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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 (1,527 Views)
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And I am still hungry.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Georgia Lee Day continued from Until Then, You Are Free))

They never should have left the cafeteria. The hours they had managed to hide away in the relative peace of the library aside, they had had no respite since leaving their sanctuary. If life had taught her nothing else, it had taught Georgia Lee to deeply and thoroughly regret any time that she attempted to break the mold for reasons other than pure practicality.

She wasn't startled to hear Fiyori's name on the announcement, though the fact that she had apparently joined together with some sort of execution squad to bring justice to Isabel Ramirez was something of a surprise. Fiyori wasn't one for teamwork.

She was startled to see Fiyori in the upstairs hallway, and it just gave her another reason to curse herself and how she had given in to cabin fever after almost a week of making it work. She had heard Coleen's voice. Coleen Reagan, one of the few names carved into the cafeteria table left unmarred. It was only after Georgia Lee zeroed in on the sound of Coleen speaking that she remembered Coleen had been announced as a killer, turning on her own ally.

And then she saw Fiyori.

Georgia Lee had instinctively stopped and taken a step back, bumping into Olivia, and then she recalled again that one must not show weakness in front of a predator, that she had to face up to Fiyori, and God, couldn't this girl stop tormenting Georgia Lee with her very existence?

But Fiyori said nothing to her. She just smiled and vanished down the hall. To Georgia Lee's overtired mind, it could have been as though she had evaporated into smoke, or had never been there at all. A tell-tale heart composed of gangling limbs and that secretive, knowing smile that made Georgia Lee's insides twist.

The moment passed as Fiyori's footsteps faded. Georgia Lee took a hesitant step forward. "Coleen?"

They had been friends before. Maybe they still could be, though Georgia Lee's survival instinct repeated again and again that seeking others out was as much a mistake as leaving their hiding place had been.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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What caught Georgia Lee's attention, the thing that startled her the most, wasn't the weapons or Coleen's haggard appearance; it was the fact that Coleen had her hair pulled back from her face. Certainly, there were practical reasons for a ponytail, but Coleen was so... set in her ways. Comfortable in the niche she had carved for herself with her appearance. Hadn't Georgia Lee had enough of a hand in helping her to get there that she should know? So the ponytail was a curious thing, but at the same time not something to be asked about. Georgia Lee might have been exhausted, but she wasn't so tired as to be completely devoid of tact.

The second most startling thing was that Coleen seemed genuinely happy to see her. Olivia had seemed relieved when Georgia Lee first revealed herself back at the cafeteria, and she had certainly made no overtures towards rejection barring their uncomfortable exchange in the library, but all of it was clearly born of fear so far as Georgia Lee could tell. Coleen had no cause to be afraid of them, if only by merit of the rifle and the spear, so this was just...

Her friend. It was Coleen, who had killed a boy, who had been keeping company with the last person Georgia Lee wanted to encounter, but the greeting just made it all the more difficult to accept that this might be a stranger wearing her friend's face.

God, Georgia Lee was so tired. She never pulled all-nighters back in Kingman; keeping a consistent sleep schedule was key to helping her manage all of her activities, to say nothing of the unspoken defiance of letting her sisters know that she could still sleep soundly in the room that they had tormented her in year after year.

"I- yes," she said, awkwardly agreeing to Coleen's sentiment without considering its implications. "I mean... yes. Hi." It wasn't just lack of sleep, she decided, but Fiyori's unwelcome appearance that had made her tongue suddenly so clumsy. "I'm sorry, I didn't get any sleep last night." She tried to smile anyway, and nearly succeeded. "I'm glad to see you too."

She almost forgot Olivia until the other girl sidled up to her shoulder. "Oh- and Liv's with me too. Olivia Fischer, you're in the same grade?" If nothing else, she could surely rely on Coleen for a polite greeting that wouldn't acknowledge that she had probably forgotten all about Olivia as well.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Georgia Lee nodded along with Olivia's statements and then quickly stopped because doing so made her feel light-headed. "Yes, that's right." Her half-smile was still in place and not entirely forced; there was something fundamentally wrong about Coleen being so... herself, in this context, but at the same time it was comforting. Georgia Lee might not have been thinking straight, but she was confident that Coleen wouldn't hurt them.

