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End of the Line; Dead girl walkin' (Private)
Topic Started: Feb 6 2017, 03:10 PM (739 Views)
VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((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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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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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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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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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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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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Isabel gritted her teeth and stared at Lily with a look of malice.

How dare she say these things? Does she not have any understanding of the proper strategy in this game? Astrid could have been anyone, and more importantly she could have been someone dangerous. Had Isabel not attacked when she had the chance, the both of them could have been bloody smears on the ground. It was unfair to Astrid that she happened to be the victim of Isabel's perfectly logical decision.

And yet Lily went on and on, acting as if Isabel had done nothing but make the situation worse. She was doing what she needed to in order to survive. Did Lily not understand who had the power in this partnership of theirs?

Just as Isabel was about to raise her arm and shut Lily up herself, Lily stopped talking. A smirk formed on Isabel's lips as she saw the look of pure fear on Lily's face. She did understand who had the power. And hey, maybe forgiving someone who had just mouthed off to her would make her look more mature and reasonable to the people watching at home.

Isabel scooted closer to Lily and wrapped her arm around Lily's shoulders, smiling wider as she heard a small squeal of fear come out of her.

"Look, I'm not about to say that what you just said was nice, but..." She paused briefly, enjoying milking Lily's fear of her to full effect. "I guess I can let it slide. You probably don't even understand my decision making process!" She said, her tone blatantly sardonic. "So let me clear some things up for you..."

"For one, I don't kill everyone I come across. You're living proof of that." She said, gently waving the knife in the air. "For two, if I had waited, whoever the interloper was could have killed us both! Sure Astrid probably wasn't a threat in hindsight... but that's 20/20."

She paused briefly again, letting her words and the motions of the knife sink in. "For three, my killing has done wonders when it comes to making people afraid of me. And for the people that legitimately tried to hurt me because of my actions... well, one of them is my friend now..." Isabel nudged the side of Lily's head with her arm. "...and the other is dead."

"Finally, do you really think I don't carefully weigh all of my actions? Prepare for potential consequences? Let's go down the list, shall we?" Isabel smiled a toothy grin, before continuing. "Astrid was an accident, I only attacked her because she could have been a threat, like I've already said. Asha attacked me, and I killed her in self defense. Otherwise, she would have continued living just fine."

Isabel made little slicing motions in the air with the knife in front of Lily's face. "Sickle boy was an easy kill, what with him sitting on the edge of a building. He might have become a threat later, why leave things to chance?" Isabel nudged Lily again, more forcefully this time. "Danny was another case of self defense. He tried to take my weapons, so I killed him." Isabel placed a finger on her bottom lip, making a sarcastic thoughtful pose. "As for Conrad, his death was simple pragmatism. He was dead weight when I found him, and a liability had I let him follow me around."

Isabel quietly ignored the other parts of Conrad's death, instead just moving on as she absentmindedly examined her nails. "And well, that just leaves Tina. I guess I can say that she didn't really deserve it in hindsight, but at the time I was worried about getting the one kill I needed to leave. An opportunity presented itself, plain and simple. Oh, and at the very least she was a bit of competition that I wouldn't have to deal with later."

She leaned in further to Lily, gently making head to head contact, her arm holding Lily in place so she couldn't squirm away. "Does that clear up any misconceptions you had, sugar lumps?"

Isabel twirled the knife once in her hand. "Or do I need to explain further..."
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"I'm glad we've reached an understanding."

Isabel let go of Lily, taking a moment afterwards to clean the knife of Astrid's blood with her increasingly blood soaked sweater before sighing and leaning her back against the wall. Killing yet another person and then accosting her "friend" had left her feeling drained. She could have really used a moment to legitimately relax, but knowing the lemmings that were somehow considered her competition, they would all come running one by one until the massive pile of bodies lying out front actually got the message across to them.

She looked back over at Lily, who seemed to have retreated even further into herself. Unsurprising, but still annoying, because Isabel was still bored. She wished she had a book to read, or perhaps a Sudoku puzzle to fill out. She could probably make a puzzle of her own if she had some pen and paper, but even something as basic as that was hard to come by in this place. Lily obviously wasn't going to talk in her current state, so trying to generate conversation was out.

All she had was her thoughts, for right now.

----

Some amount of time had passed, Isabel didn't know how much time exactly, but it had felt like an hour or two.

She looked over at Lily, still balled up, although this time lying on her side. Isabel knew that talking to her would be futile, but she decided to speak anyway. "So... I don't know about you, but I'm still pretty damn bored. Wanna talk about... shoes or something? Anything at this point, really."

...

She wasn't up for it. Figures that she would only give a bare bones response.

"Well, guess I can't say I'm surprised." Isabel paused for a moment, blowing a lock of her hair out of her face. "You know..." She began, the gears in her head spinning. "I've been wondering. Why exactly did you want to kill me so badly anyway?"

"Don't think I've forgotten about that..." She said, while twirling the knife. "You seem like a good kid. I must have done something that really hurt you to make you want to kill me even in spite of that." She looked at Lily, examining her movements intently. "It's hard to trust you if you won't even give me a chance to make amends for whatever happened."

Isabel tapped her finger against the bench. "Well, go on. Speak up."
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"Oho! I guess we're not so different after all, huh?"

Isabel could tell easily that Lily was lying, or at the very least that she wasn't telling the whole truth. If she only wanted to kill her because she viewed her as a threat, then why would she still be holding so much animosity towards her? Certainly once Isabel had demonstrated that she wasn't a threat, Lily wouldn't have felt the need to be cold and distant. There was something else going on with LIly, but Isabel decided against pressing the issue, at least for a while. Still, Isabel could take the opportunity to twist the metaphorical knife a bit. Lily wasn't about to get away with her insults.

"Although if that's the case, I'm not sure how you could possibly take the moral high ground off of that." Isabel wiggled her fingers in front of her own face. "Murder is murder after all, even if you're killing someone who quote, deserves it, unquote."

Isabel suddenly hissed as pain flared up from where the bolt had embedded itself in her arm the day before. The exertion of killing Astrid had presumably torn open a few blood vessels, as her blood was starting to soak through the bandages. Ignoring Lily for the moment, Isabel ripped open her bag and quickly cut away the bandages from around her arm, wrapping it back up more snugly with fresh bandages and taking a few ibuprofen pills for good measure.

Downing a bit of the dry, tasteless food that she had available to her along with some water, Isabel turned her head back to Lily to see that she was silent, and covering her face. Not in the mood to respond, obviously. For once Isabel was alright with that, it let her get the last laugh in knocking Lily down a few pegs.

She leaned her head back against the wall once she was done, staring at the ceiling as light scattered off of the dust particles floating in front of the flashlight.

...

After some time had passed, Isabel decided that she was done with being bored, even if it was safer to stay where they were.

She grunted as she picked her bag off from the ground and slung it over her shoulder, taking hold of her weapons once again and slipping her knife into her pocket. Turning to Lily, Isabel told her that they were leaving before flicking off Astrid's flashlight and walking out of the locker rooms. She stood, carefully keeping her gaze facing away from Astrid's corpse splayed out on the ground, waiting just outside for Lily to move herself. She didn't want to think about how that corpse could easily be herself in the future.

Once Lily actually came out looking as tired and fed up as ever, they left the gym for somewhere else.

((Isabel Ramirez continued in The Virgin Sea))
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