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End of the Line; Dead girl walkin' (Private)
Topic Started: Feb 6 2017, 03:10 PM (766 Views)
Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Astrid Tate continued from Collateral Damage))

Astrid was in some serious pain and it didn’t look like it was going to let up any time soon. She sent daggers shooting through her skull whenever she turned her head, and the wound in her stomach was playing a cruel joke on her, constantly fading away so she felt like it had finally passed before springing up sharply again whenever she was least expecting it. She had bled through the bandages on her hand, although thankfully the flow of blood seemed to have stemmed somewhat. She had also, however, been forced to change the bandages around her waist, and that had been an incredibly unpleasant endeavour. It was bad enough, gingerly removing and reapplying wraps around her injured hand, but trying to deal with her stomach wound one-handed was an almost Sisyphean task. Every few steps sent a new jolt of pain from some part of her body.

And yet, despite all this, she was happy.

Because Darius van Dyke, the worthless waste of space who’d half blinded her and spent the majority of his days with his head up his ass and stealing other people’s precious oxygen, was dead. The only downside was that his killer was also an egotistical, boring little shit. She’d have quite happily shook their hand otherwise.

No dawn on the island came without darkness, of course. Toby had been killed, by yet another moronic self-centred jackass, and Astrid felt the same pang of regret and loneliness as she had when she’d first heard Mabes’ name, maybe even worse this time around. From the sounds of it, Toby didn’t go out quietly, and she definitely didn’t get a death befitting of her. Astrid liked the girl. She wished she’d been able to talk with her more often at school.

Still, the pain in her heart was absolutely alleviated by Darius van Dickhead’s timely demise.

Was it callous and more than a little heartless? Maybe. Did Astrid give two shits? Not in the goddamn slightest. If she hadn’t been in too much pain to do so, there would have been a spring in her step.

As it was, Astrid was just glad to see the buildings of the staff social area coming into view. She’d ended up trekking the entire length of the island in the past couple of days, getting only a few scant hours of sleep. She hadn’t wanted to set foot into the asylum again, not just yet, but she’d been forced to when exhaustion had threatened to send her sprawling onto the ground, the easiest target that any would-be player could ask for. She had passed out in a small room close to the entrance, piling broken chairs and tables against the door to make sure no-one disturbed her. Then, when she had woken up, she had headed for the other side of the island.

It struck Astrid, as her feet traipsed along the path, buildings surrounding her, that she had never been in this area until now. Maybe that had been a mistake, spending so much time in the asylum as opposed to here. There was a potential gold mine of supplies and hiding spots here. Both very attractive options, to be sure.

And definitely attractive for any prospective easy-outs.

Astrid headed into the gym, the largest of the three buildings around her. It didn’t really matter which one she started off at. What mattered was what she found inside it. And what she found inside the gym was, well… darkness. She squinted into the gloom and it still took a few more seconds for her eyes to adjust, and the tiny dust-coated windows to give her vision. She took a few more cautious steps into the centre of the room, pickaxe at the ready, and slowly looked around.

Part of her hoped there was nobody here, just so she could have a little bit of time to properly rest and recuperate and make sure her wounds were healing. Part of her hoped there was someone else in as bad a state as she was, just so she could get this over and done with as soon as possible.
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Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
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VoltTurtle
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Isabel Ramirez continued from Flowers Hurt))

Isabel and Lily sat in the darkness of the girl's locker room.

Getting as far away from the asylum as they could manage had been easy enough, and despite Isabel's frail state, the mere sight of her had sent several specks in the distance heading for the hills. Her reputation preceded her, and she was more than glad for that. It made recuperating from the mess the previous day that much easier.

They had taken shelter in the gym, the darkness of the locker rooms affording them much needed safety. Time for Isabel to heal and replace worn bandages.

Isabel turned her head towards Lily after replacing the bandages on her arm, faintly making out the other girl sitting on the bench next to her. Quiet, unresponsive, focused on something else, as usual. Attempts at conversation were practically impossible with her. Isabel had no real understanding of why Lily even bothered sticking around, if she apparently couldn't stand her this much.

Isabel sipped from her water bottle, the aches and pains of her injuries dulled not only by painkillers but by time and plenty of nutrition. The only problem now was that Isabel was bored.