She took the seat offered to her, closer to Coleen than Olivia opted to be. A show of good faith, when faith of any sort was so hard to come by lately.

"We're just looking for somewhere to stay as safe as possible. But enough about us; what have you been up to since you're all by yourself now?"

That was a slip. An unfriendly little reminder that they knew what Coleen had done. Georgia Lee had spent a week taking the morning announcements at face value, more or less. As much as she liked Coleen, as much as she trusted her, she couldn't convince herself that what was said about Coleen was entirely a lie. But she wasn't naive enough to think even for a moment that the voice over the speakers didn't benefit from telling half-truths, withholding context. It was up to Coleen to clarify and clear her own name.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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"Wait, I- Coleen, I didn't..."

Georgia Lee didn't consider herself a hateful person. Hating people was a waste of energy, a waste of thoughts that she could be devoting to anything other than people who wronged her, because of course her hatred did nothing to them. She preferred to try and put them out of her mind entirely and focus her attentions elsewhere when she could, keeping her bitterness as a shield when necessary but discarding it when she didn't need her armor.

Georgia Lee had never hated anyone as impotently and as deeply as she hated all of the kids who had ever made Coleen cry. It didn't matter whether it was over her scars, or her timid nature, or some mistake. Kids would latch onto anything they could if they wanted to torment you, Georgia Lee knew that well enough. She had done everything in her power to help Coleen protect herself against those kinds of people, teaching her how to apply makeup, telling her to be more confident and stand up for herself, and she had ever established any sort of contingency plan for the seemingly-impossible event that it would be Georgia Lee herself making Coleen cry.

Self-loathing wasn't new to her, though she had worked so hard over the years to bury it.

"That's not what I meant," she finished lamely. "I'm sorry."

Why was it so hard to force the words out? She had made herself apologize to Fiyori, for something that she wasn't even really sorry for. Her throat felt tight and her eyes stung, and she told herself it was due to the lack of sleep.

"You don't... whatever happened, you don't have to say it." And did she mean that, or was she trying to placate a dangerous unknown?

Coleen was her friend.

Was this really Coleen anymore?

"I just... I was trying to make conversation, I didn't think, I'm sorry."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Georgia Lee folded her hands in her lap and concentrated on them intensely. She regretted ever setting foot outside the cafeteria. She regretted not crossing Coleen's name off of her list as soon as she heard the announcement, regretted following her voice and seeing Fiyori and putting herself into this situation. Out of everything she had experienced so far, the intense discomfort of stumbling through a social interaction was somehow the worst.

"You understand what happened and what went wrong," she said finally. "Owning up to your actions is more than a lot of people who have done worse have done, I'm sure." Worse. Were two bodies that much worse than one? Five? Ten? Fiyori had killed one person, just like Coleen, and Georgia Lee considered her worse for the mere fact that she was Fiyori. They were both acts of revenge, but Coleen had missed her mark. And that boy, the one Coleen had been trying to kill, he was still out there alive as far as Georgia Lee could remember.

She looked at Coleen finally, and didn't ask whether or not Coleen would try to kill him again if he showed up. She didn't ask if Coleen was truly guilty or just putting on a show. She had always been such a wonderful actress.

"We don't have to talk about this."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Georgia Lee could not handle this, regardless of Olivia's silent pleas. She didn't want things to be complicated. She didn't like when things were complicated and she couldn't figure them out. She had spent her entire life categorizing things and figuring out how they worked. She had figured out enough to know that the universe couldn't care less what Georgia Lee day wanted and liked, of course. It had never done her any favors and she didn't expect it to start now. She had to rely on herself.

But one complication after another began to appear and coalesce into one giant, unpleasant mass. Blair was an unpleasant memory, an unpleasant person. Alba less so, but she was a murderer. Neither one was her friend. Neither deserved the benefit of the doubt like Coleen did, neither had any business just barging in here. She should have thought to barricade the door, but she hadn't... hadn't what? Hadn't wanted to lock herself in here with Coleen, her friend?

Her friend, who now had a gun leveled at her with no preamble, no warning, no benefit of the doubt.

Georgia Lee didn't know what to make of Coleen, true. But Coleen probably ranked above Alba and certainly above Blair, and there was no way that Georgia Lee wouldn't have to take sides in this confrontation.

