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Cast in the Name of God; Was day 6, then day 7, holy hell it's morning of day 8
Topic Started: Mar 23 2017, 08:46 PM (1,660 Views)
MK Kilmarnock
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She had no idea whose blood was on the couch.

((Coleen Reagan, continued from With Blood and Rage of Crimson Red))

Once upon a time, the room had probably looked nice. That was the story of this entire island, probably (as well as everybody stuck on it). Apart from the ruined couch, there were also several chairs arranged around an upended table, one of the legs missing. Holes perforated the plaster and paper of the walls, signalling either a firefight of kind involving an unknown number of people, or a really poor interior decorator who just couldn't decide where to hang the paintings.

She smiled a little at her own joke. She needed it. She needed a touch of laughter after the very worst day of her life. It all began with the discovery of Cameron's body, a foregone conclusion that came with some closure as well as a healthy dosage of shock and pain. Arthur's death followed, pursued by a nauseating hatred for Alessio. She had to comfort a dying Lizzie and watch her introduce the end of her life to the waves, then had to break down her companions when they came to check.

But the day didn't have the courtesy to end there, never to hurt her again, for the night was a sleepless one of wandering and avoidance, never daring to turn on her flashlight to avoid bringing attention to herself but being distrustful of the dark and what it could hide. Sleeping in the open was asking for death, a waste of everything she had done so far. Having to be strong for Lizzie, for Ty, that stuff sapped nearly every last ounce of strength she had left. Coleen didn't want to be strong for anybody else anymore. She desperately wanting to curl up in a dark hole... pretending she was on that dusty old woolen couch in Cameron's basement, screaming her frustrations of the day into a musty pillow that reeked of mothballs while BB droned on about why they should all listen to some weird bassist duo from Antarctica for inspiration.

But all the same, she wanted to live afterward. Unfortunately, there was one final cruelty from the day long dead, one that played out just a few hours prior when she was skulking around the building's perimeter.

"Arthur Bernstein met with some foul luck when he ended up being shot by Coleen Reagan. His own ally."

No.

"Arthur Bernstein met with some foul luck when he ended up being shot by Coleen Reagan. His own ally."

That isn't what happened. That wasn't what happened. She replayed the sentence in her head a few times to confirm that they were the proper words in the proper order to create a proper sentence, that somebody's name just sounded like hers, that the terrorist on the other side of the speaker wasn't tragically mispronouncing 'Alessio Rigano'.

She did it. They were trying to say she killed him.

"LIARS!" She remembered screaming, her throat cracking in the same instant and popping in a loud squeal. She didn't care who had heard her, who saw her hysterically kicking the exterior wall of the asylum. In that moment, anybody who approached her would have been liable to get an earful as she force-fed them her heart. But nobody approached, and there was nothing but the sun afterwards to base time off of. She would never be sure when she pulled herself from the grass after throwing herself onto it, cursing at anybody she could think of and any faceless being behind her personal hell but once she was done telling them all to go fuck themselves, the sun had warmed the island considerably.

She was tired.

Coleen found herself pulled back to the asylum as if magnetically drawn to it but in truth, where else could she go? Seclusion wasn't what she was looking for; she knew there would be plenty of kids near or inside the asylum. When she was outside for too long, though, she wanted to have the closure of the walls knowing that if she stayed within them for too long, she might feel trapped and seek the outdoors once more. It came off as an abusive relationship to her, between her and the creaky, dark old building. It always wanted her back and she would always come back to it, no matter how unkind it would eventually be.

This room, torn apart as it was, would have to do. It was still the best this place had to offer.

She clutched the spear and sprawled on the couch, ignoring the bloodstain. It was dry by now. If it wasn't and some got on her dress, that wouldn't matter either.

Everybody already thought she was a killer.
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"Welcome to yet another wonderful day. Congratulations to everyone listening on getting through..."

The shrill, creaking call of the morning announcements snapped Coleen from the first real bit of sleep she'd been able to grab ever since Arthur had died. If it weren't for the dreadful familiarity of the voice as the telltale proof of the time of day, she might never have believed it was morning; the asylum had the same dreadful, gloomy atmosphere that it always had and even being in the most cheerful-looking room Coleen had managed to find couldn't change that. Even less light had managed to find her in her napping spot underneath the gaudy yet surprisingly comfortable sofa.

