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The Scarlet Garden; Morning Day 5; Open
Topic Started: Feb 4 2017, 01:27 PM (1,110 Views)
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Who is this sassy lost child
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((Min-jae Parker continued from Flowers Hurt))

Jae hadn't made it far down the hallway before realizing he had to turn back for his makeshift walking stick if he wanted to get any significant distance. All of the exertion and falling down for various reasons was doing his injured knee no favors, splint or no. So he had shambled back to the room for the walking stick, thought of taking the taser, but his hands were full and Dorothy was still there on the floor and sure he was abandoning her, just like he had abandoned Hazel, but at least he hadn't left her with nothing.

In a sick, selfish way, he was glad she hadn't regained consciousness at any point before he finally left the wards behind. She was a piece of Asha that he didn't want to face.

(And he already had pieces of Asha all down his front anyway...)

Outside. Outside was nice, though there was a chill. Fresh air. Good for his smoke-craving lungs, much as they protested. The nicotine headache was ever present, dull and grinding like the constant anger in the pit of his chest.

God, how he hated everything in existence.

He held onto that. It kept him moving until he reached the edge of the gardens, where he stopped to catch his breath.

The announcement helpfully informed him that he could keep going without losing his neck. Isabel hadn't had the decency to go and die, of course, but there was a minuscule comfort in that she hadn't won anything from Asha's death. Brendan, the stupid fuck, had managed to... what, trip into somebody hard enough to kill them? Bernadette, of all people... he knew for a fact she and Brendan had been close, if all the times she'd gotten in Jae's face for how he treated Brendan were any indication. Brendan spread disaster like toppling dominoes wherever he went. It was a good thing Jae had driven him off when he had.

Not that it had mattered in the end.

He caught a brief, horrible glimpse of Jane's corpse as he moved deeper into the gardens. He didn't stop to look. She was long dead and so was her killer, and she and Jae had very few kind words for each other when she was alive anyway. Nothing to be gained from ogling her humiliated corpse.

It was cooler in the shade of the willow tree that dominated the gardens' center, enough to cause him to shiver. Why had he ever left his jacket with Hazel? What the hell was he trying to prove?

Jae sat with his back against the tree, staff propped against the trunk and crossbow resting on his lap. After some indeterminate amount of time, he reached for his bag so that he could reload the crossbow.

Would he fire if someone approached? Maybe. Maybe. He didn't want to see anyone right now, that was for sure. Oh, he could hate most of the ones still alive, for the simple fact that they were alive when so many others who deserved it more weren't, but that didn't mean his hands would be steady or his intent fatal.

But it didn't mean that they wouldn't, either.

So Jae sat and tried not to think, listening to the island slowly waking up around him.
"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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Jae's eyes snapped open. He wasn't sure when he had closed them, or how long it had been. An exhaustion that had nothing to do with how much sleep he had gotten was weighing down on him, at odds with the morning sun filtering through the willow tree's branches and the quiet sounds of nature.

And now some random bitch was yelling at him.

"The hell do you want?" He rasped, almost inaudibly. Right, he had screamed his voice out. He wasn't sure if the girl had heard him properly.

She had a gun, an outstretched hand, and a declaration of peace. She didn't look deceptive, but god, he had made that mistake before. Any retreat he had gotten from violence here had always ended worse than before.

Jae didn't lift the crossbow yet, but his finger settled on the trigger.
"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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The universe was taunting him. That was the only logical explanation for this. Hey Min-jae. Hey buddy. Who do you least want to see right now? Surprise!

Jae gritted his teeth. "Brendan." It was just a hiss. There was so much he wanted to say, to yell, and he had practically no voice. "Why are you still alive?"

Because that was the real question, wasn't it. Why was Brendan still alive when Asha wasn't? What gave him the fucking right to stand there and apologize, like Jae had ever given a single fuck about what he thought? Why should Alvaro and Alessio and Isabel still get to run around killing when Jae had lost so much? What the hell had any of them lost that compared?

Oh, they would get what they deserved, in death if not in life. Everyone would. He knew that. In a few days at the most, they all would get what was coming to them. Jae didn't know much about SOTF, aside from what everyone else knew, but he knew that the people like them didn't make it out. Isabel and Alessio and Alvaro and the fuckers behind it all would be insects, or starving ghosts, or would rot in hell for a trillion years to pay penance for what they had done.

Wasn't it a hell of a thing, waiting day by day to hear that someone had died like you would wait for your birthday, or Christmas?

"Well?" He snapped. Croaked. His grip tightened on the crossbow. He could shoot Brendan right now, and he wasn't sure he gave a fuck that Brendan's little girlfriend or whatever would probably put a bullet in his head for 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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Please understand.

Please understand.

Please understand why I'm here and my useless friend is here and your friends aren't. Please understand why the world doesn't work the way it should and never will, Jae.











A ragged breath, almost a whisper.

"No."