She was well and truly among the jungle beasts now, and she couldn't show fear.

She didn't stand right away, but she sat up straighter in her chair, even though her stomach flipped over itself as she drew Blair's attention to her.

"What do you think you're doing? Put that away."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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This was absurd.

That was the first clear thought that went through Georgia Lee's head, and with it everything else fell back into place.

Whatever Blair was thinking, she clearly didn't have the support of her allies. Things might be tense between Georgia Lee, Olivia, and Coleen, but she could trust them far more than Blair, Alba, and Vincenzo trusted each other, as far as she could see. This could be handled. If Blair wanted to act like an animal, like Fiyori, Georgia Lee could treat her as one.

"Put that down and back away." Slowly, as deliberately as she could with the slight head rush and her faint trembling because she hadn't slept in over a day, Georgia Lee stood and reached for her bag, as though she had something hidden inside. It was just the shovel, but Blair couldn't see that. Lacking support from her companions, she was technically outnumbered. As far as Blair would be able to tell, she was outgunned. She would do what animals did and turn tail, she wasn't the one who was cornered-

The gunshot ripped through the room and Georgia Lee's scream followed not a split second later.

Her leg was on fire as it collapsed underneath her, damp warmth and a dark stain spreading on the inside of her thigh as though she'd had a particularly embarrassing accident, but there was a hole in her tights where there hadn't been and a hole in her flesh where there shouldn't be.

She dropped the bag to clutch at her leg, the shovel that she had half withdrawn as Blair moved and other contents spilling out. Coherent thought abandoned Georgia Lee even as she tried to claw it back, leaving her with nothing but confusion and pain.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Georgia Lee had never heard Coleen scream before. She didn't think she had ever seen Vincenzo angry at all, considering the little time she had spent with them.

The fact that they were both furious and shouting for her sake didn't quite parse before the shock set in and she fainted, eyes rolling back as she collapsed backwards.

Darkness.




Georgia Lee faintly heard more yelling, faintly felt someone touching her. Her leg throbbed with raw pain. She thought she heard Coleen, thought she saw her face. She thought that maybe she tried to say something to Coleen, but she couldn't quite get the words out.

Darkness.




The garden needed weeding. It was long overdue, really. She could make free time. If she just cleared out some of the overgrowth, that would cut the chances of Virginia accidentally setting it on fire and burning the whole neighborhood down in her carelessness.

There was still so much that she needed to do, wanted to do, but she could make time.

Darkness.




Georgia Lee opened her eyes to darkness.

Her head felt fuzzy. How much time had passed?

She had... she had been shot. Blair had shot her. She reached with one shaky hand and felt for her leg, finding a clumsy tourniquet and a swath of bandages that had been soaked through with blood despite the best efforts of whomever had tried to perform first aid on her.

Dizzy from exhaustion and blood loss, the realization that someone had found her life worth saving made Georgia Lee's chest ache. Her head ached too, and she was cold, hot and cold at the same time.

She... she needed fresh air. The area was absent of Blair and any other threats. Georgia Lee slid off of the sofa onto shaky legs, clinging to the sofa's arm as she gingerly put weight on her injured leg. It was too dark and she was too muddled to pause and make out who else was asleep in the room.

But whoever they were, they were friends.

Just a breath of fresh air out in the hall, though it would surely be stale and decaying just like the rest of the asylum. She just... just needed some air circulation at least. She needed to prove that she could still walk, she thought, and that gave her some clarity. She would be useless if she couldn't walk, both here and back home. She had been shot, yes, and robbed of her dignity and the security that she had built up for herself over the last week, but hateful girls like Blair had never been able to take away the body that Georgia Lee relied on despite taunts and threats over the years.

She could stand. That was a start. She could walk and get some fresh air, clear her head. If everyone else was asleep, then she would have to stay awake when she returned, especially since she wasn't sure that she could move anything to barricade the door in this state. But she could stand, and she could walk... sort of.

Georgia Lee hobbled to the door and out into the hall, leaning heavily on the furniture in her path and then on the wall, faintly aware that more blood was soaking through the bandage and her tights.

She would have to take care of that too, when she got back.

((Georgia Lee Day continued in I know exactly what I want and who I want to be.))
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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