It took just a few moments for her to fully wake up, which was thankfully the same amount of time allotted between the false friendliness of the disembodied voice's introduction and the actual 'meat' of the announcements. As it had five times before, the voices of her classmates were nonchalantly mentioned around horrific events such as shootings, stabbings, suicides, and other unpleasant things Coleen didn't have to imagine, since she felt like she had seen it all between the likes of Bradley, Mitch, and Arthur.

She found herself paying closer attention near the middle of the announcements, when the man began to speak disgustingly fondly of a big event that went down between several people in which several of them died. It was at that moment that Coleen remembered the quiet events of the previous day being broken apart by those sounds coming through the walls. Screams, gunshots, a general ruckus with multiple people shouting at each other. Maybe it was just a trick played on her by the building, but it sounded practically next door, and it sounded like something she wanted absolutely no part of. Even when the sounds of violence ceased and the screams faded away, she stayed hidden with her rifle tucked before her, praying nobody forced her hand by coming in.

Nobody did.

She was alive to see another day. Coleen supposed she was thankful, in some bittersweet sense, at the 'gift' of extended time to live her life. To go back on wanting that, she reminded herself, would be a slap in the face of everybody she had met and who could no longer be here to watch her struggle. She had to keep going. Step one in that glorious plan involved coming out from this couch... the top of it may have been comfy in spite of the bloodstains, but the underside had somehow managed to be both dusty and reeking of mildew. Coleen took a risk in pushing the AK out in front of her first, only releasing for a moment to dig her elbows into the floor. After a single pull the gun was back in her grip, and she continued pulling until her waist, then her legs, then finally her feet were out from under the furniture.

She rose to her feet just a minute or so after the announcement ended. It looked like this place wasn't designated as one of those 'danger zones' the terrorists kept talking about. Thanking her luck, the girl stepped backwards with her eye on the door, taking a seat.

"One more day," Coleen muttered to herself. "We can do this. One at a time."
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Coleen looked up with a start. When had she begun to lose focus?

"Uh, Coleen Reagan." She emboldened her voice as she called to the other that had identified itself as belonging to Fiyori. She wasn't super close to the girl, but they were in the same class, so one was bound to run into the other. She was a face and a name, and little more than that. "You may have heard of me from such exciting things as 'yesterday morning's announcements' or local Kingman rock sensation 'Peyote Coyote'", she said, tucking her knees up with her on the couch.

"So, um, how can I help you today?"
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When the door cracked open and Fiyori asked to enter, Coleen pulled her feet up the rest of the way on the couch. Even with her sneakers on, her feet managed to feel cold. She was cold all over, hungry, a little thirsty, and her face hurt from having forgotten to apply moisturizer to it over the last day or so... if she even had any of it left in her bag, that was. All around, she had become quite miserable, while trying not to let it affect how she interacted with people. There had been plenty of time to refuel the social interactions 'gas tank', so it was time to tuck her innermost thoughts and feelings away in order to deal with others.

It was nice while it lasted.

"Sure, but leave guns put away if you've got them," Coleen said after a moment's pause. "Sorry, but I got this far by being careful. I need to keep being careful, or everything that's happened so far just becomes a waste." She wanted to mention Arthur specifically, but it just didn't seem right when she was partially responsible for him no longer being alive. She supposed it might have be punishment enough simply to no longer have somebody who she actually trusted around in order to watch over her while she did things previously taken for granted, such as napping or... hell, not having to look around her on full-alert every waking moment of her life. He could help do that for her.

Nobody left she could trust. They were either dead or not here, and she prayed that as many of them as possible were in that latter category. Fiyori fit into none of them. "Since you're probably curious, yes, I'm armed." She afforded the quickest of glances to the AK-47 in her arms while the spear laid on the couch beside her. Mild understatement, that. "But I can put the gun away. Trust, and all that."

Trust she didn't really have, but if Fiyori was taken off edge, it would take Coleen off edge. Maybe they'd get through today without anybody being brutally murdered.
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Coleen noted Fiyori. She noticed the sickle, and the fact that Fiyori was kind enough to point it out. Lock picks didn't seem like they'd have much use; Coleen couldn't remember coming across any locked door that she found herself wanting to open. She offered a slight, yet still kind smile, and pulled her bag open to start stuffing the AK-47 inside even if Fiyori said she could keep it out. If things got sticky, the spear should have been more than enough to handle it.

"It's not a problem," Coleen said, haphazardly closing the bag and pulling it to the bit of floor in front of her, also reaching for the spear so that could be tucked onto her lap in the gun's stead. "Plenty of chairs. I can't recommend the couch, since it's covered in somebody's blood," she said with the best grin she could manage.