Boredom was just as much of an enemy as any of the other ailments that she could run into in this place, so in spite of the futility of the gesture, Isabel spoke up in an attempt to coax Lily into speaking again.

"So... uh... you got any funny jokes? Fun stories? Any games we could play without like... cards or some shit?"

...

Isabel was greeted by silence, like normal. "...Yeah, I wasn't really expecting you to actually say anything."

She sipped from her water bottle again, before speaking all too loudly. "You know, if you actually like... at least talked to me this might be a nicer situation for the both of us. I want us both to have a pleasant time of things."

Isabel rolled her eyes in frustration, knowing that Lily wouldn't possibly be able to see her annoyance. "Look I'm just... bored, okay. I can't imagine you're doing any better. Boredom sucks."

She sighed, realizing the futility of her words once more. "Whatever, I suppose. You need space, you'll speak when you want to. That's fine, despite my annoyance."

Isabel sipped at her water again, as silence and boredom both returned yet again.
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((Lily Caldwell continued from Flowers Hurt.))

Her hat was sitting on the nearby sink still. No-one had touched it. It sat near the shattered mirror. Lily gazed at it while Isabel yammered.

She was trying to bite back any venom that might have spilled out at the words Isabel was saying. Boredom. She was worried about boredom. Isabel was a moron. Yes, Lily was a little bored as well. But she considered it pretty low on her list of priorities right now.

She just didn’t know why Isabel wanted her to make this pleasant. It was a game of death. There were no pleasantries here. Although Lily had to wonder how this faux-understanding act would go for before Isabel got bored and disemboweled her.

Lily continued to ignore her. She probably had at least a few more minutes before patience turned into disembowelment.

She wondered if there were any remaining mirror shards big enough in that sink. She couldn’t tell from where she was sitting.
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Pippin
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Astrid didn’t scare easily, but this place was kinda giving her the creeps, in a way the asylum never managed to do. The darkness didn’t help, of course, but that issue was steadily lessening thanks to the scant amount of light streaming in and her eyes slowly growing accustomed to the gloom. No, what was really getting to her was how familiar this gym was, and yet everywhere she looked, there was something… different, something unusual.

There were the usual sets of weights and mats placed around the room that she saw whenever she hit the gym back at Kingman, but then there were other things that tainted the whole image. Exercise machines that looked like they had been installed at least fifty years ago, benches with ripped and faded covers, and a wooden floor that creaked with every other step, all of which were coated in a fine layer of dust. It was like she’d managed to step into some bizarre hybrid of the past and present. It just felt wholly uncanny.

It was also completely lacking in other people; at least, the main area of the gym was. There was an opening in the left side wall that led off somewhere, most likely to the changing rooms. Astrid took a few steps towards it, peering into the gloom, floorboards creaking as she did. It was no good. She couldn’t see more than a foot or two into the room beyond. Astrid sighed, a little louder than she intended, as she weighed up her options.

She could easily turn and leave right now, and go to investigate one of the other buildings. It would make much more sense than just charging blindly into a dark room. On the other hand, there could easily be someone hiding out in the dark, praying nobody would find them. It wasn’t as though it was going to get less dark as the day went on either, after all.

Besides, she didn’t have to charge blindly anywhere. She still had her supplies with her, which she was sure was more than some incompetent souls could say.

In the end, the choice was obvious. Astrid gently lowered the axe from her shoulder, balancing it against her leg. Despite her best efforts, the head still made a solid clunk noise upon impact. She froze momentarily as it did so, opened her bag, and started rummaging through it for her flashlight.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Chills ran up Isabel's spine as she heard someone sigh from just outside the locker room they were in.

Of course someone was there with them. They couldn't possible have any sort of time alone to just sit and survive. No, someone always had to get into Isabel's business when she didn't want to be bothered. Her family treated her that way, her "friends" treated her that way, everyone always treated her that way. Why would this time be any different?

Isabel reached over and tapped Lily on the shoulder, before silently placing a finger on her lips as a signal to be quiet.

Standing up and suppressing the urge to groan in pain, Isabel drew Asha's knife out of her pocket and took position up against the wall. A corner was thankfully blocking line of sight to the entrance to the room. So long as this wasn't a repeat of the incident with Kimiko, Isabel would have the element of surprise. One swift, undefended attack was all she needed to take someone out.

