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The Virgin Sea; -private for now-
Topic Started: Feb 20 2017, 01:52 PM (676 Views)
Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
[Lizzie Luz concluding from Drip]

This was a bad idea.

She knew it. Of course she knew it. Tyler had pointed out as much, in his own oblique way. But now Tyler was a mess of a man barely keeping himself in order, and terse Keith was terser still, and there was no sign of Nancy Kyle or anyone else, just these fellow madmen on their strange mad quest and...

And Lizzie had to pee.

She'd excused herself with a minimum of fuss, heading out past the stairwell, out past the creepy-ass murder bathrooms. She squatted down outside--hardly the first time she'd had to do so, in the middle of a long hike. She looked away at that big big ocean, that impossible infinity of water where there were other stories and other people somewhere far far away, and...

And she had seen them moving along the coast. Two women. One she vaguely recognized. One she definitely recognized. Lily.

She followed without thinking, with just the slightest twinge of doubt and regret. But that was her cousin, and they'd already lost so many people, Tina and Sabrina and Lettie, and it was Tyler she was thinking of, Tyler and Harold reaffirming their friendship in the murderous dark, Tyler grieving for the love he'd lost, and Lizzie hadn't ever really been in love with anyone, nothing besides a few fun nights of fleeting impulse, but that was her cousin and she didn't want to lose anyone else and

And they were on the beach before she recognized the woman Lily was with. Connected face to name. Connected name to Announcement.

It wasn't fear that filled her then. It was rage, and something like curiosity. With the surf rolling in and the sea breeze against her and Isabel Ramirez in front of her, Isabel Ramirez who'd killed Tina. too, Isabel Ramirez standing next to Lily and the two of them looking at ease, almost friendly.

"How could you!" she shouted, because in that moment there was more anger than fear.
Edited by Grim Wolf, Feb 21 2017, 11:51 PM.
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Her question had been hurled at both of them, and both women turned to face her. Lizzie felt her heart beating oh-so-quick against her ribcage, her fingers curling and uncurling. She was in mortal danger, her life could end at any moment, and she had chosen this, after all her running from the fights and feuds of her family she had rushed into this and for what?

This wasn't Nancy Kyle, who'd become the looming shadow over all of Lizzie's thoughts. In some ways this was worse. Isabel had killed Tina. Isabel had killed...why the hell was Lily here? "How could you?" she'd asked, less because of Isabel and more because she didn't understand what Lily could possibly be doing with Tina's killer.

Lily and Isabel separated a little. Lily was mouthing something, but as Lizzie tried to make sense of it, Isabel started talking.

"How could I what? Kill Tina? She was there, I didn't like her, I needed a kill, I killed her. Plain and simple."

All her fear and confusion left her in one great heave. The rage returned: the rage that had made her want to pry the eyes from Nancy's god damn head.

And Isabel. Kept. Talking.

"I really don't feel like getting my hands dirty again today. Back the fuck up and leave me the hell alone, and maybe you'll get to keep the blood inside your body for a few more days. Capiche?"

"Can you...can you fucking hear yourself?" Lizzie asked, ignoring Lily for the moment, staring in disbelief at the small, psychotic, belligerently stupid woman who'd killed so many. "Do you understand who fucking stupid you sound? 'Maybe you'll get to keep the blood inside your body for a few more days'." She raised her voice to a mocking falsetto that had frequently driven her siblings to violence as she imiitated Isabel. "How does a person get so stupid, Ramirez? Tell me, because I don't get how you can be so fucking dumb and not have drowned on your own spit sometime in the last few minutes. But you're not even the worst of it, are you!" Her voice was going faster and faster, in unconscious imitation of David Tennant's rapid-fire Doctor. "No, because stupid's excusable! No cure for stupid except death. But Lily!" She turned her glare on her cousin. "You can't be that dumb. You can't. If you were that stupid our entire family would have to be retarded because that kind of stupid you've got to be born with, right?"

Her eyes flicked back to Isabel, blazing with indignant disgust. "How can you fucking stand there?" she demanded, and the question was really mean for both of them. "How can you fucking justify yourself! What is the fucking point of either of you?"