She wanted to add 'and because it's just a little bit too close to me', but there was no reason not to keep the atmosphere friendly.

"Saw you looking at the wall," Coleen said, trying to drum up some conversation. "I don't know how it got there either, but it was before all hell broke loose over there. If the sickle was... that means you were over there, right? I don't remember all the names I've heard."
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"But you don't have the gun anymore?" Coleen asked, maybe just a tad bit more suspicious than she wanted.

"Sorry, just that you had it and now you don't. Did somebody take it from you?" she asked. "I guess I'm asking because I want to know who I should be looking out for. But I guess I know who isn't making that list anymore," she said to herself, eyeing the sickle on the belt again before bringing her eyes up to Fiyori's face.

It might have been her old paranoia flaring up again, but it almost felt like Fiyori had a hard time keeping eye contact. Before this week, before the events down the hall at the storage closet, maybe it would have made Coleen feel a bit self conscious. Now, the hair wasn't coming back in front of her face, though a small part of herself greatly desired to have it do so again. It was mercifully, again, a small part.

"Your face looks all cut up," Coleen said after a moment. "Sorry, I mean, if that seems rude. I should be the last person to talk about how their face looks." She let herself laugh at that one. "But at least you took care of them. If you need to go ahead and change the bandages, here's a good place."
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"Alba..." Coleen's eyes dropped.

"I wonder if Alba's still with Brendan after what he did to Bern." She chewed on her lower lib absent-mindedly, thinking back to the day at the cliffs. That had been the start to everything going from bad to worse, culminating in what she still remembered strongly as the worst day of her life. Not that today was shaping up to be much better, but nobody had died in front of her. Yet.

"Anyway. Um." Coleen pushed her feet out from under her and half-laid on her side, still clutching the spear.

"Guess I've run out of things to talk about for now."
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"He got angry and shoved her down, and she hit her head on a rock," Coleen responded. "Maybe he didn't mean to kill her, but she died because of it." She turned and looked at Fiyori's face, trying to read the girl. Was she angry at her, thinking that maybe she was lying? Or, in a better case scenario, was she merely astounded, surprised, maybe disappointed at learning somebody she thought she knew wasn't who she thought he was?

"I didn't see him again after that. Why, what did he or Alba tell you?"
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How did she know?

"I watched it happen," Coleen murmured. "We were at the cliffs... Arthur, Bern and I. I had just heard about Cameron and..."

Her knees were at her chest know. She took attention off of Fiyori as she slowly lost herself in her story and in the conjured memory of the events of the past few days. The shaft of the spear ran between her legs and up her body at a slant, the tip of the spear sitting past her right ear. She hugged the weapon as her only support.

"Bern was with me until Brendan showed up. She got angry about him having killed..." Coleen narrowed her eyes and struggled to think, not wishing to show disrespect to one of her dead classmates, but a name wasn't coming to mind. "Brendan killed somebody and Bern was mad at him. She yelled at him, he got frustrated... my gun used to be hers," she added at the end. "I sorta remember screaming at him, threatening him with it. He backed off, and Alba went with him."

Her jaw clenched.

"So, I don't know. If he really wants to explain to people that it was an accident, he should try talking about it to Ty, like I had to." Coleen's voice darkened with flecks of bitterness that tasted of the boy's sorrow and agony that day on the beach.
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"Fiyori?"

Coleen didn't think she had been pushing quite so hard, but now the other girl was acting unsettled. No, unsettled wasn't... unsettled wasn't nearly strong enough a word to describe exactly what was going on here. Coleen's attention fully turned to the girl with the scuffed-up and bandaged face that looked to be sweating bullets. It took a few seconds to realize that it wasn't just sweat lining Fiyori's forehead, but tears streaming down both cheeks.

It was then that Coleen realized just how deeply mired in a lie Fiyori had been, and it appeared that she had become unstuck from it. But now, her actions were deeply troubling. The yanking and tugging at the collar served to remind Coleen of her own neck adornment. The pressure against her throat that she was suddenly aware of once again distracted her, but she moved past it to focus what was important and sat up straight with feet firmly against the floor.

"What are you doing?" Coleen asked, alarm raising in her voice. "Are you trying- hey, stop! Fiyori, stop that!"
She let the spear clatter to the floor between them as she reached forward to snatch at Fiyori's wrists.
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It didn't seem quite so safe to let go of her wrists. That's what Coleen was thinking to herself as she listened to Fiyori ramble. At least she had let go of her collar at the end of it, but the girl she held fast was still something of a wreck.