A flashlight beam cut through the darkness in the room, and Isabel held back the urge to chuckle. Whoever it was that was in here with them wasn't exactly trying to be stealthy. Footsteps grew closer, and the clouds of dust being kicked into the flashlight beam grew thicker and more noticeable. Isabel just needed a few more moments and...

Isabel lunged out around the corner, catching the mystery victim in the face and smiling wide as they screeched in pain and their flashlight clattered to the ground. Perfectly executed, for once. If she didn't have witnesses, she'd almost feel the need to brag about it, taunt her victim before she finished them off and went about the rest of her business.

Reaching down, once again suppressing the urge to vocalize her pain, Isabel took the flashlight in her free hand and raised it up to see just who she had maimed before she killed them-

Oh.

Shit.
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Pippin
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Poe’s law was in full force; it took nearly a full minute of muffled cursing and fumbling through her bag for Astrid to find the flashlight, nestled right at the bottom, half buried in a spare hoody. She breathed through her teeth, suppressing the urge to gasp in pain as she picked it up with her right hand; it stung, pressed against her wound, but it was preferable to holding the pickaxe. With some effort, now that both her hands were preoccupied, she zipped the bag shut, then pointed the flashlight at the entrance and flicked it on.

A beam of light cut through the entire room, illuminating only the blank grey face of the lockers and the edges of benches. Astrid swept the flashlight in a wide arc, pointing the beam into every nook and cranny she could reach from where she was standing, but the only thing it lit up was more of the same; lockers, benches and gently floating dust. Of course things could never be easy. Of course she couldn’t catch someone defenceless and already injured, cowering in front of her. Astrid rolled her eyes to the ceiling, and began to walk forwards.

Every time the floorboards creaked underfoot, she felt her heart freeze, but she was inside the locker room now, and she hadn’t heard anything but that, her steady breathing, and shockingly loud sound of her own heartbeat. There were still plenty of places for people to hide though; two corners on either side of the entrance, space behind the lockers and under the benches, and in the shadowy corners her flashlight beam hadn’t managed to reach. Astrid paused for just a moment to collect herself and decide where to start searching.

Then suddenly there was movement and there was a second set of footsteps, faster than her own and growing closer, and Astrid only had enough time to swing the flashlight towards her hidden assailant before they swung at her, catching herself in the face, sending the flashlight spinning out of her grasp, pickaxe following suit as she staggered backwards, screeching in pain, her now free hand clutching her face.

It hurt, God, it hurt so fucking bad, but she didn’t have time to focus on that. There was someone out for blood in this room with her, her blood, and Astrid was going to teach them the error of their ways. She was gonna find her pickaxe and she was gonna beat them to a bloody pulp. Astrid pulled her hand away from her face and-

She couldn’t see.

Oh God, she couldn’t see anything. She couldn’t see the dim light from the entrance and she couldn’t see the beam of light from the flashlight on the floor and she couldn’t even see the faint outlines of the objects in the room and she could feel blood flow down her face and run down to her chin and drip to the floor and

“Oh God, oh God, no, no no no no, no, please, God, no…”

Astrid screamed, stumbling backwards, back pressed against the locker room wall, throat tightening, pained cries escaping her mouth.

No tears could fall. Just the steady splattering of blood.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Noises. Someone failing to sneak. Another death that Lily would have to witness. She’d just have to hope it wasn’t Emma or Lizzie. And if it was… what would she do then?

But it wasn’t. Lily only had a moment to see the face of a girl wearing an eyepatch before Isabel leapt out and—

Oh.

Ohhhh.

Lily covered her own eyes on reflex, shaking her head slightly. She couldn’t really explain why it was unsettling—no, horrifying. Conrad’s barely recogniseable corpse had been much worse. Steve hadn’t been much, but that had been far away. Isabel’s murders were all gruesome, but… the eye?

“...Shit,” Lily muttered.

There really was no other word for the situation.
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Isabel muttered obscenities under her breath, finding the situation she was in almost unbelievable.

Why of all people had it been Astrid that had just walked in like an idiot? One of the few people on the whole entire planet that Isabel had any respect for, one of the few people she would have gladly had as an ally. Of course Isabel had blinded her of all people, just for irony's sake.

Astrid was still pressed up against the lockers, somewhat understandably panicking. Isabel weighed her options. She could just say she was sorry, or she could just stay silent and observe. Or, she could just cut to the chase and kill Astrid... but she didn't want to do that. She wouldn't feel good about it, not one bit.