The curiosity returned, as painfully acute as her anger. The question she'd needed to answer since she'd heard Nancy's name on the Announcements. How could anyone be a killer?
Edited by Grim Wolf, Feb 22 2017, 12:30 AM.
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Grim Wolf
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Lizzie tensed.

There was Isabel, creeping closer, a murderous leer on her face, her weapons handy. Idiot, Lizzie. Getting this close to a killer, and for what? For answers you don't need?

Except she did need them, didn't she? She needed to know why Lettie, and Tina, and Sabrina, and Harold, and Ty's girlfriend, and...and everyone had...it didn't make sense. It didn't make sense. No part of it made sense, and she felt so wrong-footed, like she had since she'd heard those first Announcements, a litany of the dead and a litany of their killers and for what?

"Don't you dare," she hissed, even as she backed away. "Don't you...you're not doing it for us. You're doing it for you. What makes you so special? Why do you deserve to live any more than..."

She trailed off as Lily stepped forwards, with her quiet plea, her quiet gesture. Lily cared. It really looked like Lily cared. So why...

"She killed Tina, Lil," Lizzie whispered, staring at her cousin. "She...and you..."

Nothing made sense. The world was wrong.

She shifted backwards, considering what a mistake this had been. She didn't see the rock half-buried in the sand behind her. It caught her heel: she fell.
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
And Lily was protesting, and what did any of that matter because Isabel was moving towards her, and Lizzie moved away and

Tripped. Fell.

An accident. Was that all it took? One miserable accident, and everything goes wrong? Lizzie's faster than Isabel on a good day: now, covered in bandages, what are the chances that Isabel can catch her? Getting this close was absolutely a mistake, but she can fix it. She can...

Tripped. Fell. Empires are lost on smaller things. Whole worlds fallen, because of the wrong words in the wrong ears

doesn't she look a little tired

She tripped. She fell. Isabel was already upon her as she scrabbled to her feet (so close and so fast and Lily had done nothing to help her what was this nightmare world into which she'd willingly walked how-)

She felt the sword first as a cold pressure against her bowels. It didn't even hurt: it was just this overwhelming, heavy feeling in her stomach.

Fucking fun.

She lay there in a daze. She tried to rise, and a wave of weakness washed out from her stomach. A moment later, and Isabel's foot slammed down from the dark height, right on the wound. That she felt, spikes of fire racing up and down into her chest and down into her thighs. She squealed in pain until she ran out of breath, and then gasped for air.

Fun. That was it. Fun? No, more than that, right? She deserved it? She deserved to do this to people, over and over again? How many was it now? She knew Tina, for sure: she hadn't really been listening to the others.

And wasn't that a fat stack of dickery right there. Only the ones who matter to you, you selfish woman.

Fucking Christ this hurts.

She was still panting with the pain, her thoughts drifting far away, except Isabel was talking and now Lily was standing above her, Lily holding a sickle, Lily standing by this killer, this murderer, and even if Lizzie was a selfish bitch it was their family she'd murdered so why the hell was Lily standing there and-

She raised the scythe.

"Assholes," grunted Lizzie, tears in her eyes and coals in her belly. "Ass...you don't...deserve...

The scythe swung, and buried itself in her shoulder. And Lizzie bucked against the pain, and that stirred the embers in her guts, and her scream, high and bright, tore up across the island and across the waves.
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The blade pried away, tearing a ragged line of pain against his shoulder. Lizzie's gasp crescendoed into another shriek as Isabel's foot ground into the wound again. She could feel the sodden blood-soaked weight of the shirt pressing against her sides. She was aware of everying: the tumorous emptiness of the wound in her should, the terrible waning pressure of the wound in her belly and the fissures of fire radiating out from where Isabel had hurt her, the way sweat and surf were making her hair stick to her forehead, how hard it was to breathe, how much her legs ached. She was lost in her body, lost in the flood of sensations, pain and weakness and exhaustion.

Until Isabel turned to run, grabbing at Lily's hand.

The foot hurt. Seeing her cousin hand-in-hand with that monster...that was worse.

She was wrong. She was so, so wrong. So, so stupid. She hadn't imagined...she hadn't believed...even when she'd fantasized about having Nancy's throat between her hands, she had wanted there to be a reason. She had wanted to know why.

