



B043 - ARTHUR BERNSTEIN: ELIMINATED
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