And he fired.
"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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Jae exhaled and the static cleared from his vision as Alba's scream cut through his mental fog. Despite everything, he felt the urge to laugh.

Don't do it again. Bad dog. Alba was just as spineless as Brendan was. Jae lurched up regardless, not knowing if he was going to go ahead and leave or if he would try to reload and fire again-

Gunfire split the air and Jae jumped, free hand instinctively clutching at his chest, but he hadn't been shot, Alba hadn't shot him, Brendan hadn't shot him and where was that prize Brendan had won anyway-?

Behind him. The shots had come from behind him, around the tree.

Jae wheeled around, heart in his throat, one hand already in his bag for another bolt to reload, the wind whipping his hair into his face as he moved. The fact that he had just turned his back to the only armed person he could actually see was lost on him in the sudden burst of adrenaline, waking him up fully for the first time that day.
"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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Mother

fucking

Caedyn.

As if Jae needed any further proof that some higher power was fucking with him. It was like a greatest hits record of people he despised. He could see Jasmine over Caedyn's shoulder, and they were all killers, and of fucking course Caedyn had a gun. Unlike Brendan, she had clearly managed to hold onto her prize.

Caedyn's snide little quip set his teeth on edge. He could shoot her too. He didn't expect he would get away with that quite as easily as he had shooting Brendan, but he could do it. His finger curled around the trigger, and he saw Caedyn do the same.

He wasn't going to dignify her with any sort of real answer. He was stuck playing one game already - he wouldn't give Caedyn the satisfaction of letting her rope him into another.

"What the fuck do you want." It was hardly a question, hardly even spoken aloud. He wasn't surprised she and Jazz were playing together. The only surprise really was that nobody had killed either one of them yet.

But hey, that could change.
"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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"Like hell."

Excuses. Even back when everything was normal (ha, "back when", it wasn't even a week ago) Jae didn't care much about the why behind a lot of actions that weren't his. Nobody else had ever given a shit when he tried to explain why he did anything, why should he care about their reasons? He didn't care why Caedyn or Jasmine had killed. He didn't care why they were here now. All that mattered was they were here and they were a problem. Reasons didn't matter.

If it had been Jazz on her own, he might have bought it. She had always been... twitchy. Aggravating. He could have believed that she was on edge and acting out of fear here.

Caedyn, however, had never deserved the benefit of the doubt even before she had... done whatever the fuck to whoever the fuck. Jae could hardly remember right now. Her name hadn't been any of the important ones until she was pointing a gun in his face. She didn't look scared now, and she sure as hell hadn't been scared when she was trying to tease him a moment ago.

"Then get the fuck outta here. Plenty of space." He didn't lower the crossbow.

God, if he shot her when her back was turned, he'd be doing everyone a favor.
"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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And how in the hell was he supposed to answer that? "Oh yes Jasmine, of course I'd never even think about hurting either one of you, you've only each killed someone and could very easily kill me."

Jae hadn't quite decided if he was still vehemently opposed to dying, but at least he wouldn't do himself the disservice of letting either Caedyn or Jasmine to be the one who killed him.

...They had almost been friends, he and Caedyn. Once, years ago, when he was just getting into the goth scene and still trying to find his style, they had bumped into each other and hell, they'd hit it off. It all ended exactly as well as anyone would expect, once it became clear that Caedyn was just a self-centered poser and Jae had far better people to spend his time on, but for a while... fuck, he'd once wondered if he had a crush on her.

(Hey, there was an upside to the earth-shattering-revelation-about-yourself-just-before-you-die thing: he could now definitively say that had never been the case.)

It wasn't that long-burned bridge that made Jae's lips twitch up into a mocking facsimile of a smile, though. It was Caedyn playing white knight for Jazz, telling her to go on, get the hell out of here before the big bad Min-jae went wild. As though she had ever cared in the least about anyone other than herself.

...And that, that could give him an answer.

The words on the tip of his tongue were despicable, and if he had still had his wallet on him, Jae just might have bet money that they were in tune with how Caedyn and Jazz were playing the game.

For a split second, he wondered if his parents would still be watching at this point.

"I've got my one." They would know what he meant. And hopefully Caedyn, at least, would be willing to believe that Jae was every bit the lowlife that she was and she would get the hell out of dodge before things went further south. "So fuck off. I don't care about either of you."
"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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Caedyn didn't say anything else before getting the hell out of dodge. Good, but that biting, snapping instinct reared its head in him the way it always did.

"Sooner or later, it's going to be you or her, you know!" He called after them. "And I know you, Caedyn, I know how you work! Everyone does!" The whole world did now. Did Caedyn seriously think she could just run around like she did back at school and have any chance? If by some miracle she got home like that, with the entire world watching and realizing exactly what sort of person she was, what the hell would she be going back to?

What would any of them be going back to if they made it?

Jae didn't have an answer. All he had was the empty garden and the echoes of his own spiteful words.

((Min-jae Parker continued in How Easy it Was to Lie to Strangers))
"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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