And the answer was this: there were monsters in the world, and no amount of cleverness or bravery could make them stop. Monsters had to be killed, before they killed you.

She pressed her hands against her bloody stomach wound (even as her shoulder screamed in bloody protest against being moved). Tears filled her eyes, and she started sobbing.
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Grim Wolf
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Footsteps in the sand. Someone coming closer. Wrong way for Isabel. Who? Tyler and Keith? God I hope it's Tyler and Keith.

It wasn't. It was...uh...Reagan? That couldn't be right, Reagan was a president. But there were Washingtons and Harrisons and...it could be Reagan, right? But what was the first name? What was...

She was still sobbing as the thoughts battered back and forth across her weary skull. God, it shouldn't have ended this fast. One swift fall. One swift blow. And Lily...

Oh, God, but it hurt to be alive.

Reagan dropped to her knees and began to treat her wound. She asked if Lizzie was okay.

And Lizzie laughed, and immediately sobbed, because laughing made her abs move and moving her abs she felt in her belly wound and another wave of hot exhaustion swept over her, and Reagan pressed her hands against the wound and offered her a bloody ibuprofen model and Lizzie took it gratefully, swallowing down a handful of the pills and sinking back against the sand.

"Okay," she repeated, after she'd quieted and Reagan had started some attempt at a dressing, as though it mattered. Lizzie suddenly understood why animals crawled off to die by themselves: because they knew it was coming. They could feel it, just like she could feel it.

Dying. After all of this, dying.

"Not..." she said. "So...I was so..." Tears in her eyes again, shame rather than pain. So fucking stupid.

"How can people like her..." Lizzie closed her eyes. "How can they be...real."

Isabel. Nancy. Alex. And Lily, too.

It was an effort to raise her hand, but she did it. She grasped at Reagan. "Thank you," she mumbled. "Thank you so..." Tears in her eyes again. She'd been so in pain and so afraid, dying alone and in agony while a merciless killer and her cowardly cousin looked on and carved her up. But now...now there was someone else here. Someone helping her.

There was so much more pain in the world than she'd known. So much more kindness, too. And so much more love, if Tyler Yazzie was any indication. So much...

So much she'd never get to see.

She started crying again, a little softer this time. She didn't want to die.
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

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Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Grim Wolf
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"Who where they? she asked.

Lizzie fought to get her crying under control, but found she couldn't. She couldn't even take deep breaths: every time she did, she cut herself off in a short gasp as a new, fresh pain tore its way out from her guts.

"Lily," she grunted. "And...Isabel, but...but...!"

Crying again, harder, and trying to fight it because it just hurt worse and Reagan's hand was clasping hers and she squeezed as tight as she could and that didn't feel very tight at all.

"How could she," she mumbled.

And Reagan was whispering soothing nothings Lizzie almost didn't understand, and she hurt so much and she felt so weak and the world was fading into the dark

after you wake up

That sounded nice. Sleep sounded nice.

after you wake up

but there's not...gonna be an...af...ter...

She shook her head. "N..." she started, a low, climbing wheeze. "N...not..."

Not like this. She didn't want to die like this, falling asleep besides the beach. And why not, Lizzie? What's it matter now?

She could hear the ocean, the surf sweeping back and forth. Somewhere out there was the world she'd never get to see.

Her grip tigthtened still harder on Reagan's hand. Her eyes fluttered open, and she found to her horror that she could barely see Reagan's face. Everything was dark.

"Help..." She said. "Help me...up. I wanna..." Trailed off, fought for breath, fought against pain and weakness. "If I'm gonna...I wanna...out there." She jerked her head towards the sound of the sea, wincing at the echoes of dim and distant pain it stirred across her stomach and shoulder.
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

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Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It was hard to stand, harder than she'd ever imagined it could be. Everything hurt, everything ached, everything felt weak and wrong, like she was dehydrated and sunburnt after a long hike in the baking Arizona sun except it was her very bones that felt sunburnt and she had no convenient comparison for the aching hole in the pit of her stomach, carved into her by a woman who'd claimed it was fun.

Standing was hard. Walking was harder. But Reagan propped her up, kept her from tumbling to the sand. Lily leaned heavily on the other woman. "I won't let go until..."