Still, what could she do with a girl that she had just blinded? Astrid would be dead weight at this point, a waste of time and energy. The only thing she could potentially do now to save everyone a headache was make it quick.

Unfortunately, all options for a death that was as quick as possible were lacking. If she'd had a gun, it'd be simple. All she'd have to do was put the barrel to the back of Astrid's head as if they were re-enacting the last scene from Of Mice and Men. Astrid would be out like a light, and Isabel could go about her business without dwelling on things too much. With only blades, the sole option Isabel actually had available would be slicing through all of Astrid's carotid arteries in one quick motion. Astrid would die fast, and barely feel a thing... at least if Isabel was remembering her anatomy textbook correctly.

Isabel raised her knife up to near her chest, staring at it for a few moments, before deciding against it, at least for now. She had too much respect for Astrid to just kill her without even giving her a send off. Isabel needed to apologize first, at least.

"...Sorry, Astrid."
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There were footsteps all around her, footsteps and mumbled voices seemingly from every direction at once, only just audible above her heavy breathing that wouldn’t stop turning into cries of terror and pain. Her head was still scanning the room wildly as if it would do any good, thanks to some unknown animal instinct or something.

She was dead. She was seconds away from death and there was nothing in this moment, nothing, after everything she’d built herself up to be and after everything she’d said, that could stop it from happening. She was trapped in a room with a murderer she couldn’t even see, and she was utterly, hopelessly powerless. Her killer was going to step forwards, and then she would draw whatever weapon she had, and then-

And then…

And then she heard what her murderer had said, and she was sure her entire body had turned to ice in that moment. ‘Sorry.’ There was no doubt the voice had said that, that voice familiar only thanks to the virtue that it belonged to someone she had walked past and sat in classes with every day without ever talking with them. ‘Sorry.’ Not in the sense that she was sorry she had to do this. ‘Sorry’ in the sense that she was truly apologetic for what had just happened.

An accident.

“Sorry?” Astrid breathed, trying to focus on where the voice had come from.

An accident. She was as good as dead, and it was all thanks to an accident. She had worked herself to the bone after she had lost the sight in her right eye, pulled herself up from the dregs of worthlessness and a blank slate, she had the highest of dreams that she knew she was going to achieve, and this was how it all came to a shuddering halt.

Suddenly, she was screaming again, solely from pure, primal anger this time.

“You’re fucking sorry? Where are you? Get over here, you worthless fuck! Where are you?”

Astrid placed her hand flat against the wall, trying to find leverage, trying to stagger herself upright.

“After everything I’ve done, everything I’ve torn down and built up, after going through fucking hell, some useless fucking nobody comes along and doesn’t even have the heart to finish me off?”

She could feel blood in her mouth, dripping down from her face as she spoke, and she spat out, hoping she managed to hit the girl in front of her.

“Go on then. Fucking end this, you fucking coward! Just kill me already!”
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Isabel rolled her eyes.

She had thought that maybe Astrid could possibly handle death with a bit of dignity, but that was possibly giving her a little bit too much credit. She wanted Isabel to just finish her off. Normally, Isabel would gladly done so, but once again, she hesitated.

She'd had a lot of respect for Astrid for a long time. The girl had lost her eye at a young age, and yet she hadn't let that kind of thing hold her back. She still pushed through it, she did everything in her power to succeed where others failed- even while having a handicap that was forced on her when it shouldn't have been. Isabel saw some of her own struggles in how Astrid went about things, and admired her for her tenacity.

And yet, despite the fact that she'd pushed through all of that, she'd made one mistake and then was nothing. Just a dead weight that needed to be disposed of.

Of course, Astrid would have needed to die anyway, if Isabel wanted to be the one to leave. She didn't object to the idea of killing Astrid, and Isabel wouldn't regret having to kill her later. It was the circumstances that bothered her. Astrid deserved to go out in a blaze of glory, a fitting end to a life such as hers. As it stood now, however, her entire life and everything she struggled for would just be a waste, nothing more.

It was sobering to think about how Isabel could end up the same way.

Too caught up in her own thoughts, Isabel did not move forward and answer Astrid's request for death. Instead she stayed silent, thinking.

Watching.

Waiting.
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Waiting.

Astrid waited.