"Yeah," Coleen agreed in a soft tone. "I get it. It's bullshit. All of this is bullshit. None of us asked for this." Her fingers relaxed some. Breathing became steady and practiced, kept to a simple and inaudible level. Oftentimes the first step in calming somebody is staying calm yourself -- a lesson learned in abundance from caring for rowdy younger siblings who tended to earn themselves scary but ultimately superficial injuries, like falling off a bike and skinning up a knee.

"When you keep thinking about it like that, trying to make sense of it, that's when it hurts you. None of this makes sense, and it was never supposed to." Coleen's lips closed and, behind them, her tongue pressed against the back of her teeth, running to and fro and acting like the pendulum that was supposed to keep her brain going, hoping to piece together another sentence that might help. "Nobody can blame anybody else for wanting to stay alive. Simple as that."

She tilted her head, a tic designed to throw hair out of her eyes where there was none left to throw.

"I'm going to let go of your hands now, okay?"

Coleen released all the pressure in her fingers, all but letting go and leaving Fiyori free to pull her hands away.
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"Ty?"

Coleen frowned and sat back. "He's fine, I guess." Physically he was completely healthy, so it wasn't a lie. "He wasn't in a very good place when we spoke. I told him where Bernadette's body was, and never saw him again after that." There wasn't much more to say about Ty Yazzie, though Coleen had a few other thoughts reserved her way... for instance, she wondered if he had made much work towards finding Brendan.

She leaned back and let a half-smirk sit on her face as she thought to rewind the conversation to a minute ago. "And don't worry about making a scene. I don't mind you not making eye contact, either. It's hard to look at a face like this anyway, most people find." Coleen forced a giggle.
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"Ha..."

Coleen rose up and stepped around to the side of the couch, leaving her daypack where it was. Her legs had felt a little locked up from all the hiding and the sitting, and while she had been holed up in this place for what might have amounted to a full day by this point, her legs had cried out in pain and atrophy. The assault rifle was still in her bag, but she afforded Fiyori a small amount of leeway in letting her near it. Worst came to the worst, she was still holding the spear and could jab at Fiyori if she made a move.

It would be a move that sacrificed the scant tranquility of the day for a bid at survival. It would be a fair trade, but Coleen prayed she wouldn't have to make it. She begged, internally, for Fiyori to not force her to make that choice.

"Even if you don't really mean it," Coleen responded after a moment, raising and lowering each knee to shake out the rust. "I really appreciate you saying it." She turned to sit on the arm of the couch, holding the spear in one hand and using the other to adjust her skirt. It was tattered, ratty and bloodstained after several days of constant wear and tear and, to be honest, it was starting to reek just as badly as the rest of her, but a shower wasn't on the top of her list of priorities. Well, not anymore, it wasn't.

"Especially right now," she added as a note of their current 'living' arrangements. "All this trouble and they can't even pack us some extra deodorant? The monsters."
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Catching a sudden motion out of the corner of her eye caused Coleen to jump, clasping a hand to her chest upon realizing that Fiyori had simply almost fallen right out of her chair. Her shock made it harder to catch the humor in the situation but she giggled anyway, possibly out of nervousness more than anything else as made evident through upturned eyebrows and beads of sweat forming on her forehead.

"Careful," Coleen panted, standing up straight while more of a smile returned to her. "If you busted yourself open for no reason, we'd just waste even more bandages." She searched in vain for a joke, sighing. A thick, awkward air had filled the room and she couldn't figure out how to cut it. Coleen chewed on her lip for a moment or two, thinking about what she could say next.

She had an idea but she didn't like it.

"Hey, Fiyori..." Coleen asked suddenly, her voice flattened. "You haven't run into Alessio yet, have you?"
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"No. I don't want you to say anything to him," Coleen said.

She swallowed the dryness in her throat.

"I just wanted to know if maybe he was nearby. Because I..." She wanted to kill him. Ever since she heard Cameron's name and ever since her day of failure in the closet, where he had the audacity to return to the scene of the crime with the bodies of classmates strewn about, where Arthur was added to them and it was all Alessio's fault. It was the one negative piece of passion she had and he wrapped herself around it until it burned a hole into her chest, yet she couldn't actually say the words.

I want to kill him.

I want to kill him.

"Never mind," Coleen sighed. "Just wanted to know if you had run into him. Oh well."
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