Until, right. Until. Big things beyond that until. Until. After. Unless there was no after. Unless it was 'until oblivion.'

She didn't want to stop thinking. She didn't want to stop living. Even now, with these coals burning in her belly, she didn't...

The ocean washed against her feet, a shock of bright cold against her darkening thoughts. She welcomed the sudden clarity, even as she stumbled, but Colleen kept her upright. They waded deeper, and it cost her everything to keep moving. She couldn't think. She couldn't...

Deeper, and they hesitated for a moment, both afraid of what the sea might do to her wound. But the ocean took that choice from them: an unexpected wave caught them, and salt stang at her wound, and she gave a low, guttural moan as the pain rose through her, reached into every part of her, but with that wave suddenly she felt lighter, and it was a little easier now. She sank into the water, and waved off Reagan's attempts to help her with her good arm.

"It's okay," she gasped. "It's okay."

She was awake. She was dying. But she felt so much more alive now. So much clearer.

"Tyler Yazzie," Lizzie said. "And Keith...uh..." Shit, she couldn't remember his last name. Christ, how had she gotten here? Talking to a known killer, because she had to know. Torn apart. Dying. Nothing learned. Nothing gained. Except now she knew there were true monsters in the world. The kind that had to be killed.

Thoughts drifting away. Focus. Reagan's face was a lot clearer now. She tried and failed to smile, as the water rubbed her wounds.

"If you see'em," she said. "Tell'em...tell'em I'm sorry. Tell'em...I wanted to see'em before..."

Before the end. Before...

"And that these people, they don't..." She didn't know what word she was looking for. "People like Isabel," Lizzie said. "They're monsters that need to be..."

Another wave knocked her backwards, and now she was floating, and that felt so much better, even her wound hurt less. Reagan moved to help her, and Lizzie shook her head.

"S'okay," she said. "It's...really. It's..." She managed to smile this time. "This is how I...I want to be here, until..."

Until.

"Thank you," she said, and found she was crying again, tears mingling with the ocean that was taking her blood out into the tide.

Sometime later--she didn't know how much time had past, as she floated and half-heartedly tried to move farther out towards the sea--Reagan was gone, and Lizzie was alone. More alone than she'd ever been in her life. No family nearby. No friends. A wound in her belly, from the woman who'd killed Tina. Another in her shoulder, from Lily. How had she...how...

There was so much out there! People she hadn't kissed, people she hadn't met, family she'd never really talked to, friends she'd never make! Lakes she'd never swim in, forests she'd never walk through, fields of golden grass she'd never daze and doze in. Whole Doctors whose faces she'd never know! And maybe there was something big around the bend, maybe there was heaven or hell or reincarnation, but fuck that noise. She wanted to be here. She wanted to be alive.

She was crying. Had she ever stopped? Here, in this infinite ocean, blood and tears tethering her to that infinity, that big big universe so close and so far away, but that was stupid, that was meaningless, because it was just so much fluid and soon she would be dead.

There hadn't been any answers. There hadn't been anything. She'd never found Nancy. She'd never said goodbye to Lettie. She'd never said goodbye to Tyler or Keith. she'd never...

She wanted her chance. She deserved her chance. Her story wasn't over. She'd wanted to go everywhere. She'd wanted to...she still wanted to...

Floating in the sea, crying, and her wound didn't hurt anymore, and it was strangely hard to see. And Tyler Yazzie was grieving somewhere behind her, and Keith would be looking forlornly out and thinking of the things he'd wanted to achieve, and Lily would wander with that murderous monster until she was killed in turn and Lizzie was gonna die here, all alone.

She'd wanted so badly to feel like she was a part of something. She'd wanted so badly to find the answer. She'd wanted so badly to find that laughing lunacy that had propelled her for the first day, when she'd felt exhilarated by what was in front of her, exhilarated by the tightrope swing.

But the tightrope had snapped, and she was falling, and...and...

She'd lied to Reagan. It wasn't okay. This wasn't how she wanted to die, because...

I don't want to go.

G024 LIZZIE LUZ: ELIMINATED
Edited by Grim Wolf, Feb 28 2017, 04:45 PM.
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