She waited for the sound of footsteps that would signify her death. She waited, all senses but one going into overdrive. She could smell the too-familiar scent of copper as it continued to drip down her face, could still taste it in her mouth from before, bad enough to make her feel like vomiting. The cool metal of whatever she was pressed against was chilling her skin to the bone. And her face, oh God, her face was pure agony, like something was drilling into her skull.

But all she could hear was her own laboured breathing and punctuated cries of pain. No footsteps. No sign of the other girl. She yelled out again.

“Where are you?”

More than a minute passed and nothing happened. Why hadn’t her murderer done anything? What better opportunity would she have to put her name down on the board? They were faced with a girl without sight, without any way of defending herself, waiting to be put out of her goddamn misery. What was going on?

A possibility that shook her to the core struck Astrid. Maybe that was the point. Maybe this murderer was too much of a goddamn coward to actually finish her off, and instead was going to leave her to an even worse fate. Maybe this murderer was banking on the hopes that Astrid would just give up hope, eventually, and lie down to die. It would be very handy, causing the death of another classmate without getting the finishing blow and your name called out for the entire world to know.

Whoever this would-be murderer was, they had severely underestimated Astrid.

She wasn’t able to stand up straight, pain coursing through her body, but she groped around in the darkness with her left arm, searching for the wall, until she could feel the dusty tile against her fingertips, and she pressed her palm firmly against it. She was still for several moments. Then she moved one foot forwards. Then another, hand still firmly against the wall for support. With agonising slowness, Astrid shuffled forwards. Her foot caught on something, and she stumbled, almost pitching forwards, somehow staying on her feet. She kicked out, and she heard the object shift, but not by much. The pickaxe. That must be what it was. This weapon that had done more harm than good for her. She didn’t need it any more. She left it behind as she staggered forwards, almost falling again as she reached a corner. Her plan to kill wasn’t an option anymore, but that hardly mattered right now

Astrid had been given an opportunity and she wasn’t going to let this slip.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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It was almost sad, seeing how pathetically Astrid stumbled towards the exit of the locker room.

Isabel quietly stepped after her, curious as to what exactly Astrid was even trying to do. She had ignored her own weapon, so retaliation obviously wasn't the goal. So what then? Running away? It wasn't like Astrid could actually get anywhere in her current state. Even if she actually got away someone else would just pick her off.

Astrid tripped again as she made it to the gym proper, cursing and grunting in pain after hitting the ground. She stood up again, cursing more and limping in the general direction of the exit door, leaving a trail of blood on the ground behind her. Isabel stayed a few feet behind Astrid, still doing her best to make sense of what she was even trying to do.

Isabel stopped as the two of them got to the door and Astrid slammed her face into it, nearly falling over again, only barely grabbing the handle bar on the door and keeping herself steady. Astrid was still trying to find a way out, even blind and injuring herself more with every move she made. Determined to the end, unable to accept her fate even when it was right beside her. Isabel respected that more than she would care to admit out loud.

Still, Isabel had seen enough.

She dropped Astrid's flashlight before roughly grabbing a handful of Astrid's hair and yanking her head back. A life filled with misfortune, already over. Isabel just had to finish what she started.

Knife to neck, face to floor.

Sounds of choking and sputtering.

Silence.

Isabel sighed and sat down on one of the weightlifting benches, clutching her face, one eye covered.

Staring.
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She was going to make it.

Every step felt like it took an eternity to take, and every movement sent pure pain shooting through every inch of her body, but she was going to make it. Sweat glistened against her palms as she clutched to the wall for dear life, following it along, following it to the locker room’s exit. She had no idea how much farther she had to go, but she was going to do it. The scuffing of footsteps, the strangled breathing, and the constant splattering of blood served as her metronomes, occasionally synchronising up, before shifting back to beat their own times again.

She stumbled as she shuffled over the threshold signifying the switch from tiles to wooden floorboards, and this time, with no wall to keep her steady, she collapsed to her knees, hands slamming heavily into the floor. She swore, punched her left fist against the wood, and breathed. In, out, in, out. Then she got to her feet, the weight of her bag nearly pulling her down again. The exit to the gym proper was at a right angle to the entrance to the changing rooms. She just had to head that way. Just a straight line between here and a chance to start again. Astrid shuffled her feet, pointing herself in the right direction, and started walking again.

An eternity passed. She was lightheaded from pain and all the blood she’d lost over the past few days. She stumbled face first into the gym’s door, and swore again. She leaned wearily against it, one hand fumbling around her face to gingerly touch her nose.

None of that mattered. She had made it. She had made it to the exit.

She could hear something from outside. The chittering of birds. Just a few feet away.

She was going to open this door and she was going to find somewhere safe to rest.

She was going to stay there until she had no other choice and then she would move heaven and earth to get somewhere else.

She was going to get off this island.

She was going to live.

She was

G034, Astrid Tate - DECEASED
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Isabel sat on the bench for what felt like a century before standing back up.

Doing her best to ignore the large pool of blood on the floor and the corpse that used to be Astrid Tate, Isabel shuffled back into the locker room, picking Astrid's flashlight back up and flicking it on. After rounding the corner to where she had been sitting originally, Isabel found Lily curled up on the bench, seemingly doing her best to ignore Isabel, even with the bright light shining in her face.

Isabel set the flashlight down, disturbing the layer of dust on the ground and illuminating the room in a dim light, before sitting down and clutching her face again. She rubbed her temples with her thumbs, before lowering her hands back down, deciding to speak even though she knew it would fall on deaf ears.

"I don't feel good about what just happened there." She said, pausing for effect, the discomfort evident in her voice. "I'd be lying if I said I felt bad about it, accidents happen and this is a death game and all that other bullshit. But..."

She fell silent for a second, wondering how to phrase what she was trying to say. Wondering why she was even saying it at all. "I had a lot of respect for Astrid, back before all of this. She lost her goddamn eye when her life had barely started, and yet she pushed on through it and refused to let it get her down."

Isabel reached down into her bag and pulled out one of her water bottles, taking a sip before placing it down on the bench next to her. "I felt a lot of that same shit. My problems were with my parents rather than some sort of injury, but I felt the same regardless. Difference was that Astrid actually managed to succeed at what she did, while I barely managed to satisfy my parents even with my best effort. I admired Astrid for who she was, even if we never talked."

Isabel took another drink from her bottle, swallowing a mouthful of water with a loud gulp, her thoughts scrambled and only somewhat coherent. "So this girl that I had a lot of respect for, that worked really hard in her life to overcome her difficulties and realize that dumb fucking 'American dream' bullshit that we're all fed as kids..."

"...She just fucking dies, completely at random. No rhyme or reason to it. Could've been anyone that I had just taken out." Isabel clenched and unclenched her fists. "Hell, I could've been in her position with someone else doing that to me. Never would have seen it coming. My life would be over just because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't deserve that shit, she didn't deserve that shit."

Isabel rubbed her eyes, staring at her hands briefly before continuing. "I guess what I'm saying is... if this place has taught me one thing, it's that life's not fucking fair. I don't want to die out here, but as time goes on and more... more bullshit happens..." The pain in her left arm became more noticeable. "...I'm starting to think I might not even get the chance to go home, and then some lucky dipshit who's never tried to do anything with their life will make it through just because."

She rested her face on her hands. "All of this is just such bullshit."
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
“Shut up.”

Lily had meant to stay silent. It had worked so far. But… the sight of Astrid combined with the self-pitying garbage coming out of Isabel’s mouth… it was too much. There was only so much Lily could take of this, and now she was talking.

“She didn’t die ‘completely at random,’” Lily snapped. “She died because you are a bloodthirsty idiot who kills everyone you come across. If you’d waited one second before lashing out, she’d be alive. That’s not ‘unfair’ or ‘random,’ that’s just you. It’s not different from the rest just because you happen to respect her. And the reason someone else will win is not because they were lucky, but because you have done nothing but paint a giant, bloody target on your back. You play the game with the subtlety of a drunk, raging elephant trying to escape from a zoo.”

At this stage, honestly, the murder was just… something that happened. Oddly, what was really aggravating Lily was just how Isabel did it. She still hated Isabel for Tina, but… god, couldn’t she have the decency to be a smart enemy instead of this lumbering moron?

And then Lily realised that she’d told Isabel off. Outloud. To her face.

“...Ohh,” Lily breathed out, going pale.

She was so dead. And apparently just as dumb as Isabel if she was going to mouth off like that.

Lily shifted a little further away from Isabel. She hoped, should push come to shove, there was a decent fragment of mirror left in that sink, because it was all she’d have.
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